Best river boat tours in Andalusia: Top 5

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Andalusia is one of the most visited areas of Spain due to its balmy temperatures all year round. It is also known for its privileged location on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although its visitors prefer to enjoy a beach holiday, in order to get to know authentic Andalusia, its culture, architecture, and natural environment, a boat tour is recommended.

You may also prefer a multi-day cruise along one of its extensive rivers or a kayaking activity among the cliffs and waterfalls that flow into the sea. Whatever you decide, you will take away with you some great memories of your holiday. Here you will find the best river boat tours in Andalusia, but also recommendations for kayaking and snorkeling tours.

1. River boat tours in Huelva – Guadiana river

One of the best river boat tours in Andalusia is the one that goes from the coast of Huelva to the Algarve. We propose you several river boat tours in Huelva.

Isla Canela

The first recommended tour is a unique boat tour experience that starts from Marina Isla Canela and goes along the entire coast of Isla Cristina and Isla Canela. You will ride along the estuary of the river Carreras and you will enter the beginning of the marshes of Isla Canela. The tour lasts 45 minutes and costs 30 euros.

If you opt for a tour in the heart of nature you could book a tour in the direction of the Guadiana River. The motorboat will depart from the port of Isla Canela and will go into the river. When you will be on the river Guadiana, you will see the fish market of Ayamonte, a fish trading area situated between Spain and Portugal. On the way back to the port of Isla Canela you will be able to see the beaches of the coast. The tour lasts one hour and 15 minutes and costs 40 euros.

Guadiana River

The most complete boat tour and the one you will surely enjoy the most is the one along the Guadiana River.

You will leave Marina Isla Canela towards the open sea to sail along the coast of Isla Canela, spotting the fine sandy islands of Isla Canela if the low tide allows it. It will then enter the Spanish-Portuguese river border via the Guadiana River. It will then pass between Villareal de San Antonio, with its peculiar Pombaline architecture, and Ayamonte. After the towns of Gerreiros do Río and Foz de Odeleite, Alcoutim and Sanlúcar del Guadiana appear.

On the way back, to feel the wind in your hair, the motorboat will go at full power on the calm waters of the Guadiana, and you will be able to sail in the La Canela channel if the tide allows it. After an exclusive navigation through the marshes, Isla Cristina, its fish market and finally the base port Marina Isla Canela will be the final scenic stop. The tour lasts two hours and 15 minutes and costs 70 euros.

2. River boat tours in Sevilla – Guadalquivir River

On this river cruise, you will get to know Andalucia in its entirety. It is an eight-day cruise that includes visits to the most emblematic cities of Andalusia. Here is the itinerary that will convince you to book one of the best river boat tours in Andalusia.

Guadalquivir river cruise itinerary

The first day: Meet at the Seville pier at 5:00 p.m. to board the river cruise. Crew introductions and a welcome drink will help settle you in before the evening meal served aboard. Then you may wish to explore the ship afterwards.

Second day: After breakfast on board, you will travel by bus to Córdoba and have the afternoon to discover the architectural diversity of the city. At the end of the day, reboard the ship for dinner and spend a relaxed night at your leisure exploring Seville.

Third day: You will enjoy a guided walking tour of Seville, the “city of light,” in the morning. After that, during the afternoon you will navigate to enjoy the landscape until you reach Cádiz. Visit Cádiz at night, with the entertainment team.

Fourth day: Visit Jerez and enjoy a horse exhibition in the morning. Before visiting a bull ranch, you will take a panoramic tour of the city. In the evening, return to the ship for a flamenco show, one of the most popular traditions of the various cultures that flourished in Spain over time.

Fifth day: In the morning, embark from the ship to visit the Osborne Winery, where a sample of various wines accompanied by tapas will be provided.

Sixth day: You will have breakfast on board, followed by a coach ride to Granada to see the Alhambra and the Generalife. Return to the ship in the afternoon and spend a free night in Seville.

Seventh day: You maybe experience a morning to yourself exploring the many parks and monuments in the heart of Seville.

Eight day: To finish the journey, breakfast on board and at 9:00 am disembarkation from the cruise ship.

Guadalquivir city cruise

If you want to discover the Guadalquivir River and its surroundings during the afternoon, we recommend a 1-hour river cruise through Seville. You will discover different parts of historic and modern Seville.

3. Rafting trip in Granada – Genil river

The Genil River is a long river in southern Spain that rises in the Sierra Nevada, Granada province, and flows into the Guadalquivir River in Palma del Río, Córdoba province.

This tour consists of a rafting trip down the white-water rapids of the river Genil. Definitely, rafting is an active and recreational activity that consists of crossing the riverbed in the opposite direction to the current in inflatable rafts.

You will have the possibility to choose between two different routes based on different skill levels:

The beginners’ route lasts 1.5 hours and is suitable for children from 6 years to upwards. This option is ideal for families and those who have never been rafting before but are interested in trying it.

The intermediate route lasts 3.5 hours and is suitable for children aged 12 and up. This route is ideal for any type of person looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience on the Genil river.

You will be equipped with 5mm wetsuits, neoprene socks, life jackets, helmets, paddles, and water cameras to immortalize the experience.

4. River boat tours in Cadiz – Guadalete River

The river Guadalete is the most important navigable river in Cádiz and has a length of 165 kilometers. As you traverse it, the landscape changes from mountainous areas to the countryside of the middle and lower reaches. There are numerous tributaries and protected areas to marvel at, such as parks and nature reserves. For this reason, the routes along this river stand out as some of the best boat trips in Andalusia.

Canoe route – Arcos de la Frontera Reservoir

For those who want to enjoy the nature of Arcos de la Frontera and practice sports at the same time, the Canoe Route through the Bornos Reservoir is the best option. You will get in one boat, easy to handle and very light, and enjoy a pleasant ride along the Guadalete River.

Everyone has the opportunity to do this tour since the organizers provide all the material and a brief explanation of how to control the activity.

In this route, you will be able to get to know an inhabited natural area. In addition, you may be lucky enough to see some of the exciting local fauna that make this paradise their home. You will arrive at the tail of the reservoir, where you will observe on old boat that is stranded on a shore. At the end of the excursion, you will go to an artificial beach with white sand. The cost of the activity is 18 euros.

Rowing boat route – Guadalete River

You will enjoy the natural wealth and the most outstanding environmental values of the Jerez countryside. Definitely, you should consider one of the best river boat tours in Andalusia . The rowing boat route goes from La Corta and La Ina and is a 10-kilometer stretch. It is a very fun experience and recommended for the whole family. Join one of the best river boat tours in Andalucia and discover the valuable heritage of the Guadalete River, such as the monastery of La Cartuja and the mill of La Corta.

5. Kayaking tour in Malaga – Guadiaro River

The route through the Guadiaro River Estuary Natural Park is a journey full of nature and beautiful sights. In the beginning, the instructor will explain the route and how to handle the kayak. After getting your technical and safety material you can also start the kayak ride in which you can enjoy watching different types of birds and incredible views of citrus plantations.

If you want to know more about the most emblematic monuments in Spain, take a look at this article.

Also, If you are interested in visiting andalusian cities, here you will find everything you need to know about Andalusia.

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