Cabo de Gata Natural Park: Travel Guide

The Cabo de Gata Natural Park is a protected natural area located in the province of Almería, in Spain. It is internationally recognized by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve and Geopark. This place has the best-preserved 50 kilometers of cliff coastline on the European Mediterranean coast.

As you can deduce, it is one of the best Spanish coastal destinations where to spend a few days’ holiday. So, next, I am going to provide you with all the necessary information so that you can organize your trip and make the most of everything it offers.

  • BEST TIME TO VISIT 

Autumn is, without a doubt, the best time to visit the Cabo de Gata Natural Park because of many reasons: beaches get empty, temperature is neither cold nor too hot, prices fall and tranquility runs through each of the corners of the Park. Due to these characteristics of one of the most arid ecosystems in Europe, it becomes a perfect place to go at the change of season.

In fact, in the summer, although you can still enjoy the Park, it is true that it is quite crowded with people, prices rise and temperatures can become somewhat suffocating. On the other hand, in the winter, as you can deduce from a coastal destination, it is not recommended to visit the area, since you will not be able to enjoy it properly due to the unfavorable temperatures.

  • WHAT TO SEE

The main attractions of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park are the many coves and beaches located along its 50 km of coastline. As there are so many, it is very difficult to visit them all in just a few days’ trip. That’s why, I am going to tell you those that I would highlight the most, besides other corners that you cannot miss when you travel to the area, all of them ordered from north to south:

COVES
    • “Enmedio” Cove
    • “Plomo” Cove
    • “Cuervo” Cove
    • “Media Luna” Cove
    • “Las Sirenas” Cove
BEACHES
    • “Salinicas” Beach
    • “Muertos” Beach
    • “Peñón Blanco” Beach
    • “Isleta del Moro” Beach
    • “Mónsul” Beach
OTROS
    • Viewpoint to “Muertos” Beach
    • “Pozo de los Frailes” mill
    • “Las Sirenas” reef
    • “Cabo de Gata” lighthouse
    • “Las Salinas” Viewpoint
"Las Salinicas" Beach
"Las Sirenas" Reef
"Isleta del Moro" Beach
  • HOW TO MOVE AROUND

The Cabo de Gata Natural Park has a land area of ​​approximately 38,000 hectares. Therefore, the most convenient way to move around the different points of interest is to do it with your own vehicle. If you do not have this facility, I recommend you take a look at the following website, where you will find information about public transport connections between Almería and the different towns in the Natural Park.

  • ACCOMMODATION

As it is a protected area, there is not a big accommodation offer in the Cabo de Gata Natural and, consequently, the prices are quite high. Despite this, among the small offer you can find, there are very good options that I am going to share with you below.

First of all, I would like to recommend you choose your accommodation in the area between Las Negras and Los Escullos. The Natural Park covers a wide area of ​​territory, so if you stay half-way, it will be much easier and faster for you to move around all the points of interest.

⋙ ACCOMMODATION IN LAS NEGRAS
⋙ ACCOMMODATION IN RODALQUILAR
⋙ ACCOMMODATION IN LOS ESCULLOS
Booking.com

In case you are on a low-budget, I recommend you take a look at Los Escullos Tourist Complex, where you can stay in one of its rural houses, bungalows or in one of the many camping pitches they have. In short, it is a more affordable option, but still a good alternative.

  • ACTIVITIES

There are many and varied activities that you can do in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. Most of them, as you can deduce, are aquatic activities that will allow you to enjoy both the seabed and the views of the rocky cliffs and coastal areas from the sea. Some of these activities are: kayaking, snorkeling, paddle surfing, diving and kitesurfing.

In addition to these water activities, there are also many hiking routes you can make to enjoy the particular landscape of the Natural Park. Although before sharing the most outstanding ones, I would like to make a couple of:

CLARIFICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

  • I recommend you download the MAPS.ME app. It is a very useful application that serves as a GPS. It is free, it can be used without an Internet connection, it allows customization and in this case, it is even more interesting, as it will mark all the routes that I am going to share with you shortly and that many other GPS devices do not identify.
  • The data regarding “distance”, “slope” and “difficulty” I am going to provide you with on each of the routes below, are approximations based on my experience, ability and my own criteria.

