Mini Hollywood - Theme Parks
Almeria - Andalucia - Southern Spain
MINI HOLLYWOOD - Tabernas Desert
Situated in the Tabernas Desert, an established location for the movie industry, the film studios of Tabernas have grown into the wild west tourist attraction know as Mini Hollywood.
Mini Hollywood has three separate itineraries, Oasys Park, Fort Bravo and Western Leone, all are open for visitors and each offers a different wild west adventure for all the family with western shows among the many other attractions. Western Leone and Fort Bravo are still part time working film locations where as Oasys Park, the largest of the three, is now entirely given over to the theme park business.
Choose Almeria for movie locations
Wild west adventures in Tabernas desert include the western village sets used for the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns...
Tabernas desert cinematic heritage
In the 1960s the landscapes of the desert of Tabernas developed into a sought after movie location, well known productions such as King of Kings (1960), Cleopatra (1963), and the winner of seven Oscars, Lawrence of Arabia (1962), all used the desert as a backdrop during filming, attracting big budget Hollywood directors such as Steven Spielberg who chose Almeria for scenes in his blockbuster movie Indian Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) starring Harrison Ford.
Sergio Leone, the director of the famous Spaghetti Westerns, starring Clint Eastwood, also capitalised on these unique landscapes, scenes from A Fist Full of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good The Bad and The Ugly (1966), and A Fistful of Dynamite (1972), were filmed in the western village movie sets as well as the surrounding desert and other well suited spots throughout the remarkable terrains of the province.
More recently, in 2012, the BBC chose Tabernas to shoot an episode for the next season of the cult series Doctor Who.
Oasys theme park
Oasys Park is extremely popular with children and adults alike and is one of the most frequented destinations for a family excursion in Almeria, its extensive grounds include a western village, pool area and zoo reserve. An oasis in the desert, the park is home to thousands of plants and trees that give shelter to the numerous animals, many of them endangered species, that live there. Not only is the park great fun but it is also very informative, besides offering an insight into Almerias cinema culture it exemplifies the beauty of nature and the need to protect the threatened species of our planet. A highly recommended day out, the kids will want to go back time and again.
Oasys Western Village
Formerly a film set, the western village is just like the old towns of the wild wild west seen in the movies, it is the setting for the spectacular simulations of wild west gunfight scenes, its buildings include a sheriffs office, hotel, saloon, restaurant, bank, general store, undertakers, church and stables...
The film museum, dedicated to cinematography, spanning from the beginning of the last century until present day, includes many examples of projectors and accessories and houses an extensive poster display of the movies that have been filmed in the area.
The carriage museum showcases the preserved stagecoaches and waggons that were once used in film production.
Further recreational areas of the village include the old mine works and the smithy, a cactus garden, a games area and a wild west playground.
The Western Shows are held three times a day in the summer months and twice daily during the winter.
Cancan Shows, held in the Yellow Rose Saloon, are also performed twice or three times per day depending on the season, and start at different times to the wild west shows.
The Arizona Restaurant, open in the afternoons, is located next to the bank building, the food is buffet style, eat as much as you like for a set price, and a discount is available if paying in advance on entrance to the park. The Yellow Rose Saloon offers hot and cold snacks and there is an area of the park set aside for BBQs and picnics.
Before leaving the western village, en route to the zoo, take advantage of the photo shoot opportunity at the photographic studio and have yourself and the kiddies snapped in one of the wild west disguises, a keepsake to take home with you.
Oasys Safari Park & Pool
The pool area, open throughout the summer months, offers a sensational desert setting with vistas over the safari park and a welcome respite from the heat of the day, there are water slides for the children and a whirlpool for adults, sun loungers are free and refreshments are served from the poolside bar.
La Senda de Naturaleza, translated, the Path of Nature, a walking trail through the impressive terrain of the Oasys Safari Park.
