Isla Cristina is a town west of the province of Huelva, on the tourist coast, Costa de la Luz. The city is young, modern and is a paradise for salted and canned fish, especially tuna. It has numerous tourist attractions, from its magnificent beaches or complexes (Islantilla, the Center, Punta del Caiman) to the famous Carnival through the Atlantic Coral Festival.
Within its boundaries is the Natural Park of the Marshes of Isla Cristina, a complex of marshes with different salinity habitats on which different plant communities and an important avifauna, between the mouths of the Guadiana River and Carreras.
The origins of Isla Cristina are very recent. They date back to the second half of the eighteenth century when fishermen from the Mediterranean, Catalonia and Levantine settled here in mainly fishing bases. However, the opinion of some historians is that it must have been the Catalans and Valencians who were the first to be devoted to this branch of commerce and industry. The arrival of these foreign groups was motivated by the dramatic increase in demand for salted fish and commercial development that Catalonia had been experiencing at that time. But certainly, even before their arrival, this coast was a refuge for fishermen and the environment, but without a fixed habitation and they were more in number than the new immigrants from Catalonia and Valencia.
The wealth of this area grew dramatically until it was rich enough to build a town. The discovery of water beneath a fig tree marked the final location of the Royal Island Higuerita. On 29 October 1833, with civil independence, the municipality the following year would change its name to its present one, Isla Cristina, thanks to Queen Maria Cristina famous for her humanitarian aid delivered in a cholera epidemic.
The old town is framed around the narrow streets leading to the Wharf and what are now the Plaza de las Flores and Paseo de las Palmeras. The identifying symbols of Isla Cristina are its physical location, its connection to the sea, its industrial dynamism and customs. Even the smells of the sea differentiate this village of sandy beaches, salt marshes and mudflats from the agricultural countryside.
Its economy has revolved around fishing, industry and trade press and salted fish. Isla Cristina has a fleet of over 250 boats, making it very attractive to visit the fish auction markets. One should note the work of the carpenters who build wooden boats (Isla Cristina was reproduced in the Pinta and the Nao Victoria for the Universal Exposition of Seville 1992).
Isla Cristina Monuments
Church of Our Lady of Sorrows.
The Parish Church of Our Father of the Great Power
Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels.
Paseo de las Flores
Paseo de las Palmeras
Visit to the sale of fish at La Lonja.
House and patio of San Francisco.
Tide mill and salt in the Natural Park of the Marshes of Isla Cristina.
Isla Cristina Gastronomy
The island cuisine is highly regarded thanks to the wise understanding and skill of its chefs and restaurateurs, as dishes highlight the products of the coast in all its presentations, fried, stewed or roasted. One of the popular dishes is the distinguished dogfish with tomato, paprika and bay in pressed salted sardines.
Perrunillas stand in baking almond, sweet cider, and the most characteristic of all: “la coca” made with almonds, eggs, angel hair, which is savoured around Easter.
From Huelva are two main roads to access the village, the N-431 that links to or from H-412 towards La Antilla Lepe and the other A-49 to Portugal, exit 122 signposted Isla Cristina and beaches . Take this exit two km to the N-431 and right at this junction is linked to the H-412 which leads to Isla Cristina.
From Seville take the A-49 to Portugal, also exit 122, the N-431 and then the H-412.
Distances from Isla Cristina
Lepe 15 km
Huelva 46 km
Cartaya 22 km
Seville 133 km
Ayamonte 16 km
Gibraleón 43 km
San Bartolome de la Torre 39 km