25 things to see and do to have a dream holiday in El Rompido
El Rompido, with its fishing village atmosphere, is a spot worth discovering, since it offers everything you could ever need for a perfect holiday. While it is not strictly speaking a locality, since it belongs to Cartaya, this area has a charm of its own, making it unique on the Costa de la Luz. There are so many things to do in El Rompido just waiting to be discovered by visitors: golf, water sports, adventure sports… not forgetting the restaurants along the banks of the River Piedras, where you can enjoy the best of local gastronomy. It is a destination with abundant natural beauty and charm, and highly suitable as a base for exploring the rest of the Huelva coast, since there are many things to see in El Rompido.
Far from the stresses of driving, El Rompido has become a destination for those seeking nature, sun and, above all, peace and quiet, far from mass tourism. Here are 25 reasons not to miss it:
1. Segway ride
The Segway is increasingly becoming fashionable and, while it may seem complicated, nothing can be further from the truth. It is a super-fun ride on two wheels where you will enjoy the Marismas del Río Piedras Natural Park and Flecha de El Rompido while looking after the environment. The price for an hour and a quarter is around €25 and you can enjoy this natural spot, declared a special protection area, and a stopping point for birds which are migrating to Africa and Europe.
2. Go kart racing
You can spend a day to get your adrenaline pumping with the go karts at Cartaya, hop in with your friends or kids (if they are old enough) and enjoy the race. The Cartaya go kart race track, about 9 kilometres from El Rompido, is a fun-filled way for the family to release any tension and enjoy a race.
3. Go to Acuópolis
If the temperature is rising but you don’t feel like going to the beach, El Rompido has a fun alternative: spend a day at the Acuópolis Water Park in Cartaya.
Slides, all types of pools, a whole load of attractions spread over 10,000 square metres, waves, an area for quads… Everything you need for your entire family, especially for the little ones, to spend an unforgettable day on your holidays in El Rompido.
4. Windsurfing in El Rompido
Windsurfing is one of the most exciting beach sports that both men and women can try. This is a sport where you need more technique is more important than physical strength, though the latter is also necessary. You can try four different types: Slalom, Course, Waves and Freestyle. We recommend beginners use large boards with a small keel and sail which makes things easier.
5. Laguna del Portil Walk
This route will take you between dunes bordering the Marismas del Odiel Marshes Nature Reserve, one of the most important wetlands in the country, to the viewpoint in the Laguna del Portil nature reserve, where we can see its rich fauna, especially waterfowl such as the mallard, the northern shoveller and the kingfisher.
Do you want to enjoy your holidays doing something different? El Rompido has the best beaches in Spain to learn kite surfing, paddle surfing, canoeing…
Diving in the Atlantic is synonymous with transparent waters abundant flora and fauna, but it also means fun thanks to the huge amount of things you can find around la Flecha del Rompido.
There are some schools and businesses dedicated to snorkelling and diving in this area of the coast of Huelva which offer courses to people who are new to diving and those who already have some experience.
8. Visit the Castle of the Zúñiga
The Castle of the Zúñiga can be found atop a hill in the western part of the city where it looks over the Piedras River. In fact, that was precisely the main function of this military fortress: to overlook the waters which were quite insecure.
Abandoned once it was found to be of little use once piracy stopped being an issue and restored with great success in the twentieth century, it was declared a National Monument and is one of the major tourist attractions in Cartaya. There are various cultural activities to be found inside such as exhibitions and concerts.
9. Golf and beach
El Rompido is surrounded by some of the best golf courses in Huelva and Andalusia. To play golf, we recommend you visit the Club de Golf El Rompido, the newest addition in Huelva. It is located next to the beautiful Nature Reserve at Las Marismas del Río Piedra and Flecha de El Rompido, also offering its visitors magnificent views over the Atlantic Ocean. The facilities are equipped with everything you need to learn this sport, and the golf academy is directed by the renowned British golf pro Peter Ballingall.
10. Sailboat ride
If you want an extraordinary experience with a special person, this is your chance. Enjoy a sunset cruise on a classic sailboat along the coast of El Rompido. Champagne and an incredible sunset are included – what more could you ask for?
11. La Ermita and the Pilares
Founded by an Indian in the sixteenth century and located in the north-west of the town, La Ermita (“the Hermitage”), with a light Baroque Andalusian style, has recently been restored. The Moorish “pilares” (irrigation systems) at La Dehesa and Mogaya are ancestors of the current systems in Cartaya.
12. Try the “gambitas” (prawns) in Huelva
If you’ve never heard of Huelva “gambitas” before, you certainly won’t forget them once you’ve tried them. El Rompido, as a good traditional fishing village, offers the tastiest prawns in Andalusia, which can be enjoyed in its more than 20 restaurants. If you go to the town, make sure you go to Doña Gamba and La Almadraba, two good-quality bars at a reasonable price, located in the Plaza de las Sirenas, next to the charming Parish of Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
13. Walking the Pinares de Cartaya
This route introduces you to the Pinares de Cartaya which spans more than 12,500 hectares, along sandy roads, surrounded by thickets and lakes and, occasionally, briefly accompanied by a marsh harrier. The path leads us to the viewpoint at the mouth of the Piedras River in the Flecha del Rompido Nature Reserve which will not fail to impress.
