Thanks to the efforts of the environmentalist Francisca Díaz Torres (or Doña Pakyta), a landscape singular among walking holidays in Europe, has been kept beautifully in its natural state. The route links two sides of a truly diverse landscape, with arid, desert-like surroundings on one hand, offset by the deepest blues of the Mediterranean sea on the other. Here, annual rainfall is the lowest in Europe, yet more than 1000 species of wildlife and fauna thrive in the stark, volcanic environment. With boundless scenery that stretches for miles, the views are staggering and as you hike along the rocky ridge of the desert, it’s easy to find a sense of serenity and peace of mind hiking in an region where everything is on such a grand scale. A Cabo de Gata walking holiday is ideal for anyone looking to get away from it all and hike Spain’s most vast, open region.
Our hiking programme uses three different villages across the national park as a base to explore a new area of the Cabo de Gata each day, with alternating routes along the coast and inland. The sleepy former fishing village of Agua Amarga, is off-the-beaten-track in the truest sense. You won't find any tourist traps here, just graceful white stone architecture and miles of unspoilt surf. Rodalquilar is further inland, within the dramatic volcanic valleys of the park, where the remains of a former gold mining industry are open for exploration. The last stop, in the quirky commune at San José, is surrounded by some of the regions most pristine beaches. Its central location means you're never far away from the most flawless, natural spaces of the Cabo de Gata.There are some fantastic sea views on this hike, as you follow old railway lines, narrow goat tracks and the routes down to the peaceful coves along the shoreline. Navigation shouldn't be a cause for concern, as most of the path is well way-marked, although you may find that some sections of the path are fairly uneven underfoot.
The style of accommodation across the coast of the Cabo de Gata national park is simple and elegant. Don't expect cutting-edge or all mod-cons, but rooms with fantastic views - designed to let in plenty of sunlight and showcase the beauty of the region. For the nights you spend along the coast, the location is unbeatable. You'll be within short distance of the beach, with terraces and balconies overlooking the sea from the hotel. Where we divert inland for two nights, the desert hotels usually include additional facilities such as a swimming pools, a spa and tennis courts.We have carefully selected all accommodation to ensure that it is the best of its kind that the area has to offer, and walkers can expect to stay in comfortable and spacious Hotels and B&Bs with en suite rooms, surrounded by beautiful scenery and looked after by welcoming hosts.
Travel to your first nights' accommodation in the village of Agua Amarga. You stay in a beachfront hotel, typical of the blanched white stone buildings of the area. Outside you have terraced gardens, with far-reaching views over the surrounding bay.
The week starts with a selection of routes. Your first option follows an old railway line at the top of Mesa de Roldán, the remains of an extinct volcanic cone. It's a steep climb to the top, but from here you have spectacular views over the sea. Alternatively, you can take a detour inland to visit one of the regions ancient olive trees. The route leads down towards the coast soon after, in a desert like terrain known as "los espartales". Here, a diverse range of plantlife has thrived in an arid environment.
The days hike begins with a route heading south out of Agua Amarga, joining inland tracks before meeting the coast to arrive at Rodalquilar. Your path is characterised by the dried up old riverbeds, known as "ramblas". Following this route, you'll reach the areas hidden coves, where the vivid colours of plantlife and flowers are like an oasis in the middle of the desert. From here, you'll cross paths with the picturesque bay (and eccentric hippy community) at Las Negras, as well as the pristine beach at El Playazo.
Your next day at Rodalquilar starts with a circular walk following the Rambla de la Granadilla, as it wends its way through hill and valley, agaisnt the backdrop of the Sierra mountains. The route runs into the Cortijo del Fraile, an old farmhouse with a chequered past, and the inspiration behind Federico García Lorca's, "Bodas de Sangre". You'll find the remains of old gold mines out in the hills, with the sandy tones of the old towers and structures blended into the valley rock. You also have the option of visiting the Casa de los Volanoes (House of the Volcanoes) and botanical gardens.
