Spain is known for warm temperatures, bullfights, and delicious seafood. Along with many tapas restaurants, Almeria has been called many things – Mini Hollywood, Sun Capital. Almeria provides visitors and tourists an excellent opportunity to enjoy the local culture of the area while also soaking up the sunshine on one of the many beaches found along this Southeastern Coast of Spain. Though beaches are a must-see, the Moorish history of the area provides a lot of great sightseeing opportunities.
Spain is no stranger to war. It is no surprise to find a fortress, like Alcazaba, in the center of the city. Built sometime between the 10th and 15th centuries, this palatial fortress was home to kings. Visitors to Alcazaba can visit the Outer Citadel and the Inner Citadel. The Outer includes the Tower of Christ, gardens, a chapel, and fountains. The Inner is where the kings and officials lived, so you’ll be able to see the palace and other minor dwellings that were once occupied by workers and military. There is also a courtyard and garden inside the Inner Citadel.
Ca;;e A;cazabilla, 2, 29015 Malaga, Spain, Phone: 34-630-93-29-87
2.Civil War Shelters of Almeria
The Spanish Civil War was a horrifying time for the Spanish people, no matter the side taken. Though not directly involved in the War, Almeria’s location made it a prime target for both air and sea raids. Because of these attacks, architect Guillermo Langle Rubio designed and built tunnels beneath the city to house the civilians during bombings. Today’s visitors can take a guided tour, by appointment only, through the tunnels, the storerooms, and the operating room. Overall, the shelter could be used by over 34,000 people during one of the 52 bombings that Almeria saw.
Plaza Manuel Perez García, 1, 04003 Almería, Spain, Phone: 34-950-26-86-96
3.Catedral de Almeria
The Catedral de Almeria is a Cathedral that speaks to Spain’s long devotion to the Christian faith. Archeological evidence shows that there was a Christian community as far back as the 8th Century, before Muslim invasion. The Cathedral’s formal name is the Cathedral of the Incarnation of Almeria. When visiting the cathedral, it’s important to keep in mind that this is the seat of the bishop for the Southern peninsular region, so certain guidelines and models of respect should be followed. The architecture of the cathedral is sure to amaze any history enthusiast, as well as the artwork and historic items kept inside.
Plaza de la Catedral, 8, 04001 Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-605-39-64-83
4.Playa de Almeria
Playa de Almeria is the entire coast of the Southern Peninsula along the Mediterranean Sea that has been bunched together for the purpose of advertising tourism. The 135-mile-long coast has an abundance of beaches, cliffs, and desert areas. When choosing which beach you’ll want to go to, be sure to take into account that the majority of these beaches are nude-tolerant. This means that while they are not sponsored nudist beaches, it is not frowned upon, so it may not be suitable for all family members. Pristine beaches, clear waters, and caves make for great exploration and snorkeling.
Tabernas Desert is considered the only true desert in Europe. This desert is semi-arid, however, lending to an abundant flora life throughout. In fact, it receives more rain per year than the Coast. This 110-square mile desert has been declared a Special Protection Area for Birds since there is such a variety of ornithological species throughout. While mammals are not as common, there are still some, like the Spanish hedgehog, that can be found. Visitors are encouraged to explore the Hollywood sets that have become part of the Tabernas landscape. Today, the Desert is still used for filming, most recently in Game of Thrones.
6.Playa El Playazo
Playa El Playazo is one of the most deserted-feeling beaches in the area. It is mostly untouched, with no services available in the area. On top of this, the beach is mostly rocky, with high cliff faces. These are great areas for sunbathers, and the small islands that are just off the shore are great to swim to and lie out as well. Guests can jump into the nearby cave, enjoying the cool water hidden beneath. This beach is fairly easy to get to, with a parking lot right adjacent to the beach. The clear waters also make for excellent snorkeling and diving.
29780 Nerja, Malaga, Spain, Phone: 34-652-93-05-11
7.Wild West Film Sets
The arid landscape of the Tabernas Desert is quite similar in appearance to America’s Old West. Because of this, many spaghetti Westerns and modern movies are filmed in this area. In fact, this area has earned the title of Mini Hollywood because of its usage in movies like Indian Jones and the Last Crusade and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Many Wild Wets Sets have been preserved for visiting tourists. One set has been turned into Oasys Theme Park with a zoo, swimming pool, shops, Old Wild West shows, and buildings to explore. In this area, Fort Bravo and Western Leone have also been preserved for tourism.
