My Spanish Walking Holidays

Winter Walks in and around
Cabo de Gata Natural Park

by Jane Lauriston Seigal

From Escullo Beach to Isleta del Moro


Find my other Spanish Walking Holidays in Almeria articles here:

Winter Walks in Cabo de Gata:
  • From San Jose to Monsul Beach
  • From San Jose to Escullo Beach

    and here is an excerpt from my book:
  • The Shepherd Girl’s God
  • This is just a nice easy stroll. It takes about an hour and is perfect for a quickie before dinner or just for a little rejuvenation. From the first bit of parking at Escullos, I normally walk along the beach to give the dogs a bit of freedom. The chocolate coloured beach is superb with flat rocks leading out and into the sea. The dark, presumably volcanic sand,provides an interesting contrast with the navy waters of the sea – on a sunny winter’s day of course.

    Spanish Walking Holidays from Los Escullos to Isleta del Moro (Almeria, Spain)
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    The chocolate coloured beaches at Los Escullos

    The dogs raced and chased with Ben splashing way out in the waters knowing that his pesky little companion Jessie would not follow! There is a track up from the end of the beach just before the fantastically positioned house on the little headland. Dogs should be on the lead on this path because one must follow the road for a couple of hundred metres here. I took the first stony track off to the right into the small valley. It’s a good track but difficult to spot from the road although fairly obvious when walking.

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    Spanish Walking Holidays from Los Escullos to Isleta del Moro (Almeria, Spain)
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    Spit of rock jutting out into the early morning light

    Although you can see the road most of the time with villages behind and in front, this is still a fascinating walk that has a slightly remote feeling. I came across a very old cobbled threshingcircle, again almost completely covered with undergrowth and wild flowers. But it was visible once I realised what it was. The flowers in January were incredible. This must be one of thefew times in this dry province when nature can overcome the lack of moisture and it certainly showed. 

    Looking back towards Escullos, the volcanoes that once were active rise determinedly above the other ranges of hills. Eerie when I looked, a small cloud had fixed itself to the summit and it was easy to imagine these once active beasts instilling fear into human hearts. 

    Spanish Walking Holidays Los Escullos (Almeria Spain)
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    The twin volcanic peaks above Escullos

    The history of this volcanic past is mentioned on various attractive plaques in and around the area. The other tourism handle, which has been attached, is regarding the history of the pirate! I just bet pirates were much in evidence here. Tiny coves, rocky bluffs and Mediterranean storms must have invited these romantic but nefarious villains just like Cornwall, however unlike Cornwall, it is much warmer in the Spanish far south!

    Information board on volcanoes

    A rambla turned up long since dry and even with sudden rains, I cannot imagine water coursing down this one. We utilised it. Once more, spiky palms lined its route giving a haven of shade and providing cover for small animals. One of these small animals disappeared pronto having been routed out by Ben and chased into a burrow.

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    Spanish Walking Holidays in Almeria, Spain

    The natural rambla near Isleta & Ancient wheat threshing area

    I had no time to see what it was. Oh, and he also found a cat! Luckily, the trees by now prolific, provided an escape route for the terrorised creature. Winding down said rambla, views are lost and scrambling up a rather steep path, I discovered I was close to the mirador at Isleta. I remembered this viewpoint from years ago when it was new and a setting sun made a glamorous photo seem even better.

    Once I realised where I was and Isleta has changed too with more low-cost key tourism complexes springing up, I gathered up the dogs. We strolled down the hill past what seems like a purpose built area for fishermen to mend nets etc., and collected all the village dogs. Mine are good-natured and Spanish dogs are almost always of a kindly disposition – too hot for aggression! Wandering down to the tiny port, a coach had disgorged a gaggle of tourists. The cafes were pleased and numerous cups of coffee were handed out. On the other side of the town, I examined the old winches seemingly obsolete now that would have pulled the boats up at yet another little beach and old natural port.

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    Spanish Walking Holidays - Isleta del Moro Port
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    Traditions Isleta del Moro

    Just for me under the shelter of the looming cliff that makes Isleta so recognisable, two divers bobbed and dove the tranquil waters. I strolled up the hill overlooking the stunning stretch of beach where bodies were lapping up the bonus of a hot winter’s sun. Not many bodies and no one in the sea but very glamorous none-the-less.

    Spanish Walking Holidays - Cabo de Gata (Almeria, Spain)
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    Divers Enjoying the clear waters Isleta

    My lift awaited on the hilltop and the dogs found it long before me. I had spotted a shepherd - no goatherd (mostly goats) on the far hill zigzagging up the slopes searching out newly sprung grass. The billy was gorgeous, a huge smelly male who looked far too contented with so many females to appease him. I am dreading the day I no longer see these old rural traditions. Do the young continue with these ancient practices I wonder?

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    Spanish Walking Holidays in Cabo de Gata Natural Park (Almeria, Spain)
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    Goats in the evening sun

    My reminiscences on this walk involve the slightly more risqué side of life. One stormy February night we had tucked in beside the restaurant (beach side) of Escullos. The morning dawned with a watery sun and as we breakfasted, a little red car pulled up right beside us. A blond emerged not in the first flush of youth and proceeded to sing in husky tones flamenco style. We watched surreptitiously enjoying her refrain as she slid out of clothes none to subtly and crawled into the boot of her car. There she slept! That night she reversed the process,still singing with a haunting, sad technique and it made compulsive listening.

    Spanish Walking Holidays in Cabo de Gata Natural Park
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    Glorious beach Isleta

    My other half had assured me he wasn’t really watching but he managed to tell me that her underwear was red. Odd that! We concluded that perhaps she was a lady of the night, maybe without abode. Evidently she needed to sleep and we were so obviously staying and therefore she felt completely safe tucked in beside us. We have seen her since. The difference? A much smarter and newer AND larger vehicle!

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    Spanish Walking Holidays in Cabo de Gata (Almeria, Spain)
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    Spanish nights

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    Hiking Trail: From Escullos to Isleta del Moro


    hiking trail from Escullos to Isleta del Moro
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