The province of Huelva stretches between Seville and Portugal, but aside from its scenic section of the Sierra Morena to the north and a chain of fine beaches to the west of the provincial capital, it’s a pretty dull part of Andalucía, laced with large areas of swamp – the marismas – and notorious for mosquitoes. This distinctive habitat is, however, particularly suited to a great variety of wildlife, especially birds, and over 60,000 acres of the delta of the Río Guadalquivir (the largest roadless area in western Europe) have been fenced off to form the Parque Nacional Coto de Doñana. Here, amid sand dunes, pine woods, marshes and freshwater lagoons, live scores of flamingos, along with rare birds of prey, thirty pairs of the endangered Spanish lynx, mongooses and a startling variety of migratory birds.

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