Let me take you down, ’cos I’m going to… Almeria? Sure, the destination may not be quite as psychedelically cool, but John Lennon really did write Strawberry Fields Forever in Almeria. And not a lot of people know that!
Located on the Mediterranean Sea in southern Spain, Almeria is one of Europe’s pre-eminent tourist destinations, noted for its gorgeous beaches such as Las Salinas. In days gone by, though, it was a Moorish stronghold as the Ottoman Empire pushed into Spain. That Arabic influence is evident everywhere, particularly in buildings like The Alcazaba, and is one reason why Almeria is calling out to be explored. Another reason is all the terrific tapas bars (like Calle Mayor) hiding in the winding streets. Just make sure you can find your way home again…
Almeria’s Top 10
10. Centro Andaluz de la Fotografia Photography buffs will enjoy the local and international images on display.
5. Museum of Almeria A treasure trove of items dating back to prehistoric times; includes many Muslim artefacts.
9. Paseo de Coches Walk beneath the palms on this seaside promenade and imagine what it would be like to live here.
4. Cathedral of Almeria With its high towers, it looks more like a fortress than a church.
8. Cable Ingles Used to move minerals between sea and land, this impressive structure sparkles like a gem when lit up at night.
3. Castle of San Cristobal Looks more like a cathedral than a fortress… Just kidding! All that remains are ruins, a statue and one hell of a view.
7. Galeria de Arte Trino Tortosa View an original Picasso at this art gallery. Now is that an ear or a nose?
2. La Chanca These colourful gypsy houses are carved into the rocks and are known as the gypsy caves.
6. Natural Park of Cabo de Gata Nijar This volcanic area offers great beaches and hidden caves. And don’t miss the pink flamingos.
1. The Alcazaba This medieval Muslim fortress boasts a triple line of walls. Makes you think they didn’t like visitors back then.
- Monumental Ensemble of la Alcazaba – This fort was built by the Moors in 955 and has beautiful gardens and stunning views of Almeria.
- Estacion Intermodal de Almeria – This train station is over two centuries old and showcases some of the unique architecture in Almeria.
- Cathedral of Almeria – Cathedral was designed in the 16th century and is an impressive display of fortified architecture.
- Paseo de Almeria – Historic area of Almeria contains many important buildings.
- Barrio la Almendina – The narrow streets and preserved buildings make this neighbourhood a must-see for those interested in history.
Almeria Art & Culture
- Arabic Aljibes – These ancient structures were once used for storing water, but are now a great place to listen to music or poetry readings.
- Cable Ingles – Thos interested in engineering should not miss this attraction.
- Museo Refugio de la Guerra Civil – This museum uses exhibits to tell the history of the Spanish Civil War.
- Museum of Almeria – Those interested in the turbulent history of Almeria should check out this museum.
- Casa del Cine – This museum tells the history of one of Italy’s most important art forms: cinema.
- Mediterraneo Centre – This is one of Almeria’s most popular malls and a great place to find name-brand clothing.
- Bazar Arabe – Tangine cooking pots are the specialty of this store, which is a great place for unique gifts.
- Mercado – The best place in the city to stock up on tasty local food specialties.
- El Libro Picasso – If you are looking for new or used reading material, start here.
- Paseo de Almeria – Trendy clothing and shoes can be found at this upscale boutique.
Gay & Lesbian Almeria
- Laki Uma Playa – This gay-friendly villa is a great place for a romantic getaway while in Almeria.
- Dracena Pub – This low-key neighbourhood pub is a great place for a quiet conversation and smart cocktail.
- Amargo Sound Café – Gay-friendly café features good food as well as music on the weekends.
- Hotel Costasol – Gay-friendly resort offers stunning views of the sea.
- Dracena Disco – Featuring a lively dance floor and mixed crowd, this disco is one of the most popular nightspots.
- Nijar National Park – The unspoiled sandy lava beaches are the main attraction at this Almeria park.
- Parque Nicolas Salmeron – The natural beauty of the area can be experience at this popular park, which is a great place for an afternoon walk.
- Oasys Theme Park – Allows visitors to travel back to the Old West and also features a zoo, which makes it a favourite outdoor spot of children.
- Texas Hollywood – These outdoor film sets were once used to make spaghetti westerns in Almeria, a great place for a stroll.
- Serena Beach – One of the best places in Almeria to soak up some sun or take a leisurely swim.
- Come watch a bullfight at the Plaza de Toros Almeriense.
- Play a round of golf at Mojacar Marina Golf.
- Stay in shape at the Centro De Estetica Y Peluqueria Mar.
- Watch one of the CV Almeria volleyball team’s matches.
- Catch a game at the Mediterranean Sports Palace.
Taking place in March or April each year is the International Tango Festival. Ba-rum-ba-bar-ba (ba-da-da-dar-da)…
Easter is marked by Semana Santa (Holy Week), and the now predominantly Catholic city is filled with colourful confetti and a carnival atmosphere.
The Festival of Moors and Christians in June sees locals dress up and re-enact a battle between, you guessed it, Moors and Christians. Don’t be alarmed… they’re just playing!
Experience fireworks, traditional dancing and bonfires during the Midsummer Night festivities in June.
The Fair of Almeria in August is a sensory delight, with tapas, dance, music and much more.
When To Go
With an average annual temperature of 18ºC (64ºF), it is always fairly comfortable in Almeria.
The warm summer, between June and September, is a great time to visit.
The city experiences no rainfall in July and August, so you can really enjoy your stay.
Walking is a good way to find all Almeria’s hidden gems.
Hire a car if you want to visit some of the surrounding areas at your own pace.
Buses link Almeria with the neighbouring towns, but check the timetable to make sure you can get back again!
Almería, the province in the south of Spain, has some wonderful neighbors in Granada, Murcia and the Mediterranean Sea. The province and capital city of the same name however, represent top-of-the-line tourism in a country that has countless destinations sure to please just about anyone.
Home to the only desert in Europe, much of which can be found in the gorgeous National Park of Sierra Nevada, Almería has in the past, been the iconic backdrop to many a Hollywood spaghetti Western. The beautiful city of Almería, with just under 200,000 people is often the subject of neglect in favor of Granada, Malaga or Cadiz perhaps. A shame really, because the millenium-plus-old city has a wonderful collection of architectural gems that harken back to various eras, in addition to museums, geographical wonders and resplendent parks. Of course, this being the south of Spain, the food and wine is not half bad either. All in all, the province of Almería is a welcome surprise on any tour of Spain's Mediterranean coastal areas.
- Cabo de Gata Natural Park
- Santiago el Viejo
- Almería Plaza de la Catedral
- Santuario de Santo Domingo
- Almería Carnaval
- Feria de la Virgen del Mar
- Almería Jazz Festival
- Holy Week
- August Fair
- El Cubanito
- M Bar
As one of the most arid regions of Europe, the mercury is high in Almería, with an annual average of 19°C. Winters are very pleasant, with minimal precipitation.
- Winter (December to February) 9-18°C
- Spring (March to April) 13-22°C
- Summer (May to September) 17-31°C
- Fall (October to November) 13-24°C
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