No studies have proven the existence of soil assemblages typical of arid lands in Europe. This study was carried out in a representative territory of the southeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula, Almería province, which is the driest part of Europe, to determine if soils characteristic of arid lands are present. In order to analyse the spatial distribution of soils, the authors made use of mathematical tools previously developed in biodiversity and pedodiversity analysis, such as richness, entropy indices, abundance distribution models, diversity-area relationships and nested subset analysis. The study demonstrates that the soil types or pedotaxa are typical of mountainous arid lands. Shallow and weakly developed soils (e.g. Leptosols, Regosols and Arenosols), Calcisols, Gypsisols and Solonchaks, cover most of the study area, and pedodiversity analysis demonstrates that the pedotaxa spatial patterns follow the same regularities as in other areas, environments and scales. In view of the fact that the class of landscapes identified in this study is unique in Europe, the Tarbernas desert and other arid lands sites of the study area merit preservation as part of the European geological, geomorphological and pedological heritage.