14. Horseback riding
Horseback riding is available to all: whether you have ridden before or not, el Rompido offers you fun horseback rides through the pine forest of the Nature Reserve. What better way to enjoy nature than by riding an exceptional animal?
15. Guided tour of the Marismas del Piedras
The mouth of the Rio Piedras hosts the Marismas de Piedras y Flecha Nature Reserve in El Rompido. The sediments dragged along by the river, the tides and the south-western wind make this place unique.
This is a great area for bird watching. The White Stork, Montagu’s harrier, stone curlew, the little grebe, the hoopoe, the spoonbill, the stilt, marsh harrier, the canastera, common tern, northern pintail, teals, the oystercatcher, the sandwich tern, the sandpiper, the plover, and the laughing gull are some birds found there. Other animals found here are the chameleon and marine animals such as fish (bream, sea bass, eels…), crustaceans and molluscs such as the clam and the grooved carpet shell.
16. Cycling routes
Discover the Costa de la Luz on a bike with spectacular routes. Ask at reception about the possibility of renting a bicycle.
- Fuerte El Rompido – Laguna del Portil circular route
- Fuerte El Rompido – Huelva
- Fuerte El Rompido – Marismas del Río Piedras
- Fuerte El Rompido – Pinares de Cartaya – Flecha del Rompido viewpoint
- Fuerte El Rompido – San Bartolomé de la Torre – Aljaraque – Portil circular route
- Fuerte El Rompido – Isla Cristina circular route
17. Gastronomic route
Thanks to the village of Cartaya’s privileged location, between the coast and the sierra, its cuisine is just as diverse. Fish and meat are complemented with local vegetables, seasoned with oil and vinegar, washed down with good wine and followed by typical fruits and sweets.
18. Convent of the Trinitarians
Made for the Trinitarians de la Merced Descalza. It includes a baroque tower, made of smooth stone up to the belfry, finished off with a tile-covered spire. It was destroyed by the earthquake of Lisbon, and built up again in 1765. It now houses private homes, preserved in good condition.
19. Walk along the beaches
Dunes, pine forests and long beaches where you can see all the way to the horizon are, without doubt, one of the most charming landscapes on the Costa de la Luz. The Cartaya coastline offers untouched vegetation in an incomparably tranquil setting in contact with pure nature.
20. Enjoy the El Rompido lighthouses
In addition to the new one, El Rompido also houses an old nineteenth-century lighthouse, now renovated and refurbished to hold meetings, conferences or seminars. The original lighthouse has no lens, although the rest of the structure is in good condition. The lighthouses are nearby and the village of El Rompido and the Mirasmas del Piedras Natural Reserve can be seen from their location.
21. Anchored boats in the river
From El Rompido’s promenade, you can enjoy a curious panoramic view that is part of locals’ everyday lives: thousands of small anchored boats, protected from the tide by La Flecha. There are also sometimes boats grounded in the sand, due to the high and low tides. A true spectacle.
22. El Rompido Port
If you are going to visit El Rompido, be sure to see its fishing port, since, in addition to being a beautiful spot, you can also enjoy a true spectacle: when the tide is low you can see hundreds, indeed thousands of fiddlers in the port. A fiddler is a type of crab, whose most unique feature it the difference in size of its claws. The locals remove the largest ones, serving them under the name “mouths.” It should be said that the fiddler does not die and that its claw grows back with time.
23. Las Sirenas Square
Las Sirenas Square is the heart of the locality’s social life, since it is where both the Our Lady of Carmen Church and most of the town’s restaurants and cafes are located. From here, you can also enjoy a lovely panoramic view of the ria and the Real de la Almadraba de Nueva Umbría. Beautiful!
24. Tablao Flamenco Felahmengu
If you visit El Rompido and don’t see the best flamenco on the whole of the Huelva coast, you will regret it for the rest of your life, since Tablao Felahmengu II is all about the passion of flamenco. Here you will experience this intangible art of humanity in a well-appointed space, so that you can feel the magic and energy that only flamenco can express.
25. Visit the Real de la Almadraba
The Real de la Almadraba de Nueva Umbría is a point of interest you must visit on your holiday in El Rompido. It is located in a privileged spot and is the ideal starting point to immerse yourself in this locality’s traditional fishing essence.
The Real de Almadraba is a set of buildings that housed workers and everything relating to the use of the Almadraba fishing technique. While it has been inactive since 1960, visits are permitted, so if you like fishing you must stop by.
Fuerte Hoteles is the best hotel chain to stay in if you visit southern Spain. The Hotel Fuerte El Rompido is one of the most beautiful hotels in the area thanks to its spectacular location on a hill the overlooks the natural landscape of the Piedras River. On top of this, the Andalusian architecture is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. An ideal place to rest and practise sport surrounded by nature.