What would you say to move to the Wild West for a day and become a hero straight from a Western movie? To watch gunfights and sheriff’s pursuit after bad guys? To visit a saloon to drink whisky and watch beautiful girls dancing? If so, then you’ll love Oasys MiniHollywood Theme Park! It has literally everything about experiencing the Wild West, and probably even more. It offers a very unique and memorable experience that you cannot find anywhere else in Europe. Sounds super fun, right? Then pack your cowboy boots and hat and let’s go experience Oasys MiniHollywood, western in the Tabernas Desert in Almeria, Spain.
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About Tabernas Desert
To better understand Oasys MiniHollywood and why it came to life exactly there, first you need to learn some more details about the Tabernas Desert. Although there are many semi-arid spots around Europe that qualify under the definition of ‘desert’, it’s the Tabernas that is referred to be the only real desert on the continent. There are less than 25 centimeters of rain during the year, and the average annual temperature is 18ºC. In the summer, the temperature can reach almost 50ºC, and during winter can fall below 0ºC. So the most convenient season to visit is either spring or autumn when the temperatures are most pleasant.
Thanks to the fact that Tabernas’ Desert badlands landscape resembles deserts in the United States it became a giant movie set for spaghetti westerns, mostly between the 1960s and 1980s. If you’re wondering, spaghetti westerns are low-budget movies produced by Italian filmmakers, hence the “spaghetti” connection.
Among dozens of titles that were shot in Tabernas Desert you’ll find popular titles like: “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, “A Fistful of Dollars”. The most recent popular titles are “Exodus: Gods and Kings”, “Assassins Creed” or “Extraña forma de vida”. Some scenes from the 6th season of “Game of Thrones” or “Black Mirror” are from there as well. So as you can see, some of the greatest movie stars set foot in this desert.
After the end of the heyday of movie sets created on the Tabernas Desert, the villages remained and were transformed into tourist attractions. Currently, you’ll find there three movie sets: Oasys MiniHollywood, Fort Bravo, and Western Leone. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the Oasys MiniHollywood, one of the main attractions near Almeria. Let’s go! Yeehaw!
Oasys MiniHollywood – Western In Tabernas Desert In Almeria, Spain
Howdy! At last, we’ve arrived at Oasys MiniHollywood – the wild west town where you can enjoy various western shows and attractions, an aquatic zone, and a zoological reserve. Fun day for big and small ones – guaranteed!
Oasys MiniHollywood is one of Western’s filming locations, which was transformed into a theme park when the hype for Spaghetti Westerns ended. This is exactly where movies such as “A Fistful of Dollars”, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, or “For a Few Dollars More” were shot. You can find more about Western movies filmed at Oasys MiniHollywood on oasysparquetematico.com website.
Now let’s take a closer look at areas in Oasys MiniHollywood and what you can do in each.
Western Town is the most entertaining part of Oasys MiniHollywood and the one that draws the most attention. Everything you’ll see there was used in films and is still in great condition. Here you’ll feel, and can even dress up, as almost any Western character as you wander through the town and explore the area. There is a saloon, sheriff’s office, bank, railway, church, mine, general store, cemetery, stables, and many more. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open and spot many amazing details.
On the main Western Town square you’ll also find a Cinema Museum with a large collection of 200+ movie posters and various equipment used in cinematography. There are items like projectors, magic lanterns, Chinese shadows, or kaleidoscopes. Few steps further you’ll also find a Carriage Museum with chariots and cars that were used in some of the productions.
Near the square, there is also a souvenir shop and photo shop where you can rent a costume of the Western characters, dress up and do a quick photo session inside or around the town. Also don’t forget to visit Cactus Garden which is home to 250+ species of cacti from all over the world.
Western Show is probably the most awaited attraction in Oasys MiniHollywood that takes place in Western Town’s main square. Two or three times a day (depending on the season) actors put on a spectacular about 20min long show full of action and gunfights. It’s like a Western movie in real life – make sure you won’t miss it.
We recommend watching the show from the buildings’ balconies, as we think that the view of the show is the best from there. Just make sure to “claim your spot” early enough. Just to get the best spots, some are waiting an hour before! If you miss it or want to watch it again from a different perspective, just wait for the same show in the same place later in the day. During our visit, it looked like the afternoon show was less crowded.
