Rodalquilar must be one of the most beautifully sited villages of mining origin, located as it is in a lovely valley encircled by mountains of volcanic origin and near to the sea.
It is within the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata-Nijar, so regulations have meant that the renovation of the old houses has been done with care, many are still ruins, but nowadays there are a couple of bars for the inhabitants and holidaymakers.
The village has a very African feel with the large palm trees and prickly pear cacti all around, the track down to the pretty sandy beach is very romantic in its wildness.
It is well worth walking up to the mouth of the old gold mine to see where the gold was washed. A British Company opened up and exploited the gold in the 19th Century and this brought life and wealth into a village which before then had struggled to earn a living from fishing and farming the poor quality soil.
However, the mines were closed in 1923, reopened in 1933 but closed definitely in 1966 when it was decided that the mining was not profitable.
The ruined village of the miners has been left and is visited regularly by tourists. It is possible to walk through the ruins and see how the miners lived during that time.
From the point called Cabo de Gata as far as Carboneras, the coastline is high and uneven, the dark volcanic cliffs often plunging dramatically into the Mediterranean. Steep rugged hillsides are broken by gorges and paths which lead down to coves and small bays.
The beach here is the largest on this part of the coast, and on a rocky promontory which stretches into the sea, lies an old castle which featured in history during the time of the Moors.