Enjoy Cabo de Gata

Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata - Níjar

Through Cabo de Gata, Níjar and Carboneras. Where the land becomes the sea

Towards the eastern sun The waters of the Mediterranean descend, again, most of our route, which runs under the eastern sun.
A continuous succession of beaches, coves and inlets extend to the north, in an attractive fusion of these lands, visited, since ancient times, by cultures and people from other places. Important tourist attractions are distributed along a coast that, despite everything, preserves the wild and natural character in most of its space.
Still today, immersed in mass tourism, we can find on our route, hidden beaches that can only be accessed on foot or in a peaceful boat ride.

In them, the practice of naturism is harmoniously integrated with the unspoiled environment, resulting in a normal fact, nothing discordant. The origin of the route is located in the maritime town of Carboneras.
To get there, we will take the Autovía del Mediterráneo in Almería, heading towards Murcia, to abandon it when this destination is announced.
Access to the sea crosses a part of the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Maritime-Terrestrial Natural Park which, at its northern end, has its limit in the next Punta del Santo, although the Carboneras area is excluded from its protection.
The tabular relief of La Mesa de Roldan, stands out on the horizon, announcing the early vision of the blue waters that descend Carboneras.
Before reaching the town, the large dimensions of the Endesa thermal power plant and the cement factory collide in our retinas, unaccustomed in these lands, to the immense artifices of man. As we approach its promenade, we discover the recently built fishing pier, which protects the traditional fishing fleet of the town.
If we choose to bathe in some of its beaches, we can choose between Los Coscones, El Lancon, Carboneras, La Marinica, Torrevieja and La Salinicas. But if you want to enjoy a truly virgin beach, do not hesitate. Take the vehicle and head south.
When you arrive at the Mesa Roldan information point, you can take a pleasant walk (already indicated on Route 1) towards La Playa de los Muertos.
We have already mentioned the origin of this name, which the reader can find in previous posts.
We chose to follow the path that descends, between bushes, to a small natural viewpoint and even further down, until we reach one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.
Let's enjoy it and when we want, let's go back to Carboneras to continue with the route. Leaving these arenas behind, and once in the town, we should not leave it without visiting the castle of San Andrés, the origin and birth of the town, there in the 16th century, by the work and grace of the Marques de Carpio. Don Diego de Lope de Haro y Sotomayor, decides at that time to continue the fortress to seek the defense of these lands, repeatedly attacked by Turkish and Berber pirates, hacienda looters and people, who later sold in the slave markets of the north of Africa.
Twelve other defensive buildings such as La Torre del Rayo, from the Nasrid period, are scattered around its municipality, putting a note of history and legend in all the proposed routes. If we want to delve into its tradition and typicality, we can visit the fish market or its varied market -if the visit coincides on Thursday-, or savor its seafood and fish, among which the smoked tuna and the gallants (characteristic of its coasts stand out). ).
Let's say goodbye to this fishing village, contemplating the islet of San Andrés, from the promenade and take the car to leave it, following the coast, in the direction of Mojacar.
In front of us stretches 21 km of asphalt, which we have to travel slowly, relaxed, delighting ourselves with the beating of the waves on our right and the reliefs of Sierra Cabrera on the left.
The transparency and beauty of these waters, favors its choice by many divers for the enjoyment of underwater activities; therefore, it is common to observe buoys that warn of their presence. The steep reliefs of Sierra Cabrera, when venturing out to sea, give rise to multiple and hidden coves, which invite us to detour at all times, making us feel a bit discoverer, treading on virgin lands. Fall for the temptation and enjoy them. You will not regret.
Playa del Algarrobico shows its wide arch in front of us, closed in the background by Punta del Santo, a true rocky spur that plunges into the sea. Some buildings dot the surroundings in a relatively harmonious way, without constructive fanfare, in a good example, again, of respect and adaptation to the environment.
To contemplate and be able to stroll along the beach, we can leave the main road and take the old one, which runs very close to the sea, and where we can leave the car to walk along the shore and, if we decide, take a good bath . As we continue, we soon notice a marked rise, which allows us to cross the rocky outcropping of Punta del Santo, the true keel of Sierra Cabrera towards the sea.
