Playa de los Muertos: Voted Best in Spain
After Onda Cero listeners named Playa de los Muertos one of the 2021 top 10 beaches in Spain the national radio station enthused that it is “a heavenly place” and one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Carboneras Tourism councillor Isabel Hernández agrees. The councillor told Ultimate there are “many reasons” why Playa de los Muertos is a “paradisiacal and unique beach on the Mediterranean coast.”
Its spectacular location between Carboneras and Agua Amarga is one. The rugged beauty of the landscape surrounding the beach, its amazing rock formations and “its marvellous crystalline waters” are others. And it’s completely natural: a more than kilometre long, 30-metre-wide virgin beach with tiny white pebbles, which get increasingly finer the nearer you get to the water. The fact that Playa de los Muertos is pebbles not sand explains why the water is so spectacularly clear. Isabel Hernández says that for snorkelling enthusiasts it’s “the perfect place to discover the area’s different species.”
Playa de los Muertos is regularly ranked as one of the best beaches in Spain, and even Europe, and early autumn is an ideal time to check out this stunning spot on the Costa de Almería.
The beach also has enormous environmental value. It makes up part of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park and has a high-level conservation status. You could have the beach virtually to yourself Even in peak summer holiday season, Playa de los Muertos doesn’t get over-crowded. Comments the councillor, “Many visitors come to discover the beach and enjoy it during high season, but its length and width mean that at no time are you going to feel there are many people around you.” At this time of year, you might even find you have it virtually to yourself.
the beautiful colors of the water with the white sandy beaches make you feel you’re somewhere else
Early autumn temperatures on the Costa de Almeria often get up into the high twenties – very pleasant sunbathing weather – and Playa de los Muertos is a great place to catch a few rays. It’s not officially classified as a naturist beach, but naturism is not at all unusual, and Isabel Hernández says there is “an open and respectful environment.” If it is warm enough to tempt you into the water for a dip, bear in mind it gets deep pretty quickly and there are strong currents, especially on windy days.
The only way down to the beach is on foot
Getting to Playa de los Muertos does require some effort. For the last two summers there has been a bus service connecting Carboneras town and the car park at the top of the cliff above the beach. The rest of the year you’ve got to drive, cycle or, or if you’re really keen, walk the eight kilometres. Then you’ve actually got to get down to the beach itself. The only way is on foot. “In Carboneras we always say the difficult thing is not going down. What’s difficult is coming up!”, the councillor remarks.
if you survive the journey down, the reward is well worth it
Joking aside, she says access to Playa de los Muertos is “safe and well-marked”, but points out it is quite a steep slope. “It’s not difficult for someone in normal physical condition, but it can be difficult for people who are unfit”. She also makes the point that, depending on the disability, it’s not really a good idea for anyone with reduced mobility to attempt the descent.
A piece of advice: Check you’ve got everything you need for before you start the 15-minute or so way down one of the trails. There are no services on the beach. The reward for those who can tackle the descent is finding yourself in a dramatically scenic and totally unspoilt corner of the Mediterranean. Playa de los Muertos is certainly special.
Photo by Gloria Fotógrafos (provided by the Ayuntamiento de Carboneras)