Almeria Province - Isleta del Moro

Isleta del Moro is a tiny pictureque fishing hamlet © Michelle Chaplow
Isleta del Moro is a tiny pictureque fishing hamlet on the Almeria coast © andalucia.com

Isleta del Moro

Isleta del Moro is a quaint fishing hamlet known for its picturesque setting, and well worth the500m detour from the AL-4200 San Jose to Las Negras coast road.Population is about 200.

The name comes from Isleta del Moro Arraez, possibly from a Moorish commander called Mohamed Arraez (ar-rais means boat owner).

Straddling a narrow peninsula, between two small hills, the hamlet offers a very photogenic coastal scene, looking more Aegean than Andalucian withblue-painted doors and windows on its white-washed houses and crystal-clear waters.  

Out of season the village is very quiet, although even in winter on a sunny day, you can sit and watch the sunset and the fishermen from the waterfront café; there is also a small hostel.

Bus service from Isleta del Moro to Almeria with Autocares Bernardo

Bus to Almeria

WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?

Isleta del Moro has a jetty where a number of small boats are anchored just offshore in the shelter of the bay. A fleet of small fishing boats called varadas also operates out of Isleta del Moro. These are pulled up onto the beach, in traditional fashion, with a wooden winch. Fish caught locally includes sargo (bream).

Limited parking is available in the main square, which is actually an old river course. You can get a drink or meal at La Isleta bar with terrace overlooking the jetty and the bay, which is dominated by the dual-peaked extinct volcanoes called Volcanes del Fraile. 

The municipal lavadero in the square remains a witness to the past when it was a social hub.  It is functioning again following a 2009 restoration, albeit with plastic plumbing. 

This part of the Almeria coast is characterised by the abanicos aluviales (affluvial fans), fan-shaped deposits of sediment, located between the Sierra de Cabo de Gata volcanic mountains and the sea.

Fiesta de Virgin del Carmen (16 July), the patron saint of sailors, is an important festival for the village.

VIEWPOINTS

Don't miss the view from the hills above the village and the jetty.

The inland hill has an official mirador, where photos are best taken a couple of hours before sunset. The seaside mirador is a popular spot to climb and watch the last of the sunset - you can capture a super selfie.

Like everywhere, the hamlet has expanded with new buildings over the last 20 years, so classic picturesque photos need to be carefully composed.

An official viewing point, Mirador La Amatista, sits overlooking the coast at an old Guardia Civil lookout post on the A4200 coast road towards Rodalquilar. This offers views along the Cabo de Gata coastline to Los Esculleros coastal village and inland to Pico de los Frailes, at 500m the highest peak of the coastal mountain range.

BEACHES

The larger of the two beaches is Playa de Peñon Blanco, a 400m-curve of sand, which you can park behind; Playa Isleta del Moro, next to the jetty village, is very small.

NEAREST PLACES

The next villages are San José, Los Escullos, Rodalquilar

FILM LOCATIONS

Isleta del Moro was used as a location in the films El Pájaro de la Felicidad (1993 Spanish drama directed by Pilar Miró), Un Día Sin Fin (2004 Spanish-Italian comedy by Giulio Manfredonia), and Sea-Mail by (2006 Spanish comedy by Víctor Erice).