Cabo de Gata - History


Cabo de Gata is located in the most southeastern end of the Iberian Peninsula, on the territories of Almeria, Nijar and Carboneras. It extends from the Bay of Almeria in the south, “Sierra de Cabrera” in the north, and meets its western limits between the “Sierra de Gata” and the “Serrata de Nijar”.
Cabo de Gata
Later still, it was known by the Romans as the Venus Promontory. Finally, in the Middle Ages it took the name of "Cabo de Agatas", from which its current name derives.

The Romans had some settlements in the area, mainly dedicated to the fishing of tuna in tuna traps and salted fish, as well as the extraction of minerals. In the area of Carboneras there were projects dedicated to the manufacture of coal, which gave the town its name.

Subsequently, the Muslims settled in small villages in the most fertile areas, especially in the interior, dedicating themselves mainly to agriculture. The coast remained sparsely populated because of piracy.
San Felipe Castle (Cabo de gata)

Some of these population centers grew to become the current towns, such as Carboneras and San Jose, while others were simply abandoned, as in the case of San Pedro.
Cabo de Gata Lighthouse
During the first quarter of the 20th century, a mining town was built in Rodalquilar, and gold was extracted from its mines until 1966.

Due to the lack of roads and communications, Cabo de Gata was saved from the unrestricted development of the sixties and seventies, which saturated all the Spanish coasts with buildings; preserving its sub-desert landscape almost intact.

In 1987 it was declared a Natural Park, including 375 square kilometers of land space and 120 square kilometers of maritime zone, along its more than 50 kilometers of coastline.