Almeria City, nestling at the foothills of the Sierra de Gador mountain range, and crowned by a magnificent Moorish fortress, its shores are lapped by the cool Mediterranean waters as the sun beats down for 320 glorious days of the year.
Many civilizations, including the Roman, Phoenicians and Moors, once called this place home; and their influences and footprints still resonate in some of the city’s customs, cultures and buildings.
Sun-soaked Almeria City lies in a desirable spot on the south-eastern coast of Spain.
Almeria’s name stems from the Arabic phrase Al-Mariyat, meaning “the mirror” or “watch tower”. Today, this thriving modern metropolis offers incredible beaches, fabulous shops, beautiful historic monuments and some of the best tapas that will ever pass your lips.
La Alcazaba is probably Europe’s largest Muslim fortress. It is presumably built on an initial Tower a sort of “Ribat”, from the mid ninth century as a defence from Norman attacks (from 840 to 861).
Later, it was converted into a Caliphate Center under the instruction of Caliph Abd- al-Rhaman III with significant changes in the eleventh century in the Taifa era and especially by the Nasrid dynasty which ruled the Kingdom of Granada (from thirteenth to fifteenth century).
Almeria is not short of other impressive structures such as the 16th century Cathedral of the Incarnation, which is found in the old part of the city.
Built after an earthquake destroyed the first cathedral in 1522 it’s situated on the site of the great mosque and is a combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The main altar is a baroque masterpiece, behind which is a small chapel that contains the tomb of Bishop Villalan, the founder of the cathedral.
Almeria City is also a working port and the Ore dock is well worth a look. Called the ‘Cable Ingles’ (English Cable) it’s an eye-catching and dramatic piece of iron architecture. It is situated on Almadrabillas beach next to the Levante dock and is linked to the train station by a railway bridge.
Almeria City has a variety of great places to eat and drink, and most bars and restaurants can be found in and around the main square in the city centre.
A wide selection of tapas dishes are on offer all over Almeria, but some of the most popular spots can be found around the fishing port area, San Sebastian Square and La Rambla.
At the end of August, the city celebrates the “Feria de Almeria”, which is a good opportunity to enjoy its gastronomy and culture.
With easy access from the motorway there is plenty of underground parking. Close by is Paseo de Almeria, the main road for serious shoppers, with its neighbouring streets packed with appealing little boutiques. Avenida del Mediterraneo, runs right through the city centre and is home to the Mediterraneo shopping complex. Hotels are readily signposted, as are the convenient train and bus stations.