El Portil and Nuevo Portil
El Portil and Nuevo Portil
El Rompido Arrow
Location in the Province of Huelva
|• Total||Summer: 28,000 inhabitants Rest of the year: 2,400 inhabitants|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST|
El Portil and Nuevo Portil are two coastal population units separated by one street, known as Laguna Seca street, and managed by two municipalities, in the Province of Huelva, autonomous community of Andalusia, in southern Spain. People differentiates on which side of the street they are using El Portil or Nuevo Portil as if it were the name of districts of the same town. El Portil is managed by the municipality of Punta Umbría whereas Nuevo Portil is managed by the Cartaya municipality. The stable population, in winter, is about 2400 inhabitants about (1122 in Nuevo Portil and 1027 in El Portil) in 2016, while in the Summer season, is around 28.000. Most of them, tourists from the provinces of Huelva, Seville, Badajoz, Madrid and even the Basque Country and Galicia. People from other countries prefer to visit El Portil and Nuevo Portil in Autumn, Winter and Spring seasons, enjoying golf in the Nuevo Portil course or in the nearby ones, more than six.
Located parallel to the end zone of the Flecha de El Rompido, the main economic activity is tourism. El Portil and Nuevo Portil share a beach of 4 km long and 40–60 meters wide as an average. Further inland is the Laguna del Portil lake of great environmental value.
El Portil and Nuevo Portil, since its inception as an Area of Touristic Interest, has always had a considerable number of tourists, mainly Spanish, but also many foreigners. Foreign tourists most seen by these streets come from United Kingdom and France and Italy.
It was declared Center of National Tourist Interest (CNTI) in 1963. Initially the core of El Portil was the newly created urban environment. The area was known at that time as "Monte común de Abajo". Later, close to the 90's, the municipality of Cartaya decided to boost the tourism, previously started by the Punta Umbria's municipality, and created the population unit of Nuevo Portil. Previously, Punta Umbría was segregated from Cartaya on April 26, 1963, then starting then the growth of the population unit of El Portil. As it was said, El Portil and Nuevo Portil share the same physical populated area with tho administrative municipalities, -or two districts or population units-, because of the segregation.
Since then, a golf course was created, and a couple of four star resorts that try to integrate in the idyllic surroundings of the pine forests of common field below and overlooking the sea, with a sustainable growth and environmental respect.
Beaches and Nature
The beach of El Portil and Nuevo Portil is a golden sand beach located in the Costa de la Luz, shared by two municipalities, that of Cartaya and Punta Umbría. The beach of El Portil and Nuevo Portil extends over 4 kilometers of golden sand, variable width depending on the tides. It has been awarded the Blue Flag and the usual state of the sea is calm waters.
Fine golden sand coincides with the end point of the mouth of the Piedras River and part of it is situated opposite the Flecha de El Rompido, which grows around eighty meters annually. Near it is the lagoon of the same name is listed as protected space. Bordered on the east with the Playa de La Bota. Most of the beach is urbanized and with easy access, even for handicapped at certain places.
During World War II the government of Francisco Franco bunkers built in anticipation of a possible Allied invasion by the Huelva coast, close to the Guadalquivir river mouth, located 30 km from el Portil and Nuevo Portil. You can still find traces of them at that place.
This is the reason why the body of a "fake" Major William Martin, central act of Operation Mincemeat was dropped out by the British Secret Service on April 30, 1943 on the El Portil beach. Even there is a grave on the Huelva cemetery where is buried the anonymous homeless used for the hoax.
- The Reserve of the Laguna de El Portil is formed from the wind and tides on the dunes. Cork oaks, junipers, pines, sedges, cattails and thickets are, among others, some of the species that we can find. These lakes also form an important part of the migratory routes of birds, because in them tend to pause in their long journeys. It is an area with varied flora and fauna where besides birds and flora must emphasize hedgehogs and chameleons.It is an splendid place for trekking. It takes about one and a half hour to complete a track enjoying smells, pure air and if it is the season, watching Flamingos.
- We also found the area of Los Enebrales, which are 160 hectares declared as Natural Park. Enebrales are a dune ecosystem of continental marine transition where we find a dense, lush forest of junipers and pine, mastic, rosemary or black hawthorn. Its fauna include species like chameleons, chickadees, warblers, finches and buntings.
These Parks and Reserves are the ecosystem for the Spanish chameleon endangered and protected specie.
In the Punta Umbría district, there is a public sports center with numerous facilities: two football courts, a basketball court, tennis courts, paddle courts and a gym well equipped.
In the Cartaya's district there are public tennis and soccer field from "albero", not grass, and several medium banks. Albero is the Spanish word for the same compressed colored sand as in the bullfighting arena.
It can be said that all communities and condominiums have certain sport facilities, mainly swimming pool, more or less sophisticated. It is important to ask when looking for accommodation.
