The Eldorado Sets – we visited the filming location of the BBC soap Eldorado in Spain to find out what is still standing, and how much can be seen

The Eldorado Sets

If you’re here then you already know about Eldorado, the soap in the sun.  Axed after only a year by the BBC. Remembered for it’s terrible acting, poor sound quality and dodgy storylines.  There are rumours of a return, but I doubt that the BBC or anyone else would try to resurrect this Titanic like disaster of a show.  That said, I didn’t think it was that bad.  Sure, I was only 14, but I remember enjoying the show.  Especially in it’s final days.

Los Barcos Eldorado
Los Barcos, the setting for “Eldorado”

The entire set was more like a small town.  It cost something like 10 million pounds to build!  Since the show was axed, the location has been used as a hotel, a film set, and now a paintballing experience.

When I moved to the Costa Del Sol, I heard rumours that the sets were still standing.  My friend David and I set out in search of them, and then I returned later with my wife and her camera!  Hannah and I decided to go out in search of the Eldorado sets, and this is what we found.

Eldorado Costa Del Sol
The main entrance to the sets

It was easy enough to find.  Just 30 minutes drive from Fuengirola, close to the town of Coin on the Costa Del Sol.  Here is a map to give you some perspective.

Eldorado BBC Location
Ciudad Del Airsoft marks the location of the sets

Here is an aerial view of the site.  The picture of the main entrance above was taken were the “Ciudad Del Airsoft” location pin is dropped.

BBC Eldorado Location

You will notice another pin for Hotel Ciudad Del Cine.  This was once a hotel, which used buildings from the sets for accommodation.  It closed down years ago.

So what is there still to see?  Sadly very little from the road.  It’s not possible to get into the site without breaking the law.  Below you will see the pictures I was able to take.  I have also taken some pictures of the site from other websites (credited) to give you an idea of what the sets look like today.

Eldorado 2
These cabins were used by the cast and crew during filming.

It’s hard to see very much from the road and dirt path which run alongside the plot.

Eldorado 3
Looking through the main gate. To the right are cabins used the by the cast and crew. Straight ahead would be the set for the church front which can’t be seen from the road, and the houses should be to the left.

Without trawling through YouTube and watching all the old episodes, I couldn’t say how much of this would have been used on the TV show.

Eldorado 4
Taken from the main entrance looking left. Behind the screen is a white fountain and some buildings which I believe are the houses of Los Barcos.
Eldorado Sets
The main entrance is on the right. Looking down the road, you can see that the sets are behind screens which make it almost impossible to see anything.

The area is a nature reserve, there are people around bird watching and hiking.  It’s not completely abandoned  and desolate.

Eldorado Sets
Taken from the south of the set looking north, you can see white washed buildings through the trees which would have been part of the main set.

My final photo is of a big black bull.  I believe that this had advertising on it when the show was being filmed.  It’s been dumped unceremoniously in the woods, and despite it’s size you will have to look carefully at the picture below to see it.  The bull blends in with the trees very well.

Eldorado Sets
Look carefully, you can see scaffolding and a big black bull in the trees!

All in all, our visit to Eldorado was something of an anti-climax.  You can’t see much of the shooting location from the road and path, and there is no way to get inside  The area is now used for paint balling activities which sounds like fun.  I have contacted the operators to request a look inside but they haven’t replied to my messages.

Inside Eldorado

Eldorado Sets
The Eldorado sets are now used for paint balling.
Eldorado Sets
Los Barcos is under attack!

I have hunted around online for more pictures of how Los Barcos looks today.  Here is what I found:

Eldorado Sets
I’m not certain, but this could be the set of the video rental shop. Picture by Euromedia
Eldorado Sets
Every expat town needs a petrol station! Picture by EuroMedia
Eldorado Sets
This is the centre of Los Barcos, the church is to the left of this shot. Picture by Garner_Online
Eldorado Sets
The water dried up a long time ago. Picture by Garner_Online
Eldorado Sets
Looking uphill towards the church front set. Picture by Garner_Online
Eldorado Sets
The centre of Los Barcos. The church frontage is on the left of the fountain. By Marbella Plus.
Simon Geake 1
I think that this picture was taken whilst the site was a working TV set. By Simon Geake.

Thanks for reading my post, I hope you’ve enjoyed it.  If you’ve been inside the old Eldorado sets, I’d love to hear from you and see your pictures!

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