Amazing beaches and mountains with little rainfall
only i would suggest no to go in august (too crowded) or winter (lonely)
A Jewel set within the Crown of Andalucia.
We decided to take a different route on our way out of San José, turning right a short way out of town to head toward the coastal community of Los Negras but turning toward the main highway A7/E15 before reaching it. Once again, the scenery was great as we rolled along almost alone on excellent highways that wound their way up and around...more
We enjoyed this beach so much that, before we continued onward to Alicante the next morning, we actually came back for a better look while the sun was shining. As a result, we have some photos from dusk the evening before mixed in with our next morning ones. The first two photos show the strangely eroded formations where the molten 'breccia' flow...more
Continuing our drive onward toward the lighthouse located close to Cabo de Gata, we came to the small settlement of Almadraba Monteleva which sprung up in the early 1900s when the flat area here beside the sea was developed with salt pans for production of salt. Today, this industry is suffering economic problems but the salt pans continue to be a...more
Not long after a late afternoon shower had driven us for cover in a small bar, the sun suddenly broke through again shortly before dusk began to fall. Sue suddenly jumped up and said "let's head out to have a look at the beaches along the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Nature Park coast west of town while we have the chance". It sounded good to me, so off we...more
It did not take us too long to backtrack and find the scenic road leading to the the other side of the cape, where we were hoping to find a little town with a nice place for us to spend the night.Our Lonely Planet book on Spain says that San José "spreading around the eastern side of Cabo de Gata, is a mildly chic resort in summer, but it remains a...more
The road cut into the side of the cliffs leading out to Faro Cabo de Gata made for quite an interesting drive. We had some great views in both directions along the coast as the road wound ever upward from the beach. It is nicely paved with two lanes most of the way but, shortly before reaching the 'faro' (lighthouse), it dwindles to a one lane...more
We began our exploits for this day by turning off the A7/E15 superhighway at Exit 467 just east of Almeria and then made our way down the western coast of Cabo de Gata until we came to the small fishing village of the same name, located not too far from the actual cape. As we continued through the village we soon emerged onto a long stretch of...more
Mónsul is one of the nicest beaches in the Cabo de Gata area with its ample width as well as several small coves. The dark sand is quite fine and the sea usually calm but there are no bars or restaurants of any sort on the beach, so you had better bring your own supplies, sunblock and a beach umbrella. It is also a good spot for snorkelling and...more
By the time we reached Playa de Mónsul, the sun was rapidly disappearing in the west and the last of the rain clouds were still hanging on the distant mountain peaks. We parked the car and I jumped out to run up the side of a rough lava hill to its peak while Sue stayed at beach level for her explorations. This view, taken from my hilltop position,...more
The sandy beach here is about 5-km long and 60-m wide, although we only used a small part of it to just wander around for a while after our not so scenic drive to reach this area. The sun was shining on us and a fresh breeze was blowing ashore as we looked down the completely deserted beach toward the curve in the bay where Almeria is located....more
As we proceeded down the road toward the beach we came across a couple of interesting features of this Nature Reserve (which we returned to in the morning for better photos). First up were these mature Sisal plants, which prefer to grow in arid climates and preferably with temperatures above 25 C. The large leaves at ground level are used to make...more
I visited two great beaches here, Playa de Monsul and Los Escullos. Both had great sand, great views and the water was cristal clear. I visited in August, which apparently is busy season, but they did not look to busy in comparison with any resort beach. A short walk from the car parks would have taken you to an empty section. There are many more...more
The local farms look like little white sugar cubes, scattered across the plains and lower hills. Here is a small collection of them. I dont know if they are inhabited, no cars or vehicles were visible, but I was told many were used as filmsets in the Spaghetti Western Movies of the Sixties. You can easily imagine Clint Eastwood riding up on his...more
The Hotel Atalaya breakfast cafe was not too busy when we checked out on Sunday morning - with George doing the honours behind the bar as he prepared the meals. Ours was included in the room rate, so we got the standard Spanish fare of a toasted baguette with butter and jam along with a drink. Sue chose her usual hot water (for her Lipton's...more
Due to our 'tourist' time schedule, we had not had much luck having late meals in Spain, because they tend to get started much later than we would like after a busy day taking in the sights. However, on this Saturday evening, we decided to give it our best shot by killing time in our room until about 9 PM when things are supposed to come alive - we...more