Life in El Portil and Nuevo Portil is relaxed despite the differences. El Portil seems more urban, despite its location and landscapes, because is where most of the shopping an leisure places are. Nuevo Portil is closer to a country side way of living. Less shopping, bars and restaurants mean silent places. The population is spread through communities/condominiums of different types and sizes. Among the largest communities are Entrepinos Urbanization located in Nuevo Portil, and Playas del Sur or Puntamar in El Portil. These names are useful to be oriented there. Also as differentiating aspects, accommodation is mainly in condominiums of flats and apartments in the El Portil district whereas is of cottages and villas in the Nuevo Portil district.There is a healthy competition among the citizens of both districts because there are differences, but in fact is the same area with the same climate, sea, light, and even kind and welcoming citizens with very small details such as if the sand of the district beach is more fine grained sandy or more clayish, or if the district is more or less noisy or if the citizens have to walk less to reach the beach because they are closer, or even because they have the cheaper restaurants and Bars. That is something that the visitor has to know to understand how El Portii and Nuevo Portil works socially and invites to investigate how the environment looks like using Google to choose the preferred accommodation.
The fair of El Portil and Nuevo Portil is scheduled for mid-August and is organized by the City of Punta Umbria and Cartaya. Although it has not always been very prominent, in recent years, it is gaining importance and is demonstrating every year that more people like these events. Also at the night of San Juan in the early hours from 23 to 24 June is celebrated on the beach,
Health and transportation
The area has a public health center (in the administrative area of Punta Umbría), that is El Portil, and two pharmacies, one nearby health center and the other about 300 m away, in the administrative area of Cartaya, that is Nuevo Portil. If the emergency is too severe, it would be advisable to go to Huelva and go to the Juan Ramón Jiménez Hospital, which is a large and much more enabled emergency room. Although this indication to go to Huelva always have to be given by the doctor first. It takes about 15-20 min. the trip to the central Hospital by car. Emergency phone is 112.
Transportation to El Portil and Nuevo Portil can be achieved by the following transportation means:
- Car: Easy shortcuts from the railcars from Huelva, Punta Umbría, El Rompido and Cartaya.
- Bus: El Portil and Nuevo Portil has buses of Damas SA that can take you to El Rompido, Cartaya, Punta Umbría and Huelva, primarily, although there are also direct buses to Aljaraque, Islantilla and Lepe, and even more destinations. From the bus station of Huelva you can move to a multitude of destinations such as Seville, Palos de la Frontera, Faro (Portugal), Madrid, Málaga, and Romania. Bus schedules vary greatly depending on the season (summer or winter), as for example, the line of Huelva to El Portil and Nuevo Portil may vary from 40 buses daily in Summer to 10 in Winter. There aren't the same destinations for traveling in summer than in winter. For more information, see the schedule on the official website of Damas.
- Taxis: Depending on the area where the person is, you should call different taxi services which to select the cheapest fare according to the zone: If you are in El Portil dial 959 31 00 48 or if you are in Nuevo Portil dial 959 10 54 00.
- Railway: There are many daily trains to the Huelva-Termino station coming from Madrid, Seville. It takes about 3 hours from Madrid and around 1 hour from Seville. Check time tables because changes occur depending on the season.El Portil and Nuevo Portil is located about 14 km from the railway station and the usual fare for a taxi is 20-30 Euros. It can be negotiated with the taxi driver.
- Plane: The closest airports are Faro, in Portugal and located one hour away by car. Highway toll of 5 Euros approx. direct to El Portil and Nuevo Portil. rental cars or Taxis available. The other airport is Seville. You can transfer to regional train to Huelva and then taxi to El Portil and Nuevo Portil
- Ferry: There are weekly links with the Canary Islands from Huelva. If your stay allows it you can spend a weekend visiting Lanzarote or Gran Canaria islands with your base at El Portil and Nuevo Portil and returning to base.
Popular restaurants and leisure
Continuously are being open new places to taste "tapas", sea food, the famous cured ham from Jabugo, meals, etc... Most of them with affordable prices and high quality food well cooked. Among some well known places are:
Italian food: 3 pizzerias are located in El Portil, one is Sicilia I and is located next to the Plaza de la Sal, another is Sicilia II and is located in front of the known bar As de Oro and beside the Casa Dino restaurant, and finally, La Trattoria, located at La Laguna Seca street, that separates El Portil and Nuevo Portil
Also there are 2 more pizzerias in Nuevo Portil, one is Cammilo e Peppone, located in the Marlin Blue Complex, and the another is the Pizzeria Génova, next to the ice cream parlor El Mirador.
The 5 pizzerias are opened every day of the week in Summer. However, in Winter, only open on weekends, although some like Cammilo e Peppone doesn't open in the whole Winter. There is also the option of ordering home to Telepizza, which is located in Punta Umbría, but also takes orders to El Portil and Nuevo Portil
Traditional Food: The most famous restaurant without a doubt is the Las Dunas Restaurant, which is located in Nuevo Portil and has an acceptable value. There are other bars that are located along the streets of the center, such as X El Morro, Punto y Aparte, La Colita or Zampa Gamba, which has homemade food every day. Furthermore, they are opened 365 days a year.
