In deepest southern Spain, surrounded by the desert beauty of the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, Los Patios is a Moorish jewel of a hotel. There's a large white courtyard surrounded by crimson bougainvillea and bedrooms feature stone bath tubs, private terraces and outdoor showers; one even has a glass ceiling for star gazing. Food is unmissable, particularly the seafood dishes - such as sama (a local fish) cooked with rosemary potatoes. Inland, there are the lost villages of the Sierra de los Filabres, edged with almond and olive groves watched over by lone shepherds and their flocks of goats. There's a little bar in nearby Rodalquilar for evening cocktails, but sleepy defines this little-visited corner of Spain. Wow factor: The often empty sands of the idyllic Playa el Playazo. Flight time: Two hours 40 minutes. Go: Doubles from £75 B&B ( Easyjet (0871 244 2366; flies to Almería from £50.98 return.