Located in the south-eastern corner of Spain, Cabo de Gata-Níjar is Andalucia's largest coastal Natural Park, with a wild and isolated landscape and some of Europe's most original geological features. The Cabo de Gata mountain range is also mainland Spain's largest volcanic rock formation with sharp peaks and crags characterized by deep ochre-hues. These land features fall steeply down to the Mediterranean Sea, creating jagged 100-metre high cliffs. The resulting gullies provide access to hidden coves with natural white sandy beaches and crystal clear coastal waters. Offshore are numerous tiny rocky islands and extensive coral reefs.
The area's climate is arid to the extent of being the driest location in Europe and the continent´s only subtropical or "warm" desert, with rainfall below 200 mm a year and average yearly temperatures above 18 °C (64 °F). Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997, the Park was also added to the Specially Protected Areas of Mediterranean Importance in 2001. Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park also joined UNESCO's Global Geopark's Network in 2006,
The harsh conditions have historically limited local agriculture and its isolated location has kept the area relatively uninhabited and unspoiled, a sharp contrast to many other areas along the Spanish costa. Dotted around the Natural Park are abandoned farms, houses, factories and sometimes whole villages dating back to various periods in time.
One of my favourite areas are the salt flats (Las Salinas de Cabo de Gata) located between the villages of San Miguel and Cabo de Gata. The salt flats are separated from the Mediterranean sea by a 400 m sand bar. Las Salinas plays an important ecological role and provides refuge to a multitude of animal species and vegetation, with over 100 species of birds making the reserve their home. The resulting tranquility and atmosphere provided me with some wonderful photographic opportunities, as can be seen in my photographs "chasing the light", "las salinas" and "tranquility".
Another highly photogenic and, at times visually dramatic location is at Arrecife de las Sirenas (Sirens' Reef). The reef is made up of the remnants of an ancient volcano chimney and is situated within the cape itself. My photograph " sirens' reef " captures this landmark location at sunset. The photograph includes the three old rusty tracks that disappear into the sea. These were originally used to lower fishing boats in from the narrow cove. Unsurprisingly, this location has become a magnet for tourists and photographers alike.
Each of these photographs, together with others from the Cabo de Gata Natural park can be viewed on my New Projects page or also within their respective Portfolio. Selected photographs are also now available to purchase. For more details and availability, please check out The Print Shop.
Thank you for taking the time to view these new photographs and I sincerely hope that you enjoy them.