The volcanic landscape of Almeria is surely what geologists must dream about in their sleep! Huge fragments of rock, known as the Arrecife de las Sirenas, pierce through the clear sea waters like mythical dragon’s teeth.
This part of the Cabo de Gata coastal nature park is extremely photogenic. Here at Salinas de Cabo de Gata, on one side is the pristine beach leading up to these iconic rock formations, whilst on the other are salt wet lands, home to flamingos and other wildlife. Take a perge in a viewing hide and just wait…
Up beyond the coastal road, is the viewpoint Cerro de la Vela Blanca. Here amongst the outcrops of rocks along the coast are flowers and succulents as well as a few rare plants; in fact species that don’t exist anywhere else on the planet.
Yet this area hasn’t remained untouched by man. Its rich mineral wealth has been exploited over the centuries.
For example, inland, the former gold mine near the picturesque village of Rodalquilar makes for an interesting hike.
From the iconic Cortijo Los Frailes (I’ve posted about that before here)
you can pass down to through the disused gold mine of San Diego.
After climbing down through the ruins you reach the onsite volcanic museum, housed in a former mining building and then later the botanic garden, ‘El Albardinal’ on the edge of the village, one of a network of natural horticultural sites that are endeavouring to preserve the unique species of plants in Andalucía.
A friend shared this video with me – interesting as it shows some of the movies that have been set in the mines. Take a look, but ‘mute’ the sound as the music is annoying: