Aerial view of Mosul beach at Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, Almeria, Andalusia, Spain.

© inigolai-Photography/Shutterstock

Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar

Top choice in Costa de Almería

Boasting glorious beaches, vertiginous cliffs and a semi-desert hinterland, this 340-sq-km park occupies Andalucía’s southeastern corner. It’s a wild and often hauntingly beautiful place, its largely empty landscape punctuated by remote white villages and isolated farmsteads. Animals and plants thrive in its arid, salty environment while abandoned mines and bizarre rock formations hint at its intriguing mining history. The park’s main hub is San José, a popular resort on the east coast.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Costa de Almería attractions

1. Playa de Mónsul

1.42 MILES

The most celebrated of the playas off the San José beach road, Playa de Mónsul is a fabulous sandy wedge hemmed in by sharply eroded lava rocks and a…

2. Playa del Barronal

1.53 MILES

This nudist beach, frequented mainly by adults and couples, boasts a lovely 800m-long strip of sand. It's accessible via tracks behind the large dune at…

3. Cala de la Media Luna

1.54 MILES

A half-moon crescent of sand off the main beach road from San José. Accessible by a walking path, it's less frequented than many of the area's better…

4. Cala Carbón

1.72 MILES

A quiet, stony beach about 200m off the main dirt road southwest of San José, accessible by a footpath.

5. Playa de los Genoveses

1.75 MILES

The first beach southwest of San José is Playa de los Genoveses, a lovely, 1km-long stretch of sand framed by two headlands. It owes its name to the…

6. Calas del Barronal

1.81 MILES

The Calas de Barronal consist of four beautiful little beaches (El Lance del Perro, Cala Chica, Cala Grande and Cala Principe) that run along the coast in…

7. Torre Vigía Vela Blanca

2.12 MILES

From its position 3km east of the Faro de Cabo de Gata on the Cabo de Gata promontory, this grounds of this 18th-century watchtower (which is not open for…

8. Faro de Cabo de Gata

3.08 MILES

Marking the southwest point of the promontory, this photogenic lighthouse commands stirring views of a jagged volcanic reef known as the Arrecife de las…