Relaxing at the beach is great fun and you’ve probably been counting the days to do just that the whole year, like we have! But it would be a shame to miss out on the beautiful surrounding scenery along the Paraje Natural de Punta Umbría while you´re here. Luckily there are many wonderful places to see in case you decide to put on your explorer hat!
If you feel comfortable in nature and you enjoy outdoor activities, then you will definitely find pleasure in a short trip towards the neighboring village El Portil. The delightful smell of the curly juniper trees will be your travel companion and the Atlantic Ocean your guide! If you prefer to take in the sound of the waves from close by, then you can choose to follow the coastline for about an hour and a half or two (the trip is around 9 km long), otherwise you can take the wooden walking path through the juniper forest, among the Enebrales de Punta Umbría. We recommend you try both options!
If you leave from Chalet el Alcor it won´t take you very long to arrive to the edge of Punta Umbría, as the village is quite small. A bike path that makes a wonderful trekking route starts by the exit of the village, which you can follow all the way to El Portil. On less crowded days this would be the ideal start of your journey and a perfect opportunity for you to connect with nature and practice what is known as “shinrin-yoku”, or forest bathing. Like other coniferous trees, juniper trees are not only known for their distinct aroma, but also for boosting the human immune system and helping purify the air. Taking in one deep breath at a time is guaranteed to make you feel great and enjoy this relaxing walk even more!
During your walk along this path you might be lucky enough to encounter some of the many animals that reside in the area, among them the chameleon and the endangered jewelled lizard, easy to spot due to its large body and striking yellowish-green color patches. You will have the chance to learn more about the rich and fascinating flora and fauna typical of the area by studying the signposts along the way, which can easily help turn this into an educational adventure especially if you´re travelling with children.
If you unbearably start missing the beach at any point, you can easily access it through any one of the footpaths intersecting the main road – you have six or seven occasions to do so before you reach the village. The sky will slowly clear out as you exit the forest and you will soon be able to see a whole lot of blue in front of you: sky and ocean.
If you don’t pack food to take with you on your trip, we recommend you stay over for a nice lunch or some tapas at a local restaurant in El Portil. It is a modest village, but one that takes pride in its local food offer which is sure to tickle your senses. While you are there you can also sunbathe on the beach in El Portil or otherwise explore la Reserva Natural Laguna del Portil to dive further into the unspoiled beauty of the area.
Whatever you decide to do don’t forget to take serious amounts of sunscreen with you, a hat, some water, comfortable shoes and, of course, keep your bathing suit at hand!