Now, here we go with the following three hiking trails you can take in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, which are listed from shortest to longest distance:

⋙ TRAIL LA MOLATA

DISTANCE: 4KM

SLOPE: 64 M

DIFFICULTY: LOW

This short round-trip route to the “Cuervo” Cove starts from “Playazo” Beach. Along it you will enjoy the views to impressive cliffs, as well as passing through the cozy “Playazo” Small Cove and the “San Ramón” Castle, built on a beautiful fossilized dune.

You will also find numerous viewpoints from which you will have amazing views until you reach the “Cuervo” Cove, where I recommend that you take a good refreshing bath before taking the way back to “Playazo” Beach.

If you want more detailed information about the route, take a look at the following PDF provided by the official website of the Natural Park.

Trail La Molata

TRAIL FROM LUCAINENA TO AGUA AMARGA

DISTANCE: 8’2KM

SLOPE: 108M

DIFFICULTY: LOW

Did you know that…? In Spain, there are more than 2,900 kilometers of disused railway infrastructures that have been converted into cycling and hiking routes within the framework of the Greenways Program, coordinated by the Spanish Railways Foundation. (Source: http://www.viasverdes.com)

One of them is the one inherited from the old mining train between Lucainena de las Torres and Agua Amarga. Following this circular route, you will be able to discover the authentic interior of Almeria, surrounded by farmhouses, silence, desert, mountains and ravines, and other characteristic landscapes.

If you want more detailed information about the route, take a look at the following PDF provided by the official website of the Natural Park.

Trail from Lucainena to Agua Amarga

TRAIL LAS SALINAS

DISTANCE: 14KM

SLOPE: 26 M

DIFFICULTY: LOW

The salt flats of the Cabo de Gata Natural Park have a great tourist attraction, since they are the habitat of a multitude of animal and plant species. In addition, they stand out for their great productive value, since 40,000 tons of salt are obtained from them per year.

Thus, this circular route will allow you to enjoy this beautiful area, in which you will pass through five observatories, from which you will be able to spot waders, ducks and flamingos, among other birds; as well as discover how the salt process works.

In addition, in different sections of the route you will find typical farmhouses of the area, as well as other places of tourist interest, such as the Church of Las Salinas.

Trail Las Salinas

In addition to these trails, there are many others you can take along the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. You can find further information about each of them on the following website.

  • GASTRONOMY

The Cabo de Gata cuisine is the result of the footprints left by the Arabs after their years of dominion; the years of scarcity, during which they had to unleash their imagination and create dishes with the three or four ingredients they obtained from farmland; traditional fishing; and the big Mediterranean influence. All this has originated a set of typical dishes, which you will have the opportunity to taste on your trip to the Natural Park. These are some of the most highlighted ones:

    • Migas: a typical dish of Arab influence made out of fried flour (not bread).
    • Carne al ajillo (Garlic meat): another dish of Arab influence due to the many spices used as seasoning. Made with pork.
    • Arroz caldoso o “caldúo” (Soup rice): made out of a vegetables and garlic soup, rice and fish.
    • Arroz aparte (Rice aside): as its name suggests, it stands out for serving rice and fish separately.
    • Cuajadera de pescado: baked fish served in a casserole and seasoned with salt and slices of tomato, onion, potato and pepper.
    • Salmonetes con ajoblanco (Red mullet with garlic sauce): fried fish accompanied by a sauce made out of garlic, almonds, bread and extra virgin olive oil.
    • Garbanzos con bacalao (Chickpeas with cod): they are usually eaten in the season of Lent.

In addition to these typical dishes, a variety of tomato with a unique flavor grows on the outskirts of the Natural Park: the Raf tomato. So, if you have the opportunity to try them, do not hesitate to do so.

Breakfast with views in La Ola Restaurant (Isleta del Moro)
Raf tomato, tuna and mojama salad at El Manteca Restaurant (Las Negras)

Here ends this complete travel guide to visit the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. I hope it will help you enjoy this little piece of paradise to the fullest. Do not hesitate to write any messages or doubts in comments and/or directly to travelwithlorens@gmail.com . I will be so happy to read them and be of any help to you. Greetings dear travelers!

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE UP TO DATE ON ALL MY TRIPS? IF SO, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM (@thisislorens) AND FACEBOOK (Travel with Lorens). TOGETHER WILL BE MORE FUN!

Leave a Reply

Close Menu