Cabo de Gata Park is a place I would love to stay forever! Preserved nature, wild beaches, relaxed atmosphere… When you feel the wind blowing on your hair and the sun kissing your skin, it is love at first sight!
Cabo de Gata is a Spanish jewel. Located on the Mediterranean coast, it can be easily reached from Almeria, the biggest city around. There are some buses that cross the park and the cities, but they are not so frequent. So the best idea is to rent a car to explore the park and beaches. And that was what we did! 😉
After some busy days in Barcelona and Valencia, the Spanish Natural Park was a present to our bodies and souls. We stayed four days in Cabo de Gata, but I wish we had more time to enjoy it. The park is not only about beaches and nature, there are many forts, ancient ruins and tiny villages. Beautiful scenery, like postcards inviting you to sit, relax and appreciate the view. There are so many beautiful places to see and things to do in Cabo de Gata that we could stay there for two weeks.
Our journey started early in the morning at Almeria Airport (where we found the best rates for renting a car). From there we follow the signs to Cabo de Gata – Níjar Natural Park and in less than one hour we were in front of this intense blue sea and stunning desert landscape.
We drove almost 5 hours, stopping by some viewpoints, exploring some off-road tracks, climbing rocks and mountains. Before hit the road we got some water, fruits, cookies and they saved us. Most of the time there are no shops or restaurants around the roads, so you have to be prepared for the day trip!
It was the middle of June, hot weather and the beaches weren’t crowded. Cabo de Gata is still a secret destination in Spain. For sun & beach seekers like us, that was PERFECTION!
Our hotel was located almost at the end of the Cabo de Gata Park, near Mojácar city. On our trip there we crossed the whole park. One place more beautiful than the other.
The first day was all about traveling and shopping some groceries. We booked a place with a kitchen and it was such a smart idea. We saved some bucks cooking our breakfast and dinner, also we didn’t need to drive late at night to find restaurant and bars. Nothing better than a nice Spanish wine, some freshly home-made food and an amazing sea view!
On the second and the third days in the Cabo de Gata Park we discovered hidden beaches, we swam in crystal clear water and relaxed under the sun! The park is full of pretty untouched beach, we pick some of them that you must visit. The best from the best! 😀
Cabo de Gata beaches – Our favorites
When you drive till there you think it’s going to be a nice preserved beach. You park your car on the top of the hill and have to walk around 20 minutes to reach the sand. When you arrive there you think to yourself “Ohhh, this is a beautiful beach!”. One second later, when you turn your head to the right side, you spot a huge rock split in half that allowed you to pass to a secret part of the beach and then: OMG!! Wooowww… Is this real???
Charming colored stones invite you to sit, the clear water is perfect for snorkeling! Find your spot and enjoy. With some home-made tuna sandwich in the bag, we spend the whole day on the beach!
» Cala San Pedro
This beach is an untouched paradise. Hidden between mountains the only way to reach the sand is by boat or by 2 hours trekking. Of course, we choose the walking path and we don’t regret.
All the tiredness and sweet were worthy, the view you have from the cliff above the beach is beyond words… You feel how nature is powerful and how we have to respect and look after it!
Cala San Pedro is the only beach inside the park that has people leaving in the woods, like hippies. 🙂 It’s a green community, with bungalows and tents built on the shore and next to a water spring. They look after the beach and protect the environment, that’s why they are allowed by law to live there.
During summertime more people camp on the sand for a few days, just to enjoy the unique atmosphere. Meditation, Yoga on the beach… Such a great vibe. No doubt Cala de San Pedro is my favorite beach in Cabo de Gata Park.
The best part: not so many people. An opportunity to connect with yourself and nature.
Different from the other two beaches, this one is more urban but still beautiful. It’s surrounded by a charming village, nice restaurants, bars and even beach clubs. A good place to stay if you don’t want to be far from all the modern living facilities.
The beach has a nice and green promenade that invites you for some jogging or a morning walk. We couldn’t resist, on our second day we woke up early to run and enjoy the beach just for ourselves.
Villages & places you must visit in Cabo de Gata Park
» San Jose
This is a tiny village in the middle of the Cabo de Gata Park. The curvy streets are packed with guest houses, boutique hotels, fishermen and cheerful people.
Great place to stop for a meal. The town has many restaurants, for every taste and budget. After some Spanish delights, have a walk around the city or maybe a siesta on the beach!
This town is not in front of the sea, but totally worth to drive away from the coast and go up the hill. Once you reach the top, the Spanish village and the view will enchant you.
Park your car and go explore the city, most of the tiny streets can be only reached by foot. White buildings with purple bougainvillea, small cafes and street market, what else can we ask more??
One of the biggest villages in Cabo de Gata, Carboneras has lots of different restaurants, hotels and bubbly city center. It’s full of travelers, a good option if you want to meet people, shopping and go out. If you are staying in another town or in an isolated hotel, Carbonera is the best place to buy groceries, cash money and get your snorkel!
Where to stay in Cabo de Gata Park?
There are plenty of options around the park. From big resort hotels to B&B and apartments to rent. It all depends on how much is your budget, your travel style and how long you are planning to stay.
If you are going for more than 10 days, for sure it’s better to rent your own place (you can get a nice offer on Airbnb). Just for a few days there are nice resorts all-inclusive or you can book a nice hotel room.
We stayed at Puerto Marina Hotel and got an excellent deal through Booking.com, a big apartment with a bathtub, kitchen and a huge balcony for just €25,50 per night. Comfy, in front of the sea and they even have a big swimming pool! 😀
If you like camping, or you have a Campervan, there are many sites where you can park your car and stay for the night. Driving through the Cabo de Gata park and beaches we spotted many campers by the sea, people having lunch, relaxing and enjoying. On this website you can find useful information about camping sites.
Do you know you can rent a house, a boat, a castle or a room on Airbnb? Curious? Sign up here and get a discount on your first booking!
Cabo de Gata – Sports paradise
It’s not only the beaches that attract people to this Spanish natural park. Adrenaline seekers will find lots of fun there. From cycling, running, to dive and kayaking… There are many sports that can be practiced in the Cabo de Gata area.
In the cities you can find schools and instructors for any kind of sports. And if you have an adventurous spirit, trekking is a must thing to do there.
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance!
We use and recommend World Nomads and SafetyWing, click on the name of the company and book your insurance now. If you need more information read our Travel Insurance Guide here.
You see, Cabo de Gata is a place we can easily fall in love. The nature is stunning, so many things to do and see, great weather and Spanish culture. The park is still a secret destination in Spain and you need to visit before gets packed!
Most of the travelers don’t know about the park, and we didn’t find travel agencies selling holiday packages to there. How did we discover Cabo de Gata Park? Our Spanish friend told us about it, and we love it! Thanks, Belen, that was one of the best travel tips ever!
We are so happy and grateful that we visited Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park. It’s such a unique place, I’m sure it will enchant you too! 🙂
Have you already visited any hidden nature place? Please share with us your secret spot!