Stay in an Andalusian farmhouse. Experience Doñana National Park.
Book Here

With its incredible birdlife, rolling sand dunes, idyllic pine forests and long sandy beach, visiting Doñana National Park is a highlight for any guest staying at Kukutana. And coupled with fresh seafood and crisp manzanilla at Sanlúcar de Barrameda, it's certainly a day to remember.

The Kukutana Team

For anyone who has visited Kukutana, they will know it is the location within the little-known Doñana National Park that is its real privilege. 54,521 hectares of protected land, home to incredible biodiversity and one of the best places in Europe to see migratory birds.

Guests at Kukutana enjoy an exciting range of privately guided historical, cultural and active excursions to explore their surroundings, including horse riding to nearby El Rocio, carriage rides through ancient woodlands, picnics in the grounds of former royal palaces, daytrips to Seville and sunrise hot air balloon rides over serene Andalusian countryside.

A full-day 4×4 jeep safari into the Doñana National Park is an unmissable experience. After a delicious breakfast of homemade granola, fresh fruit, eggs made to order, freshly-baked bread, local jamón and excellent coffee, pack your camera and binoculars, borrow a traditional straw sunhat from the Kukutana collection, and set off for an off-road adventure. It’s a short drive to the National Park Visitor’s Centre, where your private guide, a local biologist and expert on the region’s flora, fauna and history, will be waiting to take you on a 4×4 safari of the park’s southern loop.

Paved road turns into dirt track, then suddenly you’re cruising along the sands of one of the longest virgin beaches in Europe; protected Atlantic waterfront with views for miles, populated by the odd fishing shack or WW1 pillbox – half-sunken in the sand and left to the ravages of nature – and a chain of 16th Century beacon-towers, used to signal when pirates from the Barbary Coast were invading.

Here you see amazing birdlife: oystercatchers, Sandwich terns diving head-first to fish, sanderlings busy in the surf looking for food and plovers which lay their eggs on the sand in early summer. Dolphins and turtles swim these waters, too; they are rarely sighted from shore, but keep your eyes peeled.

Giant mobile sand dunes roll inland from the beach – perfect for an off-road adventure. The dunes are constantly buffeted by the wind and changing the lie of the land, slowly enveloping entire forests of umbrella pine trees; their tops sometimes poking above the sand like broccoli heads.

With a sea of sand in one direction and sea of water in the other, the views from the high dunes are remarkable. On a clear day, the mountains of Cadiz are visible in the distance, contrasting starkly with the flat marshlands of Doñana. Flocks of Greylag geese arrive here in December, migrating from northern Europe in search of food, first picking sand grains to help their digestion, then entering the marshes to nibble on the roots of water plants.

Beyond the dunes lie the marshlands, an important ecosystem which was the first area of the park to become protected in 1969, when ornithologists realised its importance for migration birds in Europe. The park is home to more than 300 bird species, including the Imperial Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and black-winged kite.

Once the rains arrive in September, birds flock here to feed and breed. From November onwards it’s incredibly green, then full of colourful flowers in February. Come spring, the marshlands are flooded, attracting thousands of African birds: flamingos, storks and waders. Then by summer, it’s like a different planet – cracked dry earth and a red carpet of Salicornia, salt-tolerant plants that thrive in brackish marshes and beaches.

Fallow and red deer, wild boar, native cattle (vaca mostrenca – related to the Texas Longhorn) and wild horses (caballo marismeño – a rare breed related to the mustang) can be spotted grazing on the edges of the marshes and pine forests, enjoying refreshing pools of fresh water. Typical of dry, arid spots, there is an abundance of aromatic oily plants: lemon thyme, yellow rosemary, lavender, Marjoram, strawberry trees, wild olives and deep-rooted Mediterranean vegetables give the area a comforting aroma.

Exploring with a local guide takes you deeper into the history of the region, learning about efforts taken to protect the coastline from development, traditions of fishing, pine harvesting and hunting, archaeological finds such as a roman village where fisherman produced tuna paste 2000 years ago, and the spectacular fossils that have been found here.

One of the most successful local conservation projects is the Iberian Lynx breeding program. In 2004 there were less than 100 lynx in Spain due to fragmentation of habitat, so a program was created to reproduce them in captivity and release them into the wild, with eco-ducts built to allow them more movement across roads and between areas of forest. There are now 1,300 in southern Spain and Portugal, with around 100 in Doñana alone – best spotted early morning, if you’re lucky!

In true Kukutana hosting style, a day-trip wouldn’t be complete without a delicious aperitivo stop in a beautiful setting, perhaps next to a 16th Century palacio – a former royal hunting lodge built in colonial English style, standing majestically in the middle of the Park. The jeep’s bonnet is transformed into a bar, serving G&T’s, cold beers, stuffed olives, local chorizo and cheese; delicious treats to enjoy whilst pausing to take in the stunningly picturesque scenery.

Lunch, of course, is a vital part of the adventure. Reaching the banks of the Guadalquivir River – the Southern border of the Park itself – and parking on the beach, a small ferry carries you to a waterfront restaurant in the fishing port of Sanlucar de Barrameda. It plies its trade back and forth across the river, waiting for passengers to call on its services.

The town is steeped in history; Christopher Columbus and many of the Spanish Conquistadors set sail along the Guadalquivir River on their discovery – and conquest – voyages of America 500 years ago.

Guests dine on a balcony with a view back towards the Doñana National Park, feasting on fresh seafood and local Manzanilla wine. Kukutana can also arrange private wine tastings in local sherry bodegas – this is, after all, the land of sherry, with the city of Jerez only a few miles to the East. Manzanilla, a crisp, dry, delicate variety, is produced only within Sanlucar itself.

After a leisurely lunch, the ferry takes you back to Huelva for a beautiful drive home along miles of empty beach, having explored three Andalusian provinces in a day: Sevilla (where Kukutana is located), Huelva and Cadiz across the river.

Back at Kukutana, there’s time for a swim in the garden pool or soak in the bath before a three-course dinner, then relaxing by the fire to mull over the day’s adventures.


I’m struggling to put into words everything that we have experienced these past days, from the very first moment it has all been exceptional. The team and the hosts are marvellous, the experiences unforgettable - we will cherish these days forever.

Guest, Madrid

A unique experience surrounded by friends and hosted by this wonderful family who have poured their dreams and love into this project. The most memorable G&T in history! We will be back soon.

V.U. Madrid

The magic of southern Spain and the warmth with which we have been received have made these days unforgettable. What an incredible project you have created!

A.L. Germany

Thank you for the most magical few days in this piece of Paradise! It was the most memorable time and holiday that we have ever had. The food was delicious, the horses were beautiful and cannot believe that we saw a Lynx! We cannot thank you enough for all you have done. Hope to see you again soon and best luck for the creation and adventures that you plan.

J&M.H United Kingdom


to top
Book Here