Above it, a viewpoint offers the possibility of recreating ourselves, once again, on the beach we have just stepped on and discovering in the background the lighthouse and the calcareous and volcanic relief of La Mesa de Roldan.
Steep cliffs and ravines make up this rugged relief, where the palm heart is its most important plant formation. A deep ravine with vertical walls, precedes our arrival at the short hamlet of Sopalmo. Its few houses, perfectly whitewashed, its fountain embellished with all kinds of vegetation and its surroundings, motivate our stop.
This charming farmhouse is an interesting starting point for at least two walks. The first one descends the Rambla de la Granatilla, towards the sea itself. The second, ascends the slopes of the mountains, between roads and trails, to the town of Turre.
Determined to follow the itinerary, we begin a gentle descent, leaving behind the hermitage of El Agua del Medio, very close to another large promenade that crosses the road. This parched riverbed is called Rambla de Macenas and preserves throughout its course a rich variety of flora that, in spring, reaches its greatest beauty, transforming it into a true oasis of splendor and color.
A turn of the road discovers La Torre de Macenas; small, but solid, artillery construction of the XVIII century, protector of these places. We leave the asphalt terrain and head south, along a track in good condition, with the aim of discovering interesting places. The first thing we notice is how spectacular it is, literally hanging from the cliff, observing some of the most spectacular scenery on this route. A Nasrid watchtower, called El Perulico, crowns a rocky escarpment with an unreal appearance, appearing at its meager base, some natural arches excavated by the continuous beating of the waves. Until the 19th century it was used for surveillance by the sacrificed tower keepers.
The color contrasts between the deep blue of the sea and the golden ocher of the rocks, in a plasticity desired by any artist. We continue along the dirt track and arrive at Playa de los Bordonares, which precedes that of Sombrerico.
Choose the traveler that you like the most, among these, or those that continue to the south, and get ready, shedding any type of clothing and ties, to immerse yourself in these waters, with the assurance that the bustle of people and the beach bars , common in other beaches, here? they will not break the peace that is surely overwhelming you at this time.
Any walk along its shores, collecting multicolored stones, shells or sea urchins, will lead you to discover small coves hidden in the cliffs.
Take precautions with the tides, and do not run unnecessary dangers, because we have many things to discover and enjoy.
Let's go back towards the castle and prepare to continue. Again another great arch defines La Playa de Mecenas and del Indalo, already glimpsing in the distance the striking image of Mojacar.
His vision, of a radiant white, stands out against a clear blue, constant backdrop of this Almeria town, renowned like no other, in Spain and beyond our borders.
But before knowing it, we call the reader's attention to its two locations that differentiate the historic location from the more modern Mojacar Playa. Since we are on the seashore, we will first comment on something about the latter.
A modern set of buildings, where immaculate white predominates, extends from the sea towards the slopes of Sierra Cabrera. Around us, shapes and styles occur that make its architects and neighbors proud.
The rounded shapes of the finishes of their houses, the domes, the minarets, the stairways, the cubic shapes, the play of shadows and lights, complete a harmonious set, perfectly suited to the environment. It is once again, and perhaps the most important of the examples, of that constructive architecture that many people from Almeria admire, which, unfortunately, has the counterpoint in immense representations on the Spanish coasts.
If we want to savor this humanized and passable town a little more, let's park the car and walk through the Indalo Town, the seed and example of the rest of the buildings, where a deep Arab heritage is felt, easily identifiable when ascending its stairs and alleys.
Such quality of life is well used by foreign tourists who come to star in all local life. Advertisements, signs, indications, less, etc ..., are in a foreign language, a fact that, we humbly believe, undermines the personality of a town with sufficient resources and attractions to maintain its own Hispanic identity. But, finally, it is the counterpart, the unfortunate concessions that depersonalize a large part of the coasts of our country, in a misunderstanding of tourist development, that here ?, at least, it finds an idyllic setting.
We must leave this lively tourist center if we want to discover that other Mojacar, the same as always, the traditional one, where this Indalica culture that permeates the entire town was born. Let's get rid of the car, in a parking lot designed for that purpose, and get ready to tour this town, made to enjoy walking.
We will realize, due to the steepness of its streets, that it grows around a hill dominating a region historically populated by cultures that admired, like us, its benignity.

