If you’re looking for beautiful and pristine beaches in Spain, you’ll want to discover Cabo de Gata Nijar National Park in the region of Almeria because it’s here where you will find them.
This national park is very unique and has landscape features and wildlife that you won’t find anywhere else in Spain.
Despite how incredible this place is, it isn’t as popular as other national parks in Spain which is a good thing if you’re after off the beaten path destinations.
If you want to explore the best beaches in Cabo de Gata, keep reading this guide! I am going to tell you what not to miss, how to get there and other useful tips to make the most of your time in this beautiful place.
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Best beaches in Cabo de Gata
Where is Cabo de Gata
Cabo de Gata Nijar National Park is located in the southeastern of Andalusia, only 30 to 40 minutes from Almeria which makes it a very easy day trip or short weekend from the city.
It’s the perfect place to relax at the beach in the summer months, but it’s also worth visiting in winter, especially for anyone who wants to start hiking as there are scenic hiking trails for all levels.
Beaches in Cabo de Gata
1) Playa de Los Muertos
Los Muertos Beach, “The Beach of the Dead”, is located very close to the village of Carboneras. It’s an idyllic beach that you must visit during your time in Cabo de Gata.
The beach is over a kilometre long and is well-known for its crystal clear water, I mean there isn’t clearer water than the one in Playa de Los Muertos, you can clearly see what’s under the water. This makes it perfect for snorkelling.
It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in Andalusia without a doubt!
Access to this beach isn’t easy for children and elderly people, there are two paths to get to the beach – the first path is easier but longer whereas the second path is shorter but steeper.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there aren’t beach facilities in Los Muertos Beach. Remember to pack some water, snacks or food, and a parasol with you.
2) La Isleta del Moro
La Isleta del Moro is a charming fishing town near Los Escullos. This whitewashed town is very small, but it is beautiful to see and wander around.
La Isleta del Moro beach is beautiful – its crystal clear water and landscape that combines the sea and mountain are worth seeing.
The beach is popular for snorkelling and due to its small size can be crowded in the summer months. This is why you may want to visit this beach before the peak season begins when you can enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of this place.
Another important thing to know about this beach is that the shore is rocky, so you need to take some good water shoes.
3) Playa de las Salinas
Playa de las Salinas is a beautiful long but narrow beach with golden sand. Despite being popular during the summer months, especially at weekends, you can often find a spot.
This is a virgin beach, so it doesn’t have beach facilities like other beaches in Cabo de Gata. This means you’ll need to pack some snacks or food with you, but on the positive side, you can really enjoy the calmness and beauty of the place.
If you come to Las Salinas beach by car, there is plenty of space to park next to the beach, so it shouldn’t be a problem unless it’s a weekend when most people come to the beach.
What I love about this beach is the surroundings. You can see Iglesia de La Almadraba, also known as Iglesia de las Salinas, a beautiful church, and also flamingos! This part of the national park is very well-known for birdwatching.
4) Playa de Los Genoveses
One of the most beautiful beaches in Almeria and Cabo de Gata is Los Genoveses Beach. It’s situated 10 minutes away from the popular town of San José.
The bay is incredibly beautiful and it isn’t a surprise that this beach has appeared several times in series and films. Fine golden sand, crystal clear water and surrounded by stunning nature.
Something important to know is that whilst it isn’t an official nudist beach, nudism is common in this area.
5) Playa de San José
San José is one of the most popular towns in Cabo de Gata Nijar National Park, and here you’ll find many holiday houses, restaurants and bars.
Unlike other beaches in the area, San Jose beach is an urban beach with many facilities (toilets, showers, lifeguards, sunbeds, etc.) If you’re up for a lively atmosphere, this beach is for you. Enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants or bars, sunbathe at the beach or go on a kayak tour.
However, this beach isn’t for you if you’re looking for a quiet beach in the summer months. There are many expats and locals or national tourists that spend their summer holiday in this resort town.
If you visit San Jose off-season, you’ll have a different experience.
6) Faro Cabo de Gata
On the hand right side of the famous Cabo de Gata lighthouse, you’ll find a beach known as Playa del Corralete.
This is a 400 metres virgin beach made of sand and rocks. Since it’s a virgin beach, there aren’t any beach facilities, so it may not be suitable for everyone.
It’s a nice beach to swim, but you need to be careful with some areas of this beach as there are many sea urchins. Therefore, pack some water shoes with you if you want to avoid small injuries.
7) Cala las Sirenas
Cala las Sirenas is an emblematic part of Cabo de Gata, and the name of this place has a story behind it. It’s believed this place used to be home to many monk seals which led to fishermen and sailors confusing their noises with sirens.
