Cabo de Gata

Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata – Nijar – a National Park at the coast of Almería founded in 1987 which saved this beautiful coastline from destruction through speculative tourism development. The coast of about 30 km is a wild and isolated landscape with some of Europe’s oldest geological features. The mountain range is characterised by volcanic rock formations in many forms. This part of Spain has the driest climate in Europe and the most beautiful beaches!

Mesa de Roldán

We first reached Mesa de Roldán, a table mountain with a lighthouse and a defensive tower from the 17th century. We parked there for the night and had our first view along the coastline of the N.P.

In the morning we drove back down and stopped at the parking of Playa de los Muertos, a beautiful beach which you only can reach by walking down from the hills.

Playa de los Muertos

The first village of the park is Agua Amarga, and it is still my favorite. Very small, calm and with beautiful white washed villas around the beach.

From here we hiked along the coast over the hills covered in Esparto grass, which were used to make ropes, paper and many things for daily life like baskets and shoes.

Hiking through Esparto grass

Agua Amarga and the table mountain in the back

Beach of Agua Amarga

Driving through the hills of the Sierra we next reached Las Negras, named after the dark rock next to the bay. The fishermen still pull their little boats up onto the beach which makes a pitoresque scene.

Beach of Las Negras

Further south we reached the valley of Roadalquilar and at the end El Playazo, a long and wide beach. We found there the perfect spot and stayed two nights.

El Playazo – the perfect beach

Valley of Rodalquilar

Next to the beach the coast is formed by petrified sand dunes and above lies the fortress of 1764 built on order of Carlos III to defend the area against the pirate attacks.

The battery of San Ramón

Petrified sand dunes containing shells

Coastline next to El Playazo
Perfect hiking weather
Flower of the day

When we finally left we next reached La Isleata del Moro, another little fishing village behind a little island.

At La Isleta del Moro
La Isleta del Moro

Cat of the day 🙂
La Isleta del Moro with its island

At San José, which is the largest village of the N.P., we went for lunch in one of the restaurants around the harbour.

Lunch comes soon

San José is not very beautiful, but from here you can reach a couple of spectecular beaches.
There are restored wind mills scattered over the park, one on the way to the beaches.

Wind mill

Playa de los Genoveses

The most famous beach is Playa de Mónsul, whith overhanging vulcanic rocks, black sand and a high sand dune on one side.

Playa de Mónsul
Playa de Mónsul

shortest way from one beach to the next

Incredible vulcanic rock formations
Playa de Mónsul from its sand dune
We now had to drive a big circle through the interior until we reached the coast again and drove up into the Sierra to the actual Cabo de Gata and its lighthouse.
Arrecife de las Sirenas
Cabo de Gata lighthouse

From the lighthouse a road with many deep potholes winds along the coast. We found a little parking after a bad bit of gravel road.

Secluded spot for the night

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