Carretera Nacional 340A, km 646, 04200 Tabernas, Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-950-36-52-36
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8.Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park
Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is located in the Southeastern tip of Spain, in the Almeria area. Visitors will be treated to the many diverse environments scattered throughout the park. Along with beaches, rocky coastlines, and cliffs, guests will find desert environs, coral reefs, and a lot of vegetation. Today, the park is protected, for both the flora and fauna. The lack of habitation in the area has kept this park mostly untouched, and guests are encouraged to take part in eco-friendly activities, like bird watching, photography, and hiking. Some towns dot the Cabo de Gata area, so there is plenty of opportunity for shopping.
04118 Nijar, Almeria, Spain
9.Playa de Los Genoveses
When looking for a flat beach with calm waters, you’ll want to check out Playa de Los Genoveses. This area is perfect for families since the water is calm and shallow. However, it is completely undeveloped, so there are no powerlines, roads, or buildings here. Because of this, you must be sure to pack everything you’ll need for your day at the beach. Before breaking into the fine-sand beach, you’ll pass through a small eucalyptus grove protecting the beach from the harsher desert climate on the other side. Be sure to plan ahead, as windy days cause the fine sand to blow, making a trip to Playa de Los Genoveses quite uncomfortable.
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10.Playa de Los Muertos
Originally named because of the lost sailors who wound up on the shore, Playa de Los Muertos is a safe beach and guarded by sea. The crystal-clear waters of this beach allow for excellent swimming and watching marine life while snorkeling. Though this beach is entirely service free, meaning no bathrooms or bars, some vendors do make it onto the beach during busy times. However, the walk down to the beach is what makes Playa de Los Muertos one of the more untouched beaches. Expect to wear real walking shoes to traverse down the steep path, rather than normal beachwear.
11.El Quinto Toro
© El Quinto Toro
When you think of Spain, you think tapas. Tapas are the small dishes that can be shared with your group and allow you to sample several dishes rather than just one entrée. El Quinto Toro has been a staple in Almeria for over 70 years. This small eating establishment may not look like much from the outside, but the food is a guaranteed delight. The most popular dishes are repeated on a weekly schedule, so you’ll be able to try something new every day. Perhaps one of the most popular dishes is the fried potatoes with eggs and paprika, all served with a hunk of freshly made bread.
Calle Juan Leal, 6, 04001 Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-950-23-91-35
12.Taberna Nuestra Tierra
© Taberna Nuestra Tierra
Almeria is well-known for its rich tapas culture. When in Almeria, one of the other celebrated Tapas bars is Bar de Tapas Taberna Nuestra Tierra. Some of the house special tapas include the crispy sausage with tomato jam, the mousse de ajocolorao, and the cheese with honey and orange reduction. While these may sound gourmet, there is an entire menu dedicated to the gourmet tapas offerings, such as tartar of smoked herring with green apple sorbet and the Iberian cheeks with mozarabe sauce. Many dishes are good to share with your whole table, such as the dried and grilled octopus, the Iberian acorn-fed prey, and the table of sausages.
Calle Jovellano, 16, 04003 Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-679-89-74-34
13.La Chanca Neighborhood
© Lux Blue/stock.adobe.com
La Chanca Neighborhood is one of the brighter areas of Almeria. Given the location of the town, many government services cannot reach the people, so a small community takes care of their own. It is considered an impoverished area, but it is rich with culture. If you visit during the day, you’ll be treated to the brightly painted houses, homes carved right into the rock, and the gypsy and immigrant population that makes up the neighborhood. When you visit, be sure to check out the mosaic tiles that adorn many of the house fronts and fencing.
Considered the father of the guitar, Antonio de Torres Jurado is only one part of the history of the guitar showcased at Museo de la Guitarra Almeria, or the Guitar Museum. Antonio was a luthier, or a guitar maker, from the 19th century who was from Almeria. Along with artwork and videos detailing guitar-building, the museum also has a soundproof room with an electric and acoustic guitar. This allows guests to get handsy with the guitars, trying out their own musical prowess without a noise complaint. There is also an auditorium for scheduled performances and listening booths shaped like guitars with pre-decided guitar solos.
Ronda del Beato Diego Ventaja, S/N, 04002 Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-950-27-43-58
© Almeria Museum
This three-floor museum shows the history and culture of Almeria. The Almeria Museum, or Museo de Almeria in Spanish, houses the most archeological evidence in Almeria. There are plenty of permanent and visiting exhibits that can be found throughout the three floors, but it is the hunters’ and gathers’ society that is primarily covered throughout the museum. Along with beautiful early society items, Roman items mined from the Almerian town of Chirvel occupy much of the third floor. A research library is open to the public, but only during weekday museum hours.
