92km (57 miles) W of Seville, 629km (390 miles) SW of Madrid

Huelva, capital of the beautiful province of the same name, is itself rather ugly and industrial. For those heading west into bordering Portugal, the area makes a good stopover. Columbus buffs also come here to visit the bay from which the explorer set sail at Palos de la Frontera and to explore the monastery at La RĂ¡bida.

Huelva is the center of one of the largest concentrations of beaches in Spain, and is visited mainly by Spaniards who don't actually settle at the port itself but at the swanky resorts along the coast. The city of Huelva, home to some 140,000, also has a number of attractive first-class hotels.