If Bond movies, quirky bars, fossils and remote Mediterranean beaches appeal to you, take a trip to Los Escullos.
Los Escullos is a small cluster of houses overlooking the jagged Almeria coastline, a few km north of San Jose. Sitting under the extinct volcano Cerro del Fraile (at 493m, El Fraile peak is the highest of the Sierra del Cabo de Gata), it has a certain charm.
The dwellings of Los Escullos are located around an old fort, Castillo de Don Felipe, located right on the beach. The fort was built in 1764 on the orders of Carlos III to defend the coast from the Barbary (North African) Pirates. Nine forts were constructed along the 390km stretch of coast between Garrucha (Almeria) and Manilva (Málaga). Occupied by French troops during the War of Independence, in the 20th century the fort became a Guardia Civil barracks. Although restored in 1991 and in excellent condition, sadly the fort is not open to the public. You can see into the courtyard through the iron railings at the entrance.
famous natural monument - the Fossil Dunes of Los Escullos
Just to the north of the hamlet is the famous natural monument, the Fossil Dunes of Los Escullos, where the sand dunes have become fossilised and turned to soft stone with a strange-looking narrow section which juts out like an arm.
Just to the south where the tarmac road runs out, signs warn than only non-motorised vehicles can continue to San Jose. The coastal track offers spectacular views for walkers and cyclists.
Offshore there is great scuba diving in Fondeado de los Escullosprotected zone.
Los Escullos is located just off the San Jose to Rodalquilar AL-4200 coast road at km 5.
Bus service from Los Escullos to Almeria with Autocares Bernardo
|Bus to Almeria|
Restaurants and hotels
In the village, Shaman Beach Club has a restaurant and bar, swimming pool and live entertainment - music and DJs, as well as all-night raves on Saturday nights. An alternative is to rave in the attended car park for 10 euro. In summer, Haima Escullos club offers music and drinks.
Hostal Casa Emilio has nine rooms and a perfectly acceptable restaurant and terrace with thick vegetation that acts as a wind break.
The dunes are overlooked by the more upmarket Hotel Los Escullos, open in the summer only, with chill-out lounge, pool and restaurant: it is a popular venue for weddings. Auto-caravans can camp overnight in the car park for a small fee.
Further inland towards San José you can find Camping Los Escullos and its restaurant El Oasis.
BAR DE JO
Rated by many as one of the best bars in Andalucia - and certainly one of the most unusual - Bar de Jo was set up by a Harley Davidson-riding Frenchman in 1993. Joe Strummer of the Clash called the bar his 'favourite place in the world' - he celebrated his 50th and last birthday here. Bar de Jo was was closed down in 2017. Will it open again. Read more>
Los Escullos was the location for several scenes in the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again. Stuntman Vic Armstrong doubled for Sean Connery and jumped with Kim Basinger on a horse from the battlements of Alcazaba de Almeria, landing in the sea off Los Escullos. The horse scene is only shown on the American DVD (Region 1) version, never on TV or on UK DVD (Region 2), due to concerns about treatment of the animal. View here
Underwater diving scenes from this classic Bond movie, were also shot here.
Les Dalton, a 2004 French comedy Western based on the Lucky Luke cartoon characters, was also filmed here.