Tabernas - the only desert in Europe

Did you know that there is a desert in Europe? If not, then you wouldn’t know that the only desert in Europe can be found right here in Spain!

Read on for more information about Europe’s only desert and where to find it…

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Where is the Tabernas Desert?

The Tabernas Desert is located in the province of Almería in Southern Spain, approximately 30km north of the provincial capital Almería and 50km from the seaside town of Mojacar.

It is often referred to as the only true desert in Europe, covering an area of approximately 280 square kilometers (110 square miles) it has to be seen to be believed!

Is the Tabernas Desert worth visiting?

If you find yourself in the Almeria area then a visit to the Tabernas Desert is definitely worth it. It’s like no other place in Spain (or Europe!) so is worth a stop for a few hours to explore.

What is the Tabernas Desert like?

Receiving less than 250 mm3 of rainfall per year, the Tabernas Desert is known for its distinctive desert landscape, arid, with barren hills, dry riverbeds, and vast stretches of desert sand. Tabernas desert weather is hot, dry and in the summer months very humid.

If you stop in the desert and take a walk, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped onto another planet. There are high rock formations, cliffs, and caves, along with cacti, aloe vera, and many strange looking plants. Despite its harsh conditions, there is quite a lot of plant and animal species here, with several plant and animal species adapted to survive in this arid environment. Some of the plant species found here, you might be lucky enough to spot a desert fox, Mediterranean tortoise, or various other reptiles.

What is the Tabernas Desert famous for?

It’s unique scenery and dry conditions have made it a popular filming location for many Western movies and TV shows over the years, earning it the nickname of “The Hollywood of Europe.”

Several iconic films like “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” and “Lawrence of Arabia” were actually shot in the Tabernas Desert, due to its resemblance to the American Wild West.

What is there to do in the Tabernas Desert?

If you want to know more about the filming locations in the Tabernas Desert there are various attractions in the area, such as the Oasys Mini Hollywood and Fort Bravo Texas Hollywood theme parks, where you can visit the ‘Wild West’ and watch live shows and reenactments.

To explore the area, whether for a short walk or a longer hike, there are plenty of places to park up and go for a wander. We headed to the The Lawrence of Arabia oasis, where parts of the 1962 film were shot, where you’ll find a natural oasis with palm trees, paths, caves, and great views.

For those of you who enjoy horse riding, you can also book onto a horse riding tour of the Tabernas Desert to see more of the area.

If you find yourself in the Almería area, the Tabernas Desert is a fascinating place to visit and worth stop. It’s unlike anywhere else you’ll find in Spain…or in Europe.