Por el Cabo de Gata , Níjar y Carboneras. Donde la tierra se hace mar
The culture of the Argar, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians; all left traces of their culture in places like Rajada de Ortega, Cerro Cuartillos, Caldero, Cabezo de Mata, Llano Manzano, etc ... But without a doubt, Arab culture transcends in its history until times much closer than history transcribes. This former Nasrid sultanate was a Christian and Muslim frontier, erecting watchtowers for its defense.
The continuous Christian raids find rest, when in June 1488, the Catholic Monarchs sent Garcilaso de la Vega, as captain in charge of establishing peace talks with their mayor. The interview is friendly and fruitful, as it allows its inhabitants to live in peace with the Christians until long after the Moorish rebellion. If you want to know some Andalusian monuments, you can visit the aforementioned Torre del Perulico or the remains of what was its castle, today converted into a parish temple, much transformed.
Some fountains and cisterns remain as part of this Arab legacy that has transcended into something much more important and visible, even today. The traveler will only have to wander through the squares, streets, passageways, arches, dead ends ..., then he will be seeing a totally Arab urban fabric, similar to the one he can see, if from the capital, he decides to move to our unknown neighbor of the Maghreb.
If you are lucky and contemplate an old photo of this city, such as the one that appears in the excellent publication of Almería Pueblo a Pueblo, you will be able to confirm our assertion. Few images of Spain coincide, so truly and until so recently, in what this country has always been: a fruitful mix of cultures.
The unique effect of Mojacar has caused a historical attraction of peculiar characters: movie stars, wealthy foreigners, fortune seekers and above all artists. We feel compelled to talk about Jesús de Perceval, and Mayor Jacinto, promoters of the true transformation of Mojacar.
They were the protagonists of a pioneering movement that turned this Mediterranean town into a renowned meeting point for artists, intellectuals, politicians, wealthy people, or "simply" travelers like us. After the long walk, we cannot stop acquiring some souvenirs in the many stalls and shops that mark our wandering through this town with «duende».
It must be taken into account that young people and artists from all over the world have arrived here. Both of them create from sophisticated works of art to small souvenirs that may well serve as a personal memory to return to here one day.
If you prefer, there is still an important traditional artisan offer, ranging from cabinetmaking to forging, through textiles and pottery.
Surely at this point, when we are going to say goodbye to this unforgettable light, the reader will miss something. ? We have succeeded ?; Indeed, we leave for the last place the mythical totem that symbolizes all of Almería:
El Indalo, he will have been a continuous companion of our tours, on facades, plates, pins, rings, key chains, stickers, T-shirts, coasters…; in the exterior and interior of the houses, it remembers its protective character of cataclysms, storms and other curses.
This character who holds the rainbow in his arms has controversial origins. Some consider that it was designed in a cafe in Madrid. Others, among whom we meet, believe that the true origin is in La Cueva de los Letreros, in Vélez Blanco - a place that the reader will know, if he stays with us, on the route of Route n? 5-. There? will you? contemplate what may be the origin of all the world's indalos.
Little and, at the same time, much more, we can say about Mojacar; For this reason, we promise to return to continue discovering hidden corners, such as the old washing places, the En medio street that follows the original wall, the bazaars, the Church of La Encarnación, the Arches of Luciana or the city gate, without forgetting entertain ourselves in its markets, or rest for a few nights at the Parador de los Reyes Católicos, which will allow us to live and savor the night and day atmosphere, which is more attractive and suggestive.
Let's go back to the parking lot and continue the route. We left the sea behind until the end of our trip, and we directed our steps towards Turre and Sierra Cabrera. The white rooftops impress our retinas in the last images that will last until our safe return to Mojacar.

