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A magical walk in Cape of Gata

The characteristic landscape of volcanic origin of the Cape of Gata - Nijar Natural Park, specifically the stretch of rugged coastline between the villages of Los Escullos and San José, is full of cliffs and small charming coves. This area has been the setting for several films and in addition to its landscapes hides a few more surprises that we can discover thanks to the Loma Pelada Path. The route follows the layout of an old road that was planned to become a coastal road, linking these two towns.

How to get to Los Escullos

To reach the small town of Los Escullos we can follow the airport motorway from Almería capital to Retamar where we turn off in the direction of San José. Just before reaching El Well of the Friars we will have to turn off again and follow the road that leads to Redolquiar. It is on this road where we will find the access to Los Escullos. Once there, we must continue towards the Embarcadero beach, leaving behind us the Castle of San Felipe. It is in the car park of this beach where the information signs of the Path of Loma Pelada and the beginning of the route await us.​

Itinerary of The Path of Loma Pelada

From Embarcadero Beach to Cove Higuera 6,8 Km

The parking lot of the Beach of the Embarcadero, not far from Los Escullos is our starting point for this entertaining hiking route in the Natural Park of Cape of Gata - Nijar. The imposing Cerro de los Frailes will be our companion for most of the route. We advance ascending little by little while we leave behind us one cove after another, first Cove Cortada, then Cove Chica which we have to turn off not long after starting to walk in order to discover it and enjoy the views that this area offers us. On our way back to the path and without even noticing it, we reach the Col de Cove Grande, with the cove that gives it its name and the prop of Loma Pelada also appearing in front of us.

We continue on through the occasional ravine to reach one of the curious places hidden in this area of the natural park, the Bentonite Quarry.

We leave the quarry to continue along the coastline and arrive at another of the picturesque places that await us on this route. This is none other than an old and battered Civil Guard barracks, known as the Tomato House. We also have the possibility of approaching the Point of Hoya of the Tower to contemplate the spectacular views offered by the cliffs here. We continue on our route to pass by the detour that allows us to descend to the Cove of Tomato. We leave this detour to continue cutting the slope of the hill of Cove Higuera, ascending in search of the pass that will allow us to go over this hill. Once at the top, magnificent views of Cove Higuera and San José await us. Here we can decide whether to descend to Cove Higuera along the winding path at our feet or retrace our steps, thus saving us almost 1 kilometre of descent and the subsequent return.

Tips for do the Path of Loma Pelada

1-Initially the route has no major complications, although caution should be exercised, especially when approaching the cliffs.

2-It is important to bring water and sun protection as there is no shade or water points along the route.

3-In Cove Higuera there is also a parking area, so we can start the route in either of the two places.

4-You can also extend the route starting directly in Los Escullos and going as far as San José itself.

Waypoints of the route
1-Embarcadero Beach 0:00h 10m 0km 30S 583552 4072613
2-Higuera Cove 2:00h 5m 6,8Km 30S 580822 4069215

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

Profile of the Path of Loma Pelada

Profile of the Path of Loma Pelada

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 13.6Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 5:00h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Medium

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 390m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 195m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 195m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 130m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 5m


Topographical map of the Path of Loma Pelada

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 1060-1 1:25.000".

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¿Did you know that...

The Cape of Gata-Níjar Natural Park is linked to the Loma Pelada Special Marine Protection Area. Along the route we will find stone milestones about three metres high, these milestones are completely visible from the sea and mark the limits of this protected area.

Don't miss out...

The Castle of San Felipe, built in the 18th century by order of Charles III as part of the coastal defence system. This fortification is also surrounded by the curious fossilised dunes that are so characteristic of this natural park.


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Route information updated on 18-05-2021. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.

All the times are approximate and take an orientative character, the stops have not been taken into account, no matter how small they are. All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns, and places of tourist interest are published as a guide, and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before undertaking any activity, assess your technical knowledge, your physical condition, find out about the weather and the variations that the route may undergo, equip yourself correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, and do not exceed your capabilities. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inappropriate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications as well as its electronic guides, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the aforementioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. We also encourage you to read books and specialised guides to complement the information described above.

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