We had started the day's drive about 200-km away in Nerja so we would be in position to drop our rental car off in Alicante on the following day. After first exploring the western side of Cabo de Gata we then had to backtrack through an inland mountain pass to reach the eastern side of the cape (the road does not continue past the lighthouse at the...more
Doesn't sound very promising does it? But the Senior Citizens centre in La Isleta del Moro is a great place to eat. Ok, you are in a type of tent tacked onto the centre, but just stroll outside and you have a magnificent view over the bay and down the coast to Los Escullos. The reason you might go there is for their cuajadera. This is a very...more
It has to be said that good restaurants are few and far between in Cabo de gata. La Ola is still a restaurant run by a fishing family and long may it remain so.The restaurant is perched on the cliff edge in La Isleta de Moro. You can take a beer and tapa (typically in Andalucia you order a beer and the tapa comes with it) in the little patio...more
We've spent this weekend in San Jose. We were quite disspointed with that particular restaurant, because despite its cheap oily paella (15€ for two), the rest of the things you may order make your bill go quite high (for such an average meal). We ordered a tomato salad for 2 (6€), a glass of beer each (1,80€),a 1/2 litre jars of beer each (4€!!), a...more
When we travel, we like to be independent to do our own thing and it ususally involves getting off the beaten track. As a result, we almost always hire a car if it makes any sense at all given the circumstances of where we are visiting. In this case, because Sue's sister was joining us from England for eight days, I had to go one size larger than normal to accommodate three suitcases. It turned out to be a diesel Ford Focus station wagon with a 5-speed manual transmission. There was enough space in the rear for the suitcases plus a few other odds and ends as well as a flap that covered everything up from prying eyes. However, I did not like the fact that it had a big 'Goldcar Rental' sticker on its rear window, advertising that fact to the world.
We hired it from Red Ribbon Car Hire Spain but picked it up from the Goldcar desk at Alicante airport at a daily rate of 18.26 Euros. However, when all the extras like insurance and diesel surcharge were added in, the total for 18 days came to 480 Euros.
Everywhere we went in Spain, we found the roads to be in excellent condition - even on small secondary roads in the Sierra Nevadas or along some 'off-the-beaten path' coastal road. The 3rd photo shows the mountain/desert region near San José as we headed out toward Nijar. I must be a crazy driver too because the legendary Spanish drivers did not bother me at all. The biggest problem with this Group F-size car was in towns, trying to squeeze it into one of the few small parking spots that one might chance upon. The 3rd photo shows how nice even the 3rd or 4th class roads in Spain are - as we left the Cabo de Gata region to return to the main highway system.
We enjoyed seeing Spanish goat-herders in action but only managed to stop for photos of them on two occassions - at Cabo de Gato itself and on the wild and windy Atlantic coast just north of Tarifa. In both cases, they did not have any dogs helping them out - they seemed to maintain control just by shouting and walking along with their long staff. It was nice to hear the tinkle of the bells on their flocks!
A news article from Spain says that it is becoming harder for them to make a living because their earnings are quite low. There are worries that without their goats grazing the forest undergrowth, forest fires will become more prevalent and the shepherds themselves will no longer be around to report the outbreak of fires. One proposed solution is for city dwellers to pay to become 'shepherds for a day' so they can de-stress while a goat-herder (or shepherd) and a biologist teach them about the flora and fauna of the countryside and the skills involved in tending a flock.
ItTake your camera.
Visit the Lighthouse of Cabo de Gata
If you like ornithology the periods of February-March and September-October are the best ones.
As it is a Natural Protected park you are reminded the necessity of obeying very strictly the existing regulations in the Natural Park.
Garcia Lorca wrote Bodas de Sangre in 1932 based on the real events that took place in and around the Cortijo del Fraile in Cabo de Gata. The actual 'Crime of Nijár' was committed in the summer of 1928. On the eve of her wedding, Francisca convinces her lover and cousin Francisco to run away with her. Francisca's older sister, Carmen and her...more
Unfortunately, not one of my favourite things or fondest memory. As we passed through this beautiful area on our drives from and back to Alicante, we were very surprised and disappointed at the extent of a new industry that has sprung up here in recent years - the use of plastic greenhouses to grow all sorts of crops for a hungry continent. This is...more
This map gives some idea of the lay of the land around Cabo de Gata, showing the volcanic mountain range running along the coast before it comes to an end at the headland where the lighthouse is located. We were driving up from the left side as we departed the Malaga area but took a detour into this special area once we had bypassed the large and...more
First we did a guided tour of five hours in a jeep with a great guide. Regards Miguel! down you will find all the information to have a look to their pages! The coast route by jeep goes through: San Jose, where the information offices are settle Playa de los Genoveses Playa de Monsul (one of my favorites with Los Escullos) Vela Blanca way (only...more