Maybe it's a bit pretentious to talk about deserts in Spain, because if the arid zones that are distributed throughout the country are compared with the great deserts of the planet, they may seem smaller entities. However, although we are not talking about completely desert lands or large areas, the truth is that there are several places in the Spanish geography that have that unique beauty that the hardest and most inhospitable lands have.
Without a doubt, the most international desert landscapes that Spain has are in the Andalusian province of Almeria. Lands immortalized in the cinema due to its enormous resemblance to certain places in the western United States. For that reason, in the past many productions of Westerns They moved here to do their filming.Tabernas Desert - HUANG Zheng
Even some towns of props are preserved that came out in those films and that are visitable, in some cases in the form of a unique and romantic theme park.
But beyond the cinema, if we want to appreciate these landscapes we must always bring water, because It is a very hot and dry area, where it barely rains. Because of this weather, the vegetation is scarce or not, giving that landscape a bare appearance.
The Monegros desert
Another Spanish territory of great aridity is the Monegros desert, divided between the Aragonese provinces of Zaragoza and Huesca. That aridity matches it with the Almeria landscape of Tabernas, but it is not the only coincidence. Featured films have also been filmed here, but now Spanish as the famous Ham Ham, who first joined Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.Desert of the Monegros - Víctor Gómez / Flickr.com
Actually all the movies that have been shot here have tried to capture the magic of these harsh lands of eastern Aragon. Hard but of great ecological value, since both for its flora and for its fauna this territory is protected so that it is preserved as well as possible. It also has the rank of Singularísimo Landscape, unique in Europe.
«The desert has no moral. That is why nothing society has taught you is useful when you face it. ”
- Alberto Vázquez Figueroa -
The Bardenas Reales
And the last of the great Spanish desert areas is in the Foral Community of Navarra, near Tudela. It is the area of the Bardenas Reales. It is also a protected space and can only be traveled through the indicated itineraries. Some itineraries that can even be followed by car in its main section, although there are also exclusive routes for walking or cycling, and even on horseback.Las Bárdenas Reales - Miguel Ángel García. / Flickr.com
Undoubtedly, the rock formations of the Bardenas Reales are among the most unique landscapes in Spain, and at times it may seem that we have moved to another planet. That is why it has also been the scene of films. And not only science fiction, but of all kinds, since here they have passed from James Bond to period characters like those of Pride and Passion, going through the protagonists of the already mythical Airbag.
Other Spanish deserts
Undoubtedly, the triad of deserts in Spain is made up of the three mentioned of Tabernas, Monegros and Bárdenas, but there are others in different autonomous communities. While, it is in Andalusia where more arid territories worthy of being called deserts can be found. This is the case of Larva in Jaén or Gorafe in Granada.Gorafe Desert - Javier Garcia
And leaving the Andalusian lands too we can find the famous Las Palmas desert in the province of Castellón, whose denomination is more historical than based on a steppe natural habitat.
Y Outside the Iberian Peninsula, we must mention the National Park of the Dunes of Corralejo in Fuerteventura, without a doubt the area most similar to the Saharan idea that we all have of what a desert is.