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Bowling Holidays in Authentic Spain

The Bowls Club at Isla Canela

Isla Canela

Five miles of unspoilt "Blue Flag" Atlantic beaches flanked by dunes and pine groves form the setting for resort of Isla Canela. On the other side of the resort lies an important part of Spain's natural heritage, the protected wetlands of the 'Marismas del Guadiana', the protected salt marshes of the Guadiana estuary, home to a wide variety of waterfowl including flamingos and herons. It is located at the mouth of the Guadiana River, the natural frontier between Andalucian Spain and the Portuguese Algarve, and is joined by a causeway to the historic border town of Ayamonte.

Authentic Spain

Having escaped the mass tourism boom of the 1970-80s, the area retains the air of authentic Spain. Recent sensitive development has made this whole area the perfect destination for the more discerning 21 st century traveller, giving them access to the holiday experiences they have come to expect without the hustle and bustle of the better known Costas. There is no better climate in Europe for the dedicated bowls player and there are a number of clubs (Matalascañas, Isla Canela itself, and Vilamoura in Portugal) that are making this part of Atlantic Andalucia an increasingly attractive alternative to the well-trodden tour routes of the Costa del Sol.

Bowls at Isla Canela

The Club at Isla Canela is, along with an 18-hole golf course, reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Spain, sensitively built amongst the 'Marismas del Guadiana' (the salt marshes of the Guadiana estuary). There are two bowling greens, both suitable for tournament play; one is of natural grass constructed to specifications approved by the English Bowling Federation, the other having a top quality artificial surface. There can't be many Greens in the world where you will play alongside areas teeming with herons and flamingos!

Other Holiday Activities

But a bowling holiday is not just about the game. You will also want time to relax, and this western end of Andalucia will provide you with plenty of opportunity to do just that. The 'old town' of Ayamonte is only five minutes drive away with pedestrianised streets and plazas full of pavement cafés and tapas bars serving the great seafood characteristic of the Costa de la Luz; the elegant Plaza de la Laguna has a good choice of eating places with outdoor seating. As is typical of this part of Spain, regular markets and good shops give you the opportunity to pick up many a bargain; leather goods can be especially reasonable.

Next to the main square, the Paseo de la Ribera, is the picturesque harbour and marina. In the old town is the fifteenth-century Iglesia de San Salvador, worth a visit for its memorable tower with superb views across to Portugal; there are equally good views from the tower of the sixteenth-century San Francisco church nearby.

Huelva Province

Near to the provincial capital, Huelva, you will find the Doñana National Park, one of the most important wetland conservation areas in the world; a visit here should be considered one of the essential elements of your trip, and could easily be combined with a game at the bowls club of Matalascañas, which backs on to the park.

This whole region is full of echoes of the past; upstream from Huelva you will find the small, sleepy village of Palos de la Frontera, of great historical importance as the place of departure for Columbus' first voyage of discovery to the Americas. The province also retains influences from Roman and Moorish occupation; the Emperor Hadrian, famous for his Wall, was born here, when it was known as Baetica.


So Isla Canela and it's surrounds can offer you perfect weather to pursue your sport, a relaxed atmosphere, great food, authentic Spanish tapas and drink, as well as some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain. Could you ask for anything more?

So can we tempt you to explore this relatively unknown part of Andalucia, with its excellent bowling and unhurried feel of traditional Spain? Andalucian Rentals can offer top class accommodation from our portfolio of villas, apartments and townhouses. If you prefer, we are also able to arrange excellent hotel packages.


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