With a dapper marina, a jumbo beach and a backyard of bird-filled wetlands, Isla Canela holidays get the thumbs-up from just about every holidaymaker.

Quiet charmer

This place might sound like a tropical isle, but it’s actually on the cusp between Spain and Portugal, right on the edge of Andalucia. And it sticks to the Costa de la Luz mantra of peace and quiet. It could be because a bunch of higgledy-piggledy canals cut it off from the mainland. Or it’s those Spanish tourists trying to keep it all to themselves.

Sprawling sands

Isla Canela clocks up a lot of beaches – around three miles' worth, to be precise. With hobnob-coloured sand and a load of watersports to match, it’s easy to see where it got its Blue Flag beach title. Most of it's bring-your-own-towel territory, with just the odd patch of sunbeds. Head east, meanwhile, and you’ll spot more kites than people.

Natural beauty

Holidays here aren’t just for the suncream-carrying types. After all, the place is knee-deep in canals and wetlands, which are ripe for bird-watching and quiet kayaking trips. It’s also got an elite edge, thanks to its golf course and a marina with shops, ice-cream parlours and restaurants. Plus, it’s linked to Ayamonte by a bridge, which bumps up the dining out count.

At a Glance

  • Tick off all 18 holes on Isla Canela’s golf course
  • Spot flamingos and herons in the wetlands
  • Pop to Huelva for some top-class nosh