Eroded lava rock, dotted with dwarf palm trees make up today's route up the side of the areas imposing extinct volcanoes. Your route meets ancient Moorish water systems, wild olive groves and deep gorges as leave the desert behind and gaze out toward the Mediterranean beyond. Today's hike ends back at the hotel in Rodalquilar as the route loops back in on itself.
Today's walk to your final accommodation at San José follows a clifftop route down to one of the areas most stunning stretches of coast, where palm groves come into view as you walk among the dunes, to the dazzling white stone villages along the coast up ahead. Follow the shore along the volcanic dark sand beaches, where old smuggler hideaways are tucked into the inlets and bays as you walk the coastal path to San José. Just off the path inland from the village you have el Cerro de los Frailes, which at 493m is the highest point of the Cabo de Gata.
The area around San José is blessed with some of the regions most spectacular beaches. and today you can visit some of the celebrated of the area. Some of the beaches of Los Amarillos, Chica, grande del Barronal, Lance de Perro, Media Luna, Los Genoveses and Monsul, can only be reached on foot. Today's route takes in some of the visually striking aspects of the Cabo de Gata's coast, on a memorable route with ever-changing views and a fitting way to end your Spanish walking holiday in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park
Your route is mainly made up of rural tracks, both surfaced and rough - as well as the "las ramblas" trails (dry river-beds), dunes, beaches and footpaths. You may find some of the sections uneven underfoot, with loose bits of rock and stone. Most sections are well way-marked.
A days walks averages at about 4 to 7 hours on foot, with infrequent steep ascents and descents (a max ascent/descent of 650m over the walk). Please bear in mind that easier alternate routes will occasionally be available, the details of which will be in your walk pack.
Accommodation for 7 nights in very comfortable hotels, with breakfast included
Half board, with packed lunch for 5 days
Detailed maps and route notes in English
Transfers during walk
24-hour telephone assistance
Extra nights/ rest days in any of the locations ~ Please enquire for extra night prices
Extra nights at any of the hotels near the airports (Murcia, Málaga, Granada, Almería...)
Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the holiday
Optional transfers from the last accommodation to the first one to collect the car
Lunches and dinners on the last 2 days. You can buy provisions or order a packed lunch at the accommodation
Personal expenses such as drinks, tips etc
You choose which day you would like your holiday to start on. We will book your holiday in accordance with your requirements.
Our Cabo de Gata holidays are available to walk January to June, September to December.
Almería has just one airport (LEI), transfer arrangements between the airport and town are optional - let us know and the point of booking and we'll be more than happy to arrange this service for you.
There also less frequent flight from Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle.
Please be aware that if you plan on flying from other UK locations to Almería, you may need to change in Madrid.
Almería is by no means the only airport in the Andalucia region, and there are also frequent flights to Málaga, Granada and Alicante.
Clients are responsible for booking their own air travel to the Andalucia region.
We can organise additional nights/rest days, as well as transport options. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you with your specific requirements. Call one of our helpful team on +44 (0)1291 689774 or e-mail us here.
Cabo de Gata Client Reviews
4.9/5 based on 3 reviews
It was excellent exercise. Harris & Fisk - September 2019
We were especially impressed with the accommodation and food.
Celtic Trails were well organised, there was good client contact and comprehensive instructions. J & P Travers - April 2019
Fantastic scenery. Walks challenging enough to make them interesting. Enjoyed the mix of beach and rugged landscape. All hotels were well located. Good communication in planning holiday. M. Belton - April 2019
Leave your own review of your Cabo de Gata Walking Holiday with us - add review.
We will check your details and come back to you within two working days with a personalised estimate based on your requirements. We will then formally request a deposit of £150 per person (£100 per person for a single centre break) and book all your arrangements - find out about our full booking process here.
Please note this does not constitute a booking confirmation, we kindly ask you to refrain from booking any travel until we have confirmed all your arrangements.
Still Have Questions?
If you are still unsure on any of your requirements, please do enquire with us first and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with any queries you have.