Cape and Lighthouse, Cabo de Gata

Cabo de Gata cape, beach  and lighthouse © Michelle Chaplow
Cabo de Gata cape, beach and lighthouse

Cape and Lighthouse, Cabo de Gata

Cabo de Gata; one of the main Capes or Peninsular demarking the Spanish Mediterranean coastline. As all shipping has to navigate around this point it has been important since Phoenician tines.

In the VI century BC the Phoenicians called it Ágatas hill, later the Greeks built a temple on it in honor of Aphrodite.

Ruins have been found of the Testa watchtower erected in 1593 on the Testa hill. This site is higher up than the present lighthouse at 343m above sea level just below ALP-822 and moder Aula del Mar (Classroom for the sea). The Testa tower collapsed in an earthquake on December 31, 1658. The hill continued to be an observation point until the tower was rebuilt in 1769. It is recorded that this tower was occupied by two keepers and a corporal. The ‘new‘ tower also ended up in ruins and disappeared completely at the beginning of the 20th century. The first lighthouse was constructed in 1863 in the lower location where the present lighthouse stands today.

In the Civil War a series of batteries and defences were built including two machine gun bunkers, two anti-aircraft guns and a rangefinder.

There is a car park at the lighthouse and access to a viewpoint, Mirador Las Sirenas, which is a good place to spot offshore seabirds such as razorbills, shags, cormorants, gannets and gulls.