Traveling with our lady dog through the sunny south of Spain
April 16, 2019
by Cheila Cunha
To those who don’t know Spain is divided into regions, one of them is called Andalusia, and it’s located in the South. This region is subdivided into 8 provinces ( Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville) and I can proudly say that I’ve been in all of them.
I’m originally from the South of Portugal so I’m used to the warm weather and beautiful beaches. That’s why Andalusia has such a powerful effect on me. Because it has all of those features and also desert landscapes, salero, huge mountains, and the amazing mediterranean sea.
This year my boyfriend and I decided that we would travel to Andalusia but we had to bring our lovely dog Lolita. Lolita is a 5-year-old Wire Fox Terrier who is both sweet and looney. So the journey began with some uncertainties about where we were going to eat out, sleep and also where we would go to the beach. The final destination was the incredible Cabo de Gata in the province of Almería but in order to get there, we made a one day stop in Córdoba.
We had been in Córdoba already so it was a more relaxed pit stop. But, when we speak of Córdoba you cannot miss mentioning the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. It’s absolutely required to visit this imposing monument which brings such beauty and peace to all of his visitors. Of course, like a true southern girl I am, I visited this monument with an average temperature of 40 degrees Celsius (which is pretty normal to Córdoba) and inside you will experience a pleasant sensation of refreshment.
In Córdoba, we stayed in a fully equipped apartment that cost us about 50 euros per night which is an excellent value for money and at dinner, we went to El Patio de Maria and stayed outside in their beautiful patio. The food was alright and the wine was great! I had a traditional plate called Flamenquin that was pretty good and enjoyed the lovely Spanish atmosphere. Oh well, I felt like I was living the life!
Cabo de Gata
We continued our journey driving through the hot roads of Andalusia heading to Cabo de Gata. Cabo de Gata is a Natural Park and Andalusia’s largest coastal protected area, therefore, it has the most beautiful beaches and calas (rocky beaches). The atmosphere is pretty relaxed and there are a lot of beaches that are nudist friendly. That’s actually what is great in this place, you will feel good if you are a nudist, if you aren’t a nudist and for us, the best part is that you are allowed to bring your best friend (in this particular case Lolita). Everybody respects each other and the feeling is peaceful. The landscape mixes the desert yellow colors with the green dark sea.
You can choose a lot of places to stay in Cabo de Gata but for us the most charming is Rodalquilar. A small village of mining origin surrounded by mountains, botanic gardens of autochtonous species and beautiful houses. It kinda feels like you’re in a desert movie but the best part is that the beach is located at only 5 minutes by car.
We manage to stay in La Posidonia which is a complex with an amazing swimming pool and fully equipped houses. I can truly say that …those were the best days of my life..! I woke up very early, did some yoga in the small terrace of our cute cottage and then went swimming in that amazing pool surrounded by mountains and cactus. Oh well, Paradise.
In that area, you have a lot of beaches to choose from. The nearest beach to Rodalquilar is Playa del Playazo which is a nice one to introduce you to Cabo de Gata mindset. Big Sandy area, hot water and a cool mountain on your right. If you’re into hiking you should climb that mountain and get to know Cala del Bergantín. It is not an easy walk but it is totally worth it.
Beaches and Calas
One of the most well-known beach from Natural Park is Playa de los Muertos and I can say that I totally understand why. Well, imagine a big beach, with dark sands and blue waters, surrounded by huge mountains. All of this with that cozy warm weather from Andalusia. You have to go back to this beach more than once during your stay.
In the matter of Calas, apart from the Cala del Bergantín, I will also suggest Cala de Enmedio which is located near Playa de Plomo. From Playa del Plomo you´ll have to follow a path that will lead you to this amazing place. Cala de Enmedio has white sand and a very nice view. It is pretty common to find nudist people doing some yoga so don’t be a stranger.
Restaurants in Rodalquilar and outskirts
Although Rodalquilar is a small village you have some very nice restaurants there. The one that surprised us the most was Lebeche. This restaurant has everything you ever wanted in Andalusia, a beautiful patio, very good food, very good wine and nice staff. It was so good that we went there 2 times. (I never repeat restaurants on vacations). Samambaia is a good option and we also went to this supposedly good restaurant that is called Oro y Luz. Oro y Luz is a hard one because it has a very nice view and the dishes sound very good but in fact, everything was too seasoned for us. But I guess that’s a matter of perspective. You should give it a try!
Last but not least, you have to go to Asador Chumbera which is halfway between Rodalquilar and Playa de Los Muertos. Till this day I still believe that I had lunch in paradise. We stayed in the terrace with Lolita and had a un incredible carpaccio with great wine. And the view, OMG, the view. Always bear in mind that this trip was taken in the summer. With the one and only Andalusian summer breeze and yellow landscapes.