Natural reserve Cabo de Gata-Níjar

Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in the south-eastern corner of Spain, is Andalucia’s largest coastal protected area, a wild and isolated landscape with some of Europe’s most original geological features. It is the only region in Europe with a Warm Desert climate.

The eponymous mountain range is Spain’s largest volcanic rock formation with sharp peaks and crags in red/ochre-hues. It falls steeply to the Mediterranean Sea creating jagged 100-metre (330 ft) high cliffs, which are riven by gullies leading to hidden coves with white sandy beaches, some of the most beautiful in Andalucia.

Offshore are numerous tiny rocky islands and, underwater extensive coral reefs teeming with marine life. Its climate is arid to the extent of being the driest location in Europe and the continent´s only subtropical or “warm” desert, with rainfall below 200 mm (7.9 in) a year and average yearly temperatures above 18 °C (64 °F).

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