This past weekend, we went to the Cabo de Gata Natural Park in Almería for two nights, to celebrate my birthday. It’s only about two and a half hours away by car and we have often thought of visiting it but never got round to it. However, 70 seemed to call for a bit more of a celebration than your run of the mill birthday, so that prompted action.
On the internet I found a likely-looking hotel in the coastal village of Las Negras and booked us in for Sunday and Monday nights. It turned out to be a wonderful hotel in a magic spot, and I’ve no doubt that we shall be going there again.
Although Cabo de Gata is so near to us, the province of Almería is very different to our own Málaga Province. The area gets very little rainfall most years, and indeed from the mid-1940s to the mid-80s it experienced a forty year drought! The climate is reflected in the barren, desert landscape, and even today it remains sparsely populated, although centuries ago the rich deposits of lead, gold and iron made it a major mining area. The mountainous terrain betrays its volcanic history.
The four star Hotel Cala Grande, a recently built modern building is all cool whites and greys in a minimalist style which contrasts with the landscape, but is in harmony with the typical architecture of Almería, squat, cuboid, white houses with flat roofs. In the basement it boasts a spa, gymnasium and both outdoor and indoor pools. Forty five minutes being pummelled and pulled on the massage table was the icing on the cake.
For some reason Blogger is refusing to upload a photo for this post, so I’ve put a selection of photos on Flikr if you wish to have a look (http://www.flickr.com/photos/53210313@N06/).
One note of caution, there is a town of Cabo de Gata just outside the park. It is a fairly pedestrian Spanish working town. Better to stay in Las Negras, La Isleta del Moro, or San José.