Garrucha — Picturesque fishing port with blue flag beaches and a nightly outdoor market in high season.
Mini Hollywood— let the kids be Clint Eastwood for the day! Great day out where you can wander round a real wild west town (and get thrown out of the tavern!) ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ was filmed here.
Aquapark — Perfect fun-filled family day out. Visit the website for more details and a handy discount voucher!
Yesos De Sorbas Caves— unique underground complex with magnificent caverns and galleries
Almeria City— Dominated by the ‘Alcazaba’ a huge Moorish Citadel dating from 995AD. Almeria’s old town is a delight to explore with tranquil squares, archways and colonnades.
Golf Courses — Courses to suit all abilities are in the area including the famous Desert Springs, Valle del Este, Club Marina.
And the Sierra Nevada Mountain range is only a couple of hours away if you fancy some skiing.
The old whitewashed village of Mojacar Pueblo is about 10 minutes drive south from Garrucha and lies nestled in the mountain just a couple of kilometres from the beautiful beaches and Mediterranean Sea. With, on average, 3000 hours of sunshine per year, hot summers and warm winters, the climate here is most agreeable.
Fortunately, the village has retained much of its original character, with its Moorish fortress called El Torreón and the Arch of Luciana. Another of the village features is a working fountain from which to sample fresh, mountain spring water.
Wander at leisure through the honeycomb of whitewashed, winding streets taking in the sights, sounds and smell of this charming village. Around every corner a new surprise awaits as you suddenly find the narrow street opens up into a square with shops, bars and restaurants. Around another corner and you find yourself looking out on magnificent views toward the mountains or Mediterranean Sea.
The medium sized market is held on a Wednesday. Here you will find buses full of residents from surrounding areas arriving to purchase a wide variety of items from leather goods to locally grown food.
When it comes to gastronomy, Mojacar offers a wide selection of restaurants catering for all manner of cuisine from traditional Spanish through to English, Italian and Chinese. Locally caught fish is a speciality of the area and comes highly recommended.
Mojacar Playa beaches are one of the major attractions of the area and there are almost 17km of them to explore. Long, clean, sandy beaches combine with tiny coves making exploring this area a pleasure.
The new Paseo Maritimo is a tribute to the quality of the main beach and new promenades are being constructed that will further enhance the area.
There are lots of outdoor activities available to enjoy including windsurfing, sailing, surf boarding, diving, snorkelling, horse riding, quad biking, tennis, bowls, and the recently completed 18 hole golf course. Also from mid-June to September the local Aqua park is a top attraction for families.
There are also many tranquil Spanish villages, National Parks and mountains close by to entice the visitor who wishes to explore unspoilt Spain in more depth.
The Tabernas desert lies to the north of the town of Almería between the mountains of Los Filabres and Alhamilla and is approximately 45 minutes drive from Garrucha. Occupying some 11,625 hectares this natural area is considered to be the only true desert in the whole of the European continent.
The scenery is startling and the annual rainfall here does not exceed 25mm, with the year-round average temperature over 17 degrees centigrade.
The peculiarity of the desert, with more than 3.000 hours of sun yearly, has made possible the installation of a Centre of Solar Energy (One of the biggest in Spain).
In the desert only plants known as xerophytes (plants like cactus, that are able to live in very dry places) or parasitic plants grow. Salt cedar and oleander do grow in some dry gullies, however, and brushwood grows where it can find nitrogen-rich soil.
The Tabernas Desert has very similar landscape, vegetation & fauna, to those a few kilometres across the Mediterranean sea in North Africa.
No wonder that Italian director Sergio Leone made the so-called Spaghetti westerns, starring the young American actor Clint Eastwood, here in the mid 60's. Films like Indiana Jones, King of Kings, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Conan and the Peter O’Toole classic, Lawrence of Arabia, were all filmed in this desert area.
The making of these films and stars like Clint Eastwood, Raquel Welch, Peter O'Toole and Charles Bronson, to name but a few, gave rise to the name of "Mini Hollywood", this name is still used today to refer to this arid area.
The original film set site has been opened up to the public and althoughthere are still some original film sets about they are in very dilapidated condition. Some have now been rebuilt and fun Wild West shows are performed two/three times a day on a daily basis for the tourists who are bussed up from the coastal resorts.
You can easily spend a day here as besides the three shows, Can-Can dancers, Parrot and Wild West, that are performed at various times during the day there is also a large natural reserve and Zoo with giraffes, lions, ostriches, bears, etc. that will take two/three hours to wander around.
The area, although hilly, is accessible to wheelchair and pushchair users but you may struggle to get round some of the natural reserve areas.
The entrance fee as of April 2007 was 18 Euro per adult and 9 Euro per child aged 4 - 11, children under 4 are free - not sure if a family ticket is available. There is also a parking fee of 2.50 Euro. All the shows are included in the entrance fee and food and drinks are available at reasonable prices.
Opening times are around 10:00am but closing times vary according to season - about 9:00pm in the summer. Please note that they do not open on Mondays.
TIP As this is classified as a desert area it can get very hot so take reasonable precautions to avoid sunburn, heat exhaustion etc. i.e. sun lotion, hat and ensure you drink plenty of water.
Cuevas de Sorbas (Caves of Sorbas)
Although there are many caves in Andalucia not all are suitable for viewing and only a handful actually open to the public.
The Caves of Sorbas are situated just off of the scenic A370 road that runs through the mountains and are about half an hours drive from Garrucha.
These gypsum caves are in their natural state and classified as "live" (water still flows through them in the rainy season) so are not accessible year round, even in the summer a trickle of water may sometimes be seen.
Guided tours take place throughout the day so it is advisable to book in advance to ensure helmets and lamps are reserved for you and a guide is available, access is not allowed to these caves without a guide.
Depending on your agility and fitness you may choose from three routes of difficulty and ranging in time from less than 2 hours to around 5 hours.
Helmets and lamps are supplied as there is no artificial light in these caves but it advisable to wear stout shoes/trainers, also wear clothes that don't matter much if they get dirty as you will have to crawl through some of the adjoining caves.
Before you start your guided tour allow time for the visitor centre where you may gain an understanding of the gypsum karst and the whole municipality of Sorbas. The exhibition is set out in three rooms that contains photo's, graphics and information which explains the importance of the karst. There is also a video shown throughout the day that you may sit and watch.
For reservations telephone: 950 364 704
TIP If you plan to go on somewhere else after visiting the caves take a change of clothes, or a clothes brush, with you as you will probably need them.