Almonte, El Rocio & Matalascañas
Almonte is a municipality of about 20,000 people, the mayority of the municipality is inside of the protected areas of Doñana National Park.
Forming part of Almonte there are also 2 small villages: El Rocio and Matalascañas. The municipality or borough hs an area of 86.500 m2 – the most extensive in the province of Huelva.
Doñana National Park is one of the most important protected nature areas in Europe with sand dunes, pine groves, marshland, lagoons and reserves which are a refuge for hundreds of species of birds, as well as endangered animals such as the Iberian lynx. The link with Doñana has actively influenced the recent history of Almonte. El Plan de Desarrollo Sostenible de la Comarca de Doñana (The Sustainable Development Plan of the area of Doñana) is a public investment program financed by the European Union, the Central Government and the Junta de Andalucia for the period 1993-2002. This plan along with municipal management in line with the new concept of sustainability , has laid the foundations of current environmental, social and economic municipality characterized mainly by:
* Implementation of policies to promote and conserve the natural heritage.
* The promotion of economic activities that respect the environment: quality tourism, agriculture and services.
* The establishment and improvement of infrastructure and community facilities (environmental, social and economic).
* The development of participatory mechanisms to facilitate the involvement of local players in authority.
* Social progress and improved living conditions of citizens.
The first settlements in Almonte go back to the Bronze Age; however it is likely that the present population is of Roman origin.
Many immigrants from all over the Mediterranean such as Tartessus, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans settled in these lands.
The town is made up of small white houses and spacious pedestrian areas. Its most outstanding monument, however, is the Virgen del Rocío Shrine, annual destination for the Rocío Pilgrimage, when thousands of worshippers fill the town.
Iglesia de la Asunción, XVIII century
Convento de Santo Domingo.
Convento de San Francisco de Paula.
Ermita de la Virgen del Rocío, 1964.
Ayuntamiento, XVI century –Baroque style
Ermita del Cristo, XVII century.
Ermita de San Bartolomé, XV century
Doña Ana Palace
Torrecillas -are disused mills
Aldea del Rocío.
The current population grew around the shrine in the sixteenth century. The image of the Virgin and the shrine had existed in the thirteenth century but was destroyed by Arab attacks.
Station and collections of Doñana.
Palace Museum “The Acebrón.
Almonte’s rich cuisine, washed down by excellent wines, is characterized by its great variety and is influenced by agricultural practices, based mainly on the evening meal. Among its specialties is a typical stew, cooked mainly in the village and fields of El Rocio, Marismeña Soup, stew and soup Almonteño . The rabbit is a basic ingredient of the cuisine of the area and used in typical dishes such as Rabbit and rice and Rabbit Salmorejo.
The province wine region stretches along the plain of the Lower Guadalquivir, from the watershed that marks the Guadiamar tributary to the estuary of the Tinto, an area of unsurpassed quality for cultivation of the vine due to a climate strongly influenced by the ocean. Salaam, Palomino, List and Garrido Fino vine varieties are grown in the province and are permitted to develop the wine protected by the Denomination of Origin “Condado de Huelva”.
From Huelva A-49 take Exit 50 and then toward the autonomic A-483 road, 11 kilometers to Almonte.
From Seville take the A-49 and then exit 48 towards A-483, then as from Huelva.
The nearest airports are the town of Sevilla-San Pablo (64km), Jerez de la Frontera (146km) and Faro (156km),( in Portugal.) Telephones for information on flight schedules, Sevilla-San Pablo 0034 – 954 449 000, Jerez de la Frontera 0034 to 956 150 000 and Faro Portugal 289 800 800 or AENA, Iberia, Spanair and Air Europa.
The nearest railway stations are those in La Palma del Condado (14km), Huelva (45km) and Seville (60km). Schedule Information telephone: 902 24 02 02 RENFE. More information on RENFE.
To Huelva 46 km
To Sevilla 53 km
To La Palma del Condado 17 km
To Villamanrique de la Condesa 22 km
To Moguer 34 km
To Palos de la Frontera 41 km