Isla Cristina (Portugal)

Isla Cristina is a city and municipality located in the province of Huelva, Spain. According to the 2009 census, the city has a population of 21,324 inhabitants.

Isla Cristina remains one of the most important fishing ports in Huelva province, its catch being highly prized throughout Spain.

It is a popular summer holiday resort, particularly with the Spaniards themselves. Sevillanos flock to the area in July and August, much of the attraction being the kilometers of Blue Flag standard beaches.

The holiday resorts of Isla Christina and Isla Canela are two well kept secrets, although not for long as the Spanish have been coming for years and the ‘estranjeros’ (foreigners to you and me) are not far behind. There are a clutch of golf courses locally here and across the border in Portugal and the local town of Ayamonte being a few miles from the coast is still very much a Spanish town. Why not take the ferry across to Vila Real in Portugal pit only costs a few euros and gives a great view of both town from the river.

There is an even better kept secret about 20 miles inland or 40 minutes by car from the motorway. The tiny white village of Sanlucar de Guadiana. This little village has a local population of only 400 and is situated on the beautiful and unspoiled River Guadiana. The local mayor is very much against changing things and this can be witnessed by the Easter celebrations when a statue of the virgin is paraded though the streets preceded by a group of country dancers and followed by the local band a tradition going back centuries. The mayor is also the baker, his best product being small rolls, but ask to see his oven which is a wood burning relic a hundred years old.

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