Almeria, a city amongst the oldest in Spain, and home to a busy port once famous for it’s export of silks and other textiles from the Alpujarra region. The Almeria area is noted for it’s strange mix of architecture due to the influence of the many foreign armies who at some time or other occupied the territory. The city centre is dominated by the Alcazaba, a large Arab fortress built to house some 15.000 plus soldiers used in the protection of the city in their attempts to stave off neighbours from nearby countries such as North Africa and Turkey. This impressive structure is situated overlooking the city and is open daily to visitors. Not only did the Moors occupy the area but also the Romans had also spent some years there too. The Muslim influences were soon to be replaced by Christian styles as the City’s second Cathedral (built in the early 16th century) heralded the take over by the Catholics, the first Cathedral was ruined by the huge earthquake that shook the city in 1522. The new Cathedral is in the heart of the old part of the city and is definitely worth a visit to see the differing styles of architecture used in its construction. The Cathedral was attacked on several occasions and as a result canons were housed in it’s upper towers.
Amenities to be found.
The city itself is a mixture of old and new and you can wander around the narrow streets of the old quarter and discover the shops, tapas bars and many restaurants that the city has to offer. A large new shopping centre on the outskirts of the city also provides a large selection of shops, a cinema and a large choice of eateries.The city has it´s own bullring situated at the back of the main paseo in the old quarter and also a museum and an art gallery.
All along the Almeria coastline you will find many beaches and the area also boasts a large Natural Park (Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata) This is probably one of the most spectacular parts of the province and is a very popular holiday destination. The most popular of the coastal resorts in the park is San José, a once sleepy fishing village that has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Andalucia. Boasting a wealth of fantastic beaches and the most sun hours this village has slowly seen the arrival of the holiday maker but still remains relatively unchanged from it’s “pueblito” style of housing and low level development. The Parque Natural offers a huge array of sports and pastimes for all tastes and is ideal for a Family holiday, or a welcome escape from the day to day stresses for a long weekend lazing on one of the many local beaches and coves…
If you are a fan of Golf there are many Golf courses to choose from all along the Costa de Almeria, from La Envia Golf near Roquetas de Mar to The Desert Springs golf course near Almanzora. Mojacar also offers several well known courses. The newest course in the Almeria area is El Toyo which is located near to the small town of Retamar and forms a part of the project built to celebrate the 2005 Mediterranean Games which were held in many different parts of the province but the centrepiece being the new “Mediterranean Stadium” on the outskirts of the city which nowdays is used to house Almeria C.F. the city´s Football club.
The Almeria area is also famous for the huge number of films made here. The rugged desert type scenery has proved popular with film makers for more than 60 years and is still extensively used for many types of production even to this day. If you are a fan of ” The Spaghetti Western” then you can spend time re discovering some of the most famous scenes from the likes of :- The good, The bad and The ugly. A fistful of dollars and many more epic westerns shot in around the Almeria area. Going inland a little there is the desert of Tabernas where you will find some Western movie sets such as Mini Hollywood that have been restored to their former glory and opened as tourist attractions. These also are ideal for a Family day out and offer food and drink as well as souvenirs of your trip.