Just because you’re in Spain doesn’t mean that your experience need be limited to all things Spanish: Oasys Mini Hollywood transports its visitors straight to the good old Wild West. Originally just a movie set – used for films such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly — the cowboy-style town is now a theme park, complete with daily mock shoot-outs, a can-can performance at the saloon, and much more.
Indeed, the park goes beyond just the Wild West fun, and also offers a proper zoo, which boasts more than 800 animals of 200 different species that range from lions to giraffes, tigers and iguanas. A trip to the zoo can also include a very kid-friendly parrot show as well. Meanwhile, if the Spanish temperatures at Oasys get too warm, take advantage of the park’s water zone and its two pools. Finally, if you get hungry, plan to fuel-up at the park’s well-priced buffet.
The park’s hours change regularly depending on time of year and time of week (for example, during winter, it’s only open on weekends), so be sure to verify hours prior to your visit. Also note that the zoo is situated at the top of a steep hill, so you may wish to skip this attraction if this kind of walking poses a challenge.
Address: Carretera Nacional 340a, Km. 464, Tabernas, Almeria 04200, Spain
Hours: 10:00 a.m.-6 p.m. or later, depending on the day and time of year. Open weekends only between October and mid-March.
Located within the mountains of Almeria in Spain sits Europe’s only semi-desert, a surreal landscape of arid slopes, dry river beds and ravines known as the Tabernas Desert. While the name of the desert might not strike many as familiar, the landscapes probably will; this area is a Hollywood favorite — it’s been featured in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", "Lawrence of Arabia" and the Clint Eastwood "Dollars" trilogy.
Movie buffs can walk in the footsteps of famous actors in the film villages of Fort Bravo, Mini Hollywood and Western Leone, some of the more than a dozen villages built in the desert for filming purposes. Visitors will also find hiking trails, ruined hilltop castles and plenty of stunning desert views.
The nearest permanent settlement in the area is the village of Tabernas, located to the southwest of the desert. Another option for a base is Gergal to the north.