With rock formations of volcanic origin, dream beaches of turquoise water and plenty of outdoor activities, we tell you things to do in Cabo de Gata in 3 days.
The natural park is located a few kilometres from the city of Almería and on the shores of the Mediterranean. It is one of the main remnants of volcanic activity in the area, which took place millions of years ago.
To enter the Cabo de Gata Natural Park is to contemplate a geography totally different from the rest, where the lava domes, the beaches that are still wild, the high cliffs with viewpoints and the panoramic routes are the protagonists.
It is one of the best areas for diving or snorkelling, due to the richness of the marine fauna and the excellent visibility in the water at a depth of just a few metres.
If you are planning a getaway, here we show you things to do in Cabo de Gata in 3 days, the best itinerary.
📜 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Map with the best itinerary in Cabo de Gata
If you are coming from the Valencia or Murcia side our advice is not to enter the Cabo de Gata Park from the A7, but to do so from Mojacar beach, bordering the Mediterranean coast along the road that runs alongside the sea.
If you are coming from the Madrid or Andalusia side, then the itinerary of places to see in Cabo de Gata in 3 days is the reverse of the one suggested below.
🔝 Looking for more places to see in Andalusia? Check out this article on the 10 most beautiful villages in Andalusia.
Things to do in Cabo de Gata, Day 1: between viewpoints and beaches
Viewpoint of La Granatilla
This observation point has a place to leave the car at the side of the road and to contemplate from above the Algarrobico beach and part of the coast of Cabo de Gata with its cliffs and different colours. You can also see the winding road along which you will be driving.
Castle of San Andrés in Carboneras
Located in the town of Carboneras, it is the main fortification of Cabo de Gata still standing today. From the middle of the 16th century, its function was to protect the coast from enemy attacks, mainly Moorish.
Recently restored, it is free to enter and is currently used as an exhibition centre, generally linked to Carboneras. The best thing is that inside the castle there is a tourist information point and the people in charge of the place give excellent recommendations on places to visit in Cabo de Gata.
Los Muertos Beach
The next stop is a true paradise of crystal clear water, surrounded by cliffs. This long beach can be seen from the top of the cliff, a ten-minute walk to the viewpoint.
If you want to access the beach, you will have to walk downhill for about fifteen minutes, taking care as the descent is steep at times. If you want to swim in the sea, it is advisable to wear booties because the ground is made of small stones. The prize? A spectacular seabed with the possibility of spotting many fish.
If you want to have lunch or dinner on the beach, bear in mind that you will also have to bring chairs, food and other things you want to take with you. And back up the slope!
✏️Next to the road there is a large space where you can park your car or motorhome. In high season there is a fee, we were there in April and paid nothing. It is important to remember that motorhomes are only allowed to spend the night in camping sites within the Cabo de Gata Park.
📷 Explore Cabo de Gata from a different perspective with this boat trip from San Jose, passing by coves and beaches and observing the volcanic landscape of the area. It is also possible to take a boat trip from Las Negras or a yacht trip from Carboneras.
Las Negras, one of the attractions to do in Cabo de gata in 3 days
An old fishing village, it preserves its network of white-painted streets and buildings, which give it a special attraction.
The beach of Las Negras has small stones, so it is advisable to wear booties. The village is one of the best places for diving, snorkelling or boat trips to other nearby beaches and coves.
If you go out of high season, Las Negras is very quiet, ideal for remote working.
✏️If you go to Cabo de Gata out of high season (July, August, early September and long weekends) there is the possibility to stay in Andalusian style houses at an affordable price. We toured the area in April and managed to stay in large two-bedroom houses for €50/60 a night.
📷 Do you want to make your first dive in Mediterranean waters? Book here the diving baptism in Las Negras to dive to a depth of 12 metres.
Where to stay in Las Negras?
Las Negras is one of the best places to sleep in Cabo de Gata. Our recommendations are as follows:
- Casas la Noria: andalusian style mansions with barbecue, patio and beautiful decoration. Ideal for families.
- Apartamento Algazul: flats with modern furnishings inside and only 50 metres from the beach.
- Bitacora: on the outskirts of Las Negras, are flats with magnificent views and in an environment that allows complete relaxation.
🏨 Find here the best hotels in Las Negras.
Day 2, a journey through history and more nature
Cortijo del Fraile
The park of Cabo de Gata has many old farmhouses. This particular one belonged to the Dominicans until the state took it over.
He became known in 1928 for the crime of Nijar, when Francisca Cañadas Morales decided to run away with her cousin Francisco Montes Cañadas, both in love, on the day of Francisca’s wedding to Casimiro. Francisco’s lifeless body was found a few kilometres from the cortijo, although it was never clarified who shot them (it is suspected that it was Casimiro’s brother).
This story inspired Garcia Lorca to write one of his best literary works, “Bodas de Sangre” (Blood Wedding).
The farmhouse has also been the location for the filming of more than 10 films and series, including Sergio Leone’s “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and the series “Los Hombre de Paco”.
The cortijo del Fraile is currently in a state of neglect, although there are promises of restoration. To get there you have to take a dirt road. The surrounding environment is spectacular, with the Rodalquilar mountain range in the background.
📷 Book here the 4×4 tour of Cabo de Gata from Carboneras. You will go through the interior of the park to visit the ruins of an old gold mine and enjoy incredible panoramic views of Cabo de Gata.
The Rodalquilar mines
Cabo de Gata is not only beaches and mountains. At the end of the 19th century gold was discovered in the sierras and the construction of mines for its extraction began in the town of Rodalquilar.
This gold rush attracted many workers, so that the town grew to about 1500 permanent inhabitants, mainly dedicated to mining. With the economic growth of the area, thanks to gold and other minerals, several houses were built to house the workers.
But all was abandoned in the 1970s, when exploitation ceased and the village went into decline. It is now totally abandoned, both the mines and the workers’ houses.
During the visit, you can see how big the exploitation became and you can get an idea of the economic activity that this generated in the area.
Viewpoint of La Amatista
One of the best viewpoints to do in Cabo de Gata in 3 days. At the side of the road there is space to park the car.
From the viewpoint you have a perfect view of part of the coast of Cabo de Gata, with the intense blue of the sea and the view towards volcanic domes in the interior of the park. It is a stop well worth making.
Isleta del Moro (Islet of the Moor)
The second day in Cabo de Gata ends at Isleta del Moro. This small town with its white houses and its seafaring atmosphere has a piece of land that juts out from the coastline, called Punta de Loma Pelada, where the boat docks and fishermen’s houses are located.
A few metres away, separated by the sea, is the small islet, which can be seen from the Isleta del Moro viewpoint on Terrera Magina street.
La Isleta del Moro has two beaches, which, although not the best in Cabo de Gata, do allow bathing, although they usually have waves due to the wind that blows here.
Where to stay in Isleta del Moro?
La Isleta del Moro is a small village, ideal for resting. Our recommendations are as follows:
- El jardín de La Isleta: ideal flat for couples with fully equipped kitchen and easy access to the beach.
- Casa La Isleta Playa: just a few metres from the Peñón Blanco beach, it is air-conditioned and has private parking. Inside, it is beautifully decorated.
🏨 Find here the best hotels in Isleta del Moro.
San Jose, the largest village in Cabo de Gata
The third day starts in San Jose, an ideal place to do some sea kayaking, boat trips or just go for a swim. San Jose beach is sandy and its clear water allows snorkelling in the immediate vicinity.
📷 One of the best things to do in Cabo de Gata is to go kayaking along the coastline.. Book this excursion which includes kayaking and snorkelling in Cabo de Gata, two of the best experiences to do in the area.
The area also invites you to hike along the cliffs, mainly to see the volcanic domes and the vastness of the beaches near San Jose from above.
📷 Ready for a hiking route? Book the Cabo de Gata hiking tour here to climb to the top of a cliff, marvel at the views and also take a dip in the sea.
Where to stay in San Jose Cabo de Gata?
San Jose de Níjar is one of the most important villages of Cabo de Gata. Accommodation options are varied, our recommendations are as follows:
- Cortijo El Sotillo: sleeping in an 18th century country house is an excellent plan. This farmhouse has spacious rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, tennis court and restaurant.
- Doña Pakyta: rooms with large windows overlooking the sea and access to the beach from the hotel. What more could you ask for a romantic getaway?
- Las Olas: just a few metres from the beach of San José de Níjar, it offers rooms with sea views. Its location allows for easy parking.
🏨 Find here the best hotels in San Jose Cabo de Gata
Los Genoveses and Mónsul beaches
Both beaches are among the best things to do in Cabo de Gata in 3 days. Los Genoveses beach is the longest beach, with fine sand and shallow waters, which makes it an ideal place to go with children, so they can snorkel and see fish.
