The village of El Rocío It is a small town belonging to the municipality of To the mountain (Huelva) It is world famous for the pilgrimage of the Rocío Pilgrimage, catholic event, which is celebrated during the weekend of Pentecost Sunday (around May / June). It contains thousands of people who travel from different parts of Andalusia through multiple routes, among which is the one that circulates through the Doñana national park.
The Village of Rocio
The village of El Rocío is located just 15 kilometers from the tourist area of Matalascañas, so it is worth visiting during our holidays. From the highway A-49, it is curious to see how a dual carriageway exclusively to reach this small town of Almonte, but this does not mean that the Village itself still maintains that beautiful image with unpaved streets full of horses. However, cars are still there, but most are parked on the esplanade prepared for that purpose.
The Dew Story It has a couple of versions, one of them dating from the reconquest by Alfonso X the Wise, but we are left with the one that has tints of legend. It is said that a hunter after following the nervous barking of his dogs, found a size of a virgin in the middle of the forest, specifically in a place called La Rocina. Without hesitation, he took the virgin's size and headed for Almonte, stopping in the middle of the road to rest. After the night / nap, he woke up and discovered that the virgin had disappeared. Angry, he returned to the place where he had found her and discovered that the virgin was in the same place. He ran to the town and after telling the story, it was decided to build a hermitage in that same place and place the virgin in it.
This hermitage does not currently exist, when it was destroyed after the earthquake that struck the area in 1755, the famous earthquake in Lisbon. The current hermitage dates from 1969.
El Rocío has become a tourist center of great magnitude, with an enormous amount of restaurants, mainly of economic prices, with beautiful places to walk like the road that surrounds the Puddle of the Mouth, where we can observe part of the fauna that resides in Doñana.
For those who do not belong to one of the Brotherhoods del Rocío, it is better to skip the dates of the pilgrimage (almost a million people visit it), because it would be practically impossible to stay in the Village. They say that at that time, this humble village of 2000 inhabitants becomes the third most populous city in Spain. Anyway, being a single weekend per year is not an inconvenience. But beware, this does not mean that there are more pilgrimages during the year, but they are never as massive as the Rocío Pilgrimage.
We came across one of them, composed of only men, who, as you can see, were dressed in mattresses and sleeping bags, so they had to spend the night to reach the village.
I suppose that in order to live the Dew, it must have been felt throughout life and if we do not look at the faces of the pilgrims, each and every one of them shed tears when they see their patron, The Virgin of the Dew, known as The White Dove.
Leaving the Church of El Rocío, we can see the rest of the municipality with an excellent state of conservation. Each brotherhood has its own house in El Rocío and many of them to its own restaurant and stable where to keep the horses.
Back to parking after one hour of visit, we stayed to enjoy thePuddle of the Mouth, a marsh that belongs to the Doñana National Park and the one that can observe many birds. I recommend using binoculars, as they do not usually approach no more than 50m from the road.
The same story is repeated every year that whether or not pilgrims should pass through the interior of the Doñana National Park. The park has several camping areas for pilgrims, but this does not mean that the noise of the vehicles, the party and other things that lead to the movement of hundreds of people disturb the rich fauna that resides in the park.
Practical data of Rocio
When to go to the dew?
The best dates to visit the area range from September to early June. July and August are very hot months and part of the marshes are completely dry, but if the goal is to see the Church of the Dew, the heat will not be an impediment.
How to get to dew?
Since Huelva or Seville, we will have to take the A-49 motorway and turn towards Almonte. After this location there will be no possibility of loss. Another option is to go on the road between the municipalities of Palos de la Frontera, Mazagon and Matalascañas, much less traveled and more interesting when passing through the National Park.
Where to stay?
The best option isMatalascañas, just 15km from Rocio and right at the gates of the Doñana National Park. Matalascañas has one of the longest beaches in Spain, bordering on the wildest of them all, the beach that belongs to the National Park and is accessible public. Another option is Huelva, where we stay, in the Monte Conquero Hotel.