The view you get from the viewpoint near the lighthouse is amazing – beautiful rock formations, a combination of turquoise, blue and green colours in the water and the coastline.
It’s very interesting learning about this place and how it was formed. For example, the rock formations you can see above the water are former volcanic chimneys (this is why they have a dark colour.)
The beach itself is very small, and it isn’t the best place to be unless you want to do water activities like snorkelling or kayaking. However, it’s a place you don’t want to miss seeing in Cabo de Gata.
8) Playa Los Escullos
Los Escullos is one of the most unique places in Cabo de Gata. Its rock and sand formations are incredible to contemplate.
Playa del Arco Los Escullos is characterised by its fine golden sand and impressive fossil dunes on which you can walk and enjoy the sea views and the sound of the waves hitting the rocks.
On one side of this beach, you’ll also see San Felipe Castle, known as Los Escullos Castle by locals. The castle was built in the 18th century to protect the Almeria coast from pirate attacks.
How to get to Cabo de Gata
The best way to get to Cabo de Gata is by car as it gives you the freedom to move from place to place whenever you want, and you can visit more places too.
The main disadvantage of travelling to Cabo de Gata by car is that it isn’t the most eco-friendly option as this is a protected coastal area. On top of this, I wouldn’t recommend driving around Cabo de Gata if you aren’t an experienced driver because there are difficult and windy roads.
Another thing to consider if you drive to Cabo de Gata is that it can be difficult to park in some places during the summer as this is the peak season and there are more crowds.
By public transport
If you don’t drive, it’s possible to get to Cabo de Gata by bus. Go to Almeria bus station and take the bus to the town or village you want to visit in the park.
The bus journey doesn’t take long and it’s a more sustainable way to get to Cabo de Gata. However, you won’t be able to move with ease from place to place and visit some of the most remote areas.
By taking a tour
This is the way I travelled from Almeria to Cabo de Gata. Get Your Guide offers a one day trip from Almeria to Cabo de Gata in which you can visit the main areas in the park.
The trip was a great way to visit must-see places in Cabo de Gata and learn more about this protected area. The guide was very friendly and told us very interesting facts about the national park.
The only downside of taking a tour as I did is that you don’t get as much time as you wish in each spot, but it’s worth it if you don’t have much time in Almeria and want to see as much as possible without worrying about driving in windy roads and parking spaces.
Cabo de Gata Map
On this Cabo de Gata beaches map, you’ll find must-visit beaches and points of interest mentioned above. Save it for later!
Where to stay in Cabo de Gata
There are many accommodation options in Cabo de Gata, but it’s important you know exactly in which area you want to stay longer to choose the right accommodation for you.
Here are my hotel recommendations based on key areas in Cabo de Gata.
MC San José
If you choose to stay in the town of San José, MC San José is an excellent boutique hotel situated a short walk from Playa de San José.
The hotel offers spacious rooms with comfortable beds, a private bathroom, air conditioning, free WiFi and safe, and many rooms include a lovely terrace in which you can relax and enjoy the sunset in the evening.
The hotel facilities are also worth mentioning! It has a lovely outdoor pool, a sauna, a reading room and a bar.
Barceló Cabo de Gata
Located in El Toyo, at the very beginning of Cabo de Gata National Park, if you come from Almeria, Barceló Cabo de Gata is one of the best hotels in the park.
If you’re after a combination of beach and hotel facilities and entertainment, you’ll love this hotel.
Rooms at Barceló Cabo de Gata are beautifully decorated. The design is bright, elegant and modern, and each room offers super comfortable beds and has all the essentials you need (air conditioning, flat-screen TV, safe, etc.)
What I love about the rooms is that all of them include a lovely terrace (some with stunning sea views).
The facilities are incredible too – relax by the pool, unwind at the spa, have a meal at the buffet restaurant or attend one of their organised events.
The beach is about a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Are you ready to explore these beautiful beaches in Cabo de Gata?
Another two beaches you may want to include in your trip to Cabo de Gata are Cala de San Pedro Beach, the only beach where you can “legally” camp overnight, and Monsul Beach. I didn’t have time to visit these two beaches but are considered good beaches too.
If you have any questions about visiting Almeria or Cabo de Gata, you can always reach me via email or Instagram. I’m happy to help!
Pin these Cabo de Gata beaches for later
Things to do before visiting Cabo de Gata
- Check cheap flights to Almeria with Skyscanner.
- Book the best accommodation for you with Booking.com
- Rent a car to move around Cabo de Gata with ease.
- Don’t forget to buy travel insurance for your trip.
Do you want to visit other beautiful beaches in Andalusia? Check out this travel guide:
Also, if you don’t know exactly what to pack for a beach holiday you need to check this beach trip packing list.