Almeria information

Introduction to the Province of Almeria
The province of Almeria in Andalucia in south eastern Spain is one of fascinating extremes. Its coast is relatively unspoilt and has some lovely beaches to enjoy. The interior of the province has an almost lunar, dry desert landscape. If you like your holidays hot, then Almeria is the place for you.

Almeria City
The city of Almeria, the province’s capital is a very pleasant, modern yet history-packed Mediterranean city. Almeria was once an important Moorish capital and port and has preserved and displays its rich and cosmopolitan history in the magnificent buildings of the city. None is more emblematic than the massive Alcazaba, situated on the summit of the mountain on whose skirts Almeria is spread. This fort is probably the best remaining example of Moorish military architecture of this type in Andalucia. From the Alcazaba you are rewarded with a fantastic view of the coast, the 16th Century heavily fortified Cathedral below and of Almeria’s cave district, the Barrio de la Chanca.

Almeria Museum hosts a wide range of permanent and regularly changing temporary collections of artefacts and art from prehistoric to contemporary.

For a journey back in time, why not visit the newly opened Casa del Cine with exhibitions relating to the many films made in Almeria. This building is where John Lennon wrote the Beatles’ hit, “Strawberry Fields” and there is also a room dedicated to him.

The seaside promenade, the Paseo de Almeria, is studded with palm trees, gardens, bars, restaurants and cafes along its length and is the perfect spot for an evening stroll.

Around Almeria City and Beyond
Many people come to Almeria solely for its hot weather and its beaches and they will not be disappointed. Almeria’s best beaches lie to the east of Almeria city, secreted between jagged cliffs and arid, aromatic scenery. The beaches at El Cabo de Gata, San Jose, Los Escullos, La Isleta and Las Negras are the most noteworthy.

Also to the east of Almeria is the hilltop town of Mojacar, a popular artists’ retreat during the swinging sixties. There are actually two distinct parts to Mojacar nowadays – a whitewashed, friendly village that clings to the hillside 3km inland, and the beachfront development with miles of bars and hotels along the waterfront. Sailing and diving activities can be arranged here.

Almeria’s often barren, arid and desert landscapes have lent themselves to many a movie setting over the years. “Lawrence of Arabia” was filmed here, as were countless “spaghetti” westerns and many of Almeria city’s streets have been renamed in honour of the filmmakers and movie stars of this genre. There is even a Clint Eastwood Street! To experience and re-live moments from your favourite movies, visit Mini Hollywood, situated in the desert near Tabernas.

To see the more natural side of Almeria, spend some time exploring the natural parks of Cabo de Gata-Nijar, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve or the beautiful forested Sierra Maria-Los Velez park in the far north of the province.

Also in the north of the province are the neighbouring towns of the elegant and tranquil Velez Rubio and the spectacularly situated Velez Blanco, both of which merit a visit.

As an escape from the midday sun, a visit to the unique and spectacular Gypsum Karst caves of Sorbas is a must. Sorbas is also famous for its ceramics.

Near Gergal, Europe’s most powerful telescope has been installed and with the amount of sunshine this area gets, it is no surprise that it is also the home of the largest solar energy plant in the whole of Europe, the Solar Platform of Almeria (PSA).

The Gastronomy of Almeria
Almeria merits its nickname of Europe’s pantry. Not only does it have the rich resources of the Mediterranean Sea along its coastline but also it is an important centre of agricultural production, 70% of which is exported to the rest of Europe.

The cuisine of Almeria combines the best of sea and of land, with clear Arabic influences and is often richly flavoured with paprika and garlic. In Almeria city, go for Sopa de Almeria, a seafood soup or try Olla de Trigo a hearty wheat based stewpot made with fennel and chorizo. Other specialities include Gurullos, a chickpea and vegetable stew and Ajo Colorao, a dish made from potatoes, garlic and paprika. Of course there will be the fresh “catch of the day” too. Look out for the delicious red mullet al ajoblanco, with a garlic and breadcrumb sauce.

To wash down your dinner, try a glass of a Vino de la Tierra wine from Laujar de Andarax, the only place in Almeria with the right climate and geography for wine grape growing.


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