At the age of 12, I travelled alone outside of Spain for the first time and spent a month improving my English in a British College near Birmingham. That was a life changing experience. From then on, I haven’t stopped travelling around the world whenever I get the opportunity.
I have a Tourism Degree and a Masters in International Tourism Management from Spain and France. I have lived in six countries and consider myself a language geek. I can speak five languages. Nature, wildlife, culture, languages and locals are my drivers when I travel.
During my travels, I have always enjoyed taking photos. Throughout the years, I have taught myself how to find the best perspectives and how to edit my own photography work. This even took me to an all-paid press trip to Sri Lanka thanks to my Instagram profile @moontraveler_blog in 2018.
It was in Sri Lanka when I realised that I could create my own content and share my adventures and experiences to inspire others to travel the world more responsibly themselves. I am a big advocate of preserving and protecting our planet! I believe that a more ethical and responsible way of travel is possible and that’s how my blog Moontraveler Blog was born.
On my website, I combine ideas, guides and tips for inspirational and responsible tourism. The goal is to help people organise their trips as well.
Three Months in Isla Cristina
I travelled this summer to Isla Cristina which is a small town on the coast of Huelva in Spain. The main reason for my visit was to discover more of my roots as this is my father’s hometown and I didn’t know much about the area and its people. I decided to spend the summer months there – getting to know more about the area and exploring the surroundings.
Isla Cristina is located in the south of Spain, seven kilometers away from the Portuguese border. It’s famous for holding the best fresh fish market in Andalusia and is the second leading port of this Spanish area in terms of the amount and variety of fish arriving and sold on a daily basis.
The beaches of Isla Cristina are considered to be some of the largest in all of Spain and the main characteristic is that there are sand dunes all over the place. This makes the coast look like pure paradise out of a postcard. It was a great place to be during this year’s pandemic since there is plenty of space to keep your distance while enjoying a sunny day at the beach.
Although I stayed in Isla Cristina for around 90 days, I would say that a weekend would be enough time to visit and do all of the important activities. But I would absolutely encourage people (especially international travellers) to spend at least 10 days in the area as it’s truly a gem and Isla Cristina makes for the perfect base to explore the surroundings.
During my days in the area I would experience the highlights of Isla Cristina, travel the coast of Huelva, visit the capital city (also named Huelva), explore the interior of the province, and visit towns such as Moguer and Rio Tinto – known to be the most important mines in Europe many years ago.
The highlight of the area is Doñana National Park. Unfortunately, during summer, it’s not possible to spot animals and so I postponed my visit.
My experience travelling around Isla Cristina and the province of Huelva was extremely enriching. The area has a lot to offer – the landscapes are an attraction themselves, the cultural offer is large and diverse, and its gastronomy is based on super fresh seafood which is out of this world.
Due to Isla Cristina’s distant location to the main Spanish airports (Madrid and Barcelona), the city is not particularly busy and even domestic tourism is not massive nowadays. This makes it an appealing travel destination.
My Favourite Place in Isla Cristina
My favourite place in Isla Cristina is the seafront that goes along the marshlands. This is a peaceful walk I recommend – to enjoy the wonderful sunsets Isla Cristina portrays and with a view of the many moored colourful fishing boats in the marshlands. The scene is truly unique!
Top 5 Highlights of Isla Cristina
I would say Isla Cristina is more about the experiences than the cultural aspects as such. In my opinion, these are the highlights of Isla Cristina:
- Join a boat ride along the marshlands at golden hour/sunset. This boat trip could even include white shrimp and white wine tasting.
- Explore the town of Isla Cristina and visit the fish market early in the morning when boats arrive and start to sell their fresh produce.
- Walk along the seafront and eat tapas while enjoying the sunset.
- Spend a whole day at the beach and have lunch at one of the many beach bars otherwise known as ‘Chiringuitos’. The food is amazing!
- Go bar hopping. Isla Cristina has some old bars where you can enjoy a very traditional Spanish night out. Wherever you decide to start the night, make sure to end it with a cocktail at ‘La Capitana’ – probably the fanciest bar in town which has an open air rooftop terrace.
Amazing Culture of Isla Cristina
I actually had good opportunities to immerse in the local way of life in Isla Cristina. Life here is relaxed. Locals come across as natural, direct and cheerful. They love to laugh at a bad joke and they consider themselves to be close with their relatives – even the ones they don’t know very well.
You can be invited for lunch or dinner and they don’t expect anything in return. Locals are friendly and quirky in a way, as there are several recognised personalities known by all of the inhabitants. The people make the cultural aspect of Isla Cristina distinctive. They are proud and love to sing. For this reason, the town is also known for its amazing carnival!
Delicious Cuisine of Isla Cristina
Food in Isla Cristina will definitely be one of the highlights of your trip there. Seafood is the specialty and below are the restaurants I recommend:
- Chiringuito La Gola Playa – this beach restaurant is probably one of the best in the area and all dishes are super fresh and delicious.
- Bar Restaurante Abuelo Manas – the highlight is stingray with paprika.
- Bar Manino – the best grilled fish in town in my opinion!
Favourite Memory from my Trip
My favourite memory of Isla Cristina is from a boat ride during sunset. The colours of the sky were reflected in the sea and we had peaceful Spanish guitar music playing while we ate white shrimps and drank white wine. That is something you don’t get to do everyday and the atmosphere the tour guide created in that moment was something I will never forget.
Need to Know Before you Go
I would recommend bringing your own car or a rental car for a visit to Isla Cristina. Most of the beach locations are outside the town and for that you will need to take the main road. Also, this is the best alternative to be able to visit the rest of the coastal areas and towns surrounding Isla Cristina.
Are you an international traveller visiting Isla Cristina? Then take into account that English is not spoken in most places. Isla Cristina has some international tourism – mostly travellers from the UK, Germany and The Netherlands – but if you don’t want to struggle then make sure you learn the basics to get by during your stay. Thanks for reading!