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Agua Amarga, Cabo de Gato

14 Oct

It is Tuesday and Mick has taken the day off, along with every single person in Spain!  It is Christopher Columbus day here (and in the States too I think!).  It is a holiday for the armed forces and the police (a great day to commit a crime!) and a national holiday.  We decide to go for lunch at our favourite beach, Agua Amarga, or bitter waters, about 40 minutes away.  You can take a fantastic scenic route along the coast past Mojacar and then go up the scary, but beautiful, mountain road.  It takes longer though and is no good for people who don’t like heights and narrow hairpin bends!!


Agua Amarga beach


Anyhow, we choose the motorway route for speed and comfort as we have Mick’s mum, Sadie with us – it is still a wonderful drive once you are off the motorway, around 35 kms from the house.  Then you have an awesome drive through the Cabo de Gato (Cape of Cats) – a kind of Spanish moors if you like.  It is very remote and isolated but quite stunning and the road just goes straight through the middle of it.


Costa Amarga restaurant


After about 15 minutes you arrive at the town of Agua Amarga, a little place which used to be a fishing village, but now I think is a popular place for holiday homes, although you do of course still get some little fishing boats here.  It is simply an exquisite place, with a couple of rather lovely little hotels and 4 or 5 restaurants on the beach.  A few are still open for lunch well into November so we pick our favourite one, right on the beach and overlooking nothing but a turquoise sea and rugged landscape either side and some beautiful villas.  We tuck into red mullet, chips and salad with a glass of vino and a coffee – the menu is vast and full of delicious things, but we have friends coming for dinner so don’t go too mad.  Agua Amarga is one of the chicest beaches around us and at this time of year virtually empty apart from a few families out for the day or who have just come out for a long lunch as it is a holiday.  Even in season it is too off the beaten track for the coach party crowd and isn’t really on the tourist map but mainly frequented by Spanish people or English, Dutch and German people in the know.  It was featured in the film Sexy Beast, and visitors will recognise the villa on the left hand side on the hill as you drive into town.


Lunchtime view


Reluctantly we get ready to leave wishing we had brought our towels to spend the afternoon lazing on the beach on one of the last days of summer…..but we will be back for lunch again before winter sets in.

Playa de los Genoveses

11 Sep

This is surely one of the regions most beautiful and unspoilt beaches in the Cabo de Gata – a huge area of natural beauty – you enter the town of San Jose, quite close to Almeria, and follow the signs to it.  The road, or rather, track, is very bumpy for a kilometre or two and when you arrive you have a little trek over some dunes to the vast expanse of beach and sea so it is really only accessible for the able bodied.  But it is well worth the effort and is absolutely stunning and puts one in mind of Cornwall.  Recently, the local authority limited the amount of cars that they permitted to park there and so during the height of the summer you have to be an early bird to get access to the beach.

A fantastic place to spend the day

However, now is the perfect time to go – the bulk of holidaymakers both Spanish and English have returned home, and this is our time to take advantage of the peace and quiet and the still gorgeous weather.  Take a picnic, books, cushions, umbrellas, wine and flasks of tea and you are all set for the most peaceful and relaxing time.  Stay all day and enjoy the sunset – then head for San Jose 10 minutes away for an early evening drink before coming home.