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Tabernas

Los Filabres-Tabernas is the central region in the province of Almería. This is the location of the famous Tabernas Desert (the only desert in Europe), which provided the setting for several Western movies in the 1960s and 70s.

Los Filabres-Tabernas has many tricks up its sleeve. This is a land of contrasts, from the inhospitable Tabernas Desert to the green peaks towering over the mountain ranges that surround the desert.

Los Filabres-Tabernas comprises 18 municipalities stretching from the northern side of the Sierra Alhamilla to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, almost on the border with Granada. The region has an amazingly diverse geography and has been the backdrop to the ups and downs of a history impacted by the Romans, the Nasrid Dynasty and Christianity, all of which left their mark.

The Tabernas Desert lies in the central part of the region, encircled by the Sierra Nevada, the Sierra Alhamilla and the Pico de Calar Alto, home of the largest observatory on mainland Europe. The mountains are peppered with tiny villages at an altitude of around 1,000 metres. The white spots of the houses stand out against the green hillsides in contrast with the ochre of the desert, each village adding a unique touch to a landscape which can change dramatically over just a few kilometres.

The small fortresses at Benitagla, Benizalón, Filabres and Senés, the castles in Tahal, Gérgal and Fiñana, and the archaeological sites of Abla, the Cerro del Mojón and the Cueva de la Mora are all part of the region’s immense historical and artistic heritage. You can easily fill a few days exploring these authentic Almerian locations in Los Filabres.

Here, the mountains dominate the landscape. You’ll find plenty of hiking routes through Sierra Alhamilla, a protected area that stands in stark contrast to the barren and uninhabited lands of the Tabernas Desert.

We can’t discuss Tabernas without mentioning a few of the more than 100 Spaghetti Westerns filmed here. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and For a Few Dollars More are just two of a vast collection of movies whose legacy is kept alive in the form of the Almería Western Film Festival, held in Tabernas in October every year. The festival venues revive classics from the genre and include the western-themed Oasys Mini Hollywood and Fort Bravo Texas Hollywood, both former film studios refurbished for tourism. They’ll both be a hit with kids! And if young minds are captivated by battles between Good and Evil, a fairy-tale hilltop castle awaits in Tabernas with crenellated walls and towers, and perhaps a dragon hiding in the dungeon. They even say that the fortress has secret passageways into the town of Tabernas. This castle has it all!

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