Volcanoes, gold mines, westerns and wild cliffs in Cabo de Gata (hiking)


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The Cabo de Gata Nature Reserve has besides wild cliffs with spectacular views, natural and paradisiacal beaches like the famous Genoveses or Mónsul, and other small coves only reachable by foot. Wherever we look, within the Nature park, there are traces of volcanic activity, erosion and sedimentation. Volcanism has in Cabo de Gata its most important manifestation in Spain. We will cycle through a landscape of great geological variety, product of this volcanism with castings lava domes or fossil beaches, between agaves and cactus, typical of a semiarid climate unique in Europe. Despite the semi-arid conditions, the soil of Cabo de Gata hosts a rich flora that has adapted to the rain-starved environment. Some of the approximately 1,000 species of vascular plants are endemic to the park and Europe’s only native palm, the dwarf fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) thrives here. The climate is perfect for cycling and hiking in winter time with an average temperature of about 19 °C and an average annual rainfall of only 156 mm!

The villages you will hike through are special too! While hiking around Rodalquilar, an old mining town, you will pass some old gold mines! And what about the small typical fishing village Isleta de Moro? The small boats near the beach, the white houses of modest fishermen and the extraordinary peace in most parts of the year…an excellent place to try fried or grilled fresh fish!

Come hiking here, disconnect and enjoy the great views of the cliffs and over the crystal-clear water.

Day 1: Arrival San José

Day 1: Arrival San José

San José can be reached by car, by bus from Almería (1 hour) or by taxi (70 €). It is a fishing port, which grows in summer with tourists because of the incredible beaches. Apart from summer and weekends it is a quiet village. Night in San José.

Day 2: San José Circular hike (15-16km)

Day 2:  San José Circular hike (15-16km)

You can do a circular hike from San José passing some of the most amazing and picturesque beaches in the natural park, such as the beach of Monsul, with the petrified tongue of lava, famous for a scene of the movie Indiana Jones and the last Crusade of Steven Spielberg. Another beautiful beach is “Playa de los Genoveses” and there are many other smaller coves which you can only access by foot! Night in San José.

Day 3: San José - Rodalquilar (19 km)

Day 3: San José – Rodalquilar (19 km)

A long but impressive walk along the coast on the cliffs and rocks with beautiful views. You will even walk along a fossil dune and an oasis of palm trees. Following the GR 92 long distance walk you will first have to climb to come to the Tower of Higuera. From here on it is virtually all downhill until Los Escullos, where you can admire the battery of San Felipe, built in the 18th century by order of Carlos III and part of the defensive battery spread throughout the coast with the aim of avoiding pirate attacks. Then continue hiking to the small fishing village Isleta de Moro, one of the best conserved villages of the coast, and good for a break. From there along an oasis into the valley of Rodalquilar, an immense caldera to the beautiful charming village of Rodalquilar.

Day 4: Rodalquilar, circular hike (15 km)

Day 4: Rodalquilar, circular hike (15 km)

This once small mining settlement in ancient was mined alum of the mountains, and in the nineteenth and twentieth exploitation focused on its gold mines. The mines, today, are not exploited because of the high cost of obtaining the mineral. At the entrance of the village still retains the old houses of the miners, now abandoned. Today a circular hike will lead you into the heart of the Nature Park, along the old gold mines of Rodalquilar and through the beautiful Barranco Requena full of dwarf fan palms. Once you arrive at the higher plain the views over the coast and the small fishing villages are incredible. Downhill through the Barranco del Negro and back to Rodalquilar.

Day 5: Rodalquilar - Las Negras - Agua Amarga (19,5 km)

Day 5: Rodalquilar – Las Negras – Agua Amarga (19,5 km)

You leave the hotel towards the fantastic fine sand beach Playazo, where you can find the battery San Ramón (XVIIIth century), and from there you follow the beautiful coastline first to the fishing village las Negras, good place to take a coffee and buy some things for a picknick. As for the rest of the walk you will not find anything, except of beautiful small coves along the rough coast and a hippy colony living in an oasis. Finally, you arrive to the next village of Agua Amarga, where you will sleep 2 nights.

Day 6: Agua Amarga, circular hike to Mesa Roldán (14 km)

Day 6: Agua Amarga, circular hike to Mesa Roldán (14 km)

Mesa means table in Spanish, appropriate for this flat-topped mountain which lies along the coastline just south of Carboneras. The horizontal peak is home to the 18th century watchtower of Torre Vigia de Mesa Roldan and a lighthouse. The Mesa Roldan signposted walking trail provides access to the top of the plateau from where there are superb view of the cliffs, the fishing village of Agua Amarga, and the coves of Cala de Enmedio and Cala del Plomo. In October 2015 Mesa Roldan was the filming location for a scene in the internationally popular American fantasy drama Game of Thrones.

Day 7: Agua Amarga, fin

Day 7: Agua Amarga, fin

After breakfast finishes this hiking tour, you can get a bus or taxi back to San José or to Almería (taxi 60 km, about 50 minutes, 85 €). Of course you can also extend your stay, and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Cabo de Gata. Or take an extra night in the city of Almeria, nowadays a modern Spanish city, where you can enjoy the mild climate, the tapas and the view of the sea.      

Accommodation with breakfast


6 nights

Luggage transport


6 days

Information on the trip


Services not included

Transfer to or from airport

Not Included

on request€

Optional transfer organised from airport to departure point of tour or from finishing point to airport. Price depends on amount of people using this transfer.

extra night

Not Included

on request€

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