NEARBY NATURAL PARKS:
Along the Autovía (motorway) de los Descubrimientos, in the direction of Huelva, the traveller reaches the National Park of Doñana in about an hour. It is the largest aviary reserve in Europe, located next to the river's mouth, on the right-hand bank. Its richness is the result of good climatic conditions and its geographic location along the bird migration routes.
It encompasses three different ecosystems: sand dunes, pastures and swamps.
El Acebuche Information Center, Matalascañas (Huelva). Phone: 95 944 87 11.
The biological reserve of the Natural Park of the Aracena Sierra and the Aroche peaks is located at the Western end of the Sierra Morena. Its vegetation consists of thick forests of chestnut, cork and oak trees. It is a good area for hunting big game and climbing. It is dotted with mountains villages such as Alajar, Castaño del Robledo and Aracena, with its castle and Grotto of Marvels. The nearby lakes of Aracena and Zufre offer facilities for fishing and water sports.
Natural Park of Sierra de Aracena Office: Plaza de Santa Lucia, 23. Phone: 95 911 04 75
INTERESTING TOWNS AND CITIES
The remains of the Roman city of Itálica are another must-see site; they are located in the town of what is today, Santiponce, 10 minutes from the capital. Founded by the general Scipio, this ancient city gave two emperors to Rome, Troian and Hadrian. The area open to the public includes the neighborhood built by Hadrian, a theatre located in the old centre and a modern park surrounding the amphitheatre, one of the largest of the Roman empire with capacity for 25,000 spectators.
The Archaeology Museum of Seville exhibits some mosaics and a large number of sculptures and other objects from Itálica. Archaeological Complex of Itálica. Phone: 95 599 73 76.
The National IV motorway, in the direction of Córdoba, takes the traveller to the Campiña, the most fertile and heavily populated region of the province, with a great number of monuments. 30 km from Seville lies the town of Carmona, at the centre of the province. Established by the Phoenicians, it later became an important Roman city, as shown by its cementery. Other interesting monuments are the Roman Amphitheatre, the Alcázar de la Puerta de Sevilla, of Moorish origin, the Alcázar Almohade of the King Don Pedro, today site of a Parador de Turismo (State Hotel), with a tower similar to that of the Giralda. The city preserves the atmosphere of an Arab medina, with narrow streets full of religious buildings and splendid palaces, one of which houses the hotel Casa de Carmona.
Tourist information: Casa de Cultura. Phone: 95 414 22 00.
In the border with the province of Córdoba stands the city of sun and towers, Écija, 88 km from Seville. A rich grain village, bathed by the river Genil, it was a Phoenician and then a Roman settlement. It preserves an interesting collection of mosaics from the latter period. The city reached its greatest glory during the 17th and 18th centuries during which it acquired the name of "city of the towers." Today it preserves 11 towers, 15 steeples and a large number of temples, palaces, and miradors which make it the province's richest trove of monuments. Its religious monuments include the churches of Santa María, San Gil and the Convento de los Descalzos. Other interesting architectural sites include the beautiful miradors and the palaces of the Marqueses of Peñaflor and the Condes de Valverde.
Tourist Information Plaza de España, 1. Phone: 95 590 13 16, Ext. 53 (From 9 am. to 3 pm.).
Osuna is located 80 kms. from Seville along the highway A-92 N-334, in the direction of Antequera. It is a ducal village which came to prominence in the 16th century, this is theperiod in which its most important monuments, the Colegiata and the University, were built. It has a small archaeological museum in the Torre del Agua and an assortment of palaces of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Tourist Information: Plaza Mayor. Phone: 95 481 61 17.
Estepa is located along the same highway, 110 km. from Seville, and its tower overlooks the surrounding countryside. It maintains a walled area and a number of religious constructions. It is famous for its mantecados.
Tourist information: Plaza del Carmen, 1. Phone: 95 591 27 17.