I grew up with my grandparents and when I was six my grandmother introduced me to Lawrence of Arabia. Although I didn’t really understand the movie, thanks to the landscapes, the soundtrack and the enigmatic Peter O’Toole, this was the start of a lifelong affair with movies. Furthermore, When I saw the movie again in the fall of 2018, I discovered that part of the movie had been filmed in Spain! The next day we found ourselves in Tabernas for some exploring:
The official address is: Carrertera Cabo de Gata, 12.
During the low season, it could also be worth checking out bigger places like San José. In Los Albaricoques we could not find one single place to have dinner. This fish restaurant was the closest – and best! -option for us.
I know, paella is for lunch, but we couldn’t think of anything else as soon as we were in the restaurant. And it was delicious! A nice cold beer and this was the perfect dinner for us. Great service, fresh produce, very affordable prices, we highly recommend this place!
And some great canine company as well!
Movie location number 1
We have featured movie locations before on this website, but this is a very special one: a whole village! Indeed, Los Albaricoques served as the background for “For a Few Dollars More” by Sergio Morricone. In the movie, it is called Aguacaliente and is a Mexican village. Some of the streets bear the names of some stars. It is strange but exciting to see the Calle Lee Van Cleef or Sergio Leone.
Movie location number 2
On the road to Rodalquilar, have a look at the Cortijo del Fraile ( Farmhouse of the Friar)! This is a historical building and a movie location. According to the website of andalucia.com,
“The cortijo is an enclosure of buildings surrounded by a low white wall, typical of Andalucian estates, with a central patio, chapel with bell tower and crypt, outside ovens, and a well.
It was built by Dominican Brothers from Almería in the 18th century, hence the name, and was also known as the Cortijo del Hornillo (Farmhouse of the Little Oven) as there was a bread oven in the central patio. In 1836, it was confiscated by the state (as part of a national expropriation of church properties) and following an auction sold to private family.”
Nowadays, the building is in a bad state, and you cannot enter the interior.
Movies that were made here:
For a Few Dollars More.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
La Muerte Tenia un Precio
La Lengua Asesina.
A Bullet for the General.
Have a look at this video:
This is what the cortijo looks like nowadays:
If you like ruins, there are more of them between this Cortijo and Los Albaricoques, but we are not sure if they are related to movies.
Whenever Clint Eastwood returns here to make another movie, these 2 fellows above are ready for their take!
Cabo de Gata has something to offer for everyone, whether you are a beach bum, movie buff, nature lover, hiker, … We had a lot of fun!
Picturesque fishing village. If you do come in July or August, take into account that you will need to pay for parking your car.
Another cozy fishing village that can be overcrowded in summer is La Negras.
Picturesque and less crowded than the former two during summer. The beach restaurant is popular but not the cheapest option in this small fishing village. Enormous beach and very clear water. It’s a miracle that this place has not been discovered yet by more tourists.
Of the 4 destinations that I feature today, this is the biggest. 17 kilometers of pristine beaches and lots of seafood restaurants await you here.
What to choose?
If you are like us, and you don’t like crowded places, the first two destinations are best to be visited during spring and autumn. In summer, you better check out the other two.
In our next post, we have a look at “the best of the rest”! Better believe me, you don’t want to miss it!
Our decision to return to Cabo de Gata has proven to be the best of this year so far. One day is simply not enough to visit the main sights of this Nature Park, which is more than 45,000 hectares big. 3 days is far better. There are advantages and disadvantages though of traveling to this area during the low season. You will not be trampled by big masses of tourists, on the other hand, in less touristic places it will be difficult to find a tourist information office that is open and most restaurants will be closed during the evenings. Stick to touristic places such as San José.
A word of warning when booking a hotel on booking.com: a lot of cheap options that the website suggests are located NOT in the Natural Park, but rather in the city of Almeria. Try to find a room in hotel Alba in Albaricoque: centrally located, cheap, comfortable, very good restaurant.
Moreover, this is a unique location, but more about that in another post. After having put our luggage in our room, we decided to go to nearby Rodalquilar. According to the map that the hotel owner had given us, there should be a tourist information office over there.
We followed the road signs and, a bit to our surprise, quickly ended up on a dirt road, which became rougher and rougher, as did the landscape.
Notwithstanding the great beauty of the landscape, we started to wonder where we would end up. We decided to trust our GPS, which indicated that only a handful of kilometers was separating us from Rodalquilar. Abandoned building gave the landscape a dramatic flair.
Afterwards, we discovered that from Roman Times until the 1960s, Rodalquilar was known for its gold mines. The ruins are the remnants of its industrial past. There is a tourism information office but during the low season it’s closed.
In our next post, we show you the main sights of the Natural Park.
If you ever find yourself in the province of Almeria, you will probably end up in the Cabo de Gata Nature Reserve. But is it worth it?
Our answer is very simple: it depends on the season. Lars and I went there in the beginning of August, which was a big mistake! Way too many tourists. It was very hard to find a parking spot, and thus we couldn’t see as much as we had planned. Nevertheless, when the pandemic is over, we plan to go back.
The itinerary that we followed took about half a day.
This was our first stop, and it was here that we soon realized what a popular destination Cabo de Gata is. No shortage of accommodation here… Finding parking space was a challenge that we had to give up.
Cabo de Gata
Here we were luckier. There was a coming and going of cars, and we soon found a place to park ours.
This cape was certainly a beautiful spot. To be revisited!
Salinas de Acosta
These salt works have Roman origins and attract a lot of birds. They are located not far from La Almadraba de Monteleva.
If you are a nature lover, we highly recommend this place!
And then we ran out of luck again. What used to be fishing villages are now big tourist towns with all the accommodation and entertainment you need. In San José I managed to take a handful of pictures:
We also tried to go to another place (Las Negras), but there was so much traffic that we even couldn’t get into the town itself… At least, we saw some beautiful landscapes on our route!
And then we gave up. We were frustrated. And hungry. I am not ashamed to say it, but we failed. At least, we tried. As we have said earlier, when this pandemic is over, we are going back though. And then we will first find a tourist information office and plan a better itinerary.
Later this week, we will take you to another corner of Spain!
I think this is the first summer that I have spent so much time in the mountains or at least in mountainous areas. And I am loving every second of it! Anyway, I took this picture somewhere in the province of Almeria. Does anyone know where exactly?
One thing is for sure: the coastline in the province of Almeria is stunning!
So far, the summer of 2020 has been one of the best of our lives… We are, of course, aware of the devastating effects of the Coronavirus, especially here in Spain. But Lars and I are both in good health and have visited some magnificent landscapes.
All of my Spanish friends talked about it, the Cabo de Gata, one of the most beautiful places in the province of Almeria. Obviously, Lars and I had to check it out and earlier this month, we did. However, things didn’t go as planned though, but we intend to return either this autumn or next spring. Read all about it soon on this website!