Ctra. De Ronda, 91, 04005 Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-950-10-04-09
16.Playa de Monsul
A 400-meter-long beach surrounded by water is Playa de Monsul. One of the highlights of the beach is La Peineta, a wave-shaped rock that provides shade on sun-scorched days. This rock formation is quite famous for its presence in movies. The water is crystal clear, allowing swimmers a great chance to see the fish beneath them as they swim. The beach is covered in fine black sand, giving this one of the more unique appearances of the local beaches. This beach, though beautiful, may get a bit busy at times because of tours. This beach is specifically enticing for tourists because it was used as a set during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Parque Natural Cabo de Gata-Nijar, 04118 San Jose, Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-950-38-02-99
17.Port of Almeria
For those visiting Almeria during a cruise, the cruise port sits about 1.5 miles from the center of the city. Though Almeria can be explored by foot, taxis often dot the dockside waiting for the many tourists who need a ride to the beach, a local favorite, or a tour of the city. A tram also taxis people around Almeria right from the port. This is a more public opportunity to get around the city while knowing you’re in good hands. Though the port, in itself, is not a sightseeing destination, it is often a port of entry for tourists, so it is useful to know about the transportation and café options nearby.
18.Nicolas Salmeron Park
In 1979 Alfonso XIII Park was renamed Nicolas Salmeron Park after the first republic president. This park is a cool and tranquil spot in an otherwise bustling port city. The park is broken into two parts: Parque Viejo (West) and Parque Nuevo (East). Parque Viejo was built during the 19th Century when the city’s walls were torn down. The Parque Nuevo was built on after the Spanish Civil War. Visitors to the park can enjoy peaceful walks and lounging in the trees, near the fountains, or even near sculptures. A bust of the park’s new namesake can be found on the Western end.
Ctra. De Malaga, 04002 Almeria, Spain: Phone: 34-950-21-05-38
© LAURA GATTI/stock.adobe.com
Old Town Almeria is a definite sightseeing spot for tourists to the area. With small streets, charming architecture, and brightly colored buildings, the charm of this old town is a must for history and art lovers alike. Built on the Arab area of Almeria, Moorish architecture can be seen throughout many of the buildings, like the Cathedral of Almeria. Shops and restaurants line Old Town providing leisurely shopping days with the charm of true European style. While having lunch and shopping, you’ll likely hear the bells chiming from the old bell tower. It’s a sight with checking out.
20.Plaza de Almeria
A trip to Spain would not be complete without a visit to the Bull Ring at Plaza de Almeria. This building began construction in 1887 and has since been a staple to the Almeria area. Fitting about 1,050 people in the arena, Plaza de Almeria still holds active bullfighting festivals every August. These festivals showcase the history of bullfighting and bullfighters. Outside the arena are flea markets on Sundays, giving tourists a great chance to understand bullfighting culture and then spend some time perusing the cultural wares of the Almerian people.
Circunvalacion Plaza de Toros, 29, 04008 Almeria, Spain, Phone: 34-950-23-73-70
20 Best Things to Do in Almeria, Spain
- Alcazaba, Photo: Sergey/stock.adobe.com
- Civil War Shelters of Almeria, Photo: felipecaparros/stock.adobe.com
- Catedral de Almeria, Photo: Jasmina/stock.adobe.com
- Playa de Almeria, Photo: Kavita/stock.adobe.com
- Tabernas Desert, Photo: stevanzz/stock.adobe.com
- Playa El Playazo, Photo: damedias/stock.adobe.com
- Wild West Film Sets, Photo: Fotomicar/stock.adobe.com
- Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, Photo: eyewave/stock.adobe.com
- Playa de Los Genoveses, Photo: lunamarina/stock.adobe.com
- Playa de Los Muertos, Photo: nito/stock.adobe.com
- El Quinto Toro, Photo: El Quinto Toro
- Taberna Nuestra Tierra, Photo: Taberna Nuestra Tierra
- La Chanca Neighborhood, Photo: Lux Blue/stock.adobe.com
- Guitar Museum, Photo: chavalitpanguta/stock.adobe.com
- Almeria Museum, Photo: Almeria Museum
- Playa de Monsul, Photo: lunamarina/stock.adobe.com
- Port of Almeria, Photo: Victoria/stock.adobe.com
- Nicolas Salmeron Park, Photo: james633/stock.adobe.com
- Old Town, Photo: LAURA GATTI/stock.adobe.com
- Plaza de Almeria, Photo: Kavita/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Salva G C/stock.adobe.com