The Tabernas Desert is the Hollywood landscape of Spain. Immerse yourself in its breathtaking landscapes and its cinematographic history.
The Tabernas Desert’s 280 square kilometres lie 30 km north of the city of Almeria, whose province is known to be the driest region of Europe. However, more than one climate characterises the area. In fact, the desert, which was declared Natural Park in 1989, is located just 30 minutes from the spectacular landscapes of the natural park of Cabo de Gata, and its climate ranges from hot to the cold desert, as well as semi-arid.
The best time to visit the Tabernas Desert is during spring, since the temperatures are mild, and the sun doesn’t shine so heavily as it does in summer. The temperatures usually vary from -5ºC to 48ºC, making it almost impossible for the human activity to take place here.
Nevertheless, a fascinating activity to have rooted here is the filming of the “Spaghetti-Western” movies. Famous directors such as Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood decided to film their masterpieces here. Among them, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), A Fistful of Dollars (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Trinity is Still My Name (1971), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and more recently, the colossal Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014). The main reason is the desert’s resemblance with the deserts of America’s Far West.
Must-do’s in the Tabernas Desert
There are a few spots you can’t miss if you are planning a visit to the Tabernas Desert.
The first and main attraction is, undoubtedly, all those things that are related to the cinematographic production that has been taking place here for decades. Visit Fort Bravo, a film village located near a canyon, and you will feel like you have moved thousands of kilometres and back in time. This village is one of the fourteen that were built in the Tabernas Desert to make it look like the Old West. After the end of the filming, the villages remained, and nowadays, they offer experiences every cowboy would want to live, like visiting the saloon or attend a duel between the sheriff and the villain.
Other villages that lack of nothing are Oasys and Western Leone, which everyone agrees to consider as unmissable. In particular, Oasys welcomes a wonderful thematic park, “Mini Hollywood”, where the little ones (but not only) can enjoy shows, a zoological reserve, restaurants and educational activities.
Tours at the Tabernas Desert
There are various tours you can sign up to in order to discover the amazing landscapes of the Tabernas Desert. You can choose a 4×4 trail route, hiking, horse riding, among others. All of them will let you tour around, teaching you about the flora, wildlife, and the history of the desert. You will also have the possibility to choose some tours that will show you the sets of the most famous Spaghetti Western.
How to get to the Tabernas Desert
To reach the Tabernas Desert, you can take the A92, and then the N340, which will lead you towards the dunes and arid landscapes of the desert.
Places to stay near the Tabernas Desert
If you want to discover the Tabernas Desert and its hideouts, consider renting out a holiday home or villa in its surroundings. You will feel at home, with all the comforts you deserve, but in a unique landscape. Feel like a Hollywood star in Andalucia.
The Tabernas Desert is a Hollywood set, a peculiar background where the most amazing Spaghetti Western took place.
Have you ever been to the Tabernas Desert? Do you know any other movies that were filmed here? Tell us in the comments below!