Almeria is a city for those who want to escape from the urban lifestyle, but at the same time want to feel the atmosphere of real Spain. In this region we will mostly hear Spanish, instead of the buzz of conversations in almost all languages from around the world. We will also eat here mainly in bars, because tapas with drinks are so cheap that it is a shame to waste time in the shop and then in the kitchen. By the way, we will discover a world in which Arabic culture connect with European style. We will also rest on the beautiful beach along of the elegant promenade. But let’s start from the beginning. How did we get here and why Almeria? 🙂
Watch the video from our entire trip of South Spain!!
If you are here for the first time, you probably don’t know that Almeria was our 3rd stop during a 2 week trip along the south coast of the Iberian Peninsula. We arrived here on Saturday morning, by ALSA bus, after an overnight road from Valencia. The trip itself has given us many beautiful views (of course, when the sky was already bright) 😋. We passed endless mountains and fields, which reminded me of the lunar landscape of Tenerife.
However, we didn’t immediately know that Almeria is worth a visit. Fortunately, my American travel companion, a girl who has stayed with me for over 2 months on Camp America, has chosen Almeria for her exchange within the Erasmus program. She invited us and we couldn’t refuse. 🙂 So we stayed at her place the full 3 days. Ewelina showed us not only the charming Almeria, but also the incredible Cabo de Gata and helped us make a trip to the desert of Tabernas. Thank you very much – without you probably this content wouldn’t have existed. 🙂
How to get to Almeria?
In our case the task was easy-peasy since we traveled from Valencia. However, there is an airport, quite expensive, but I saw that you can find some deals mainly to England. Check also charter flights from your country.
A few words about Costa de Almeria
So it turned out that most of the cities / places we visited during our trip were in Andalusia. But we don’t regret, Andalusia is an unique and beautiful region. We have already seen its beauty in Almeria. When I was looking for information about the Costa de Almeria, I found on the web a very interesting description of the region. Let me copy it here because it fits here perfectly and it’s so true!! I found it on netholiday.pl.
Costa de Almeria is the hot land of the sun, the home of the flamenco and the corridors, located at the crossroads of two worlds, where the millennial history is connected with modernity. This region is the largest and most diverse region in Spain, with its amazing landscapes and wonderful climate. Only here in one day we can ski on the snowy slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains and then relax on a wonderful sandy beach and enjoy a swim in the warm Mediterranean waters. Situated in the south-eastern part of Andalusia, the Costa de Almeria is the most wild and undiscovered by tourist area of the Spanish coast with an unique, rough landscape. Costa de Almeria is also 3000 years of extremely rich and turbulent Roman, Arab and Christian history, which remains can be found almost everywhere.
Almeria in 1 day. What to see?
After 9 hours on the bus we were just a lil bit tired. Fortunately, Almeria is a small town and we had a great guide which has made us more comfortable. Besides, the weather was good for us. In spite of the high temperature, there was a gusty wind this day, so we didn’t feel the heat. Perfect weather for sightseeing!
Ewelina stayed at the apartment next to promenade. She shared a sizeable flat with 2 other Erasmus students. The main advantage of the accommodation was not only the location but also fantastic view of the Sea. <3 Better than in a 4 star hotel! We made a quick photo shoot and went to the town.
Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación Cathedral
Almeria is not a big city, and as I mentioned above, the perfect location of the Ewelina’s apartment let us saved some money on buses. Besides, our route to the Cathedral ran mainly on the promenade along the sea. It’s a shame to waste such views when you don’t live on the seaside every day. 🙂
Several minutes later we are already at the square next to the Cathedral. The sandy building was more like a fortification than a sacred object, but at least we were surprised by some unusual view. 😉 It quickly turned out that the architect of the cathedral wanted to have cathedral and fortress as a one, single building . It was supposed to protect the locals from attacks by pirates. The present appearance of the cathedral dates back to 1552. The new cathedral was rebuilt on the remains of the older cathedral from 13th century, which was damaged by the earth-quake. Entrance to the Cathedral costs 5 euros, but Ewelina didn’t recommend it. We were a little bit tired after cathedrals in Barcelona and Valencia so we decided to skip it.
