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Poblado Spaghetti Western Townslos Spaghetti Western

About 30 kilometres from Almeria is Tabernas, a very dry desert region of Spain that is one of the driest areas in Europe. In spite of that, the area has cultivated a certain tourism charm due to having been used as the set for numerous spaghetti westerns (including For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) and over one hundred westerns.

Some of those sets are still standing; three Western towns that Sergio Leone built for his films and that have since become a tourist attraction for people wishing to see live shows performed by stuntmen. They are: the town of El Fraile, the so-called Mini Hollywood, the first to be built and the set used on For a Few Dollars More; the larger town of Fort Bravo, which was used on ‘For a Few Dollars More’ and ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’; and Western Leone.

It is also possible to explore the Tabernas Desert nature reserve by following the numerous low-difficulty hiking routes that have been prepared for visitors.

Picture by Gordito1869

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Cabo de Gata Natural Park

Located 30 Km from the city of Almeria, the Cabo de Gata is the most important natural park in the entire Mediterranean region due to its size and ecological significance. Visitors can enjoy some spectacular walks, sunbathing on its virgin beaches, bird watching in the marshes and wetlands, water sports, visiting its charming villages, cycling or horse riding.

The Natural Park comprises the entire area between the towns of Cabo de Gata and Carboneras. Along the way can be found a large number of small, particularly charming villages, such as San José, Las Negras, La Isleta del Moro, Agua Amarga and Rodalquilar.

The best beaches are those of Mónsul, Playa de los Muertos in Carboneras, El Playazo de Rodalquilar, La Fabriquilla in Cabo de Gata, and the bays of San Pedro and De Enmedio, along with many others.

Picture by Mihael Grmek

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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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Enjoying tapas in Granada

Many comments have been made following the post we created on 21 June entitled Enjoying tapas in Granada 
on the Facebook page of Vueling People. You have suggested various places and other cities besides Granada for enjoying tapas in style so we thought it would be a good idea to gather all this information and try to create a tapas trail around Granada for Vueling People. Without further ado, here is the first trail you have created with your comments. More will surely follow. Your contributions are always welcome and we will try to publish them on myvuelingcity.com; the website for discovering the well-kept secrets of Vuelingdestinations.

Ardilla Feliz has suggested Borsalino of Granada. In Borsalino, they give you a free tapa when you order a bottle of beer – standard practice throughout Granada. Very close to the bus station, the residents of Borsalino (the name given to the patrons of this bar) remember this place for the quality of its tapas and the friendly welcome from its owners.

Eli Moreno added more information about Granada by suggesting the La Chana district for enjoying some great tapas at D’cuadros, Doña Rosquita and Torcuato. Besides a great variety of exquisite tapas, Casa Torcuato boasts spectacular views of the city from its location in the heart of the Albaicín district. It is always full but you never have to wait long to get served and, as is customary, you get a free tapa when you order a beer. Better not to let the alcohol go to your head from an empty stomach!

RM López Rodríguez has suggested the Velilla Cafetería Celeste and Los Diamantes. Los Diamantes is another of those bars packed with people but where they offer some amazing ‘pescaíto frito’ or ‘fried fish’. Located on Calle Navas, it is a classic among tapas-lovers in Granada and one of the establishments with the longest history behind it. This is corroborated by Cristina Jimenez, who also says that “for some tapas in great surroundings, the Albaicin district (Plaza La Larga, Plaza de San Nicolás, Torcuato, Mascarones…) and the city centre has millions of places with good Spanish ham and good wines, like Casa de Enrique “the Elephant” next to the cathedral…”. Casa Enrique is at first-sight a rather humble bar but is known by everyone for having some very good cold meats, including Spanish ham.

Cunini is another of the famous places suggested to us by Esther Arribas. It can also be found in the historic city centre, close to the Cathedral, and features an excellent offer of fish and shellfish. Just like most places in Granada, it is usually full and hard to get a table – but if you do, your stomach will certainly thank you for it!

Still in the centre of Granada, Antonio S. Zayas recommends the Bodegas Castañeda in the area near Calle Elvira. Many people rate its tapas and cold meats among the best in Granada but absolutely everyone agrees on the quality of its wines, some of which are home-made such as the “castañeda” and the “calisacas” not to mention its vermouth.

Africa Alemán sends us to the bars in Plaza del Aguaor and Begoña Benito says we really shouldn’t miss La Bella y La Bestia or El Reventaero in Granada, on Camino de Ronda. “Reventaero” means “bursting in Spanish and with such an abundance of tapas it is easy to see why.

Both Consuelo Martos and Anna Calero point us in the direction of the Bullring where we can find La Ermita; a restaurant with a fine selection of reasonably-priced tapas and good Spanish ham, just as it should be.

We will conclude this Vueling People tapas trail around Granada with the recommendation made byManuel Bega to discover the bars of Gran Vía in Granada and to explore other town in the province of Granada, such as Motril.

Continuing with tapas theme, more Vueling People users have suggested other places like Calle Laurel in Logroño – one of the suggestions made by Fátima Cabañas and Pilar Darder. Others, such as Cristina Prat and Yorkin Beriguete recommend we visit the old part of Bilbao and particularly the unique Victor Montes – first-class tapas in northern Spain.

Many of you have suggested various places throughout Spain, such as Zaragoza, Almeria, Leon (particularly, el Húmedo), Barcelona (Ca l’Arturet in Castelldefels), Avila, Seville (el Eslava is apparently unmissable) and Linares.

Ramón Torregrossa reminds Shiro Takiki of a great place for tapas in Madrid called Bar Scrum at 7 Calle del Sol and Vicent Stronger recommends the Viña district of Cadiz.

We will soon be bringing you another Vueling People tapas trail around another one of our destinations. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Catch you later and bon appétit!

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