The Odiel Marshes: A Natural Setting Where The Sea, Land And Sky All Meet
The Odiel marshes comprise of the municipalities of Gibraleón Alcor, Punta Umbria and southwest Huelva. It is a natural space where there is a confluence of the mouths of the Tinto and Odiel Rivers.
Here are 10 reasons why this area is recommended for a chance to enjoy a day of beauty.
- It has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and a Natural Site of National Interest.
- The area provides one of the most important examples of tidal marshes in Spain, the name given to the encounter between fresh and salt water.
- Seeing that the four municipalities become the second largest wetland in the province behind the Doñana Natural Park.
- To explore the nearby Marismas del Burro Natural Reserve and the Isla de Enmedio Natural Reserve.
- Because the sedimentary processes starting from the mouths of the rivers and the Atlantic Ocean can offer a glimpse of how the great estuary was formed.
- The sediment supply and tidal forces have helped to create extensive islands, separated by narrow waterways, like the Enmedio Island, the Saltés and the Bacuta, located to the south of the enclave.
- This is a true bird sanctuary, which, especially in the winter migratory season, sees a huge variety and number of birds. These include spoonbills (making it the largest breeding colony in Europe), flamingos, cabochons, Moorish coots, bee-eaters, kestrels, ducks, egrets, herons, cranes, black storks and raptors such as the osprey and the marsh harrier, among many others.
- The area’s varied landscapes make this a truly unique location, which can be seen in its tidal marshes, ponds as the Bataan and the Tare, the Breakwater Beach or the El Almendral, The Acebuchal and The Cascajera forests.
- A remarkably large horizon, allowing the chance to enjoy the smell of salt, the sea breeze and the spectacular arrival of hundreds of birds found in this marsh – those who find the area an ideal place to rest and in many cases, a safe environment to nest.
- In the park itself, there is an observatory for viewing the different birds.
Some Options to Visit the Marshes (Alone or On a Tour)
- A special way to see all corners of the Odiel Marshes is by boat. From there you can enjoy the beauty of the scenery, the sounds and the distinct colours of the birds that live and feed in the area.
- Another ideal way to see the place is hiking. When traveling the path of Bacuta Calatilla, watch out for the two forms of exploration that give us salt, one of the most important natural resources in the area: the traditional salt and industrial Bacuta Aragonese. If you enter the Cascajera path, you’ll see one of the areas less transformed by man, where you’ll be struck by the number of shells that cover the ground.
- It is also possible to tour the area by minibus or train, during which you will see the different ecosystems that make up this enclave, including ponds, marshes and forests. Along the way, stops are made to facilitate bird watching through the network of observatories in this natural area.
Visit the Odiel marshes and let yourself be enveloped by the beauty of its surroundings – you won’t regret it!