Tabernas is a village that sits between the Sierra de Alhamilla and Sierra de Filabres. It is a place of contrasts and is probably best known as a backdrop for the production of spaghetti westerns. The climate here is extreme and rain is scarce. In the summer months it reaches temperatures of 45º C, whilst some winter nights register 0º C. Tabernas, situated in the arid desert, has several buildings of interest; a ruined medieval Moorish fortress, the elegant parish church of La Encarnacion (16th and 17th century) and the town hall that was once a grain store. Nearby, stands the solar energy research station (1979) with its rows of mirrors reflecting the abundant sunlight.
However, the main attraction of Tabernas is its in place film history in the 1960s. As the only true desert in Europe, Tabernas became a popular destination for film producers and their film sets, especially westerns. More than 100 films have been at least partially shot here, including A Fistful of Dollars, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Many famous actors such as Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot, Yul Brynner, Henry Ford and Harrison Ford have all worked here. Indeed, many locals that had previously emigrated one decade before returned to the town to work as extras in the films.
For anyone with an interest in cinema history there are various film sets built in the Nature Preserve of the Tabernas Desert by the A92-C3226 and the CN340a roads and these have now been transformed into three theme parks; Mini Hollywood , Texas Hollywood and Western Leone. The later two are still working locations at least part of the time.