8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS – 3/5 HOURS X 6 DAYS ON HORSEBACK
San José – Genoveses – Rodalquilar – Cala del Cuervo – Las negras – Isleta del Moro – San José
«Trail to the last virgin beaches in Europe»
SAN JOSÉ – THE GENOVESES BEACH
Allocation of horses after breakfast, and a warm-up before setting off, if necessary. We begin the trail by living up to its name and heading for the magnificent Andalusian beaches. Genoveses, Monsul, Media Luna, and Reef of the Sirens are undoubtedly the last unspoiled beaches in the Mediterranean. Their white sand dunes have served as film sets for films that we will immediately recognize: Indiana Jones, Lawrence of Arabia or For a Handful of Dollars.
For lunch, we will have a picnic at the foot of the cortijo “el Romeral”, amongst the typical facilities that once served as accommodation for the farmers of the region. In the afternoon we will make our way through the beautiful “del Tesorillo” valley. Our accommodation for the night is back in San José.
SAN JOSÉ – RODALQUILAR
Our destination for the day is Rodalquilar. To the north of the park, we find the Sierra de Gata mountain range, containing craters of ancient volcanoes. Amidst this lunar landscape and characteristic small villages such as «los Albaricoques», several Spaguetti Western scenarios have been filmed. For a Handful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly are amongst the most renowned titles. The local streets are named after famous movie people such as Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leones.
We will have lunch in one of the most special places in the park, called «El Cortijo del Fraile». This is where the events that inspired Federico Garcia for his theatrical script Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding) took place. Accommodation at the Rodalquilar hotel where an excellent dinner awaits us.
RODALQUILAR: EL PLAYAZO AND CALA DEL CUERVO
We will visit the eastern part of the natural park. We will head up to “La Torre de los Lobos” (the tower of the wolves) from where we have an ample view of the whole natural park and- if the weather is clear- the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. We will continue to ride up to the famous beach of «El Playazo», popular since Roman times and known for having been a thoroughfare for pirates. On our way we will also pass through an oasis of palm trees that has developed thanks to small sources of water.
Picnic by the sea at “Cala del Cuervo”, and for dinner we will go to a local coastal restaurant to savour a special grilled fish menu.
RODALQUILAR: THE GOLDEN MINE
Today we will take the old gold mine trail. We will pass through small ravines that were once the only connection between mountain farms and the sea. We will cross the volcano’s crater that now forms the Rodalquilar Valley and we will pass a series of mineral walls that still hold some remaining gold. Our route will take us to the original mine installations, which were operative between 1933 and 1986.
We will have lunch in an old, traditional cortijo, el «CORTIJO MONTANO».
RODALQUILAR: LAS NEGRAS
«Las Negras» is a beautiful place, of spectacular geology and in a fisherman’s atmosphere. At the end of its bay is El Cerro Negro (The Black Hill), an impressive rock formation, which looks like a tongue of lava, proof of what the Cabo de Gata Natural Park once was. In «Las Negras» you will find orchards watered by fresh water from the small rivers of the Rambla de las Agüillas and that accumulated in small ponds near the sea.
For lunch, a delicious paella in a restaurant near the sea, then a free afternoon with the possibility of enjoying the spa at the Hotel Naturaleza (previous reservation required).
RODALQUILAR -LA ISLETA DEL MORO- SAN JOSÉ
Our destination for today is San José. We will leave Rodalquilar via a large path that borders the entire coast. These trails were once used to monitor the coasts in the event of a pirate attack, which explains the presence of small castles and watch towers- typical constructions in the area. We will have our picnic lunch on the beach of Escullos, near its small oasis of palm trees.
Dinner and overnight in San José, back at our trail’s starting point.
Breakfast and departure. We hope to see you again, may be to ride in the Tabernas desert?