Turre is located just three kilometers away, revealing behind it the strong escarpments of Sierra Cabrera, also known as Sierra Dulce, which despite its short proximity to the sea, encloses heights very close to 1,000 m. It stands out, as in most of these villages, its parish, of great invoice (from the 19th century), dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and the hermitage of San Francisco from the 16th century. Its prehistoric settlement, again, is attested in many places.
The Upper Paleolithic, Neolithic and other prehistoric periods show remains of their survival in the Cave of the Palm, and the Cave of the Bats, under the old Muslim settlement of Teresa. If it's Friday, go to the market. Curiosee? between posts; You will surely find something interesting, without going any further, a very tasty fruit.
Visit, if you wish, the artisan workshops that offer works and specialties of esparto, bobbin lace and brass. At this point, let us make a clarifying comment, dear reader, what to avoid? confusion. Throughout Almería, we have seen a prolific and very varied artisan offer that covers practically all the existing specialties in this country. However, such wealth, heritage and tradition of the multiple cultures that inhabited these lands, has a non-existent marketing network, which makes the acquisition of these pieces notably difficult.

Thus, in many places, it is quite a feat, which most of the time ends in failure, to try to discover the craftsman who "hides" in his home and works to order, offering his production to customers and regulars. Of course, there are also honorable exceptions, such as Nijar, Sorbas, Albox or Mojacar, but they are the least. Most of the time we will be content with seeing some artisan production, in the souvenir stalls, in distant squares, regretting not being able to acquire them "in situ". Although it may be of little use, from these pages we want to encourage those responsible for craft promotions and the masters themselves, to follow the example of Níjar and most of the places in the rest of Spain where artisan associations advance.
Perhaps this way, what one alone cannot afford, will become an easy solution for the collective and for us, the clients and admirers of the most primitive industry and artistic production of Andalusia, who, in this way, will be able to enjoy its acquisition.
On our urban walk we will stop to have a snack or, why not?, Sit at the table. If we decide to do so, congratulations! You will have chosen to eat in a town famous for the typical cuisine of the area. You can choose between strong stews such as crumbs with sprinkles, gurullos, pot of wheat, balls, snails, fritailla or garlic colorao, amen of a good assortment of desserts. Enjoy your meal!. Have a coffee, and if you are a driver, do not abuse alcohol, because we are going to visit some of the most remote places in the Sierra Dulce.
When leaving the town, heading towards Turre, we decided before, to visit the ruins of the Ibero-Roman city of Cadima; Although this name is Arabic, it refers to the "ancient people." It is located on the shore of the Rambla del Rio Aguas, which has caused the erosive processes of the river to decimate its surface and that, probably, will make it disappear. Its settlement in the second century BC seems certain, a historical assertion, endorsed by the ceramics and coins found nearby.
If you live in the capital and go to the venues that collect the Almería Museum today, you will be able to see a Roman inscription found in this place. To get here, from the Turre exit towards Los Gallardos, to the right of the road, a path winds its way with an indicator that indicates Cadima.
After crossing the riverbed of the Aguas River, which can honor its name, we go up the escarpment of its shore and continue to the left, above it. Another sign, near a farmhouse, announces that we are in that place? Surprise ?, indeed, there are no spectacular remains, although there are some parts of the walls of their houses, and connoisseurs say that, remains of the oil mill and mills. What we do observe is the presence of abundant tagula, a clear allusion to a town of Roman culture.
After the, not so flashy, but we think interesting, visit, we go back and, when we reach the asphalt, we head towards Los Gallardos. Very close to here, to the left of the road, still with the last houses of the town in sight, we go up a steep street to get closer to the hamlet of Torre Cabrera.
In front of us, Sierra Cabrera rises gracefully with a striking greenness, which also accompanies our flow, along with a plain covered in all its extension of the bright green of orange trees.
The dirt track borders the crops and, after a series of turns, ends in a large incline where the Torre Cabrera buildings appear. It surprises us, the always suggestive, and more in these lands, contemplation of a lake that, even with a boat, encourages your walk.
A farmhouse of earthy colors, it constitutes an ideal establishment dedicated to rest. In addition, it offers, in such a secluded place, the possibility of bike rides, horseback riding, hiking, etc.
All the incentives, in short, for those who want to spend a few days outside the "madding crowd", surrounded by vegetation and water in the heart of the Sierra Dulce.
The descent already explains the lush vegetation, remembering the lake that we have seen above. We reach the road again and continue, skirting the mountains, between olive groves and pitas. To our right, the Aguas River runs, dragging a milky fluid, which takes us with our imagination to the not too distant Karst of the Yesos de Sorbas.
On the banks of this river, there are suggestive mills that give the possibility, to whoever wishes, of making an interesting optional itinerary to enjoy with its contemplation.
We continue attentive because, to the left, there is a deviation that enters the true heart of Sierra Cabrera, approaching one of those remote and unknown places in Almería.
A road with numerous signs leads us soon to Cortijo Grande. This small town, far from the coast, has a golf course and a large number of houses occupied, almost entirely, by British tourists, who have become regular residents and, in some cases, permanent residents.
The pub and the bars clearly show this foreign presence in a singular place, full of vegetation, which assumes, as a worker from the facilities commented, the fact that thanks to these tourists many people from the surroundings have jobs and a future. If the surprise of the place has not tired us, there is still more; Let's continue climbing the mountainous slope that rises a little further on and let's get closer to knowing the unique Urbanization of Sierra Cabrera.