Burgers, sandwiches, kebabs and Mexican food: There is a popular restaurant called Casa Dino, located in front of As de Oro bar and next to the pizzeria Sicilia II. It is a very affordable restaurant concerning prices (located in El Portil ) and where you can dine well taking some sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs etc. It is also the only one which does home delivery throughout El Portil and Nuevo Portil (plus Telepizza coming from Punta Umbría).
We also find a kebab in El Portil located next to the famous Plaza de la Sal where you can buy kebabs, donuts, rolls etc. for very cheap prices as well.
Breweries: Several are in the area. The best known are 2, The New Coffee, which is located in front of the Las Dunas Restaurant and next to the Kaló bar, and Cervecería Raúl, which is located in the Plaza de la Sal and is well known in El Portil and Nuevo Portil. The first located in Nuevo Portil and the second one in El Portil.
Cocktail bar and tea rooms: There are 3 cocktail bar known, which are the Marlin Blue Complex mentioned earlier, the Kaló bar, which is also a tearoom, and finally the Aqua bar. The first 2 located in Nuevo Portil and the latter in El Portil.
Many of these restaurants close on Mondays, so it is recommended to check prior to go.
Because it is in the Summer when a large number of people visit the place it is important to know that the majority of the activities commented below are only available in this season. Out of high season life is very much relaxed and walks, sightseeing, fishing, golfing or bird watching are more enjoyable.
As in all touristic areas there are many activities that can be performed. Keep in mind that El Portil and Nuevo Portil is mainly a place for family holidays. If you like night life your options are the "beach clubs" located at the beach where the musical high volume don't disturb other citizens. If that is the case, it is recommended go by walking, maximum distance 1.5–2 km, so you can enjoy your favorite drinks and music without compromising your safety. Remember: Don't drive if you drink
Kayaks, canoes and Paddel: They are located in the Nuevo Portil (Cartaya). Run by a local company called Flecha Extreme. They can be rented for a set on the way down to the nearby beach Las Dunas Restaurant, or in other ways time, where the Chiruinguito KM 6 is. For more information and contact visit the official website of Flecha Extreme.
Marlin Blue Complex: Very popular place in the area. It is situated in Nuevo Portil too. It consists of a cocktail bar, which is open the whole day, but when you really enjoy is at night. Also, there are 2 restaurants, one Italian (Cammilo e Peppone) and another staff varied food (Surf Bar).
Family bikes: Situated in Nuevo Portil and is a company that started in 2016. The company is from Seville and conducts this business called Cyclotour. It is a company which is housed in Summer on the beaches of Huelva. It is located on the main avenue of Nuevo Portil, right next to where the fair takes place. It consists of bicycles of considerable size (fits up to 5 people) which operate non-stop pedaling obviously. There are 2 types, bikes that fit 2 or 3 people and the second, which fit between 4 and 5. The shift can only be performed by El Portil and Nuevo Portil. Outside this zone it is prohibited. For more information visit the official website of Cyclotour.
The Other Band / The Rompido Arrow: This is the beach which is in front of the beach of El Portil and Nuevo Portil which is only accessible by boat. This may be your own ship or boat or using the popular boat The Papaprimero, which brings you from the shore of Nuevo Portil to the sands of The Rompido Arrow for a small fee. Once there, you can enjoy seeing the real Atlantic Ocean with the sound of the surf. In addition, there is available a small snack bar. Don't expect great installations because this is a very protected area where there is only a snack bar to relief thirsty people.
Fairs: As mentioned above, the fair of El Portil and Nuevo Portil is mid-August, however, there are other shows available very close, such as El Rompido (end of July), Punta Umbría (mid-August ) or even Huelva Capital, the famous Columbian, which last a week and are carried out in early August. El Portil produces also a kind of secondary show a much smaller size called Feria de la Gamba, which occurs in early August and is a pleasant evening accompanied by typical food of Huelva and live music.
Clubs: Previously, there was a popular nightclub thus which stood at the end of El Portil, next to La Laguna turned; however, this closed and El Portil and Nuevo Portil ran out of nightclub. In recent years it is having by the young industry, a popular demand for the opening of a new one. Right now, El Portil and Nuevo Portil can only conform to the exhibition of Royal Beach Club, which is not entirely a nightclub as that currently exist for young people, but is in the process supposed to be.
Karaoke: Located in the area of the mall. It is a kind of small square on the ground. In this one, there is a bar, which can be used if consumed something Karaoke asking the waiter.
Golf: There are ample golf courses throughout El Portil and Nuevo Portil, built in the last 12 years and also are very well maintained. It is a private golf club, but you can visit and play for not very high price. For more information, visit the office of Golf Complex.
Tourist Train: Train which takes next to the sports center. What brings the company Viztor Turística S.L. It is situated in the Nuevo Portil (Cartaya) and the trip costs 2 euros. It offers a journey through many streets of El Portil and Nuevo Portil and through a variety of restaurants in which both people train like they are eating saying "goodbye". For more information, visit the official website Viztor Trains.
Foam Party: Occurs at the end of August and is performed in the famous Plaza de la Sal, in the area of El Portil . It consists of guns of considerable size that spew foam through the holes in them. This event comes especially young people, although it is also easy to see older age people going to the party.
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