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Cabo de Gata: A paradise available to all

Often we believe that to discover great landscapes in the world we must go to remote places, far from our borders, beyond Europe… We believe the more exotic the country is, the easier it will be to find that stunning landscapes, full of life, that we only see in the movies or in our dreams. But nothing could be further from truth because close by, in Cabo de Gata, we can find one of the most important natural ecosystems in Spain, 37k terrestrial hectares and 12k sea hectares of protected area.

We talk about unspoilt white sand beaches, cliffs, caves, coves, desert and mountain range, all in the same spot. The UNESCO declared it a biosphere reserve, it occupies 63 kilometres of coastline and the seabed is listed among the richest in the Mediterranean. This is a fantastic place with endless activities to enjoy nature in Almeria. Here is a list of the most remarkable places in Cabo de Gata.

BEACHES AND COVES

At Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park we can find spectacular cliffs, amazing nature beaches, urban beaches and beautiful coves. The most popular are listed bellow:

Genoveses beach: Located at Campillo Genovés, it is part of the most beautiful bay in the park, situated in a valley which has not being built on, has a fine extension of 1 km of dunes of sand. This is a virgin beach with stunning panoramic views.

Mónsul beach: With a volcanic origin, the Mónsul beach is surrounded by ancient lava flows eroded by the wind and the water during the years until formed the stunning landscape we can see nowadays. This is, no doubt, the most famous beach in the area, as it was featured in several movies such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Playazo beach: surrounded by the mountains in one side and the San Ramón castle by the other, we can find one of the most beautiful beaches in the park and, at the same time, one of the most accessible and comfortable. Furthermore, not far from here and following a short path we can reach the cove Bergantín.

Enmedio cove: One of the most wild and unspoiled coves in the area, it’s surrounded by fossilized dunes and has great views to the Agua Amarga town, in the other side of the bay, and right behind, the Mesa Roldán hill with its lighthouse and castle. As a case in point, New York Times featured the beauty of this cove in a recent article.

Los Muertos beach: The beach with bluer and clearer water in the area. From here you can also access El Peñón and Las Salinicas coves. This is a beach that is difficult to access to, it is also a quite dangerous one, because of hard east winds, and that’s where the name comes from.

TOWNS AND PLACES

El Cabo de Gata is one of the most arid areas in Spain and on of the driest in Europe, but it has a long-standing tradition of fishing, with old charming little towns. The average annual temperature is around 18 and 20 degrees. This is a place to be explored in order to understand the natural wealth in this country.

La Isleta del Moro: A fishing village full of charm, years ago was the cradle of Arab and Berber pirates. This place is perfect to enjoy Mediterranean seafood.

San José: It is considered the capital town for the nature park; San José is also the biggest town inside the park, perfectly located as beaches, coves and nature surround it.

Los Escullos: The writer Pérez-Reverte used this stunning location for his book “The Nautical Chart”. The San Felipe castle, the beaches and fossilized sand dunes surrounding this place should not be missed.

Níjar: This town was able to preserve the tradition of whitewashed houses, keeping the vestiges of Arab heritage. This place is perfect to purchase crafts.

Las Sirenas reef: One of the most photographed and iconic sightseeing places in the park because, in addition to its great beauty, the lighthouse at Cabo de Gata is the exact point where the southeastern part of the peninsula ends.

Image from Emilio del Prado

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