The road is narrow, which requires caution as we climb slowly, accompanied by the green surroundings. We approach two depopulated Arabs who had this origin after the Moorish expulsion.
On the right side of the mountain are the ruins of Teresa, which hides a Paleolithic and Neolithic settlement. On the other hand, right where the aforementioned urbanization is located today, the Arab town of Cabrera was located.
When we arrive at such a location, we will understand the recommendation of your visit, since it seems that its designers have made an effort to recreate the deconstruction of the old settlement.

Such is his success in the use of glazed domes, minarets, arcades, colorful employee, forms, etc. that someone can remind -in their measure- the features of the Alhambra under Sierra Nevada. We appreciate the existence, even, of architects with such good taste and know-how.
And here we are in the middle of the mountain, surprised by the chosen urbanization of these places and with the invitation to descend towards the main road and continue towards the, already announced, town of Los Gallardos. The River Aguas, accompanies the march, embedded in the terrain and providing sustenance to the varied vegetation from which slender palm trees stand out, recalling North African landscapes. If we wanted to take a good bath, we have multiple occasions to do so, since on this side of the river, some springs provide water that lasts, much of the year, in wells and ponds. Although we do not soak, it is worth visiting the Higuera mill or the Cueva mill, which maintains its original stone structure and presides over a great natural landscape.
On the road, we pass under centenary pine trees that precede the connection with the Autovía del Mediterráneo. We will hardly mention it, as we immediately turn off towards Los Gallardos. This town, once a district of Bedar, was separated from it in 1924, taking the category of municipality that it now holds. Among its attractions, we mention the, already visited, remains of Cadima, the ruins of the Arab baths of Alfarix, the riverbed of the Aguas River and the embedded Jauto River, a tributary of it, with striking rocky walls. When we return to the asphalt, we cross the highway, along a secondary road, in the direction of Antas.
The landscape is hilly, with a predominance of scrub, until the orange groves take hold, an anticipation of the arrival in this small town located in front of the reliefs of Sierra Lisbona.
To speak of Antas is to recall innumerable archaeological finds; It is talking about D. Luis Siret and his assistant D. Pedro Flores, who found countless vestiges of past cultures. The discoveries start from the Middle, Upper, Neolithic and Bronze Paleolithic; being important the sites of the Cueva del Sermón, El Garcel, La Pernera, etc.
But without a doubt, the reason that elevates Antas to the highest point of our prehistory in Spanish archaeological science is the fact that the aforementioned archaeologist discovered El Argar; giving name to a whole culture, which had the center of its irradiation here in the Bronze Age. Siret located, near the town, a city with a complex socioeconomic structure, with a necropolis made up of more than 1,000 tombs and abundant tools. Before approaching the El Argar site, we can visit the church of the Virgen de la Cabeza, from the 16th century and the Aqueduct of the Real from the beginning of the century and, whoever prefers it, the hermitage of Cabezo Maria, which welcomes every 8th of September an important pilgrimage.
The Antas River borders the village to the north, giving a glimpse of strong escarpments among the deep reed beds and reed beds where it is easy to observe troglodyte dwellings, used until recently and still kept by some goats, in a particular corral carved in the sandstone. Along the river, residents find bathing and walking spots, such as the El Goterón, Cajete and Las Palomas pools, which receive the waters of Sierra Lisbona.
