Spanish deserts: 5 deserts to discover in Spain

Did you know that Spain is home to some stunningly beautiful desert landscapes, worthy of the greatest cowboy movies ? 5 Spanish deserts.
Spanish deserts.

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It’s often said that Spain is a desert, empty outside its conurbations and tourist areas. This is partly true. However, some places are also known for their “desert” feel.

Spain is also home to some stunningly beautiful desert landscapes, worthy of the greatest Western movies ! In this article, I introduce 5 deserts in Spain, which are marvellous places you should visit immediately.

You don’t have to go to the other side of the world to see spectacular landscapes, Spain is full of surprises of all kinds. Just follow the guide!

1. Tabernas Desert: Spain's Wild West

The Tabernas Desert, often referred to as the “Hollywood of Spain”, is an arid landscape that evokes the imagination of classic cowboy movies. Located just 30km from Almería, this unique European desert has been the setting for numerous films and TV series since the 1960s, thanks to its climate similar to that of Arizona or New Mexico. Film buffs can explore the two theme parks, Fort Bravo and Mini Hollywood, which offer total immersion in the atmosphere of cowboy films with their authentic settings. The area is not only a paradise for film buffs, but also for nature lovers, who can admire the spectacular, unspoilt desert landscape.

2 additional tips:

🤠 For an even more immersive experience (and especially if you’re travelling with your family), be sure to visit Oasys MiniHollywood, one of Tabernas’ most iconic theme parks. Make sure you book your tickets in advance, especially during the high season!

🤠 I also recommend a 4×4 ride through the lunar landscapes of Tabernas. This activity allows you to explore the most remote corners of the desert, where nature has sculpted incredible rock formations. This is an exceptional opportunity to discover the rugged beauty of the Tabernas Desert, following in the footsteps of Cowboy film legends, while enjoying the thrill of adventure.

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2. Gorafe Desert: Adventure in the Andalusian canyons

Located just an hour away from Granada, the Gorafe Desert brings you to another world with its stunning rock formations and glowing land. Less famous than the Tabernas Desert, the Gorafe offers a more intimate and adventurous experience. In the Gorafe, there are not many tracks, and this prehistoric landscape is best explored by foot, mountain bike or 4×4. The desert is dotted with dolmens, silent witnesses to ancient civilisations, adding a layer of history and mystery to your exploration. For hiking and adventure lovers, the Gorafe is not to be missed, as it combines natural beauty, tranquillity and a touch of adventure.
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3. Las Bardenas Reales: Natural sculptures in Navarre

The Las Bardenas Reales desert offers 41,000 hectares of lunar landscapes on the border between Navarre and Aragon. This protected nature reserve is famous for its spectacular rock formations sculpted by erosion, offering a natural spectacle that is unique in Europe. The “Blanca Baja” area is particularly popular among photographers for its surreal white rock formations. For an immersive experience, plan on spending the night bivouacking under the stars, or opt for a stay in one of the surrounding charming accommodations, such as the evocative Hotel Aire Bardenas. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers to escape to in an extraordinary setting.You can chose to sleep in the spots reserved for bivouacs, but you can also spend the night at the Aire Bardenas, a magnificent hotel!

4. Mahoya Desert: Murcia's best-kept secret

The Mahoya Desert, although the smallest on this list, offers a beautiful escape near Murcia. This hidden treasure is perfect for a one day exploration, by  foot or by car. The Mahoya Desert is characterised by its high temperatures, often above  40°C in the summer, making it one of the hottest climates in Spain. Here, isolation and tranquillity dominate, offering a comforting break from the hustle and bustle of tourism. For hikers and explorers, this is a unique opportunity to discover one of Europe’s most intriguing micro-deserts.

5. Los Monegros: An Aragonese desert with a lunar atmosphere

In the heart of Aragon lies Los Monegros, a desert often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, Las Bardenas Reales. This desert landscape sets itself apart by its vast extents of stone and sand, creating a setting that is almost otherworldly. Los Monegros is an ideal destination for those looking to get off the beaten track and discover a different Spain, far from the clichés of beaches and historic towns.

So are you convinced that Spain can still surprise you?

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Hello! I’m Julie, digital content creator, travel enthusiast and Spain lover!

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