Exploring Almeria’s Hollywood connections

A day out at Oasys theme park

Western re-enactment at Oasys. Credit: Peter Williams/Almanzora Group of Friends

Almeria is home to one of the best theme parks for lovers of iconic movies from the 60s and 70s, where visitors are transported into another world.

In early April, members of the Almanzora Group of Friends embarked on a nostalgic journey to Oasys theme park, formerly known as Mini Hollywood, situated near the town of Tabernas.

Historic film sets

The site is famous for its backdrop in numerous spaghetti westerns from A Fistful of Dollars to epic films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the park continues to captivate visitors with its authentic sets and rich cinematic history.

The group of friends arrived around 11:00 am and had the opportunity to wander through the meticulously recreated Western town.

Here, visitors can enjoy attractions such as a gold mine, Boot Hill, museums, and a variety of stores that one might expect in an old western town.

There is even a fascinating display of cinematic equipment from the 1960s and 1970s, a reminder of the area’s golden film era.

The day’s excitement is at noon when crowds gather in the town square for one of the park’s renowned cowboy stunt shows. The performance re-enacted the final moments of Jesse James, complete with gunfights, dramatic falls, and a staged hanging that leaves spectators on the edge of their seats.

Following the adrenaline-pumping show, most people head off to the Yellow Rose Saloon for a performance by the cancan girls.

Other attractions

For visitors who have worked up an appetite a buffet lunch can be enjoyed at the Arizona Restaurant, that can accommodate more than 300 diners.

Opened in June 1997, the zoological reserve now hosts over 800 species of animals and plants, spread across an area lush with over 4,000 trees.

A central waterfall adds a picturesque touch to the reserve, highlighting the park’s dedication to conservation and education as a member of the Iberian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Almanzora Group of Friends’ visit to Oasys was more just a day out, it was an experience into the regions’ rich heritage that continues to make Almeria a beacon for filmmakers around the world.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.