Leaving the town, we head to Vera, crossing the lush patch of vegetation that forms the river, crossing its steep banks along a steep curving slope. Don't stop, but know that you pass through the famous El Argar site. We recognize a sense of respect and a certain reverence as we tread the same places that, thousands of years ago, our predecessors populated.
Let's pass them, if this is our wish, but with all the care they deserve. Fertile crops of orange, lemon, pomegranate and a large number of orchards accompany us until we reach Vera. This large town, head of the region, is one of the most significant centers of the Levant. Despite occupying lands far from the sea, it has in its municipality some of the best and most extensive beaches on the route, but we will leave your visit for later.
Now we will visit its interesting urban plan where monuments and places of great attraction are crowded. Let's enjoy the walk contemplating its 16th century parish church, in the Gothic style, dedicated to La Encarnación, with an excellent baroque altarpiece and the church of San Agustín. Also, go to the Plaza Mayor, presided over by the 16th century Town Hall. Do not hesitate. Enter and go up the stairs that lead to the first floor.
At the reception of the different offices and offices you will be able to see, hanging on the walls, the coats of arms of the different guilds that existed in the city: espadrilles, innkeepers and innkeepers, blacksmiths, shoemakers, spinners, coachmen, etc.
When you leave you can visit the Historical Museum, and if it is time to eat, go ahead! We have stopped at the most indicated place in all of Almería, where we can witness the best traditional food in the entire province. As we believe that such an assertion is correct and correct, the reader will allow us, for only once in this guide, to recommend that you stop to eat at Terraza Carmona.
This is an old fashioned restaurant. The generations that preceded the current managers of the facilities still walk through its rooms. Its complete family management and the careful treatment of the diner, will well deserve your visit.
But, without a doubt when it comes to asking for our sustenance, it will be when we will truly admire the richness of its stoves, which will provide us with the most succulent dishes. We recommend leaving the choice in the expert hands of the maitre d 'or the chef, who will overwhelm you with a "tasting" of the most varied and appetizing dishes of Almeria cuisine. We will not opt for any, because we wait at the end of the agape, your opinion.
The continuous process of recovery of traditional cuisine by this family is commendable, which has recently taken it to Japanese lands to promote the products of the province. So that you can taste, at home, some of the specialties that are served there, we enclose your recipe for one of the most typical dishes of Almería. After a copious meal, and in order not to fall into the lethargy of digestion, we can go to see the convent of the Minimal Fathers, from the seventeenth century, or the Royal Hospital of San Agustín.

From there, we will decide to leave the town, and return to the marine air of Garrucha. The olive grove predominates in the landscape, revealing Sierra Cabrera and Mojacar on the horizon, lying on one of its escarpments. Some buildings are already crowded into modern urbanizations, announcing the arrival in Garrucha.
The best thing to do is to go to its famous fishing and sports port and leave our car nearby. If so? We do it, we can admire the jewel of the city, the promenade. This long viewpoint, with a splendid white marble railing, opens the doors of this town to the sea and gives us an attractive beach always ready for swimming.

