We present you the most interesting places to visit in the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park. Do not miss the places of interest in this area of Almeria.
The Cabo de Gata Saltworks are formed by several shallow ponds, which is a clear example of the process of albufera being converted to saline by man.
The origin of the salt exploitation seems to go back to the Phoenician or Carthaginian period, with existing archaeological evidence of fish salting during the Roman era. The saltworks remain active today, producing around 40,000 tons of salt per year, but it has a much higher ecological value, since it is the habitat for a multitude of animal and plant species.
More than 100 different species of birds have been counted here, 70% being birds that use the saltworks as a resting place in their migratory process. It should be noted the large number of greater flamingos that can be observed. There are two ornithological observation posts.
It is the hallmark of the Cabo de Gata and the most characteristic image of the Natural Park.
In its design, highlights are its monumental portico and its slender bell, which announced festivities and warned of catastrophes.
It was inaugurated in 1907 with the main objective of facilitating religious worship for the employees of the saltworks and the rest of the surrounding inhabitants.
It is one of the most interesting buildings in the Cabo de Gata Natural Park. It was built by the Dominican friars in the 18th century and passed into private hands in the year 1836, who dedicated the farm from that moment to work in the fields.
In 1928 tragic events occurred, known as "the Crime of Nijar", which inspired Federico Garcia Lorca in his work Bodas de Sangre. The writer Carmen de Burgos from Almeria was also inspired by these events to write her novel Puñal de Claveles.
The building is currently in a state of decline and has been used as a natural setting for numerous films, most notably The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
by director Sergio Leone.
It is a relatively modern construction, built in 1863.
It was built on the ruins of Saint Francis of Paola Castle, which was part of the maritime defensive battery that existed on the entire coast of Almeria, which was destroyed during the Independence War.
The lighthouse beams are visible 30 miles away (48 kilometers) and it also has an acoustic siren used on days of thick fog.
It is a place visited for its incredible views and here you can see one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean. The lighthouse is near the impressive Las Salinas Beach.
This reef, which is located next to the Cabo de Gata Lighthouse, is one of the most emblematic and photographed locations of the entire Natural Park.
Its name is derived from the ancient presence of monk seals, whose cries confused the ancient sailors, who believed that they were made by mermaids.
The reef formations, which rise above the sea, are ancient volcanic chimneys.
From the top of the viewpoint you can see the steep cliffs, and crystal clear water that allows you to observe the seabed.
The Sirens Reef is located at the exact geographic point of Cabo de Gata, making it the easternmost part of southern Spain.
Amoladeras Visitors Centre
It is a small visitor reception center belonging to the Andalusia Goverment. In it we can learn, through audiovisuals and exhibitions, the different ecosystems that coexist in the Cabo de Gata, as well as the different civilizations that have populated it in the past.
We can also discover the history of the volcanic formation of the Natural Park and its geology, as well as obtain interesting information about its seabed.
It is a lookout tower built in the 18th century with the aim of controlling possible maritime invasions between the “Punta de los muertos” and the “Punta de la media naranja”.
It is located near the Mesa Roldan Lighthouse and has a hoof-shaped construction.
It was considered the most dangerous watchtower in Cabo de Gata, so its guards charged more money than others as they were involved in innumerable pirate attacks.
Like other watchtowers in the area, it is in an unfortunate state of abandonment, which has not prevented it from serving as the setting for the series Game of Thrones
It is one of the most unique lighthouses in Almeria province and the only one that has a permanent exhibition on the lighthouses of Spain.
The Mesa Roldan Lighthouse was inaugurated on December 31, 1863 and was electrified in 1972.
It is currently a fully automated lighthouse, offering 4 flashes every 20 seconds with a range of 23 miles (37 kilometers).
Also known as the Polacra Lighthouse, it is located 280 meters above sea level, and is the highest altitude lighthouse in Spain. The Lobos Tower was originally built by the Arabs, and it was destroyed in 1680 by an earthquake. It was rebuilt in the 18th century to integrate it into the surveillance system of the Almeria coast.
In 1991 it was restored by placing a lighthouse on its top, in addition to other installations designed to facilitate communications.
The Memory of Water Museum is located in the building of the old 1950s market of Nijar.
The Memory of Water Museum offers information on a basic aspect of the cultural experience in the territory: water and the different and ingenious solutions to capture, store and distribute it.
Almeria has also experienced its own gold rush.
Rodalquilar's gold mines officially closed in 1990 but gold production there had already been scarce or non-existent for decades. To this day, the abandoned buildings that formed the mining town are part of the Almerian landscape.
The mines of Rodalquilar have served as the setting for many films, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Solarbabies and The Reckoning.
Anyone can visit the mines of Rodalquilar for free and experience their own gold rush, or recreate the scenes of their favorite movies.
The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is part of the European network of geoparks, due to its very high geological interest.
The House of the Volcanoes is a very interesting interpretation center where you can discover the unique geology of this Natural Park.
It is worth mentioning the room dedicated to Rodalquilar and its famous gold mines, where you can also learn how this precious metal was extracted.
Albardinal Botanical Garden
It is located in the lands of the Public Property of Rodalquilar, in the town of the same name.
Through a network of paths, you will find the most representative species of this area of Andalusia, some of which are unique species in the world.
Saint Philip Castle, also known as Los Escullos Castle, was built in the 18th century by order of Charles III to be part of the defensive battery distributed throughout the Almeria coast to defend against attacks by pirates and other possible enemies.
The Castle, which once housed four defensive cannons, has one of the best views of the entire Natural Park. It was restored in 1990, so is in a good state of preservation. It has been listed as Asset of Cultural Interest since 1993.
On the AL-4200 road, between the villages of La Isleta del Moro Arraez and Rodalquilar, you will find this viewpoint.
From here we can see cliffs, several small coves, the village of La Isleta del Moro Arraez and, in the distance, the Pico de los Frailes.
At 500 meters height, it is the highest part of the Natural Park.
Also known as Rodalquilar Castle, it is located on the Playazo Beach, near the town of Rodalquilar.
It was a battery for four guns built in the year 1764, under the reign of Charles III, to protect the coastline between Cerrico Romero and San Pedro Cove.
During the Independence War it was badly damaged. In 1875 the State sold it in a public auction to a private person for 1,500 pesetas.
Since then it has gone through different private hands and today is rehabilitated as a private residence. It has been declared as Asset of Cultural Interest since 2000.