📷 Book here the Genoveses and Mónsul beach tour by 4×4. In addition to these two places it includes a visit to the gold mines of Rodalquilar.
The beach of Mónsul is surrounded by volcanic rock and also has fine golden sand. One of the characteristics of this beach is the large dune on one side and the so-called “Peineta de Mónsul“, a large rock in the middle of the beach that was formed by lava eruptions millions of years ago.
📌 Playa de los Genoveses and Mónsul can be reached by dirt road from San Jose. Paid parking is available 200 metres from each beach, but capacity is limited to a certain number of spaces. Outside the high season you won’t have any problems parking, but in July, August and mid-September you’ll have to get up early to get a parking space. To get to these beaches in the west of San José (Genoveses, Barronal and Monsul) there is a bus service that leaves from San José and runs from 10.30 am to 8 pm, every hour.
Cabo de Gata Salt Flats
To finish the places to do in Cabo de Gata in 3 days, the salt pans give a different colour to the place. With two observation points on the road, you can see flamingos, herons and the great salt mountains as the salt works are still in operation.
The church of La Almadraba de Monteleva is located on the road. Being surrounded by the salt marshes on one side and the beach on the other makes it very photogenic, especially at sunset. Its construction originated as a religious service for the salt workers. The church is generally closed to the public, although the outside of the church is surprising.
Lighthouse viewpoint and Mermaids Reef
Finally, the lighthouse is another of the places to visit in Cabo de Gata. Built on a rock formation jutting out over the seashore, it has privileged views of the surroundings.
Next to the lighthouse is the Mermaids’ Reef. A large pointed rock emerges from the sea and the clarity of the water around it makes it one of the best places in Cabo de Gata for snorkelling. Care must be taken as you have to go down a slope with small stones to get there.
💯 The Cabo de Gata lighthouse is one of the best places to watch the sunset, thanks to its location.. Watching the sun set into the sea against the backdrop of the reddish sky is incredible.
How to get around the Cabo de Gata Park
The best way to get around Cabo de Gata is by car. Most roads are paved, some are narrow. If you are looking to hire a car to make the journey, the best place is in Almería, just 30 kilometres from the natural park.
Once you enter the park, you must comply with the park’s rules, such as the prohibition to light fires, to bring pets to the beaches during the bathing season, to camp freely or to use drones.
🚗 Search here for the best car rental prices; and travel at your own pace!
It is possible to go to Cabo de Gata by public transport. The company Autocares Bernardo runs from Almeria to San Jose all year round and from San Jose to the beaches during the summer season.
The company Frahemar also has buses from Almeria to Carboneras and Agua Amarga.
Finally, Alsa also has buses from Almeria to Rodalquilar, Las Negras, and even to Mojacar.
Things to do in Cabo de Gata with kids
Cabo de Gata is an ideal destination to go with kids thanks to the contrast of beachesmany of which are shallow and fine sandy and others small and stony, the volcanic landscape with the domes that are present throughout the park, and the possibility of snorkelling even if they are small.
If you have older children they can also do some activities such as kayaking to caves or coves.
There is a wide range of activities, especially to be in contact with nature.
Discounts and useful resources to save on your trip
- Cheap flights with Skyscanner
- Rent a car with Auto Europe
- Interrail Pass
- Eurail Pass
- Train Tickets with OMIO
- Bus tickets with OMIO
- Ferry tickets with OMIO
- Asia tickets with 12Go
Activities and Tours
– Comparison of Travel Insurance 2023 –
Others for your trip
For your travel blog
- Hosting with Webempresa
(25% discount with the code “gracias25”)
- Web translation plugin with WPML
More articles about Andalusia
- 10 Best Things to Do in Granada, Discovering the Red Fortress
- 25 Things to Do in Córdoba in 2 Days
- Andalusia in 10 Days, Route Through Southern Spain
- Route Through Andalusia in 7 Days, Itinerary
- Rural Houses in Andalusia to Travel With the Family
- The 10 Most Beautiful Villages in Andalusia
- The Best Free Tours in Seville
- The Best Things to Do in Tarifa in One Day
- The Best Tours From Seville
- Things to Do in Cádiz, a Stroll Along the Spanish Malecon
- Things to Do in Marbella Apart From the Beach
- Things to Do in Seville in 2 or 3 Days, Must-See Places
- Where to Stay in Seville: The Best Places
Leave a Reply