Start: Agua Amarga Finish: San José
Travel to Almería and arrive in the former fishing village of Agua Amarga. Though the place name may literally mean ‘Bitter Water’, the sand, sea and fabulous Mediterranean light are anything but. Amble out to the water’s edge and see for yourself.
Start off with a choice of walks! One involves a steep ascent up to Mesa Roldán with its intriguing old iron ore plant, 17th-century watchtower and lighthouse. Your reward? Insight into the area’s industrial heritage and vast coastal views from La Mesa, a flat white cap on a former underwater volcano.
The other walk reveals a local secret, Andalucía’s oldest olive tree and one of the most ancient in all the Mediterranean. Hike up the sandy Rambla Viruegas to peaceful inland areas, then circle back via perfect coves such as Cala Plomo and Cala Enmedio.
Challenge: Mesa Roldán: 10 km, 3 hrs, 300 m ascent and descent
Olive tree: 13 km, 4 hrs, 250 m ascent and descent
Head south on inland paths then crawl along the coast to Rodalquilar, taking dusty dry ‘rambla’ riverbeds to hidden oases of lush greenery. Swoon at tropical blue bays and wander past ruins of castles and watchtowers reminiscent of Romans, Moors and pirates. The lovely bay and quirky hippie colony at Las Negras will invite you to linger, as will the stunning sands of El Playazo.
Challenge: 19 km, 7 hrs, 530 m ascent, 500 m descent.
Take the Rambla de la Granadilla, a fertile path through barren hills where new vegetation surprises: palms and oleanders, reeds, fig trees and poplar groves all set against the far-off Sierra. Pause at the infamous Cortijo del Fraile, site of the tragic events which inspired poet Federico García Lorca’s masterpiece, 'Bodas de Sangre'. Remains of old gold-mining structures survive here surrounded by rocky landscapes in rich earth tones. Stop off for an optional visit to Casa de los Volcanes (House of the Volcanoes) or the intriguing El Albardinal botanical garden.
Challenge: 15 km, 4.5 - 5 hrs, 320 m ascent and descent
Trek across eroded lava rock landscapes studded with dwarf palms. Contemplate imposing extinct volcanoes, ancient Moorish irrigation systems, wild olive groves and deep gorges, then emerge from the desert to meet the Mediterranean face to face. Press onward past fishing villages as the route circles back to your hotel in Rodalquilar.
Challenge: 18 km, 6 hrs, 575 m ascent and descent
Venture into an unspoilt area, hiking clifftops above colourful vistas. Palm groves sprout up from the fossil dunes and bright white villages provide contrast to complete the picture. A bit of romance tinges the day, with dark sandy beaches and historic pirate hideaways on your way to the charmingly authentic fishing village of San José. Just inland, el Cerro de los Frailes, at 493 m Cabo de Gata’s highest summit.
Challenge: 18 km, 5 hrs, 310 m ascent, 330 m descent.
The Cabo’s most popular beaches will entice you, as will secret coves which can only be reached on foot - Los Amarillos, Chica, Grande del Barranco, Lance de Perro, Playa del Barronal, Media Luna, Los Genoveses and Monsul. A mind-boggling series of sunny stops and ever-changing views. Revel in coastal quiet on this adventurous and varied route, a fitting way to end your week in Cabo de Gata Natural Park.
Challenge: 12.5 / 16 km, 4.5 / 5.5 hrs, 280 m ascent and descent
Your self-guided walking holiday comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Departure from Cabo de Gata.
Small family hotels, set in beautiful white villages. All of them have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Some of the hotels we work with appear here. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.
Situated in Agua Amarga, Hotel Las Calas is a small establishment in a quiet setting right by the beach, with traditional Mediterranean architecture, white-washed façades and wooden balconies. Breakfast is served on a fantastic terrace, surrounded by lush vegetation and a variety of native plants and trees.
Designed with innovative concepts in mind, Hotel Spa Rodalquilar offers a modern architectural style while maintaining Arabic and Andalusí influences. Luxurious details and unique services contribute to guests’ enjoyment and a chance to rest, relax and ….. DREAM
Hotel Doña Pakyta situated facing to the sea, watches every sunrise in the bay. Plenty of natural light and with the best views of San José, this building from 1,960 styled like a traditional Basque House has become, with its refurbishes, and has known how to adapt in the time without leaving its origin to get the XXI century.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between September 15th and June 15th.
Arriving in Agua Amarga
From the airport, you first take a bus to Murcia. There are several services daily and travel time is about 55 minutes. From Murcia you get a bus to Vera. There are several buses a day and travel time is about 2 hours (Timetables at www.alsa.es). From Vera, you take a taxi to your first accommodation in Agua Amarga (55km, approximately 40 minutes).
From Málaga Airport (AGP)
From Málaga Airport, you first take a bus to Almería. There are several services daily and travel time is 3 to 3.5 hours (Timetables at: www.alsa.es)
From Almería, you take a taxi to your first accommodation in Agua Amarga (60km, approximately 50 minutes).
From Almería, Granada or Murcia airports
(*) Optional airport transfers can be reserved in advance. Please enquire at the time of booking. The distance from Almería Airport to Agua Amarga is 55km, approximately one hour by car.
(*) Optional airport transfers can be reserved in advance. Please enquire at the time of booking. The distance from Granada Airport to Agua Amarga is about 225km, approximately 2.5 hours by car.
On arrival in Murcia, you take a bus to Vera. There are several services a day and travel time is about 2 hours. Please check timetables at www.alsa.es
From Vera, you take a taxi to your first accommodation in Agua Amarga (55km, approximately 40 minutes).
(*) Optional airport transfers can be reserved in advance. The distance from Murcia Airport to Agua Amarga is 160km, approximately 2.5 hours by car.
Return from San José
For flights from Alicante (ALC) or Málaga (AGP)
Travelling back to Alicante, you first take a taxi from San José to Vera (80km, approximately 1 hour). From Vera you get a bus to Murcia. There are several services daily and travel time is about 2 hours. From Murcia you take a bus to Alicante Airport. There are several buses a day and travel time is about 55 minutes. (Timetables at www.alsa.es)
Travelling back to Málaga, you first take a bus from San José to Almería. There are several buses a day Monday to Friday, with fewer services at the weekend. Travel time is about 1 hour (Timetables at: www.autocaresbernardo.com). Next you take a bus from Almería to Málaga Airport. There are several services a day and travel time is 3 to 3.5 hours.
For flights from Almería, Granada or Murcia
(*) Optional airport transfers can be reserved in advance. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Distance to these airports…
Driving to Cabo de Gata
Agua Amarga is about 250 km from Alicante Airport (2 hours 45 minutes by car) or 275 km from Málaga Airport (3 hours by car).
Distance from other airports:
You can leave your car in Agua Amarga for the duration of your stay
Returning to Agua Amarga
You take a taxi from San José back to Agua Amarga, to collect your car (40 km, approximately 45 minutes).
GPS tracks upon request
"The terrain was more difficult than expected with loose rocks. Good hospitality all around. Good breakfasts and picnics. Nice and simple. We picked your holiday as the walks were longer than some other ones"
"Varied walking with stunning scenery. Quality hotels with lovely food and perfect arrangements. We have travelled with S-Cape 4 times now and this was the most enjoyable holiday. It was nice to walk from place withour needing transfers. Having meals and packed lunches included was very convenient"