An excellent walk to do with children or the elderly enjoy a pleasant walk inside an extinct volcano.
How to access the Hoyazo de Níjar?
Called “El Hoyazo de Níjar” or the “Granatilla”, it can be reached from the A / o Autovía del Mediterráneo at exit 481 towards Níjar AL-3106. and we follow the road towards Níjar. About two hundred meters from the motorway exit, there is a dirt track on the right a little before a chalet that is on the left and that has small windmills.
Continuing along the dirt track on the right, we continue 1 kilometer and 200 meters, near the foot of the mountain that will be on our left and on the right the highway. At 1,2 km, on the left there is a clear area, where we can park By car, a wide path starts from there that leads to the center of the La Granatilla volcano.
After about 10 minutes through this Almeria environment, walking among espartos and sub-desert scrub. We will access the "Hoyazo de Níjar" or "La Granatilla", the remains with millions of years of history of an underwater volcano.
This volcanic crater is not exactly. Its volcanic cone shape is a coral reef, a material harder to erosion, which can be perfectly distinguished in the higher areas, giving that circular shape, so clear and striking.
We can go looking Garnets We will find them on the ground, it is difficult to find one of a good size, but one always ends up taking one as a souvenir.
In the middle we will find the volcanic dome, where the volcano expelled the magma, around this area and towards the slopes are garnets, also in the upper parts of the coral reef, you can see fossils of marine animals, the result of have been submerged under the sea, millions of years ago ..
The garnets of the Hoyazo de Níjar
Garnets or "almandine garnet", they are found throughout the volcanic "cone". They reached the surface of the Hoyazo de Níjar dragged by the volcanic lava. With the heavy rains, which sometimes there are, the land has been eroding making garnets appear that can be seen with the naked eye, it has shapes of: octahedrons, dodecahedrons ...
On the slopes of the La Granatilla Volcano you can see old mining sites, where these precious stones were extracted. It became the second deposit in the world for the extraction of these semi-precious stones. With these Garnets abrasive products were made because the Garnet has a hardness of 6.5 - 7.5 (Mohs) only three points below the diamond.
The term Garnet derives from Latin; "Granatus", grain or seed very similar to the seeds of Grenades. These Semiprecious Stones already in ancient times believed in their properties such as giving body strength, physical resistance and vigor. Known since the time of the Vikings who used it in their funeral acts to illuminate the ValHalla to their dead.
After having been enjoying the Hoyazo de Níjar, we can make the way back along the promenade.
As we see in the photograph, we descend the promenade enjoying the plants and continuing to look for garnets, since the water drags them down to the dirt path that, taking it to the right, we will reach our car.