Wild Andalusia – Cabo de Gata
Andalusia is not only a county covered by oriental cities – it is also a place full of wild areas like Cabo de Gata. Although the place is getting more and more popular every year, most of the tourists will still choose popular Andalusian cities for their stay/holidays. If you are looking for empty place with some wild areas, Cabo de Gata is a perfect choice!
We have started the tour of Andalusia from its less popular areas – mainly Almeria and Cabo de Gata. Cabo de Gata is the largest coastal area in Andalusia, which is under protection. Within it are some of the most original geological formations in Europe. In 1997 Cabo de Gata has been placed on the UNESCO list. We spent one day exploring this amazing place. Stay with us for more details!
Watch the video from our entire trip of South Spain!!
Several technical issues
We started in the morning from Almeria. Our first stop is the airport where we rent the car. The airport bus goes from the main station every 1h and the journey takes approx. 20 min and costs over 1 euro.
The best option is car to travel around the National Park. It’s not possible to reach all places by bus, and as soon as possible, it takes too much time.
Cabo de Gata is a really big area, so think ahead what you want to see if you are limited in time. We had the luxury of having Ewelina, who knew the area, so she showed us her subjective list of the best places. During our trip we used the free maps.me application. Great navigation, which works without internet. It hasn’t disappointed us and repeatedly spared us a lot of nerves and time. Just remember to open the map before leaving the place where the Internet is so that you can download a map of your region.
We chosed May for our trip around South Iberian Peninsula. We didn’t plan to rest on the beach. We were more interested in active sightseeing. Hence May seemed to us the most sensible term. It was very warm (sometimes even too hot), but it was still ok. There were not many tourists yet, so it was easier to find a hotel or lower prices (yes, in the season some attractions are much more expensive). The only downside is still quite cool and unrilled sea. So if you want to go swimming and explore, it is better to focus on the months like September or October, when the water temperature is higher than in May. Anyway, during our stay, the weather at Cabo de Gata was really pleasent.
This region of Andalucia has a completely different climate. It is much warmer here because the average daytime temperature is over 18 degrees and the average rain is only 156 mm. The rains are so rare here that there is the only desert in Europe – Tabernas.
First stop – Arrecife de las Sirenas
It is one of the most popular places in Cabo de Gata. Sharp rocks over the sea are unbelievably imaginative. I’ had already seen these fishing boats caught on the rocks wether big storm! 😀 Returning to reality, the rocks can be admired from the view point right at the lighthouse, but you can also swim to them! Nearby is a narrow descent to the water, where amateurs dive to explore the area. The entrance into the water is very gentle and sandy, but by the rocks look out for the sea urchins. The water is crystal clear and invites to bathe, but during our visit, it was a bit cold …
The Mermaids rocks (this is how can we translate the name of the place) are named after the mermaids that once lived and rested on the rocks. I don’t know if it is possible to see them nowadays – we didn’t see any seals. I mean the mermaids of course. 🙂
On the way to Los Genoveses Beach
We didn’t spend too much time on the rocks. We looked at them from the view point, we stand on them 😀 and then we came back to the car. Our next goal was the most popular beach in Cabo de Gata. On the way we stopped by the other view points. The National Park is full of hills, so from time to time we have amazing views of the beaches, cliffs and moonlit hills.
Los Genoveses beach
Short walk on the desert
Around noon we reached our dream beach. There are quite a few free parking spaces here, so every car will find a scrap for itself. A short hike to the beach (about 15 mins) awaited us. There is nothing to complain about, because the views are simply amazing. We were surrounded by hills that are a little red, a little brown, a bit yellow and sometimes green. They remind us of the extremely dry climate that prevails here. This walk gived us the impression that we were in some desert. Along the path grow beautiful Agave, which are more typical for North America than for Spain. 😀 The additional effect of the desert is also enhanced by the fact that we were practically alone there.
Very short sunbath
We didn’t have a chance to sunbathe on the beach, although we were already in Spain for a week! Hence, on the first occasion we dressed up in swimwear and went to the water. The sand was so warm that we almost burned our feet on the way. In addition, the beach was full of stones, tree needles and sharp seashells that could hurt the feet. However, all these inconveniences were made up of crystall water. At this point the sea looked more like a lake. The water pane was perfectly smooth. There were not many people willing to swim. In spite of the heat, the water was still too cold. We spent some time in the water, but not too long. Just to warn you – you can meet quite a lot of nudists there! 😛
Climbing the small hill
We didn’t lie too long because we wanted to climb a nearby hill. We stayed on the beach, but we were marching on the hill that you can see on the picture above. If you are planning a similar trip, I recommend to take water and food with you, because there are no bars on the beach.
The whole round way trip + photos took us less than 2 hours. The route is very pleasant. There are not that many slopes. Only at the end you must be careful on the rocky path – it’s easy to slip. But the views are a perfect reward after little effort! Such a small hill and can give you so much joy! 🙂
This is a small fishing village with white houses located near Los Genoveses beach. Year after year it’s getting popular as a holiday resort. To our surprise we saw here some tourist coaches, although the beach was not that crowded by tourists.
We went to the town in the hope of filling the stomachs. We sit in one of the Tapas Bar, while we were starving. I ordered 3 tapas and I have to admit that for less than 10 euros I was full. I ate a crab salad, sandwiches with sardines and mussels.
San Jose is good to admire from the hill. With all this white houses and hills, San Jose may remind you a Santorini. As you can see, white buildings are reigning on the European coast almost everywhere! We managed to find (or rather Ewelina showed us) the view point from which you can admire the beautiful panorama of the city! Just look at these amazing views.
Almost at the end of the day we went to the former gold mine. To be honest, I had no idea that gold had been mined in this region. The mine functioned until the 60’s of the last century. After closing down, it was still possible to find some small pieces of gold in the area, but unfortunately we didn’t succeed. The mine is destroyed and despite the threat of collapse and warning signs everywhere, you can walk around it without consequences. It must have looked amazing when dozens of miners were jumping around the mills, or running around with picks. Now there is no trace of them, and the city is slowly deserted. Already at the very entrance to the city is located a lot of abandoned homes. Interestingly, it is also a local attraction that draws many people willing to watch this abandoned place.
Playazo de Rodalquilar
The last stop of our trip around Cabo de Gata was Playazo de Rodalquilar. Yes, it’s another beach you should see, but this time because of the great rock formations. For us it was a foretaste of the Algarve. Maybe the rocks were not as impressive as those in the Algarve, but the place is well worth the visit. There is also a fortress, but I don’t know if it is possible to enter it.
And this is how we spent our Sunday at Cabo de Gata. This was our last stop for today. We came back to Almeria tired and burned by sun. 😛 Tabernas Desert, Guadix and Purullena were our goals for the next day!