Can Can Dance Show
Can Can Dance Show is another great performance that takes place in Western Town. In the Yellow Rose Saloon, two or three times a day (depending on the season), you can watch about 20min long mesmerizing show performed by cancan dancers. Great experience!
Unless you want to sit and drink whisky or beer, we recommend taking a place upstairs on the balcony – the view from there is great.
After a proper exploration of Western Town, you can now head to the next part of Oasys MiniHollywood – Zoological Reserve. It was created in 1997 and is home to about 800 animals of 200 different species, and more than 4000 trees. Also, it’s very beautifully integrated with the landscape of Tabernas Desert. As they claim on their website, among other things, it’s a place of recovery, environmental education, research, and conservation of endangered species.
While wandering around the zoo, you’ll have a chance to see species like sand cats, meerkats, giraffes, lions, mountain zebras, cheetahs, ostriches, lizards, and snakes. We especially enjoyed visiting Reptile House (probably because we used to own crested geckos). There is also a parrot show 3 times a day hosted in the reserve’s amphitheater.
Our honest opinion on the zoological reserve
We’ll be honest here – visiting a zoological reserve wasn’t our goal at all as we always avoid places like that. We knew that at some point we’ll find it somewhere in the area, but frankly, we were expecting something much smaller, and purely created for human delight. Ok, it still is but at least in our eyes, it didn’t look too bad. Compared to places we’ve seen in the past, in Oasys most of the animals had quite a lot of space, and they all seemed alright and well taken care of. We had the hardest time looking at the birds as they just didn’t have space to fly. Or at least we would give them more of it or even set them free.
On the one hand, it’s nice to see various species with your own eyes, but on the other hand… You know, just a moral problem. What we liked most in Oasys zoological reserve were the views over the surroundings. In our opinion – much better than from Western Town. Can’t deny that place is located in a very picturesque area. So even if you’re not a zoo fan like us, take a stroll there just for the views.
During the summer months in Oasys MiniHollywood you can also take advantage of the Aquatic Zone. There you can take a cooling dip in one of the pools, hop into the jacuzzi, or enjoy a drink from a restaurant. Kids can also have some fun on the water slides.
Oasys MiniHollywood Tickets, Opening Hours & Map
Oasys MiniHollywood is the largest and most expensive of all Western Parks in the Tabernas Desert. Depending on the month, it’s open on different days and at different hours. Be sure to check out the timetable on the official website before your trip.
Standard entrance ticket to Oasys MiniHollywood costs €26 for adults, and €15 for children under 13 years old (May 2023). There are many other options available, like with buffet and even an annual pass. To check them all visit oasysparquetematico.com official website. You can buy tickets online or at the ticket office.
As for where to leave your car – if you’ll find a place you can leave it just before Oasis near the road. There is also covered parking right before the entrance to the theme park if there won’t be any free spots available. For that you’ll need to buy a ticket – either in the ticket office or online.
Before entering Oasys MiniHollywood you’ll get a physical map, but if you are curious about what you’ll find in a park you can check out the official map right now.
How much time will it take to see all the places and take part in all the shows?
We don’t know how it will be for you, as it might depend on many factors. But we’ll tell you how much time we spent in Oasys MiniHollywood (without kids but with photo/video gear). So we arrived at 10AM and wandered to Western Town first and took part in all the shows. Just before 2PM we were heading to the Zoological Reserve and spent about 2.5 hours there. We left before 5PM. We didn’t have a chance to explore the Aquatic Zone as it was closed in March.
Our thoughts about Oasys MiniHollywood
Overall, we really enjoyed visiting Oasys MiniHollywood in the Tabernas Desert. The whole movie set and shows brought us so much fun. We can’t even choose which show we enjoyed most – don’t miss any of them. We loved how real the whole experience was, sometimes we had to pinch ourselves for a reminder that we are still in Spain in the 21st century.
