A Coastal Walk From Los Escullos to Idyllic La Isleta del Moro

Walking towards La Isleta from Los Escullos
Setting off from Camping Los Escullos today in the early afternoon sunshine, it felt like it had been a long time since we last ventured along the Cabo de Gata coastline during our evening stroll along the cliffs from San Jose. With a gentle breeze stirring the air and sparse vegetation along the track, we made our along the uneven trail to the stony beach at Los Escullos (Playa del Arco). With the bright blue sky above and the waves crashing against the fossilised sandstone outcrops that bookend the beach, it felt wonderful to be by the Mediterranean sea once again. From here we turned east and began to thread our way along the shoreline, before clambering over the first of many small, rocky ascents that would punctuate the relatively short stroll to La Isleta del Moro just a few kilometres away.

La Isleta del Moro is a tiny village boasting just 171 inhabitants situated on a rocky promontory that extends out of the Cabo de Gata coastline. This little cluster of white houses, with a small jetty and collection of open fishing boats moored in the crystal waters of the bay, separates the beach and low cliffs stretching westwards towards Los Escullos from the Playa de La Isleta del Moro on the eastern side of the town. We had been told by some fellow campers that it was a pleasant walk along the volcanic coastline to reach La Isleta del Moro so today we finally decided to take the short stroll ourselves and find out.


Walking towards La Isleta from Los Escullos




The coastline between Los Escullos and La Isleta is made up a collection of shallow bays with stony beaches, connected by low sandy cliffs with a series of rough tracks criss-crossing all the way along. It was actually quite unclear which path was the official 'way' marked on our map, but with such good visibility it didn't really matter. On several occasions as we reached a 'high point' perhaps 20-25 metres above the waters below we had to stop and stand, simply gobsmacked by the picture postcard beauty of La Isleta ahead of us.  It really did seem to encapsulate the rustic daydream of traditional Spain. Standing on the cliffs, looking down on the transparent water we could also see the volcanic shelf clearly lying just beneath the surface with protruding stacks giving clear evidence of the volcanic history of the ground beneath us. As the waves ebbed and flowed it appeared as though the rocks themselves were flowing in the tide creating a magical and captivating effect.

La Isleta del Moro looking back towards Los Escullos
The fishing bay of La Isleta del Moro looking back towards Los Escullos and El Frailes

Arriving in La Isleta we climbed some rough hewn steps to a viewpoint on the western edge of the town and looked back over the short walk we had taken with the summit of Los Frailes standing proudly silhouetted against the afternoon sun. A nearby information board (in Spanish) indicated the former route of lava flows from the nearby volcanoes, including that which formed the Caldera de Majada Redonda that we had hiked into a few weeks ago.

Ambling slowly through the village we ascended up onto the rocky tip of the promontory that sits at the tip of the village by the small fishing jetty and climbed the 15 metres or so to the top, passing some disturbed seagulls along the way. The view from even this tiny elevantion was majestic. Looking out to sea another rock formation rose out of the waves just a few tens of metres offshore with the surf crashing all around and on the rough volcanic shelf which lay just beneath the surface. Looking back inland beyond the low cliffs and sandy beaches, the undulating and dramatic contours of the region were clearly evident and bought to mind images of cooling magma flows crashing into the sea millions of years ago.

Playa La Isleta del Moro
View over Playa La Isleta del Moro

We sat silently in the sunshine, alternating between staring out over the sparkling water and gazing into the rocky heart of the natural park for what seemed like a moment, but was perhaps closer to an hour before starting our return journey. On the way back, we did take the more direct path from La Isleta closer to the road at first, then cut back to the shoreline of Playa del Arco following a marked trail before heading back to the campsite.  With so much natural beauty in just a few kilometres of coastline it was well worth the walk and we were grateful to have such great weather in which to appreciate it.

Walk Information:
Motorhome Base - Camping Los Escullos
Start/ End Point: Camping Los Escullos
Total Distance: 7 - 8km
Time Taken: 4 hours (including a lot of sitting and photographs)
Level: Easy
Map: Editorial Alpina: Cabo de Gata Nijar 1:50.000

Related Posts:
10 Reasons to Visit the Cabo de Gata -Nijar Natural Park - Andalucia, Spain
12 Places to Visit and Things To Do in Cabo de Gata Natural Park
10 Hiking and Walking Routes in the Cabo de Gata - Nijar Natural Park



View towards La Isleta del Moro
View towards La Isleta del Moro

Looking back along Playa del Arco to El Frailes
Looking back along Playa del Arco to El Frailes

Walking towards La Isleta from Los Escullos
Walking towards La Isleta from Los Escullos

On the beach half way to La Isleta del Moro
On the beach half way to La Isleta del Moro

Clifftop Path en route to La Isleta del Moro
Clifftop Path en route to La Isleta del Moro

The rocky outcrop at La Isleta
The rocky outcrop at La Isleta

The rocky outcrop at La Isleta
The rocky outcrop at La Isleta

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Adventures In Life, Love, Health, Travel... & Puppies!: A Coastal Walk From Los Escullos to Idyllic La Isleta del Moro
A Coastal Walk From Los Escullos to Idyllic La Isleta del Moro
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