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“Unspoilt Spain”

Cabo de Gata - Nijar Natural Park
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Full-day trip to Cabo de Gata Natural Park
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Mojacar in One Day from Roquetas de Mar
Ranked #1 of 83 things to do in Almeria
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Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed November 28, 2013

It's utterly beautiful and unspoilt. The mountains are mostly not built on and there are miles of lonely coastline.

1  Thank superpup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 25, 2013

We count ourselves very fortunate to live within an hour of this unique place. It has some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in the Med, some lovely little seaside places with proper Spanish bars and restaurants, flamingoes on the salt flats at Cabo de Gata, old gold mine workings and a (free to enter) botanical garden dedicated to the preservation of the indiginous plants at Rodalquilar. I am not a diver but I understand that there is even more to see under water around the coast. One day is not enough, and we don't recommend beaches in August as this is not a well-kept secret among the many thousands of Spanish holidaymakers who come here at that time. It is top of our list for places to take our visitors to and although I have indicated September 2013 for our visit, this is just the latest of many - we go there at least four or five times a year.

2  Thank Spookydog
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Reviewed November 8, 2013

In the south of Spain, a few miles east of Almería, there is a delightful area that offers miles of unspoilt beaches with secluded coves, sand dunes and much more within a protected coastal reserve. It is the Cabo de Gata, a natural park that I think is quite splendid. It is one of my favourite areas in the province of Almería.
It is a nature lover's delight. There are thousands of different species there including the pink flamingo and the rare Italian wall lizard. There are eagles, kestrels, puffins, cormorants, oystercatchers and storks. The extraordinary wealth of wildlife is unbelievable. There are some species that are unique to the park. This includes the dragoncillo del Cabo, which flowers all the year round. Europe's only native palm tree - the dwarf fan - is to be found here. In the sea, there are bream, grouper, prawn and squid. There are hundreds of species of seaweed, which are home to the many varieties of crustacean, mollusc and fish.
Perhaps the reason for the great variation in wildlife is due to the diverse habitats in this natural park. The 71,500 acres of the Cabo de Gata is volcanic in origin and comprises coastal dunes, steep cliffs, spectacular beaches, salt marshes, saltpans, arid steppe, dry riverbeds and a substantial marine zone. It is probably this ecological diversity that has led to the park being designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
Robert Bovington

4  Thank RobertBovington
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Reviewed November 4, 2013

We chose our out of season holiday in the Almeria province of Spain because we knew we would enjoy it in an area well away from the usual over commercialised beach tourist spots in Spain that are the usual haunt of my countrymen, with all those 'British bars' and fish and chip take-a-ways. That of course shouldn't detract from the fact this area does have some of the most beautiful beaches that are available in this country, it is a matter of what kind of holiday suits your taste. This one will be quietly sophisticated sharing it with local Spanish tourists. Our base was at Retamar, just on the boundary of the natural park, and to benefit from the attractions on offer over this huge area, a car is essential. There are mountain coast roads, beautiful secluded beaches, and places of historic interest to explore, as well as pretty mountain villages and small harbours. Our favourite excursion was to follow the trail of the movie locations that were used to make dozens of Hollywood films, from Lawrence Of Arabia to the Spaghetti Westerns. This takes you up into the desert mountains of the park, leaving the bitumen roads behind. The view that unfolds in front of you as you drive over the top of the pass leading to the now derelict ruin of the mission building used in Clint Eastwood's 'Dollars' Westerns is just stunning. After travelling on dusty desert roads, the vista in front of you opens up into a lush green oasis of cultivated vegetables, known locally as 'the salad bowl'. Also not to be missed is the Natural Park Visitor Centre itself, on the road between Retamar and Cabo de Gata. This opens at 10am, and contains modern audio visual equipment to describe all about the Natural Park, from geology and weather, through plants and fauna, to the places that were used as film locations. Our visit, in October, was also free of charge. This whole area can keep you busy without the need of a sun bed by a hotel pool - if that is what you want. We did, and have already booked a visit again for next year.

2  Thank nb-kelly-louise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2013

Absolutely incredible! Do not leave without a stop at Playa de Los Muertos and Playa del Playazo (with Playa del Monsul a close runner up with good spots for bouldering); although the whole coastline along this park is amazing these were my 2 favorite beaches for swimming, snorkeling and relaxing away from the rest of the world. I home-based in Almeria for a week during July with a rental car and explored as many beaches as possible. Everything is reachable within under an hour drive from Almeria; it is a good affordable home-base. The roads are all paved (for the most part) so you won't be needing to rent a fancy off-roader to reach the secluded beaches because even the hard to get to beaches are reachable by car you may just need to walk an extra leg. Some beaches ask a parking fee of 2-7 euros for park upkeep.

1  Thank heretohomeandbeyond
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