Cultural experience around Doñana amongst swamps, conservation areas and wineries |  Traveler

Cultural experience around Doñana amongst swamps, conservation areas and wineries | Traveler

follow your trail Iberian lynx inside Donana National Park It can be compared to going to the Himalayas in search of a yeti or a snow leopard. Its presence is found in mythology, in footprints on fresh sand, in bunnies jumping out of burrows, or in the species’ rescue programs. And yet, the symbol of a place that transcends centuries and borders is the iconic cat, as present as it is mysterious. Before dawn, the silence mingles with the first light of day and the indifferent gaze of the deer, unaffected by the passage of all-wheel drive. Donana Nature. The wheels of the vehicle leave traces in the village. raw, who was still asleep at six in the morning and soon disappeared in the rearview mirror. Then we cross the Ajolí bridge and enter the piles of stone pines.

This is the order of the visit. Doñana national park limited experience with local agencies in the northern region complementing and deepening the life of the diverse ecosystems intertwined in the 120,000 hectares protected. Declared a biosphere reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the natural eruption of the park is the park’s biggest magnet. Donana Sense -a set of activities that fuse nature and local culture-began to go beyond the concept of nature. Therefore, the guides not only show the fauna, flora or marshes, but also try to instill a dose of history in the visitor from the inside: except for the labyrinth of footpaths scattered across the three provinces of Andalusia. Doñana covers (Seville, Cádiz and Huelva) and Raya Real trails Y Moguer roadAnimal trails leaving El Rocío are not allowed to roam inside.

‘Pepa’, a female Iberian lynx released into the wild in the Doñana natural area. PACO PUENTES (COUNTRY)

After having a country breakfast and crossing large fields with grazing cattle, the promised cultural immersion moving through the sands makes its first station. King’s Sanctuary. It is the only private property within the park, and its hunting ground, where aristocrats and monarchs parade, was given its protection by the Catholic Monarchs, although its riches were recognized two centuries ago. The palace is a farmhouse, rebuilt in 1770, with several rooms around a large veranda. In one of the public rooms, for example, private photographs, saddles, tools, mugs still used by the family that owns it, and lines that José León wanted to show the enthusiasm that went beyond the walls are mixed up. . : “And God was so generous / heaven of heaven wanted to bring him to Doñana …”.

El Coto del Rey is the only private property within Doñana National Park.
El Coto del Rey is the only private property within Doñana National Park.

The areas of the reserve currently stretch over 6,000 hectares; here black cows breed, lynxes mate, and the occasional eagle, with a slight flapping of its wings, flies over us and shares the sky with storks, spoonbills and herons. In fact, there are eight pairs of king eagles in the park, which are closely watched as the species is threatened with extinction. Doñana’s scientific drive, which began in the 19th century and is now bird-stealing, locates the lynx and Raise your voice against environmental degradationIt culminated in the declaration of a national park in 1988. These conservation efforts have ensured that, despite the damage done by drought due to urban overcrowding, climate change and illegal irrigation, Doñana’s legacy continues to be reflected in the presence of more than 300 bird species, 40 mammals and a dozen classes. amphibians and a thousand plant species. They are millennial inhabitants of a unique paradise of swamps, dunes, preserves, beaches and patios.


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Back to El Rocio

In the rustic streets of Rociera, between the white houses and the hermitage, very few houses remain with roofs made of castanets, a plant that grows in the swamps. But there are traditions that don’t go out, and many of its 1,500 neighbors continue to move around on horseback through the fraternity homes enveloped in the wild west air. annual pilgrimage. A million people gather around a universal celebration glorified by its legend. secret dewA walking tour among the centuries-old wild olive trees, symbolizing myths, history and the village. These wild olive trees are the sacred tree of El Rocío, a haven for goldfinches and sparrows, and an ancient shadow of brotherhoods. The largest symbol is called grandfather, An example with more than 600 years of history on its trunk and intertwined branches covering the facades and balconies.

The hermitage of El Rocio, a town in the province of Huelva.
The hermitage of El Rocio, a town in the province of Huelva.Alamy Stock Photo

Old olive trees are not the only wonders of the dusty land, for mouth puddle It’s also very wasteful. It evaporates the waters of summer, but autumn and La Rocina stream the swamp begins to flood, and the four-kilometer trail with wooden walkways under pine trees and observatories allows you to think of countless flamingos, purple pigs, egrets or small bitterns. Not only that: among the famous guests of the so-called “mother of the swamps” are the mostrenca cow and mare mare. Saca de las Yeguas is a tradition with more than five centuries of life, celebrated at the end of June, when animals are gathered in burrs in different marshes until they are taken to the village of El Rocío. Here they are consecrated by the priest of the hermitage before the eyes of thousands and then taken to the slaughterhouse. To Mountain.

Horses in Charco de la Boca.
Horses in Charco de la Boca.PACO PUENTES (COUNTRY)

This tradition, as unique as it is ancient, riding a horseOne of the activities at the gates of Doñana, although on the way to the fair, the visitor, instead of wild animals, follows the misty horizon of the nearby beaches. matalaskas. There are tens of kilometers of wild sand covered with cliffs, bustling dunes and fossils, and the choppy waters of the Atlantic through which the sun glides. that’s when Cuesta Maneli perspective The house has a privileged balcony. Asperillo cliff where nostalgic and ephemeral horsemen come together and decipher the rabid colors of the sunset. The perfect climax of the day and a dip all over Doñana.

The traditional Saca de las Yeguas de Doñana was held on June 26 in the town of El Rocío.
The traditional Saca de las Yeguas de Doñana was held on June 26 in the town of El Rocío. Europa Press News (Europe Press via Getty Images)

local claim

It is said that the province of Huelva does not know how to expose their most precious privacy, and this goal is what tourist supporters are trying to achieve from various fronts. It all starts in typical Andalusian hostels. Hotel El Cortijo or in The farmhouse of Los Mimbrales, a tribute to entertainment. In its time, the latter became a farming town with a school, church and commissary. The workers’ barracks have been converted into spacious apartments with very high ceilings and its facilities host weddings, gatherings or yoga retreats.

The gardens and ponds of the El Cortijo de Los Mimbrales hotel.
The gardens and ponds of the El Cortijo de Los Mimbrales hotel.

Wineries are also dissatisfied with the humble prestige of their wines, so they started shouting that there were vineyards on the grounds of the University of Huelva 4000 years ago. That pride is what they sell from the lands of their denomination of origin. Huelva Countyturns 90 years old. An example of their tradition, Juncales family wineriesat Bollullos Par del Condado, where they continue to fill a two-century-old barrel and make an exquisite vinegar, as well as offer a tasting of shrimp, red fruit or sausage. These are just a few of the star products that Huelva has been exporting more quietly than it would like so far.

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