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Hiking in Spain

El Cabo de GataP1030978

I'm reclining, with the sun warming my skin in the Costa Blanca, and its February. It´s a beautiful blue day, not one cloud in the sky. This is not unusual in the winter months...many days are bright, clear and warm.  Perfect hiking weather.

I´m going to tell you about a hike I did in Cabo de Gata National Park in November. The weather was the same as it is today throughout the whole hike. The park is often described as the Spain of times past: not overdeveloped and swallowed by tourism and with some of the best natural beaches in Spain.

This route is included in the Lonely Planet Hiking in Spain book with detailed maps, description and places to stay. Also worth noting is that Lonely Planet sell the individual chapters as PDF files, so you can pay for just one chapter, print out a few pages and have all the information you need to take with you. This hike is in the Andalucia chapter.

http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/spain/hiking-in-spain-travel-guide-4?lpaffil=lpsearch-shoppod

P1030976I picked up my brother and two friends at Alicante Airport and then drove to the start point, although you could fly to Almeria (which is much closer) and get a bus to El Cabo de Gata.

 We stay at Camping El Cabo de Gata initially. Click. All the accommodation mentioned was functional and comfortable, all that was needed for an overnight stop. We had booked a wood cabin that sleeps 4. Everyone seemed happy as I pulled out a curry (which was heated up in the kitchenette) and 12 bottles of Speckled Hen from the boot of the car. Typically British I know, but I do love to eat Spanish food too and we endulged in that each evening for the remainder of our trip.

The next morning after a cooked breakfast, outside in the blazing sunshine, at the campsite restaurant, we set off with our rucksacks. We walked from the campsite to the beach along a path that runs parallel with a waterway with dozens of pink flamingos. The sandy beach was beautiful, fringed by blue water and matching sky, deserted for miles in both directions. A good start.

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From here we begin our walk which would take 3 days covering 52 km along the coastline. The scenery was spectacular, scented by the salty breeze and often accompanied by the sound of lapping waves.  Between rocky scrambles and cliff walks we descended to pretty coves or long stretches of pale sand. This area is not for the prudish. There are nudist beaches en route and you may even pass a few nude hikers.  One of our group got quite into the spirit of it.

Day 1 - El Cabo de Gata, the starting pointP1030919

Camping Cabo de Gata (a bungalow, sleeps 4) €60

Day 2 - San Jose

Aprt/Hotel Vistamar (2 bedroom Apartment, sleeps 4) €62

Day 3 - Las Negras

Hostel Arrecife, despite being booked, was closed on arrival but we found an apartment through the village shop for €100.

Day 4 - Agua Amarga

Hotel Las Calas (2 Double rooms) €65 each room with breakfast (A bit of luxury at the end.)

Day 5 - We got a taxi through Taxi Almeria back to the start point for €52.

An ideal place to relax and recover from your exertions is La Joya de Cabo de Gata, near Agua Amarga, which has beautiful farmhouse cottages and a bedouin tent with a roman bath style pool.

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