What to see and do in Sanlúcar de Guadiana (Huelva)?


➡️ Latest content update: 21 February, 2024


Sanlúcar de Guadiana is a small village located on the bank of the Guadiana River, in the province of Huelva.  The Guadiana River itself serves as a natural border with Portugal. 

Just across the river and facing Sanlúcar de Guadiana is the Portuguese village of Alcoutim.

At the bottom is Sanlúcar de Guadiana and at the top is Alcoutim.

To reach Sanlúcar de Guadiana, we arrived from the coast, passing through the villages of Villablanca and San Silvestre. Just 300 meters after leaving San Silvestre, there is a left turn where we took another road that leads to Sanlúcar de Guadiana.

From the turnoff to Sanlúcar de Guadiana is approximately 15-16 km.

You have to be very careful on this road because although it appears to be well asphalted, well signposted, and everything seems fine, there are quite dangerous curves with steep slopes that, even though they are well marked, can surprise you and cause an accident, so be very careful.

Right upon arrival and upon entering Sanlúcar de Guadiana, at the roundabout that provides access to the village, there is a parking area for caravans and campers (15 spaces) that is quite good, free of charge, and allows overnight stays for a maximum of 72 hours.

Motorhome area at the entrance of Sanlúcar de Guadiana

The first panoramic view upon arrival is the typical village with white-walled houses atop a hill, right next to the river. It gives an incredible sense of peace and tranquility.

Road entrance to Sanlúcar de Guadiana
Houses in Sanlúcar de Guadiana
Houses in Sanlúcar de Guadiana

6 plans to do in Sanlúcar de Guadiana

#1. Visit the Castle of San Marcos from the 17th century

You can reach it by car, bike, or even on foot (not recommended during the summer months due to the heat).

The castle of San Marcos stands on a hill next to the Guadiana River, just opposite its counterpart, the fortress of Alcoutim. This fortification dates back to the 14th century.

Views of San Marcos castle from the road

In 2014, a total restoration of the castle was carried out by the Ministry of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía.

When we went, it was closed (the interior), and according to some neighbors of Sanlúcar de Guadiana, it has been in this situation for several years due to a breakdown, which they say they are solving.

Nevertheless, it is a must-visit to see it up close and especially the views it offers.

#2. Visit the Port of Sanlúcar de Guadiana

An essential visit to contemplate the views of the Guadiana River with the Portuguese village of Alcoutim in the background on the other bank.

During the last week of March, a pedestrian floating walkway or bridge is installed that connects to the other bank (Alcoutim in Portugal), where the smuggling fair is held, which formerly existed throughout this area, mainly for coffee, tobacco, and food that were scarce in this area after the civil war.

Homage mural to the smuggling profession in Sanlúcar de Guadiana
Floating pedestrian walkway on the Guadiana River

There is a bar right next to it, and it’s a good plan to have a drink on the terrace with such views.

#3. Enjoy the river beach of Sanlúcar de Guadiana

Sanlúcar de Guadiana has had a small river beach for about a few years, about 100 meters long, equipped to enjoy the good weather, swim in the river, and practice water sports.

Even when it’s not hot enough for a swim yet, you can enjoy sunbathing or have a drink at the two terraces next to the beach.

#4. Try the transborder zipline

One of the best experiences we had in Sanlúcar was trying the world’s first transborder zipline, which crosses the Guadiana River to Portugal.

The zipline is 720 meters long, connecting Spain with Portugal, and travels at a speed of between 70 and 80 kilometers per hour. The curious thing is that you start the jump in Spain and in a few minutes, you arrive in Portugal with an hour less, due to the time difference between the two countries 😅.

ℹ Note: When you arrive at the Zipline in Portugal, you have to walk about 5 minutes to reach the Alcoutim pier, where you can take a ferry to cross the river and return to Sanlúcar de Guadiana.

The ferry cost is not included in the price of the jump. The cost of the jump is 25€.

Other things to consider, the minimum age is 14 years and the maximum weight for a person to be able to jump is 110kg.

#5. Cross the river to visit Alcoutim

There is a small ferry-taxi that crosses the river approximately every hour, depending on the season, to connect Sanlúcar de Guadiana with Alcoutim.

Alcoutim is on the other side of the river and belongs to Portugal. It’s a great opportunity to visit this beautiful Portuguese village.

🟩 If you like the idea of the zipline mentioned above, the perfect plan is to do the zipline jump, as the end of the zipline is in Alcoutim, visit the village, and finally go to the pier to take the ferry and cross the river back to Sanlúcar de Guadiana.

Aerial view of Alcoutim
Streets of Alcoutim

#6. Hiking routes in Sanlúcar de Guadiana

📍Sanlúcar de guadiana (huelva) Difficulty: 🟢easy

  • Route distance: 7,20 km
  • Positive slope: 90 m
  • Negative slope: 90 m
  • Maximum altitude: 65 m
  • Minimum altitude: 10 m
  • Route type: Circular

We did the “Ribera Grande” route, which runs alongside the Guadiana River and is not difficult, so almost anyone can do it.

The path is very well signposted, there is plenty of vegetation and shade along the way, and the path runs parallel to the Guadiana River, except for the sections of ravines.

You have to go up and down some slopes carefully. We also found wooden bridges and protection railings made of logs.

For more information, you can visit the official website of the Sanlúcar de Guadiana City Council: https://www.sanlucardeguadiana.es/

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