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In the province of Granada, 80 km from the capital, we find a desert, that of Gorafe. This territory a short distance from Baza and Guadix is known as a desert, although we know that on a purely technical level the only desert in Spain is that of Tabernas in the province of Almeria.
See also -> What to see near Granada
The desert of Gorafe
The landscape of the Gorafe desert it is mostly composed of badlands, a word of American origin that well identifies these "bad landsArid and steep, not very useful for agriculture. The morphology of the territory with this characteristic is certainly reminiscent of the most famous Cappadocia. In fact, there are many people who compare the Gorafe desert with the Turkish region.
As in Turkey, also in the desert of province of Granada we find infinite badlands, that is geological formations due to the erosion of the clayey soil due to the action of water runoff. This is why in Gorafe it is possible to surprise yourself with true natural monuments like pyramids and chimneys. All the observable reliefs are mostly covered with esparto, a shrub typical of these climates that in the past was gathered to produce baskets and other objects.
In the clayey soil of the area we will hardly find any stones, but it will be easier to find remains of crystallized limestone. In some particular areas of the Gorafe desert it will be possible to appreciate how the calcium crystals present in the ground shine according to the position of the sun.
In the Gorafe desert, however, we not only find a little bit of Turkey, but also a little bit of the United States. A particular area of the Gorafe desert, the most famous and photographed, is comparable to Grand Canyon of Arizona. This is mainly due to the bright red color of the clay which conforms the reliefs of this area of Granada called The Coloraos (the colored ones). It's not hard to see why this particular area is the most eye-catching in the whole area. It is a thrill to see all of them reddish hillocks get lost on the horizon and play with the sunlight.
Furthermore, the whole area of the Gorafe desert has ageological importance not indifferent and for this reason he will soon be named as Geoparco, that is a park of significant geological interest such as the Sierra Norte of Seville and the Sierra Subbética of Cordoba.
How to visit the Gorafe desert
It is practically not possible to visit the Gorafe desert without a guide. There are many contraindications: for example, the slopes are practicable only with a 4 × 4 vehicle and the routes they have no signage and without the adequate experience in this environment it would be rather difficult to orient oneself.
Fortunately, from their own village of Gorafe, they leave guided tours on 4 × 4 vehicles or on foot. The advantage of visiting this park is above all that of being able to have a general picture of the observable landscapes. Also, the expert guide, knowing the best viewpoints and all the curiosities of the place, will ensure that the tourist visit is extremely complete. To book a visit to the desert, you can write to email@example.com
The village of Gorafe
The village of Gorafe really offers little on a cultural level. What is undoubtedly most relevant is that this is one area with the greatest concentration of Dolmens in Spain and one of the most important in Europe. Along the paths in the desert there are various dolmens that can be visited (11 necropolis in the area), but above all in the country there is a museum where you can understand the history of these archaeological elements of the Neolithic and Bronze Age.
Furthermore, the town is characterized byarchitecture of their homes. Throughout this northern area of the province of Granada, from Guadix to Gorafe up to the Sacromonte of Granada, the construction of cave houses. The casa-cuevas, in fact, are the usual constructions of this whole area.
Sleeping in a house-cave or house-cueva in Gorafe
A large part of the population of Gorafe and its surroundings still live in this type of house, but many others have been adapted for tourist use. The caves in the beginning were very small dwellings of only two rooms without windows and with a fireplace, entirely carved into the mountain.
One room was the bedroom, the other where the fireplace was, served as a living room and kitchen. Until the 70s, the bathroom did not exist, just as there was no running water or electricity. From this we can understand the tough life that faced the people of this area, having to overcome even freezing winters.
Now the cave houses they have been modernized and we find all the necessary comforts for a tourist, up to even having a whirlpool in the bedroom. Although they have largely changed, the characteristic of keep a mild temperature both in summer and in winter they continue to preserve it.
-> Book your cave house here.
The house of the desert or glass of Gorafe
Twenty minutes by car from the village of Gorafe, in the middle of the desert, totally isolated from everything one finds the eccentric Desert House. This is a house entirely of glass transparent that a manufacturer of this material has built for demonstrate the strength of this material at the extreme temperatures of the Gorafe desert (in summer it can even reach 50 degrees and in winter the thermometer can drop below zero).
This experiment soon turned into a tourist attraction and then into a tourist accommodation. The experience of staying in this house is unique for many reasons. Being totally made of glass, it is possible to see the fantastic environment at any time, on the other hand, having no walls, privacy is guaranteed only by the fact that the home is miles and miles away from other homes.
La glass house is self-sufficient and although it is now possible to use it for € 150 per night, this is ephemeral. The experiment, in fact, is destined to disappear when the concession offered by the municipality of Gorafe expires. For this reason it is good to book as soon as possible to enjoy this truly unique experience.