What to do in Southern Portugal & Spain

September 8, 2015

isla canela ayamonte huelva españa spain

If you follow the blog you'll know that I recently spent a week in Southern Spain and I stayed at the Melia Atlántico Isla Canela. Today I want to show you things to do around the area.

Spend a day in Lagos, Portugal

Lagos is one of the most visited cities in the Algarve and Portugal, due to its variety of tourist-friendly beaches, rock formations and it is renowned for its vibrant summer nightlife. 16th-century walls enclose the old town’s pretty, cobbled streets and picturesque plazas and churches.

It's 140km away from Isla Canela. It's close to a two-hour drive so it's best to leave early and spend the whole day there.

lagos portugal algarve

lagos portugal algarve

lagos portugal algarve

lagos portugal algarve

lagos portugal algarve

Walk around palm trees in Ayamonte, Huelva

Palm trees have always been my favorite type of tree. Why? Probably because they are a "sign" that there's a beach nearby ;)

parador ayamonte huelva spain españa

Visit the Marina and fisherman villages near Isla Canela

Isla Canela could also be called the Spanish Algarve and it's an exceptional vacation area. This is where our hotel was located.

punta del moral isla canela huelva españa spain

See a typical Andalusian church in Bollullos Par del Condado

The missions in California always remind me of these beautiful churches 

bollullos del paramo huelva andalucia españa

Stop by the Mudejar church in Niebla

I've always been a fan of Islamic architecture. It all started from an early age with the colorful illustrations of buildings in the folk tales compiled in Arabian Nights. The Alhambra in Granada or Cordoba's Great Mosque are some of the best examples you can find in Spain

niebla huelva andalucia españa

Stroll around the picturesque Palos de la Frontera

It is most famous for being the place from which Columbus set sail in 1492, eventually reaching America. It is also renowned for its strawberries, hence the sculpture below. 

palos de la frontera huelva andalucia españa

palos de la frontera huelva andalucia españa

Take a history lesson at La Rabida Monastery

Last Christmas I followed the trail of Don Quixote. Now it was the turn of Columbus's trail. La Rabida is where Columbus stayed between 1491-92 waiting for financial backing from the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella, for his voyage to the New World. The monastery was constructed in 1412 on the site of a Moorish stronghold; 'rabida' is an Arabic word meaning fortress.

Nearby you can find the Caravel's Harbor. It is a quay with life-size replicas of Columbus's three ships: la Niña, la Pinta & la Santa Maria, built for the 500th anniversary celebrations in 1992. You can climb up and down to the vessels' decks, and see inside furnished cabins and storage rooms with their barrels and food supplies (jamones, obviously), brought to life by figures performing day-to-day tasks, from preparing meals to measuring distances on maps. This makes a great visit for children, who love exploring the ships.

la rabida carabelas de colon huelva spain españa

la rabida carabelas de colon huelva spain españa

la rabida carabelas de colon huelva spain españa

la rabida carabelas de colon huelva spain españa

la rabida carabelas de colon huelva spain españa

la rabida carabelas de colon huelva spain españa

If you enjoyed this post don't forget to follow Memories of the Pacific on social media!

Cristina xo


  1. This place looks so adorable and beautiful at the same time


  2. They look absolutely wonderful as well as warm! Love your outfits x


  3. Great shots! It looks like you had a blast!

  4. Beautiful place and pics, it seems amazing!!


  5. Nice pics, like your red dress!

  6. Looks like such a lovely location, definitely have to visit!

    ISA Professional

  7. It looks so amazing there! I would love to go

  8. I need to plan a trip ASAP. Looks so amazing! xx

    Fash Boulevard

  9. oh wow... beautiful photos! I can tell you're having so much funn from that ear-to-ear smile!
    PS: those cats are the cutest!

  10. Oh wow, it looks absolutely beautiful here. Makes me want to jump on a plane asap to visit :)


  11. Great post! Nice pictures.

  12. very nice! Great pics



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