If you’re looking for the right destination for your Spanish holiday in 2017, Almeria offers all the history, attractions and culture that you’re looking for. This historic city is nestled at the foot of a mountain range and has maintained much of its authentic Andalusian charm whilst offering visitors an excellent variety of things to see and do. Thanks to its year round pleasant weather, you can make the most of your time in Almeria to explore its idyllic coastlines and quaint seaside villages, making it a perfect choice for a relaxing getaway. You’ll find fascinating historic landmarks here such as the Cathedral or the Alcazaba, an Arab fortification, while Almeria’s convenient location puts you within easy reach of a number of excellent day trips, such as to Mojacar. All in all, a holiday in Almeria offers you an irresistible combination of sun, sea, sand and culture, making it an excellent choice for couples, families and single travellers alike.
At a glance
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When to go
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Almeria is full of fantastic attractions and plenty of sights for you to explore, whether you’re holidaying on your own, with your partner or with the whole family. One of the first attractions many tourists visit is the Alcazaba, a medieval fortress positioned on a hilltop, offering stunning views over the city. Alcazaba has Spain’s second largest Muslim building, considered to be Almeria’s version of the Alhambra. A visit here lets you experience the fortress’s cinematic past too, as it has starred in Hollywood hits including Conan the Barbarian. Almeria City Cathedral is another popular attraction, with the landmark dating back to the 14th century. If you’d prefer to enjoy the natural beauty of Almeria and its surrounding area, take a trip to Cabo de Gata Natural Park for a dramatic volcanic landscape and breathtaking scenery. Almeria’s tranquil sandy beaches, top class museums and captivating historical buildings make it the ideal venue for all types of holiday.
Wine and Dine
As a prime coastal spot, Almeria offers reasonably-priced food, with a natural emphasis on freshly caught seafood. As the food here is affordably priced this is a great place for foodies to push the boat out and try a wide range of dishes without hitting your wallet. In addition to the many great restaurants, you’ll find a selection of bars and cafés offering tasty snacks and delicious meals. The locals here will encourage you to try Gurullos, a hearty stew with pasta (tringo), port, herbs and beans. Almeria’s seafood is wonderfully fresh and vibrant thanks to the clean waters out to sea, so you won’t want to miss the hot clam stew. For a wide range of bars, restaurants and cafes close to the town hall, head to the Puerta de Purchena, or the city centre in Almeria. If you’re looking for that perfect place to enjoy a scenic meal, try the La Encina, a Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant situated close to the Alcazaba.
Holidays in Almeria are brimming with fun things to do as a family, helping you reconnect with your loved ones and bond as a family. Of course, the beach here is ideal for enjoying family time splashing about in the water, walking or playing ball sports on the beach. More active families will enjoy water sports including sailing and windsurfing, combining physical activity with sightseeing. The beaches in Almeria Bay and Poniente are the best for family holidays, as they are popular with tourists, safe and have plenty of family-oriented amenities to keep your family entertained. You can stroll around the city’s parks like Nicolas Salmeron, or learn more about the area’s rich heritage by visiting historic sites like the Civil War Shelters. The shelters beneath Almeria are particularly eye opening, as well as fun for kids to explore. If your kids are begging you for a fun day out at a theme park, you can take them to the Oasys, the Western Theme Park Tour of Mini Hollywood. This fun Western-style theme park has graced screens in many a film such as For a Few Dollars More.
Action and Adventure
Almeria is a great place for holidaymakers seeking a less tourist-oriented holiday destination, avoiding the bustle and crowds of many of the more famous tourist resorts. Almeria’s lack of hectic crowds doesn’t mean that it’s short on action and adventure, though. For those who like to keep active on holiday, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are a number of exciting excursions on offer that depart from Almeria, such as a day trip to Europe’s only desert, the Tabernas Desrt. You can also go on a day trip to the Cabo de Gata in Andalusia, try kayaking or snorkelling. Who could resist a camel-back ride along the Mojacar beach, or if you prefer horseback riding you’ll enjoy an excursion through the natural parklands of Almeria. For more high-octane activities, Almeria also has a number of great places for hiking, climbing, jumping, abseiling, swimming, hiking and scrambling. There are several scenic natural gorges nearby that are also popular with more experienced with climbers, as well as a few natural water formations like waterfalls and rock pools to explore.