The reserve is home to over one hundred and fifty different species from all over the world, some will be familiar and others unknown, with a number of them protected and at risk of becoming extinct. The more well known mammals, reptiles and birds include monkeys, white rhino, giraffes, bears, zebras, camels, buffalo, hippos, lions, tigers, wolves, turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, flamingo, emu and ostrich, and the less familiar species, are the guanacos, a South American lama, the capybaras, a South American semi aquatic mammal which is known to be the largest living rodent in the world, and the greater kudu, an African antelope. This is a fascinating place where there is much to discover about the animals and their habitats as well as enjoying the stunning valley scenery.
The Parrot Show, a real hit with children, is held three times per day, it is presented in the zoo reserve amphitheatre, next to the bat cave.
There is a Mini Train which covers some of the ground on the far side of the safari park.
Hot and cold snacks are available in the African Bar, which is located at the farthest end of the safari park, before that, there is a cafe bar and an ice cream snack bar on the route.
It is worth noting that there are drinking fountains situated at intervals along the nature path.
A map of the theme park is provided on entry.
OPENING TIMES: SUMMER 10.00 - 18.00 Every day.
WINTER 10.00 - 18.00 Saturday and Sunday only.
ACCESS: Signposted directly off the N340a Tabernas - Sorbas highway.
Tlf: 950 362 931
PRICES: Adults 22.50€, children 12.50€.
Thank you to David and Elaine Brown from Mojacar who kindly sent photos of their recent visit to Oasys Park.
David, Elaine, and friends, are pictured at the Yellow Rose Saloon, on the Mini train, and crossing the safari park bridge.
Fort Bravo film studio and theme park
Fort Bravo comprises of two film set villages, a saloon, restaurant, and riding stables. Dazzling wild west shows are played out daily in the summer months and at the weekend in the winter months. The Fort Bravo villages offer a real western ambiance, take a ride on the stage coach through Texas village and enter the many authentically styled buildings such as the saloon and jail house, or walk the streets of the Mexican village with its typical peasant homes, town square and church, hundreds of movies have been filmed in these locations alone.
The Canacn shows commence at 12.30pm and 5.30pm, the Western horseback show times are 2.30pm and 7.30pm, established April 2013.
Horse Riding at Fort Bravo
Discover the desert landscape on horseback, and imagine yourself as one of the wild west heroes!
There are five horseback routes available from Fort Bravo, all of them are supervised.
Accommodation at Fort Bravo
Perfectly located to make the most of the amazing surroundings, Fort Bravo offers accommodation in the form of rustic wooden cabins.
Provided to help visitors make the most of the area. The link will open in a separate page.
Fort Bravo website, for more information on Fort Bravo, the accommodation and the horse riding excursions.
The website is currently only available in Spanish.
OPENING TIMES: SUMMER 9.00 - 20.00 Every day.
WINTER 9.00 - 20.00 *Every day.
* Wild West Shows - held only on Saturdays and Sundays in Winter.
ACCESS: Signposted from the main N340a Tabernas - Sorbas highway.
Tlf Office: 950 066 014
PRICES: Adults 17.90€, children 9.90€.
Western Leone movie location and theme park
The smallest of the three theme parks, advertising wild west shows, a saloon bar and a restaurant. Glimpses of the desert tee-pees on the outskirts of the village, and the village itself, can be seen from the A-92 highway. This film set and western village was originally built to film Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) staring Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson, one of a series of spaghetti westerns directed by Sergio Leone and filmed in the Tabernas desert. Those who remember the movie may recognise the desert town of Sweetwater and the McBain Ranch.
OPEN TIMES: SUMMER 10.00 – 19.00
WINTER 10.00 - 17.30
ACCESS: Signposted from the roundabout at junction 376 of the A-92 Almeria to Guadix highway, this junction links to and the N-340a Tabernas to Sorbas highway.
Tlf: 950 165 405
PRICES: Adults 11.00€, children 6.00€.
View Map for the locations of the theme parks
Theme parks aside the Tabernas desert has so much more to offer the visitor, the terrain is host to a wealth of flora and fauna and can be explored on foot along the rambla walking trails.
The numerous desert movie locations can be visited by guided tours with options including horseback, camel or by 4x4 vehicle excursions.
I would love to know how much you enjoyed your visit to Mini Hollywood and hope that you will share the highlights with me, perhaps you could send me a photo or two of your trip.
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