A picturesque beach
El Toyo’s shore is a peaceful stretch of sand with ample amounts of tanning space for each of its sun-thirsty holidaygoers. It’s also lined by the paseo, a wooden footpath that snakes along the scenic coast, and whose landings face out toward camera-worthy landscapes.
You won’t find watersports or volleyball games at the beaches here, but instead a calm and quiet atmosphere for afternoon siestas. Bring a picnic and bask in the salty sea air or dig into a great book – there won’t be much to disturb you.
Cabo de Gata National Park
Located just beside El Toyo, this massive patch of protected land is the largest of its kind in Andalucia, and boasts some of the most gorgeous scenery in the south-east of Spain. Its rugged land is made up of volcanic rock formations, and is renowned as being one of the driest areas in Europe and the only true desert on the continent.
Nature lovers flock here for glimpses of the area’s thousands of species of flora and fauna, which can be experienced through activities like bird watching or scuba diving near one of the many surrounding reefs. You can even set out on a day-hike into the centre of an ancient volcanic crater, exploring the park’s unique geological landscape.
El Toyo is nearby to the bustling town of Almeria. Here, you’ll find traces of the area’s storied past, like a medieval Muslim fortress called the Alcazaba overlooking the surrounding town, air raid shelters, Renaissance churches and the Museum of Almeria, whose exhibits feature ancient artefacts. Additionally, the streets are host to a number of modern restaurants, street side cafes and an indoor market that’ll give you a taste of local flavours.
Culture-packed daytrips to Granada
On the other side of the Sierra Nevada mountains is the majestic town of Granada, whose streets are lined with influences from its long ago Moorish occupation. Perhaps most famous is the iconic Alhambra, an incredible Nasrid palace city that’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most visited attractions in Spain. Inside its walls are the palace, gardens and orchards of El Generalife, whose beauty was sought out by kings looking to escape the boredom of palace life.
The rest of Granada, while not quite as sweeping, is equally as impressive, with winding streets lined with beautiful architecture, and a number of Renaissance cathedrals whose walls are home to works by famous artists like Andrea Botticelli and Hans Memling.
While El Toyo might be small, its range of accommodation is mighty, featuring a number of large, resort-style hotels complete with massive pools and leafy palm trees overlooking the beach. You won’t have to go far for rest and relaxation, as most places come with in-house spas and rows of sunloungers only an arm’s length from the pool bar.
Visitors can go All Inclusive and dine at buffet restaurants throughout the day, so that if the stroll into Almeria is too much for your sun-drenched self, you’re taken care of.