Life's a Beach
You’ll be truly spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a beach for your days out in Almeria. There’s all types of beaches here, from tourist-friendly resort beaches to natural beaches, secluded coves and romantic hidden bays. As Almeria isn’t overly crowded with tourists, you won’t have to worry about fighting for space to put your sun lounger either. Almeria’s beaches can be divided into four main areas, the Cabo de Gata Natural Park beaches, Levante Beaches, Poniente Beaches and Bay of Almeria Beaches. For a secluded beach experience, try Cabo de Gata Natural Park beaches or those in the Levante area, which give you a real sense of having the beach to yourself. Poniente’s beaches and the Bay of Almeria beaches are more tourist-oriented, meaning there are more people but also better facilities. Almerimar Beach runs out of the city and has a large expanse of clean, open sand, as well as several chiringuitos (beach bars). Almeria beach holidays also offer a range of water-based activities including sailing and scuba diving. If you’re lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a beautiful bottlenose dolphin too.
Holidays in Almeria are fun around the clock, with numerous exciting nightlife venues keeping you entertained from the late afternoon through to the early hours. In Puerta de Purchena, you’ll find a number of tapas bars, a great way to socialise with family and friends in the evening. You can visit Kiosco Amalia, a popular outdoor bar, to try two of the most popular drinks in Almeria, the Jabega (a lemon icy drink with a shot of alcohol), or the Americano (not the coffee, a milk-based drink with lemon rind, cola cream liqueur and cinnamon). If you’re in the mood for dancing, Almeria has a number of music bars that stay open until the early hours of morning, around 4am. For one of the most exhilarating nightlife experiences you can have in Almeria in the summer time, head to an outdoor party to dance at a disco marquee, where the party really heats up at 3am.
The romantic, tranquil ambience in Almeria makes it an ideal destination for holidaying couples. As many of us are so busy with work, a holiday in Almeria offers quality time with your loved one, taking you away from the stresses of modern life. The idyllic beaches here are a sort of all-in-one entertainment venue for couples, providing a place to relax, a place to swim, a place to enjoy picnics and snacks and a place to take romantic strolls. More active couples will also enjoy heading to the beach to do water sports including kitesurfing and windsurfing. Other great couples’ activities include exploring Alcazaba, learning about Almeria heritage and culture with a trip to local art galleries or a museum, such as the Cinema Museum of Almeria. There are so many excursions here to enjoy too, including the Mojacar Day Tour, guaranteeing that you’ll never be short of memorable things to do with your loved one.
Almeria’s rich heritage is reflected in its culture and architecture, physical reminders of its long and fascinating history. You’ll be captivated by the stories Almeria’s buildings have to tell, from the Alcazaba, an Arab fortress that saw conflicts and victories as well as times of peace, to the Cathedral, which was often targeted by swashbuckling pirates. Of course, one of the main historic events you’ll want to learn about is the Spanish Civil War, the reason why there’s shelters built beneath the city. Almeria has an action packed cultural calendar with numerous festivals and events that unite the community and encourage visitors to join in. Throughout the last two weeks of August, you may come across celebrations for the Our Lady of the Sea Festival, an annual festival to honour Almeria patron saint, the Virgin Del Mar. another popular carnival is the Virgen del Carmen, which takes place every year on 16th July along the entire Andalusian coast. Starting at the local church, the parade makes its way through the town to the seafront, where popping fireworks displays light up the sky and you can enjoy live music and dancing until the sun comes up.