Driving Through Spain's Tabernas Desert

Driving Through Spain’s Tabernas Desert

Located in the south of Spain, the Tabernas Desert has recently become a tourist hotspot. In this post we’re going to take a look at exactly what the Tabernas Desert is, why tourists flock there and what you need to consider when driving through this region of Spain.

What is the Tabernas Desert?
Locally known as the Desierto de Tabernas, the Tabernas Desert spans an area of over 110 square miles and is a desolate place free from vegetation. It is located in the province of Almeria and is situated between Sierra de los Filabres in the north and Sierra de Alhamilla to the south.

The Tabernas Desert, Spain

The Tabernas Desert, Spain

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/howzey/1988584565/

The Tabernas Desert is a parched landscape as it is protected from the humid Mediterranean winds and receives just 14cm of rain per year. As the rain tends to fall torrentially, it is not absorbed by the earth, instead it erodes it, leaving a barren landscape. Receiving around 3000 hours of sun annually, during the winter months, the desert rarely drops below freezing at night but during the summer it reaches over 40°C.

What is there to see?
Despite the relatively barren landscape, tourists now flock to this region of Spain to get a glimpse of the Hollywood inspired Wild West. This may sound strange as we all know that the Wild West was in the United States but the fact is that the Tabernas Desert is a perfect substitute for the real thing and as such there are three different Wild West replica villages in the desert which are used by Hollywood’s finest to make films. The villages are all within a 10 minute drive of each other and include Western Leone, Mini Hollywood and Fort Bravo.

Fort Bravo Film Set, Tabernas Desert, Spain

Fort Bravo Film Set, Tabernas Desert, Spain

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/howzey/936149449/

What do you need to take when driving through the Tabernas Desert?
As the Tabernas Desert is only 110 square miles, it is not as severe an environment as the Sahara Desert and there are certainly no sand storms to contend with but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be prepared for a drive through this desert.

First of all, it is important to note that there are no petrol stations on this stretch of road so you need to fill up on fuel before you enter the desert. It is also a good idea to take some spare water with you for your car’s radiator, along with some oil. Due to the intense heat in the Tabernas Desert, especially during the summer months, it can be unforgiving on your car’s tyres so make sure you have at least one spare in the boot of your car.

There are no convenience stores in the Tabernas Desert so whether you are simply driving through to reach your next destination or are planning on taking in the Wild West film sets, you will need to pack some supplies for yourself. Dehydration is a major problem in most desert regions, including the Tabernas Desert so make sure you take plenty of water. It’s also a good idea to pack some light snacks too such as sandwiches, a salad, crisps or fruit. Try to avoid anything containing chocolate as the intense heat will melt it very quickly.

The Tabernas Desert is well worth a visit, whether you’re a Western fan or just want to see the only desert in Europe.

To rent a car in Spain we recommend Alamo. Search for hotels in Almeria here. Cheap flights to Almeria from London start from £300- search now.


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