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As the name suggests, this was once an island. Today, however, landfill has linked it to the mainland. It is 8km (5 miles) east of Ayamonte and 55km (34 miles) west of Huelva. Enveloped by tidal estuaries, Isla Cristina is today a building block of holiday apartments, many owned by Sevillanos who flock here in July and August. The fishing port here, second-most important in Huelva province, supplies fish to Córdoba and Seville, even Madrid. Stroll along Carretera de la Playa, with its mammoth eucalyptus trees, to the town's sandy beach. An even better beach, Playa Central, is 2km (1 1/4 miles) east of the center. In the heart of the village itself, life centers on Plaza de las Flores.

To the southeast of this square is the tourist office, Calle San Francisco 12 (tel. 95-933-26-94; www.islacristina.org), open Monday to Friday 10am to 2pm and 5:30 to 7:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm. Frequent buses from Huelva arrive at the bus terminal along Ronda Norte.

The town, especially in summer, is filled with little fish eateries and tapas joints, some of which come and go with the seasons. For more substantial dining, you can patronize the restaurants of the two leading hotels.

For tapas before dinner, head to the northwest point of town, a peninsula between the harbor and the already mentioned Plaza de las Flores. Walk the narrow, cobblestone streets flanked by whitewashed homes of Cristina's fishing colony. You'll find many bars serving freshly made tapas in this area, some with outdoor patios. Flamenco can be heard at some of these taverns in summer, when the visitors pile into town.