Sanlucar de Guadiana is a picturesque Andalucian village situated on the banks of the River Guadiana, which forms the western border between Spain and Portugal. Sanlucar looks across to the Portuguese village of Alcoutim, which can be reached by a passenger ferry which crosses between the two villages on demand.
One of Spain’s famous “pueblos blancos”, Sanlucar is steeped in history, with a castle dating back to the twelfth century. Its position on the river also makes this a unique and very special location: the Guadiana is one of Spain’s longest rivers and is navigable from the Atlantic coast at Ayamonte as far as Mertola 40 miles inland. The village has its own jetty.
The village’s traditional architecture has been well conserved, with the older houses (including Casa Verde) nearest the riverside, huddled together up steep cobbled alleyways and narrow streets. The village is a haven of tranquillity as there is no through-route for cars to disturb the peace. Nevertheless, Sanlucar has two general stores, a bakery producing bread daily from a traditional wood-fired oven, bank with ATM, post office and three bars / restaurants serving simple local food. Sanlucar is a small village where everyone knows everyone else, so it is extremely safe, particularly for children.
Just up the road, 7 km, is a lovely outdoor swimming pool – lido style, with loads of grass areas and pretty thatched parasols and a café.
There are man-made riverside sand beaches on the edge of the village and across the river at Alcoutim. There is excellent walking and mountain biking, with a network of tracks and long-distance routes for all abilities. Bird-watching is fantastic (Golden Orioles, Hoopoes, Bee-eaters, Azure-winged Magpies and others) and the Guadiana offers great river sailing, canoeing, swimming and, of course, soaking up the sun.
Despite the village’s simplicity, it is just thirty minutes away by well-maintained roads (almost free of traffic) from the hustle and bustle (and Tapas bars and wonderful market) of Ayamonte town, along with the giant sandy beaches of the Costa de la Luz at Isla Canella. This is the “Coast of Light”, a unique and beautiful area of Spain: the sandy Atlantic shore has been spared the mass tourism that many other coasts of Spain have suffered. Whilst this part of the coast is a great favourite with the Spanish themselves, the region remains largely free of overseas tourism.
The historic cities of Seville, Cadiz and Jerez are all within easy visiting distance by car – so too are the famous national parks and bird sanctuaries of Coto Doñana, Sierra de Aracena in western Andalucia, and Castro Marim in the Algarve. And the excellent local motorway network means that even Cordoba, Granada and the Sierra Nevada can be reached in 3-4 hours.
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Sleeps 2-7, 2 bathroom/shower rooms (1 en-suite), 4 lovely bedrooms (2 doubles, 1 twin, 1 single), sun terraces, fine cotton bedlinens, fluffy bath sheets and hand towels