The Tabernas desert and the surroundings of Almeria

The Tabernas desert and the surroundings of Almeria
The Tabernas desert and the surroundings of Almeria

North of Almeria, between the Filabres and Alhamilla mountains, lies the natural desert of Tabernas, the only one in Spain and in all of Europe. A unique landscape throughout the continent, thanks to the humid currents of the nearby Mediterranean Sea that give these locations a subarid-Mediterranean climate, with rainfall that does not reach 250 mm per year and average temperatures above 17 ° C.

The particular conditions and the landscape have made the Tabernas desert a very famous one location of numerous western movies.

The Tabernas desert and the surroundings of Almeria
Oasys Mini Hollywood in the Tabernas desert

Do you love westerns and have you always dreamed of playing the role of Clint Eastwood in the film directed by Sergio Leone, complete with music by Ennio Morricone, The good, the bad, the ugly? In the province of Almeria your dream can come true thanks to Mini Hollywood, a huge film set between the rocky expanses and the canyons of the Tabernas desert 25 kilometers from Almeria.

This rugged landscape reminiscent of the Far West was used between 1960 and 1970 for the filming of over 100 westerns, including A Fistful of Dollars, The Magnificent 7, Head Down, Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, and is divided into 3 theme parks Oasys Park, Fort Bravo e Western Leone, each with a different adventure to live.

Oasys Park, the largest of the 3, is made up of a village, a swimming pool area and a Zoological Reserve inhabited by 800 animals of 175 different species including giraffes, lions, zebras, buffaloes and elephants.

Western Leone is one wild west town and includes the sheriff's office, a hotel, the saloon, where you can cool off with an ice cold beer while watching a Can Can show, a bank, a church, the stables. A bank robbery, complete with a shooting, is staged 3 times a day in its dusty streets. Here you will also find the Museo de Cine, the Museo de Carros, with carriages and stagecoaches used in the films, and several recreational areas.

The town of Fort Bravo, just 3 kilometers from Mini Hollywood, was built for the filming of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and has almost entirely preserved its original condition. Here you will find a saloon, a prison, some grocery stores, a bank and stables as well as a Mexican area with a square, a church and peasant houses.

The surroundings of Almeria

Not only desert around Almeria: the coast of Almeria it is full of less touristy places but which have nothing to envy to the more famous Costa de la Luz and Costa del Sol.

The Tabernas desert and the surroundings of Almeria

East of Almeria, between imposing cliffs and headlands, lies the coast of Cabo de Gata with its wonderful beaches bathed by turquoise and crystalline waters. This coastal strip is about 60 kilometers long and includes several fishing villages, runs from Retamar to Agua Amarga and is home to the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Nijar.

Learn more about Cabo de Gata

The Tabernas desert and the surroundings of Almeria
Mojacar panorama at sunset

Sandwiched between the Sierra Cabrera mountains and the Mediterranean coast is the main seaside resort of the province of Almeria, Mojácar, a town consisting of the ancient Mojacar Pueblo, the picturesque original nucleus consisting of lime houses that perched around the rocky hill, and Mojacar Playa, the modern and tourist area that extends along the coast and where you can find numerous restaurants and clubs nocturnal.

At the highest point of Mojacar Pueblo, accessible through steep and winding cobbled streets and lined with cafes and craft shops, is the The Castle Viewpoint, residence built on the ruins of a Moorish fortress, from where you can admire a splendid 360 degree view of the Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful view also from Plaza Nueva, the main square of the town where you can relax while sipping a beer in one of the many clubs.

Do not miss the Iglesia de Santa Maria, built in 1560, with a structure very similar to a fortress and, in the lower part of the Mojacar Pueblo, the Moorish Fountain, a suggestive Arab-Moorish fountain with an inscription from 1488.

Il Mojacar waterfront it stretches for 17 kilometers, of which about 8 are equipped and organized for water sports, and is bathed by crystal clear waters.

If you want to play golf in Andalusia 5 minutes by car from Mojacar you will find several golf courses including the only one on desert terrain in Spain and two 18-hole courses, the Marina Golf Mojacar and the Playa Macenas Golf Resort.

reach Mojacar, about an hour from Almeria airport, you can hire a car or rely on bus connections from Almeria, Murcia, Granada (4 hours) and Madrid (8 hours).

The Tabernas desert and the surroundings of Almeria
The village of Nijar

About 35 kilometers northeast of Almeria, on the road leading to Murcia, between the Sierra Alhamilla and the extreme southeastern coast of Spain, right on the edge of the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, is the Moorish village of Niger, famous for the handcrafted production of fine ceramics, decorated with Arabic motifs and vivid mineral colors, and for the colorful striped cotton rugs, known as jarapas. If you want to buy original souvenirs Nijar is the ideal place.

Picturesque and traditional, the town of Nijar stands on a hill overlooking the agricultural plain and bases its economy on land work, fishing and rural tourism. In the main square, La Plaza de la Constitucion, is the XNUMXth century Mudejar style church where the bell tower was previously a defense tower.

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