The Spanish coastline is quite famous for its two-weeks-in-the-sun resort towns. Such is the beauty of the coastline, the perfect summer weather, the great food, that pretty much the whole coastline has been developed to attract those looking for a relaxing or drunken escape to the sun. However, there is a dramatically beautiful part or the coast, much of which is only accessible by foot, that is authentic, undeveloped and just waiting to be explored. Welcome to Costa Almeria.
In a Nutshell:
Where: There are two incredibly popular parts of the Spanish coastline and Costa Almeria lies right between both of them. West of Alicante and East of Malaga, Costa Almeria sits to the East of Almeria, a thriving trade link to North Africa and you can see the Moorish influence all over the region, adding colour and geometric patterns to the traditional Spanish landscapes.
You start in the sleepy beach town of Agua Amarga after a transfer from Almeria airport and walk along the coast to reach he whitewashed village of San Jose.
Distance: The Costa Almeria route is 83km long over the course of six days of walking. A couple of those days are loop walks, so if you would rather just relax and soak in your surroundings rather than walk, you are welcome to do so, but we would recommend getting out there and seeing the beauty of this area.
Grade: This trip is graded Easy to Moderate. The daily distances are reasonable at around 8-10 miles and the terrain is not too bad to walk on. Being coastal there are some ups and downs, but generally they are short sharp shocks, rather than long, drawn-out uphill sections. The paths are a mix of clifftop paths, sandy coves, and ramblas (dry stream beds)
Why Walk Here?
Unexplored coastal Spain says it all to me. Spain is such a wonderful country, crammed full of vibrancy, with colours, tastes, smells coming at you from all sides. Even in the small hidden corners of Spain like this, you will experience the passion that Spanish people live their lives with, far away from tourist eyes, and this is where you are going on this trip. Hidden coastline with some delightful villages and scenery that is unspoiled and peaceful.
The landscapes on this trip are a dream to visit and the contrasts between the baked desert interiors and the rich colourful coast are well worth visiting for. While walking through the inland parts, you might feel a creeping familiarity, like you have seen this somewhere before and if you have ever seen Game of Thrones, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, this might be why. Game of Thrones has gone crazy in this part of the world, with the desert-like interior forming the Dothraki Horsemen's homelands, part of the Cabo de Gata becoming Mereen and the capital Almeria forming part of the Dorne kingdom. Basically, what this amounts to is that the scenery is amazing and should be seen first hand, rather than just on the tv.
The Cabo de Gata is the only place in Europe with a true desert climate, and it is because of this that we don't operate the tour in the summer months. However, outside of these months, the desert landscapes make for excellent walking. The climate also means there is plenty of unique Flora and Fauna around, with Cacti, agave, prickly pear and dwarf palms dotting the landscapes. The Cabo de Gata National Park is home to over 1000 species of fauna, most of which are birds. Flamingos, herons, cranes and storks all nest near the salt flats and the park becomes home to thousands of migrating birds every year.
The towns are also a highlight of this trip. Agua Amarga is a pretty little seaside town with a dramatic sweeping beach and the crystal clear waters attract many scuba divers and snorkellers. Las Negras is a little bohemian enclave that has attracted free-thinkers and artists for centuries. It has an odd, more modern feel to it, but it is a lively place with great restaurants and a very laid back atmosphere.
Planning and Preparation
Walking in Costa Almeria could not be easier to get to. Easyjet, Ryanair and BA all fly into Almeria and from there we will arrange a transfer to take you straight to your accommodation in Agua Amarga. On the return journey, there are frequent buses to take you back from San Jose to Almeria, though we can arrange a private transfer if you would prefer.
If you have any questions about the route, don't hesitate to contact one of our Destination Specialists, who will be more than happy to help.