Top 5 insider tips to Cabo de Gata, Almeria

The Cabo de Gata natural park,inAlmeria offers some truly spectacular beaches. A couple of which are regularly voted as being the ‘best in Spain.’
This windswept, barren and desert landscape has set the scene for numerous Hollywood classics such as the “Good, the bad and the ugly,” “A fistful of dollars,” “Indiana Jones - the last Crusade” amongst others. 
Las Negras, Cabo de Gata

Looking for something a little different, something completely off the beaten track. Here are our top 5 insider tips for a holiday in Cabo de Gata Natural Park. 

Cliff diving from La Cala del Cuervo

Ok you don’t have to dive, but jumping from the cliffs is a thrill not to be missed. There are jumps up to a good 15m. 

Where to go? Las Negras from San Jose. Just before getting into the village of Las Negras, there are signs for the campsite - Camping Las Negras - the road turns sharply rightwards and drops down to the beach. 

View of Las Negras, Cabo de Gata

From the little rocky beach that just sits just in front of the campsite, there’s a small path that leads up into the cliffs above. This is the path that eventually, after 1.5kms, leads to a beach called El Playazo. A beautiful walk. 

Follow this path upwards, you’ll quickly see an old tower, there are several smaller tracks that lead towards and beneath it. La Cala del Cuervo sits behind the tower on the first rocky outcrop. Any of these spots are perfect for diving. 

The water is deep and the bed is sandy, in places. Always double check carefully where you are going to be landing. I suggest getting into the water with mask and making doubly sure you are jumping onto a sandy patch and that the water is deep enough. One important point to bear in mind is always make sure you can get out of the water easily after jumping. Its a long swim back to the beach.

Best snorkeling spot - Los Escullos beach - Cala Hermanicas

All of Cabo de Gata offers fantastic snorkelling, the caves and underwater rock formations just next to Los Escullos are particularly beautiful and are one of the main destinations for scuba divers. 

Diving Cabo de Gata

The water quality, flora and fauna are second to none. The deep water enables the dive boats to get in close. For people snorkelling, its an easy enough spot to get to, with a little walk and a short swim. You snorkel over layered rocky platforms, with huge drops between the platforms. The water can get very deep very quickly - up to 40m. Although close to the coast, its important to be a confident swimmer and its always best to swim with a friend. Getting there is straightforward. 

Drive past Los Escullos heading south-west in the general direction of San Jose, the coastal road quickly becomes a track. Its passable in a normal car with care. Keep driving as far as you can. There’s a large two-storey ruin on the path to San Jose, park here (or as near as you can get). Follow this path upwards for about 500m, it eventually drops back down into La Cala Hermanicas, a rocky cove. Get into the water here and start exploring. 

Best eats

Cabo de Gata can be expensive to eat out. The more popular villages, particularly the ones next to the beach can be overpriced. If looking for some fantastic home-cooked and very reasonably priced food - Bar La Plaza in the tiny village of  Fernan Perez is highly recommended. 

Bar La Plaza, Cabo de Gata

Far from the usual tourist hangouts, you won’t see a tourist in sight. As with the food, Fernan Perez is a very traditional village. 

The small family run bar is situated right on the main square of the village. The place to be in Fernan Perez - map

Be Indiana Jones for the day

The old iron and gold mines in and around Rodalquilar are sight to behold. One of the most visited tourist destinations in Cabo de Gata are the old mining facilities just outside of the village. 

Entrance to the Indiana Jones cave

What is far less visited and a lot more interesting are the mines themselves. There are hundreds of mines, tunnels and evacuation sites. 

Great care needs to be taken if visiting on your own accord. Some of the old mine shafts have drops of over 200m. 

Inner cave chasm Cabo de Gata, Almeria

I strongly recommend visiting with someone who knows the area and is preferably an expert in the mines. Geogata, geological tours are recommended. If, however, wanting to visit them on your own. The best way is to drive upwards from Rodalquilar, passing behind the mining facilities. 

The track is fairly rough in places but is passable with a normal car if driving carefully. Keep driving upwards, you’ll pass a viewing point that offers some great views over Rodalquilar and the surrounding areas (known locally as Cruce La Lace), keep leftwards and going up. 

Inside Indiana Jones cave Almeria

After about 1km you’ll come to junction with a track that goes off to the right. Park here and walk the rest of the way. The cave where they filmed Indiana Jones is near the top on the right hand side. You walk along the track above, crossing over some pretty rough terrain. 

You’ll eventually come to a large mining area. Take the first path rightwards and up to the top. There are two tunnels directly in front of you. The filming was carried out in both. The biggest one is the easiest to explore and offers some great views if you walk through to the end of it. The smaller one requires a bit more care, but there’s an inner chasm that is worth seeing. 

Smaller tunnel Indiana Jones, Cabo de Gata

Don’t veer too much off the path and don’t follow some of the smaller tunnels - many of them have huge mine shafts dropping into the abyss. The remnants of the Indiana Jones set are still in place, with fake walls and plaster bags all over the place. Much has fallen down over the years. Take care.

The area around the mines provides some great mountain biking as well. For bicycle rentals, tours and much more Cabo Activo are great. 



Best family beach - Playa el Playazo

Picking a best beach in Cabo de Gata is near enough impossible. They are all spectacular and as mentioned above, a couple of which are consistently voted as being the most picturesque in Spain. 

Playa El Playazo, Cabo de Gata, Almeria

Playa de los Muertos, Playa de Mónsul and Playa de los Genoveses.....the list is almost endless. 

One of our favourites and a great beach for families with small children is a beach near Rodalquilar called Playa el Playazo. 

The access is very straightforward, the water is sheltered and shallow and will provide a fantastic day out for all the family. 

For more information on Playa el Playazo