The Harbour


A Common History

The Harbour of Huelva and the city of Huelva have the same history as the city life has revolved around the harbour since its very origins. The Harbour is located over the Odiel River and the Estuary and is linked to the first inhabitants of Huelva, who settled on the hills and isles of the area.

During the existence of the culture of Tartessos, the harbour was a port used for exporting gold, silver, and copper from the inland mines and became a perfect place for cultural exchanges with other Mediterranean peoples – Greeks, Phoenicians, and many others. A good number of archaeological rests from that period have been found both at digs and river dredging processes.

The Harbour Today

Today, the Harbour of Huelva is one of the most active, competitive and expanding harbours in Spain. This is especially thanks to its strategic situation for trading with Africa – in fact, this is the seventh most important harbour in Spain and the second in Andalusia. It is divided into two sectors – the Inner Harbour, located at the city, and the Outer Harbour, the main one and encompassing the whole of Huelva.

The Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour consists of the port known as ‘Muelle de Levante’. It was built in 1972 to substitute some harbour facilities of lower quality which had been built between 1900 and 1910. The Muelle de Levante is the harbour which has the least maritime traffic. Nevertheless, it is considered the real harbour of the city as it is the most centric one, located in the very urban community of Huelva. We must remark a small delimited zone known as ‘Muelle de las Canoas’ or ‘Glorieta de las Canoas’, which links Huelva to the town of Punta Umbría in the summer with a touristic boat. The Shipyard of Huelva, close to the city entrance along the ancient Puente-Sifón de Santa Eulalia Bridge, must be also pointed out among the facilities of the harbour. The Muelle de Levante is also an important fishing port given the ancient sailing tradition in the city.

The Outer Harbour

The Outer Harbour consists of six ports and is located at the town of Palos de la Frontera, Huelva. In 1965, the Industrial Park of Huelva started being built. Thus, the new harbour or Outer Harbour started being built at the south of the Tinto River. The construction started with the Torre Arenilla Oil Harbour and ended with the Ingeniero Juan Gonzalo Harbour, built between 1972 and 1975. At the end of the 1960s, the construction of two bridges – the Puente del Tinto (1967) and the Puente-Sifón de Punta Umbría (1969) – which join the harbours and the city with other areas of Huelva was also ended.