Exploring the town
Once populated by rustic wooden shacks on stilts (built purposely for the mining employees), Punta Umbria's landscape has now been developed to meet the demands of holidaymakers taking advantage of late deals and package holidays to Costa de la Luz. However, the leftovers of its former quaintness are preserved in the shape of the Casa Museo de los Ingleses. One surviving structure from this bygone era plays host to a museum, which explains the influence of the English, their ways of life and features photographs from the period.
Meanwhile, the locality's most iconic landmark is the Torre Almenara, a watchtower built in the early 1600s to guard against the threat of Barbary pirates. Still standing in its original form today, the watchtower is located directly opposite the town's first church, the Iglesia de Lourdes.
A nature lover's paradise
Punta Umbria is uniquely situated in the centre of three impressive national parks. The nearest of these is El Paraje Natural los Enebrales, a two kilometre stretch of sand dunes and beach which can be accessed either on foot or by bicycle. Continuing west along the coast, visitors will soon come to Laguna de El Portil, a small lagoon which is home to a variety of breeding birds, including the black-necked grebe.
However, El Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel reserve is by far the most important park in the area. It was named a biosphere landmark by UNESCO and is home to a vast amount of flora and fauna, especially migratory birds. One third of Europe's spoonbill population stop here for part of the year, as do cormorants, storks, black-winged stilts, ospreys, herons, egrets, terns and thousands of flamingos during winter. The park can be toured by bike or on foot.
Activities for the active
For those who like their holidays a little more adrenaline-fuelled, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy windsurfing and kitesurfing. On dry land, quad biking tours are readily available to visit La Laguna, journey through the Cartaya pine forest or even venture to Spain's limits at Rio Guadiana and the Portuguese border. Alternatively, Cartaya is also home to the Aquopolis water park, which offers a wide variety of rides and attractions.
Throughout the year there are several festivals, mostly focusing on seafood. April is particularly busy, with two different celebrations taking place. There's the Festival de la Chirla y la Coquina - Clam Festival - and the Feria Nacional de la Gamba y el Boqueron de Punta Umbria - Prawn and Anchovy Festival. Meanwhile, in July, the town is awash with colour as it celebrates the Festival de la Virgen del Carmen, the patron saint of the town.
You can find great deals on travelling to Costa de la Luz All Inclusive throughout the year, and it's well worth timing your visit with one of the bright and lively festivals on offer.