Almeria is a white-washed, sunny, coastal town with its own international airport 10 kilometres to the east of the city. It was first settled around 3000 BC and became a thriving trading port and principal centre of the Cordoba Caliphate. The sea, which has been one of the town’s prime sources of wealth, was also a potential menace in the past as the coast suffered attacks from pirates and corsairs. Not surprisingly, there is a fishing port here and a marina with all facilities and berths for approximately 300 private boats. Almeria also has a ferry port operating between Spain and Africa.
Almeria has shopping and business centres, plenty of bars and restaurants and is 20 kilometres to the east of two 18-hole golf courses, Playa Serena and La Envia. A charming district in the town is La Chanca, where fishermen and gypsies live, stretching out at the foot of the imposing Moorish Alcazaba fortress. Dwellings here extend into caves, the outsides of which are gaily painted.
Sightseeing In Almeria
The Alcazaba – an imposing Moorish fortress built in 995, the times of the Cordoba Caliphate.
The Cathedral – built over an ancient mosque, was reconstructed in 1524 after an earthquake. Outside it resembles a fortified stronghold with protective towers but inside there is a touch of elegance with choir stalls skillfully worked by Juan de Orea.
La Chanca – old gypsey quarter.
Plaza Vieja – market area.
The Nicolas Salmeron Park.
La Rambla – a long avenue with squares and parks, that runs through the centre of the city.
Almeria is the capital of the province of the same name, situated in the east of Andalucia. Mainly undeveloped, Almeria Province has 200 kilometres of beaches, known as the Costa de Almeria, and three national parks that extend through snow covered mountains, desert and thick woodland.
The rugged landscape of this province was discovered by film makers. Hundreds of westerns have been at least partially shot in the Tabernas Desert in and around Mini Hollywood, including A Fistful of Dollars, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Other films include Lawrence of Arabia, Patton and Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.
Despite the dry landscape, with good irrigation systems, Almeria has become a vast horticultural area. As you drive along the coastal highway there are endless acres of polytunnels brimming with produce.
Almerimar marina Heading west from Almeria city along the coast, passing cliffs and coves, 12 kilometres on is the resort of Aguadulce. Originally a fishing village, it has a working port, leisure marina and wide sandy beaches. Continuing westwards Roquetas del Mar, another town that sprang up from a fishing vllage, is surrounded by flat countryside and salt lagoons. 40 kilometres west of Almeria (and 160 kilometres east of Malaga) is Almerimar, another coastal town with wide sandy beaches and a vast leisure marina housing over 1,000 berths. Another 11 kilometres on is the town of Adra, a former Roman colony with a fortress overlooking the town.