Por el Cabo de Gata , Níjar y Carboneras. Donde la tierra se hace mar
The archaeological finds found on its urban site and nearby, reveal a past that dates back to the Argaic culture, well documented already in Muslim times. Commerce and fishing have been daily activities for its people ever since.
Until in 1838, silver deposits were discovered in some nearby hills that introduced Garrucha into the mining fever, widespread throughout Almería and beyond its provincial limits. Smelting furnaces, mining companies, mineral and railway cables, which brought the raw material from the interior ..., are just some of the transforming elements of the life and appearance of the city. Such was the importance and social prestige acquired, that it would have 10 consulates from as many countries in the world, including casinos, theater, tennis club, etc. We walk the entire promenade, enjoying its careful designs and the urban architecture that is available on its flank. If you are curious, you can also visit the fish market at sunset to see its auction. From there, nothing is more appetizing than going to one of its many restaurants, or bars, to taste the typical Garrucha prawns, or the fish that we saw a few moments ago fresh from the sea.
From here, a continuous beach extends to the north, which constitutes the natural exit to the sea of the municipalities of Vera and Cuevas de Almanzora.

It can be traveled along its banks, until reaching Villaricos, where the following route continues. If someone decides to walk along the huge "shores of Playazo" suitable for naturism - before crossing? the urbanization of Puerto del Rey. Ahead, "only" remains a continuous beach where for today we say goodbye to this more than interesting route; enjoying the Levante sun.

NOT TO BE MISSED

SALINAS OF CAPE DE GATA

There are few spaces in the province of Almería, where the profusion of wildlife is so palpable.
The high biodiversity of the environment, with more than 150 species of birds registered in more than 300 hectares. of flooded waters, make it one of the most privileged areas in all of Europe for bird watching. The vision of thousands of flamingos, raising their pink flight over these saline glass surfaces, is it? a spectacle difficult to forget.

CABO DE GATA Wild cliffs of Las Sirenas, cobalt blue and emerald green waters; ocher, gold and blackish volcanic reliefs, make up a fantastic and evocative set between the austerity of nature and the overwhelming landscape. Contemplating this paradise in the peace of the sunset or under the most radiant sun, more than justify its rating.

SAN JOS? AND ENSENADA DE LOS GENOVESES Few towns on the coast of Almería have known how to combine, without fanfare, tourism development and its deepest roots. The stay in this secluded place is enriched by being surrounded by coves and inlets such as Los Genoveses. Between the Cerro del Ave María and the Morrón de los Genoveses this totally virgin beach is framed where the ships that left for Lepanto anchored.

MONSUL BEACH Next to the Torre de la Vela Blanca, sheltered between volcanic massifs, this cove is hidden, a true jewel of the Cabo de Gata -Níjar Terrestrial-Maritime Natural Park. Its spectacular access from the lighthouse or from San Jos ?, introduce more attractions to the enjoyment of a day of sea and sun in one of the best preserved places in Almería.

CALA DE SAN PEDRO The inaccessibility of the area allows access only by boat or on foot to this secluded cove. The ruins of an old castle, a murmuring fountain, the shadows of the vegetation and an anchorage, surround us in a magical atmosphere that will make visiting this place an experience that we can hardly remove from our memory.

THE ROLDAN TABLE Like an immense terrestrial prow that advances towards the sea, this impressive limestone hill, adorned with a light, is transformed into a natural viewpoint over the virgin beaches of eastern Almeria. Cormorants, gannets,? Ospreys? They are regular visitors to its rocky cliffs, guarding the little town of Agua Amarga.

HUEBRO Receiving from the Roca de Huebro the spring of life and freshness, a few houses crowd on the southern slopes of the Sierra Alhamilla. Its traditional architecture, its deep vegetation and the peace that is experienced when strolling through its streets and resting in the shadow of its church, are worth the climb there.

