Today I would like to tell you about two beautiful places that are close to Almeria and easily accessible by public transport: the national park of Cabo de Gata and the town of Aguadulce.
Cabo de Gata National Park
Volcanic in origin, the Cabo de Gata National Park is sometimes referred to as a Mediterranean paradise. The reserve covers 38,000 hectares of land and 12,000 hectares of sea. The area first received ‘protected’ status in 1988. The name of the reserve can be translated as “cape of cats”, but it is not associated with cats. In fact, in the past, precious stones, including agates, were mined here. Gradually, the word “agate” was transformed into “gatu” and this name stuck.
We wanted to see the “wild” nature of the reserve, namely pink flamingos. In July and August they migrate here to the marshes, sometimes by the thousands. So from the bus station in Almeria we took a bus to the stop called “Cabo de Gata”.
So here we are. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the bus stop to the beach. It is interesting that some parts of the beach are practically deserted, while others are crowded: whole families with two or three kids and, as a rule, with a dog and sometimes more than one.
On this day, despite the heat, everyone was only sunbathing, but not swimming. There was an infestation of jellyfish. We walked along the sea along the shore, and I managed to get a burn, though not very bad. We walked for a long time, and all the same the most courageous holiday-makers have rushed into water, not looking at jellyfishes. And two girls in general have arranged a nudist beach.
They were surprised that besides pebbles of most unimaginable colors- pink, bright green, green of bottle-glass shade, pale yellow, striped, black, orange, with marble pattern… We couldn’t help taking some pebbles with us as memory.
Then we drove to the lake, which you didn’t notice at once. This lake is one of the Andalusian salt mines (Las salinas de Cabo de Gata). Incidentally, salt has been extracted here for a long time – ever since the Roman period. In addition to its industrial value (over 40,000 tonnes of salt a year), Las salinas is also valuable ecologically, as it is home to many species of animals and birds.
Particularly interesting are the pink flamingos, which can be watched from the ornithological observation point. We saw around 30 birds. Very beautiful, but a bit far away. Then I found out that Cabo de Gata is a protected area for birds with more than 100 species.
We watched the pink flamingos (aka common flamingos), walked along the beach and headed back to Almeria.
Useful information about Cabo de Gata
Cabo de Gata includes not only a national park, but also several different beaches and beautiful tourist villages with white houses. A number of beaches in the reserve (the beaches of the villages of San José San José, San Miguel San Miguel and Aqua Amarga Agua Amarga) are blue flagged.
“Blue Flag awarded to beaches that fully meet 27 criteria, including cleanliness of the water, cleanliness of the sand, safety, information on the condition of the water, accessibility and accessibility for disabled, etc. And the Blue Flag is not given forever; there are checks every year and if a beach fails to comply, it loses this distinction.
How to get to Cabo de Gata
From Almería take the Almería – Las Salinas de Cabo de Gata bus line. It passes through the villages of El Toyo, Retamar, Rambla Morales, Ruescas, Pujaire, Cabo de Gata and Salinas de Cabo de Gata.
At Cabo de Gata, there is a bus service on the Campohermos-San Jose line between the villages.
Where to stay in Cabo de Gata
In Cabo de Gata you can either stay in a hotel or rent an apartment (booking.com). The cost of accommodation per day – from 100 euro.
Another beautiful place close to Almeria (8 km) is the town of Aguadulce, with a population of around 15,000 people, which belongs to the municipality of Roquetas de Mar. From Almeria there is a bus that runs every 15-20 minutes.
The town was founded not very long ago – at the beginning of the XX century, and received its name “Sweet Water” because of the fresh water springs found on the coast. Interestingly, in 1964 Aguadulce was given the status of the most interesting town in Spain in terms of tourism.
We went to Aguadulce twice. Both times in the evening, when the heat had broken a little. The bus is always packed. On the approach to the town the views of the sea and yachts are magnificent.
As for the town, it’s a typically touristy place – very crowded. The locals themselves often come here in the evenings to take a stroll along the promenade (the promenade is the Paseo Maritime, the main attraction). On the promenade, as in all coastal tourist towns, there are souvenirs and cafes. I particularly liked the name of one cafe – Jolly Shark.
Practically all the apartments on the first coast line are rented out to holidaymakers. The most expensive homes in the province of Almeria, and the richest Andalusians live here.
Where to stay in Aguadulce
Booking.com offers 11 options for accommodation in Aguadulce at prices ranging from 50 euros (apartments) and 60 euros per night (one-star hotel).