Visinting small towns... Ayamonte
This area has been populated since the Bronze Age. Of the Roman times, only the ruins of a forteress are left. During the 13th century, Sancho II of Portugal conquered it from the Arabs but ended up yielding it to the Order of Santiago. Later, through the treaty of Badajoz, when Alfonso XI accessed to the crown of Castilla, it was again given to the Niebla county. In 1664, Felipe IV was granted the title of the little city. Until 1992, the only way for people and vehicules between Spain and Portugal was the ferry. It was that year that the bridge united both nations as no longer was the ferry needed, nor was it mandatory to pass through Ayamonte's pier to acces Spain from Portugal although, the ferry continues to cross over hundreds of people and cars everyday. Ayamonte counts a little over 17 000 inhabitants and some of Huelva's best known beaches: Isla Christina and Isla Canela are the most famous for a day in the sun, while Punta del Moral is an interesting visit for its Roman Mausoleum. Being separated from Portugal only by the Guadiana river, Ayamonte is ideal for visiting with the Portuguese neighbours of Vilareal de Santo Antonio, shop the streets and markets, have great tapas and enjoy stricking views of the river, the bridge and the Altantic ocean. Ayamontinos' patronne is la Virgen de las Angustias, the Virgin of Angst whom they celebrate with great processions and fiestas around September 6th, 7th and 8th. Many of the town's churches are worth a visit such as Iglesia de Nostra Senora de las Angustias dating the 16th century, Iglesia de San Francisco also dating the 16th century and Iglesia del Convento de la Merced dating the 15th century.