Area Guide - Ayamonte
The name ‘Ayamonte’ was given to the town by the sea-faring ancient Greeks about 3000 years ago, but it is also known as ‘The Gate of Spain’. Strategically situated on the Spanish side of the River Guadiana that forms the border between Spain and Portugal, Ayamonte is an attractive, typically Spanish town with small shops and brightly tiled squares and fountains. The restaurants serve delicious dishes at reasonable prices. There is a large marina, an art gallery and weekly open-air markets. There is horse-riding and a tennis club with excellent coaching.
A regular ferry crosses the mouth of the river, to Villa Real, Ayamonte’s twin town in Portugal. On a hill above Ayamonte is a Parador hotel, with views south and west to the coast of the Algarve and the fast-flowing tidal Guadiana and the towering bridge that crosses it, joining the two countries. The perfectly situated Mirador townhouse complex below the Parador takes advantage of these views, as well as all that Ayamonte has to offer. At nearby Isla Canela there are wonderfully wide, white beaches, with hotels and apartments, restaurants and marinas. The waters here are perfect for sailing and all other water sports.
Although Ayamonte is a favourite with international tourists and residents, it is rightly proud of its rich traditions and deeply-rooted Andalucian culture. Fiestas and festivals take place all year round. In July each year the festival of the Virgen Del Carmen takes place. The patron saint of Spain’s Royal Navy, and protector of all sailors, Ayamonte honours her with sporting competitions, fireworks and regattas. Her image is carried out to sea in a spectacular procession of boats, with all the sailors singing. Ayamonte also hosts a famous festival of music every summer. Easter brings Semana Santa. In May there are feria celebrations and in February everyone looks forward to the mad days of carnival. ‘The Oracle’, a monthly newspaper in English, is published in Ayamonte, relating all the interesting happenings in the province of Huelva.
About 20 miles north of Ayamonte, in the olive and orange-tree countryside, lies the traditional Spanish town of Villablanca. The white Andalucian houses are popular with Spanish and international residents. It has good access to all the golf courses and beaches along the coastal strip, as well as being near to the foothills of the Sierra Tres Piedras and the huge and beautiful Piedras lake. There are all kinds of water sports on the lake, as well areas set aside for course fishing.
Five minutes’ drive into the countryside along the banks of the Guadiana River, is the new residential development of Costa Esuri. It is located among rolling hills, in one of the sunniest areas in Spain, close to all the amenities of the Western Costa de Luz. The properties are arranged around two 18-hole golf courses. The homes are built in groups some distance from one another, over the seven-by-seven kilometre area, preserving the huge sense of space. A large shopping complex is being built and there are plans for a medical centre, sports centre and school. The architecture is based on Andalucian style and there are spacious squares, parks and gardens. Buyers can choose between high quality apartments and townhouses, or build their own luxury villas with wide views. Costa Esuri is all about space and light. It is ‘Big Sky Country’ planned on a grand scale - a place for strong-minded, go-ahead people to enjoy good living.
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