RAMBLA DE LAS AMOLADERAS Shortly after accessing the Cabo de Gata - Níjar Natural Park, we have the opportunity to approach the ornithological viewpoint that overlooks this extensive boulevard. The vastness of the landscape, its varied vegetation and the presence of numerous steppe birds such as: stone curlews, ortegas and the admired Dupont lark, deserve this qualification.

THE WELL OF LOS FRAILES In few places in Almería, the original element that gave rise to the municipality is preserved. In the center of the town we can see, perfectly restored, the ferris wheel that propitiates? such a settlement. The hydraulic device reminds us of the vital and determining importance of water in this corner of eastern Spain.

VIEWPOINT OF LAS AMATISTAS Shortly before reaching Rodalquilar, a small detour allows us to access this beautiful viewpoint perched on the same cliffs. The beauty and color of the crystalline waters crashing against the rocks and the environment that is covered from there ?, make your visit essential.

N? JAR In such a small space, it is difficult to talk about the town that presides over the Campos de Níjar. From an ancient and prehistoric settlement, its evolution has been linked to mining and in recent times, to agriculture.
Today it is a craft center, perhaps? the most important in the entire province. We cannot stop visiting it and buying its famous jarapas or the so characteristic multicolored ceramics.

 

Most of the route passes through the Cabo de Gata - Níjar Maritime Terrestrial Natural Park.

This natural space, a pioneer of Andalusian protectionism, obtained its declaration in 1987 and occupies a wide coastal strip in the southeastern sector of Almería. Due to the richness of its avifauna, it was also declared a ZEPA (a special protection area for birds).

The geological interest, together with the importance and diversity of its vegetation and maritime-terrestrial fauna, motivated the creation of this figure that allows all the people of Almeria to enjoy one of the most attractive places in this province.

Its relative inhospitable nature favors the non-emergence of coastal "developmentalism" from other bordering areas, which greatly favors its conservation.
More than 2,500 animal and plant species populate its coasts, salt flats, dunes, ravines, peaks, cliffs, beaches ... in a spectacle that is worth striving to conserve.

Summarizing in such brief lines the enormous biodiversity of this natural space can be an arduous task. For this reason, this section is detailed throughout the guide.

The flora of Cabo de Gata exceeds a thousand species, highlighting some endemic species such as the Cape dragonfly, the black gorse, the cape carnation, etc.

The predominant plant cover is that formed by scrub and grasses. Thyme, spiny jujube, cornical and esparto, share the land with palmetto groves (the only autochthonous palm in Europe).

The ravines and boulevards are filled with oleanders and tarages, and where the humidity increases, bulrush and reed beds emerge.

Among the fauna species that we can see, all those characteristic birds of these spaces stand out in the steppe: curlews, ortegas, little busts, Bonelli's eagles or the very rare Dupont's lark.

In the saline areas, the relationship overflows with more than 80 species, among which we will point out the flamingo, the ciguañelas, chortilejos and an infinity of waders.

Amphibians, reptiles and some mammals are present in the park, represented by the skink, the snout viper, the ladder snake, the leprous terrapin, the Moorish hedgehog, the fox, the weasel, the badger, etc.

The seas contain such richness that more than 1,400 species and plants have been cataloged that we refer to within the tour.

Throughout the tertiary period, during different periods that occurred more than ten million years ago, it was done? much of the terrain we observe. <<<

The Sierra de Cabo de Gata is a good example of this. Subsequent erosive processes, together with transgressions and marine regressions, continue to shape the landscape that increases its complexity with the accumulation of quaternary deposits. All this amalgamation of minerals and rocks, as well as others of greater antiquity, not mentioned, cause varied landscapes, which show us fossil and mobile dunes, along with coastal depressions, which develop next to strong volcanic reliefs.

At the southeastern end of the park, heavily transformed tabular reliefs predominate, on a well-marked volcanic base. This geological and geomorphological differentiation gives rise to differential erosions that favor for our enjoyment the appearance of coves, inlets and small beaches.

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