CABO DE GATA: nature reserve and always sunny

General info

This special and relatively unknown nature reserve is located in the southeast of Andalusia in the province of Almeria. Cabo de Gata is a desert-like area with little rainfall, so it’s a great place to enjoy the Spanish sun even outside the high season. In 1997 it was designated the largest protected coastal area in Andalusia. The area has a volcanic past and in some parts it is still clearly visible. Furthermore, there are mountain ranges that alternate with desert-like plains and steep cliffs that often end in the sea.


Long ago, on the advice of a Spanish neighbor, we drove to Cabo de Gata in search of sun and warmth. It was sometime in February and we arrived in a small village that seemed large because of a Japanese film crew advertising Japanese beer. Weird but true. A few hours later the village was extinct again and I remember a delicious fish meal overlooking the sea. The house we rented belonged to a Spanish couple who tried to get us drunk every night. We were delighted by the extraordinary landscape, the sea, the temperature in winter and the villages. A lot has changed in Cabo de Gata since then, but the appeal is still there.


Las Negras

A quiet village by the sea where some foreigners and Spaniards live. The village is almost on the beach and Spanish friends have a house whose back door borders directly on the sea. There are some bars and restaurants and there is a small sandy beach.

Agua Amarga

This village is somewhat larger than Las Negras, but it still has the atmosphere of a fishing village. There is also a sandy beach here, which is more crowded especially in summer. In the village is a nice square with some restaurants and shops.


This village is a bit more inland, about 20 km. from the coast. Although it is somewhat larger than the villages on the coast, it is also very quiet here. In the main street there are several souvenir shops and the village is also known for its ceramics.

La Isleta del Moro

A picturesque village with a central square with an old washing place, a mirador (viewpoint) and a beach. A lovely place for an extensive lunch with a long siesta by the sea.

San José

This is a somewhat larger seaside resort with a harbour. Here you can rent bicycles, arrange a horseback ride or water activities. Several restaurants, bars and shops.

Most beautiful beaches

Playa de los Genoveses

Once upon a time, Indiana Jones movies were filmed here. The long sandy beach is located just outside the town of San José. One of the most beautiful beaches of Cabo de Gata.

Playa de Monsul

The last stretch to this beach can be reached on foot. Beautiful rock formations of solidified lava make this beach my personal favorite. Hikers walk a little further in search of more secluded coves and beaches such as la Cala de la Media Luna and Cala Carbón.

Hiking tips

If you go to Nijar, walk from the village to the mountain village of Huebro. You will walk through a very special landscape with several old water mills and order patatas a la pobre in Huebro.

From the village of Las Negras there is a path to Cala San Pedro where some hippies have settled, far away from civilization. More information, click here.

You can of course celebrate your holiday in Cabo de Gata in one of our beautiful holiday homes.

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