The filming location for many American westerns of the 1960s, Cabo de Gata Nijar Natural Park, created in 1987, attracts more and more visitors every year with its unusual landscapes. Located in the extreme southeast of the Iberian Peninsula, its 460 km2 includes marine protected areas, turquoise water streams and a wide network of hiking trails (potentially developing otro articulo). Its arid landscape and particular geology invite it to be discovered. It also hides places that testify to its special cultural and historical context. Lepetitjournal invites you to discover five of this little-known, but such an attractive heritage.
1. Cortijo del Fraile
Located in the heart of the natural park, near the village of Los Albaricoques, you must visit this “cortijo”, the name given to rural residences in Andalusia due to its park-specific architecture, it is definitely worth a visit.
It is known that this is the place where in 1928 the famous “crime de Nijara”, a crime of passion as a result of forced marriage, took place. This story has inspired many novels such as Bodas de Sangre by the famous Spanish poet and writer Federico García Lorca.
In 2010 Cortijo del Fraile was declared a Site of Cultural Interest by the Junta of Andalusia.
2. “Atalaya” Nihara
This magnificent tower overlooking the pottery village of Nijar is another “object of cultural interest”. During the time of the pirates, it provided protection for the village and its surroundings with its view of the mountain peaks that stretched along the coast. On each of the hills near the large beaches, another tower was built on top of it to watch the coast. When a foreign ship was sighted in one of the bays, a fire was lit to inform the Atalaya’s main turret of a possible invasion.
3. Ruins of gold mining in Rodalquilar.
Before being declared a natural park, the area of Cabo de Gata Nijar contained gold mines, discovered by chance in 1864 and exploited until 1966, which explained the activity of the village of Rodalquilar, located near the famous beach of “El Playazo”. .
Today you can visit these ancient structures and, for the most curious, a path passes over them leading to two abandoned tunnels, one of which leads to a small ruined mining village, to become a witness to the eternal forgotten life of the inhabitants of the cape.
4. El Arrecife de las Sirenas
This volcanic reef is located exactly at the end of the cape. It is the easternmost point in the south of the peninsula, and its sawtooth islets cut through the sea surrounding the cape, which allowed the formation of channels through which small fishing boats made their way into the middle of the sea. The origin of its mermaid name is still a mystery. The strongest hypothesis is monk seals, a mammal that inhabited the cape until 1980, when the species gradually became extinct.
5. Cala San Pedro
This bay is undoubtedly the most unusual attraction of Cabo de Gata. Access is only possible by trail or sea, but this hidden cove holds a few surprises for adventurers who decide to go there.
A nude beach with a ruined castle, a makeshift bar and a few upbeat locals who advocate tolerance and respect for diversity. Undoubtedly one of the last vestiges of the hippie movement, some of which remained there, amazed by the natural park, and who still live there!