12 Jun, 2023 @ 14:50
3 mins read

GUIDE: The Best Beaches of Cabo de Gata, Almeria

Photo: Sorrel Downer, Cabo de Gata
Photo: Sorrel Downer, Cabo de Gata

ALMERIA has more than 100 km of beaches, but the best, wildest, and most unforgettable are along the 65 km of coast inside the Cabo de Gata Natural Park.

Choosing where to stay can be hard, so check out our article on short breaks to this volcanic paradise. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches too, but whether you’re snorkeller, nudist, or travelling with small children, you’ll find one that’s right for you in our beach guide.

Playa de San Jose

Family San Jose Cabo de Gata
Photo: Sorrel Downer. Family beach, San Jose, Cabo de Gata

The liveliest: Perfect for families and children, this pretty beach resort is full of bars, restaurants, bakeries, ice cream parlours and hotels. There’s even a beach club and massage kiosk on the beach, and stalls of handicraft in the evenings. Full beach amenities from loungers to kayak tours, first aiders and beach volleyball, with a small marina at one end. Try to include a day out to nearby Escullos for a bit of wild… it’s quieter, stonier but spectacular with fossilised wind-sculpted dunes.

Playa de Los Muertos

‘Beach of the Dead’ isn’t the jolliest name – and it was named for the drowned sailors that washed up there, but this gritty sand 1-km beach is cheeringly spectacular. Frequently appearing on the best beaches in Spain lists for its stark cliffs and crystalline water, difficult access keeps Los Muertos feeling strange and wild. If you’re fit, you can park at the cliff top and make your way down (the trail is not child-friendly, and it’s a tough climb back up). You can also get ferried in by boat from nearby Carboneras.

Agua Amarga

Barefoot chic: A micro resort made up of a 500-metre beach backed by a few bars and restaurants. You can buy lilos, sun umbrellas, bikinis and bottles of water in the shops in the street behind, and if lucky, find a room for the night. With boats and dinghies bobbing offshore, the whole place feels like a secret summer holiday destination – though it’s an ‘undiscovered’ laidback escape for a multitude of  royals and celebrities.

Olive Press Cabo Map
Olive Press map of the best Cabo de Gata beaches

Cala de Enmedio

It’s worth the half hour hike from Agua Amarga to the otherwise inaccessible (except by boat) cove, Cala de Enmedio, especially if you’re a naturist, as this – despite the sharp, fossilised dunes – is a popular nudist hub. White sand, turquoise sea.

Playa Las Negras

This isn’t so much a beach to sit on as to snorkel off – the sort of place to park your Zodiac after fishing or diving in nearby caves, or to look at while drinking or eating at the excellent beachfront venues. The small town has a lovely lively vibe and great restaurants, and is a top base for boat trips and exploring the underwater element of the park.

Playazo de Rodalquilar

Like Rodalquilar itself, this 400-metre beach is littered with interesting remnants of a long and fascinating history. Rodalquilar has the old mine, while the beach (a hot walk below it) has various defence structures including the squat Castillo de San Ramon and a Rapunzel-style tower dating from 1510. Popular beach with nudists – and families.

Photo: Sorrel Downer. Cabo de Gata
Photo: Sorrel Downer. Coast near Rodalquilar, Cabo

Playa de los Genoveses

One of the longer beaches(over 1 km), accessible by hiking along a path from San José (or along the road) or direct in the comfort of a shuttle bus from San Jose. A great natural expanseof golden sand and dunes, free from manmade facilities,  dominated by a massive volcanic headland, all rendered famous by various film directors over the years.

Playa de Monsul

The most famous one is a virgin beach about 400 metres long, with dunes and a striking outcrop of volcanic rock in the middle, and a nudist zone. Famous for being the location for scenes in several films, including Lawrence of Arabia and Indian Jones. If you go super-early, you can drive and park there, but the easiest way is to take the shuttle bus from nearby San Jose.

Las Salinas

Other-worldy beach in flat landscape backed by salt marshes full of flamingos. As if that’s not sufficiently bizarre, its main landmark is a small and beautiful church, rescued from disrepair and now the setting for photogenic weddings. Public transport available from the city of Almeria, which makes this a popular weekend destination for walkers.

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TURISMO ALMERIA

SHORT BREAK: Enjoy the Volcanic Paradise of Cabo de Gato in Spain’s Almeria

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Sorrel Downer

Sorrel is a journalist based in Spain who writes for The Guardian, and whose bylines include The Telegraph, The Times, Financial Times, Conde Nast Traveller, Business Life, Business Insider, Reader's Digest, Evening Standard, and the BBC.

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