Cabo de Gata is a unique spot in Europe. A piece of Africa in the western Mediterranean that remains safe from the scourge of mass tourism. The little rainfall that occurs during the year and its volcanic origin create a landscape without equal, desert and colorful at the same time.
Created in 1987, the Natural Maritime-Terrestrial Park of Cabo de Gata-Níjar It has an area of almost 50,000 hectares protected and UNESCO includes it within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, by incredible biodiversity of its seabed and its land surface.
A brief review of the history of the mythical Cape
Populated since the Neolithic by the culture of the Millares and that of the Argar, it constitutes an exceptional site to know the beginnings of the Bronze Age. Then came the Tartessos, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, and Romans. The Rodalquilar gold mines were too interesting to be missed. Islam also left its mark on the lands of Nijar. Its coasts suffered the scourge of the Berber pirates. Of all of them, there are still vestiges, castles, forts …
Already in the 20th century, it became a hippie refuge that continues to be witness to San Pedro cove. And how could it be otherwise, the exceptional landscapes of Cabo de Gata they have been the scene of innumerable films.
Some of them, mythical like Patton, Lawrence of Arabia, For a handful of dollars … In Cabo de Gata, inspiration came to him John Lennon while filming “How I Won the War”. Ringo Star would also shoot there in 1971. Another music great, Joe Strummer, a punk pioneer with the Clash, would spend long stays in these lands. Encouragement of artists, Mediterranean paradise, its charm captivates everyone who treads its lands.
Cabo de Gata beaches
Virgin beaches and a haven of tranquility, interrupted perhaps in July and August. On the way to the beaches, it is common to come across Arab fortifications, farmhouse ruins and other remains of its past among pictures, palm trees, and prickly pear.
Its crystal clear waters allow you to observe countless species snorkeling. The most famous beaches are the Mónsul and that of the Genoveses. The first shows its volcanic origin with the huge rock located in the center that welcomed Indiana Jones on his last crusade.
Next door is Genoveses, nestled in a bay of more than a kilometer, surrounded by vegetation and dunes. Very close, the beautiful Middle Creek and its fossilized dunes, that of Plomo and the spectacular Barronal Beach, a naturist paradise. Although, the practice of nudism is habitual in most of the beaches and coves of the Cape.
The Playazo near Rodalquilar it has a beautiful panoramic view of the mountains and an 18th-century castle sitting on a fossilized dune. Another impressive beach due to its 700-meter drop is the Dead beach.
The towns of Cabo de Gata
The most touristic towns like San José and Carboneras monopolize the liveliest summer nights. In Black ones The hippie and the alternative reign. The most authentic fishing villages are found in Aguamarga wave, Isleta del Moro. Inside is Nijar, the urban center of the park, as well as other picturesque towns that are well worth a visit.
Activities in the Cape area
There is a wide variety of hiking or theme routes such as Cinematographic Route, the Pirate Route or the Volcanoes and Flowers Route. It is essential to know the Rodalquilar mines and from there Dive into a mountain setting that resembles the Wild West.
Following this route, you reach the mysterious Cortijo del Fraile, place where Lorca based himself to write his Blood Wedding.
The rich marine depths are a claim for divers or for those who want to start in this sport. Visit the legendary lighthouse of Cabo de Gata It is a good opportunity to observe the incredible number of pink flamingos and more than one hundred different species of birds that inhabit the salt flats. All this and much more is what one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Spanish Mediterranean coast offers.