The perfect plan for this spring: discovering Doñana and El Rocío

After all the winter rain, spring is finally arriving, and although each season has its particularities, this time of year has a special charm. Huelva cannot be understood without its Natural Park and its pilgrimage, Doñana and El Rocío are two of the wonders of our province.

Doñana Natural Park

Straddling between Huelva (most of its territory), Seville and Cadiz and just an hour drive from AMA Residences Andalusia is Doñana Natural Park. It is a complex mosaic of landscapes that spill out during the spring, filling with life its marshes, lagoons, canyons, forests, pine forests, dunes, beaches and cliffs.

Doñana is a labyrinth of land and water, a natural space that is home to the largest European bird reserve and that, during the spring, receives a multitude of migrations, making it the best time to visit this Biosphere Reserve.

Spring in Doñana

During the spring, the marshes and forests become the perfect place for breeding. If you enjoy bird watching in the wild, the spring months are ideal. In addition to more than 300 different species of birds, in the Natural Park you can find 38 different species of mammals, 42 species of amphibians and reptiles, and almost 70 species of fish.

After the rainy months, Doñana is greener and more colorful than ever. From the rockrose full of yellow, white and pink, to the forests and scrublands. You can also smell the lavender that tinges purple to the preserves and mixed with the reddish mastic.

While the lagoon complexes are dominated by scrub and low vegetation, if you go into the forests you will find cork oaks, willows, ferns, ash trees, stone pines, poplars … a meeting of ecosystems that make Doñana becomes a paradise for birds, whose greatest exponent are the aviaries: an explosion of sound, color and life.

The lynx: the star of the park

Without a doubt, the Iberian Lynx is the star of the animals in Doñana Natural Park. This species is in danger of extinction, so it is very common to find road signs indicating that caution should be taken when driving to avoid being run over.

The Mediterranean big cat, which weighs an average of 13 kg, is characterized by long legs, a short tail, large ears and a brownish coat. It is a solitary species, which generally moves away from its herd and seeks its own territory.

For this reason, it may be difficult to find it on a free visit. We recommend a guided tour, where you may be able to enter breeding areas or access key sites.

Book your guided tour

There are several alternatives to visit Doñana Park, as you can hire an excursion or visit it on your own. For the second option there are many alternatives, but if you are feeling adventurous and feel like exploring further afield, you can take a hiking route or visit the visitor centers. However, in order to have a complete experience and access restricted areas, you can only do so accompanied by a park guide.

You can tour the park through the more than 30 kilometers of beaches, following some of the marked trails such as the Raya Real trail or the Laguna del Jaral trail, or visiting the Doñana visitor centers. As it is a plain, the routes do not involve any difficulty beyond its length. However, it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes. The temperature and humidity conditions in this area are very pleasant in spring.

Doñana covers more than 120,000 hectares, a territory that has a very high level of protection, with public access restricted only to visitor centers, the trails next to them and the off-road, horseback or hiking excursions organized by the various authorized companies, which help to minimize the negative impact of mass tourism.

El Rocío

Within the municipality of Almonte, to which most of Doñana Natural Park belongs, is the village of El Rocío, where the most famous pilgrimage in the country is held. The village of El Rocio is an obligatory stop for anyone visiting Doñana. Its famous Hermitage, its streets and its inhabitants on horseback, are part of an endearing experience.

The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora del Rocío, popularly known as the Ermita de El Rocío, has a characteristic shell-shaped entrance. And once a year the village of El Rocio gets all the media attention, during the weekend of Pentecost, when the multitudinous pilgrimage of El Rocio ends.

However, during the rest of the year it is a fantastic place where you can stroll, observe the immaculate white painted houses and enjoy the gastronomy of Huelva.

We hope you will be encouraged to discover these two wonders of Huelva. If you are a resident of AMA Residences Andalucía and have any questions regarding planning or finding excursions, please do not hesitate to ask at the resort’s reception, we will be happy to help you.