As for the zoo part – not our cup of tea, but we also can’t deny that most of the time we enjoyed it. Sure, we’d definitely prefer to see all the animals in the natural environment and there were moments when a few tears appeared, but overall it was ok. Views over the Tabernas Desert and its surroundings were truly spectacular from that part of the Oasys MiniHollywood.
One thing is sure – Oasys MiniHollywood provides an unforgettable experience for both those who love Western movies and those who don’t really care about them.
Other Western Towns in Tabernas Desert
Fort Bravo is the oldest of all the Western villages that were built in the Tabernas Desert, where most Wild West movies have been shot. In this 100% original set which is still in good condition, you can take part in Western shows in the saloon and on main street and see a can can dance with a glass of whisky in your hand. You can also experience horsecart riding and even spend a night in a wooden cabin in the middle of the Wild West! Sounds exciting, right?
For more information, opening hours, and ticket prices visit Fort Bravo official website.
Western Leone is another former movie set, the smallest and cheapest one. It features Wild West buildings, a shop, a bar, and live performances. From the photos it looks a bit old and neglected, some of the recent reviews also aren’t too flattering. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any website so we have no place to refer you for more information.
Other things to do near Oasys MiniHollywood in Tabernas Desert
If you want to experience more of Tabernas Desert, here are some ideas for other things to do there.
Tabernas is located only about 6.5km, a 10min ride by car, from Oasys MiniHollywood. If you still have some energy after a day of fun you can pay a short visit to this sleepy small town in Tabernas Desert. There you’ll find remains of Tabernas Castle (es. Castillo de Tabernas) that are sitting on a hill watching over the area. Castle currently can’t be visited as it’s closed for renovations (May 2023). But it’s still worth driving up to its areas, if only for views over the desert and the town. The second place you might want to visit is the 17th-century Parish Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation (es. Iglesia Parroquial de Nuestra Senhora de la Encarnación).
Hiking in Tabernas Desert
Hiking is another activity that you can do in the Tabernas Desert. There are many possible options, and if you’re up for it you’ll definitely be able to choose the best one for your skills. Visit wikiloc.com or alltrails.com to check out available options.
Guided Tours at the Tabernas Desert
If you’re not up to solo hiking, you can always take advantage of one of many Tabernas Desert guided tours. You can for example enjoy the landscape thanks to a ride in a classic 4×4 car or from the horse’s saddle. Unique experience guaranteed!
How to get to Oasys MiniHollywood in Almeria, Spain?
Where to park in Oasys MiniHollywood?
You can either leave your car in front of the entrance for free (if you’ll be lucky to find a free spot) or in covered parking in the theme park area for €2.9 (May 2023).
To Oasys MiniHollywood by bus
Unfortunately, you won’t reach Oasys MiniHollywood by bus from any nearby city. The closest bus stop is in Tabernas town, which you’ll be able to reach for example from Almeria or Roquetas de Mar. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Oasys MiniHollywood by taxi
If you don’t want to rent a car your other option is to arrive at Oasys MiniHollywood by taxi. Might be quite expensive, but it’s fast. For example, a ride from Almeria will last about 20min (€25-31). To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
Campings near Oasys MiniHollywood
Accommodations & map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to sleep in Oasys MiniHollywood - Western In Tabernas Desert In Almeria?
Camping Fort Bravo
Camping Fort Bravo offers a unique and immersive experience in the heart of the Tabernas Desert. Guests can stay in comfortable and rustic cabins designed to resemble the old Western movie sets. The campsite provides a range of activities and attractions. Camping Fort Bravo offers a memorable and adventurous stay for those seeking a taste of the Wild West in Spain.
Hostal el Puente
Hostal el Puente is a cozy and welcoming guesthouse located in Tabernas. It offers comfortable and affordable rooms for travelers. With its convenient location near the Tabernas film sets and local amenities, Hostal el Puente provides a convenient base to immerse in the charm and adventure of this desert region.
Casa Rural Jardin del Desierto
Casa Rural Jardin del Desierto is a charming family-run hotel nestled in the heart of Tabernas, offering a peaceful and picturesque retreat. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Tabernas Desert, the house features cozy and well-appointed rooms, allowing guests to relax and unwind in a serene environment. There's also a swimming pool and a small garden.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com