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Hiking in Cabo de Gata: Route of the castles

Winter Trips


The Natural Park of Cabo de Gata surprises us with its colours and contrasts. This hiking trip from Los Escullos to Las Negras allows us to discover beaches and coves, defensive castles, and valleys of incredible colours. A tour in a volcanic land; a unique geological history in Andalusia.

Key Facts:

Length: 15km; Accumulated height difference: 461 m; Duration: One day; Diffculty: Medium. 

Departure time (Granada): 7:30 am

Meeting point: bus stop line SN5 Severo Ochoa-Doctor Lopez Argueta (at the door of the University gardens)

Meeting Point

Arrival time: approximately 20:00 pm, but it depends on the pace of the group

Transportation: Private minibus or Van

Hiking trip to Cabo de Gata, from Los Escullos to Las Negras:

We will travel from Granada to Los Escullos, Cabo de Gata. The starting point of the hike is a small town with few houses and a large defensive castle; it is the first one of the three castles that we will see in our itinerary at Cabo de Gata. The castle is located on ancient petrified dunes that were eroded by the seawater and wind. The coastline of Los Escullos is one of the most photographed ones of Cabo de Gata due to its white sharply shaped rocks that invite our imagination to see all sorts of creatures.

After spending the necessary time to explore these geological formations, we will cross the beach of Los Escullos and ascend to continue along a path on a plateau that takes us a little away from the coastline.

In thirty minutes we will arrive at Isleta del Moro, the second locality of our trip around Cabo de Gata. Here, a viewpoint will allow us to admire the coast and discover the volcanic formations that make Cabo de Gata up. Our guide will introduce us to the geological history that gave rise to these coasts.

We will cross Las Negras and its beach to continue towards the north. The cliffs once again will force us to take the inner trail in order to avoid the most exposed and dangerous areas following small valleys of great beauty.

An important part of our trip around Cabo de Gata is precisely this section where we will cross the hollow of Rodalquilar overlooking different hills of varied colours and the town of Rodalquilar, over which can be distinguished remains of the ancient mining activity. Gold mining in Rodalquilar was more a hope than a profitable activity, but it did mark the landscape and the history of this town. The hollow will lead us to the second castle, this one being the oldest (16th century), and immediately after, to the beautiful beach Playazo of Rodalquilar.

This is an exceptional spot to find a place to eat and explore the rocks that form the platform where the third artillery fortress of the day is located: the Castle of Saint Ramon.

After lunch, we will continue our trip along the trail called the “Molata” until we see the bay where Las Negras is located, our final point in this hiking in Cabo de Gata.

A beer by the sea is the final touch to a day full of emotions and visual surprises

Landscape and heritage:

  • Landscape of great aesthetic value: colours, rocks, textures, and unique shapes
  • Geo-Park: relief formed by volcanic processes. Geological structures of volcanic and coastal modelling origin. Fossil dunes. Mining.
  • Trip along coves and valleys of great aesthetic value
  • Defensive heritage: defense fortresses of the Coast from the 16th and 18th centuries
  • Flora and fauna of semi-arid zone, closely related to North Africa


Equipment recommended:

There isn’t any potable water on the path. We recommend carrying 2l of water. The weather can be very changeable. It is necessary to take several kinds of clothes including a warm coat and a wind stopper. We highly recommend hiking sticks. The walking paths are in good condition, but if it has rained, it can be muddy. We recommend wearing hiking boots or trekking shoes. Sunglasses, sun cream, protective lip cream, a hat, gloves and appropriate clothing for the season and the weather forecast.

Participants should take nuts, dried fruits, and sandwiches for our picnic in the countryside

Price: €42/pp. It includes the guided trip, insurance, and transportation

Price of “custom date”: Ask for prices

Purchasing Conditions:  Excursions must be booked and paid for at least three days in advance.  Participants must arrive at the meeting point on time. The group will wait for participants for five minutes but then leave.  In this situation, no money will be reimbursed.  All participants should ensure that they know how to get to the meeting point and if you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Ask price

Location: Cabo de Gata Natural Park
Duration: One day
Difficulty: Level 2 (REI)


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3. All bookings must be at least 2 days in advance

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Responsible: Identity: Ecoturismo Granada Agencia de Viajes - NIF: 25315004P Post code: Placeta de Liñán 5 Telephone number: 666405811 email: mtm@sierraysol.com

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Activity Level Descriptions



(1) Relaxed: Adventure travel at its most relaxed pace.

  • Activity: 1-3 hours most days
  • Distances: walk less than 3 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat terrain
  • Elevation change: little to none
  • Altitude: less than 3,000 ft

(2) Easy: Great for newcomers to active travel.

  • Activity: 2-5 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 6 miles, cycle 10-30 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat or rolling terrain with some possible steeps
  • Elevation change: up to 2,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 6,000 ft

(3) Moderate: For outdoor novices and above.

  • Activity: 4-6 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 10 miles most days, cycle 20-40 miles most days
  • Surfaces: rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 3,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 10,000 ft

(4) Vigorous: Recommended for fir travelers with basic skills.

  • Activity: 5-8 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 30-50 miles most days
  • Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor's release may be required

(5) Strenuous: Designed for very fit travelers.

  • Activity: 10+ hours/day
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 50 miles or more miles most days
  • Surfaces: remote mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, uneven trails with loose features.
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor's release may be required

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