A Virgin Beach at the End of the World
In the endless search for vacation escapes across Southern Europe, one Holy Grail remains first and foremost in the minds of many – a good, old fashioned, unspoiled beach to waste away the hours reading, playing, swimming or simply taking in the Mediterranean sun.
However, with each passing years, this elusive destination grows more and more difficult to find. Over interest, over building and just plain bad planning have left too many coastlines burdened by a sea of development that tends to overshadow the actual sea in front of you.
That said, Spain’s southern Costa del Luz, anchored in a region that has long fought to keep the pristine exactly the way it is and always has been, still has much to offer for those in search of virgin sands and sea.
An ABC newspaper report recently laid out Spain’s best beaches according to varied strengths and characteristics and leading the pack was the Costa del Luz’s El Rompido in Huelva.
Situated at the mouth of the river Guadiana to the Guadalquivir through the National Park of Doñana, Huelva offers over 120 kilometers of beaches of fine golden sand, surrounded by beautifully inviting wildlife. Bathed by the crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean and accompanied by more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 18 degrees, the beaches more than help the region live up to its moniker of the Costa de la Luz, or Coast of Light.
In its rundown of the highlights of the longest beaches in the Canary Islands, Galicia, Cantabria and Andalusia, ABC noted that the beauty of the unspolit beaches of El Rompido (Huelva) – with its 12 kilometers of fine golden sand – could hardly be matched. Further, the coastline’s location also led visitors from across the world to remark, “Where has this been all my life?” and “I had no idea there were so many heavenly places in Spain”.
So What’s So Special About El Rompido?
The most known and visible part of the beach region comes with the Arrow of El Rompido – a sandspit situated at the mouth of a river at the base of the Cartaya municipality along the Atlantic coastline. This feature then opens into the sea and continues to run along an unspoiled beach, which can be accessed thorugh a boat crossing from the tiny, typical fishing village of Rompido.
This section of pristine coastline is one known well by José Miguel García Hurtado, who makes the crossing more than a dozen times every day. Born in Rompido, Miguel started his own shipping service after fifteen years spent as a fisherman. For over 9 years the ship Sea Arrow has transported thousands of tourists through the marshes of the river stones towards the beach of El Rompido.
“In my 56 years, I can say that we have before us one of the last virgin beaches in Europe,” said Miguel. The manager says the region is proud of what it has to offer and said that most of the tourists who come to the beach leave so delighted that they pledge to keep coming back and telling us, “This beach town, do not let anyone build or touch the natural beauty of El Rompido.” It is a unique place, “where you lose track of time,” said Miguel.
An Idyllic landscape Near Doñana
The natural marshes of Río Piedras and Flecha del Rompido, an extension of the Doñana National Park, presents this curious structure thanks to deposits of the river, the flow of the tides and waves and offshore winds. This beachside section is uniquly sandy due to its size with a length of over 12 km parallel to the coast, constantly growing as each year by averaging lengths between 30 and 40 feet long.
To visit such a rare beach escape, you can book at the the ecological Hotel Fuerte El Rompido, a wonderful location situated in an environment that will ensure relaxation and wellness, without spoiling the local scenery