Punta Umbría is located near the capital on the banks of the Odiel, which has become an important tourist centre thanks to its wonderful beaches of fine golden sand. Every year it attracts many visitors due to the high quality of its tourism.
Within its boundaries are the Natural Park of the Odiel Marshes, and the Natural Park of Enebrales de Punta Umbria – two natural areas of great ecological interest.
Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans were the first inhabitants of Punta Umbria, attracted by the effective shelter for small boats formed by the maze of waterways at the mouths of both rivers. The early settlers had moved to Huelva attracted by the wealth of precious metals in the province, and the archaeological findings of the Eucaliptal, located in the town attest to small settlements from Roman times dedicated to fishing and the processing of fish.
Between the eighth and thirteenth centuries, it was the Muslims who settled in the lands of Punta Umbria, with testimony to this fact being found in the remains preserved on Saltés Island, where you can see floors of houses, walls, and ruins of an ancient castle. Under Arab rule the town was placed under the Caliphate of Cordoba, and it was not until the thirteenth century that it came under the control of the city of Seville, along with the rest of the land of Huelva.
During the last third of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, Rio Tinto mines (in British hands) became the largest employer in Spain, and the base of the economy of the province of Huelva. Following the laying of the railways and the construction of mineral docks, Punta Umbria was discovered by the British as a good place for rest and cure of diseases. The Rio Tinto company built a number of houses facing the river, which were easily accessed by boat from the port of Huelva. These beautiful wood and reed homes, symbolizing the first use of Punta Umbria as a resort, would leave a special mark on the architecture of the area.
In 1943, on the beach, there took place an event that changed the course of the Second World War. The fisherman José Antonio Rey María found in Punta Umbria the body of Commander of the British Royal Marines William Martin, the man who never existed. The body of the false Marine was part of Operation Mincemeat, organized by England to divert attention from the German High Command who were preparing for operations over Sicily in the spring of 1941. The highest German military leaders, including Hitler himself, were convinced of the veracity of the finding, and England achieved its goal of misleading the enemy.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the mining company donated a house to build a small school and Punta Umbria began to slowly grow. It established the first regular river transport services to Huelva, and in 1965 opened the first road linking the town with the capital. Punta Umbria originally belonged to the municipality of Gibraleón, later to Cartaya, and, in 1963, finally became independent and created their own Town Hall. Thus, although we can say that the town itself is less than half a century old, Punta Umbria can boast of an intense story, with its beginnings in Roman times and its further development with the English Tourism of the Rio Tinto Mining company.
Museum of The English
Memorial Tribute to Pedro Gil Mazo
Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
Church of Santa Maria del Mar
Church of Carmen.
Punta Umbria Tower.
Punta Umbría Gastronomy
Fish such as sole, wedge, mullet, rays, tuna, sea bass, croaker, sardines or mackerel leave the market every morning, ready to enrich a culinary tradition that increases day by day in quality and perfection, with its base in carefully selected ingredients.
Along with prawns, a delicacy which is obligatory for those who want to know the flavours of the seas of Punta Umbria, you can also find tapas and dishes such as fried fish in marinades, a traditional Andalusian cuisine that has been passed down through they years, and which is always accompanied by garden products such as La Pimentada, a salad of roasted peppers.
The delicate clams and mussels can be eaten with garlic, although purists say these delicious shellfish should be eaten raw, soon after they are steamed open. The seafood stews of monkfish or sea bass, flounders from the estuary, ray cooked with peppers, fried cuttlefish, pasta with mackerel, and seafood like shrimp and lobsters, are also all obligatory.
This gastronomic offer is extended by the entire town, but in particular in the area around the fishing pier on calle Ancha, in the area of the docks, and along the entire beach.
Quality home made ice cream, originally from Valencia, and installed as an artesan industry in Punta Umbria for over half a century, puts the finishing touch to an exquisite menu.
Punta Umbria enjoys a strategic position, a mere fifteen minutes from Huelva and well served by motorway, with the airports in Faro and Seville just over an hour away.
The international airport of Faro (Portugal) is located 90 km away, and it is 110 km to Seville.
From Highway A-497, Punta Umbria is connected to the capital of Huelva, which in turn is connected by the national network, through the A-49, with Sevilla. By the N-435 it is connected to Extremadura, and the N-431 and A-49 with Portugal, through the new International Bridge over the Guadiana River, some 50 km away.
With the capital, located 16 km from Punta Umbria, there is a regular passenger service and, during summer, a canoe service.
After the disappearance of “Belleza de Alicante”, “El Rápido”, “Angela Marisa” or “Chimbito”, which became true emblems of the town, “Canoa de Punta Umbria” relives those trips today, keeping alive one of the most characteristic features of the village.
Lepe 30 km
Huelva 20 km
Sevilla 111 km
Cartaya 24 km
Aljaraque 15 km
Ayamonte 50 km
Gibraleón 32 km
Isla Cristina 46 km
Palos de la Frontera 32 km