At the same time, there were many stalls in the square in front of the Cathedral. I don’t know if it is every Saturday like that or if it was a festival, anyway you could buy anything. From mysterious Arabic music to spice or pottery, which are very popular in this area.
Then we walked down the winding and narrow streets towards the Town Hall. Before we got to it, Ewelina warned us about his less representative look at the moment. Unfortunately, the nineteenth-century Town Hall fell into ruin and for a long time the city didn’t have funds to rebuild it. Fortunately, the situation has changed and during our visit the Town Hall was already covered with scaffolding.. I hope that those of you who read this post and plan a trip to Almeria will see the Town Hall in full glory. 🙂
When walking in a town keep your eyes wide open – colourful streets or buildings can’t be missed! Irresistible views of the colourful Almeria will also provide you the view from Alcazaba, but I will show you that later.
From the Alcazaba, descend in a northward direction through the Barranco de la Hoya, a line of wall that reaches San Cristobal Hill. On the hill, known in Muslim times as Monte Laham, there are seven towers, three square Muslim towers and four semicircular Christian towers. These were built by the Templars of Alfonso VII, who constructed a strong-chapel following the Christian conquest of the city under the command of the troops of Alfonso VII in 1147.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the strength to climb San Cristobal. We were too tired after a long bus journey! We could only admire it from the Alcazaba.
The Alcazaba is another impressive fortification. One of the greatest fortifications in whole Andalusia! It was built in 955 by Abd ar-Rahman III. After being destroyed by the earthquake in 1487, Alcazaba was further extended by the Catholic kings. Equipped with wells and cisterns, during the siege the Alcazaba was able to shelter up to 20,000 people. Well, no wonder that the name of the city in Arabic from the word Al-Mariyya means observation tower.
Entrance to the Alcazaba is free. At most, the lady in the window will stop you to ask from which country you are. The Alcazaba is mostly visited by English tourists and local people, who often use fortifications as part of outdoor photos for their wedding photo shoot. Even the throne scene was played here. 🙂
Besides, from the Alcazaba you can admire the beautiful panorama of the city and the harsh landscape of Andalusia. Don’t be surprised by the dry landscape – 30 minutes away Almeria is located the only desert in Europe – Tabernas. 🙂
The more beautiful (elegant) side of Almeria 😉
We were almost on our way back to Ewelina’s apartment. By the way we decided to walk through the elegant part of the city. This is the place is really well maintained. There are several shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels and definitely more people. Because generally in Almeria, unlike what we saw in other cities, it is really quiet and not very touristy. But we really liked it! The pubs are much cheaper than anywhere else in Spain! That is why we ate so many tapas there!
We went to the square where the inscription „I🍅Almeria” is located. The second and identical inscription is located at the roundabout at the entrance to the city. Where does the symbol come from? Well, as it turned out Almeria is a paradise for vegetables and fans of sunny weather. Warm climate and high sunshine are conducive to growing vegetables, especially tomatoes, which grow here in large quantities. Well, and in fact, they are delicious and they are also a symbol of Almeria. 😀
To the Beach!
We ate lunch at home. However, it was still quite early, and the weather effectively discouraged us to stay at home. So we decided to rest on the beach. The beach in Almeria is sandy and pebble, hence the sand is gray. Still, the sand is nice for the feet. We didn’t swim because during our stay it was just too cold and too windy for swimming. Unfortunately, on the beach we also didn’t stay too long, because at some point the wind became too strong and made us cold. We escaped to the nearby Tapas Bar 😛
Tapas – you have to try it in Almeria!
Almeria is a fantastic place to try Tapas! Although it was our 5th day in Spain, right here we tried our first Tapas! Why is it such a good place? As I wrote above, there are not so many tourists here and this region is also much poorer and the prices are very favorable!! Average Tapas with a drink costs 3.5 euros. I was a fan of Tinto de verano (summer wine), which tastes a bit like carbonated sangria. 😛 I like it to drink with seafood Tapas. Burning Chorizo is also a pretty tasty alternative to sea fruits 🙂
That’s it! I hope you enjoy the content and it will help you to plan your trip to Andalusia! The next day we went on a car trip to Caba de Gata. 🙂 Before you leave the page enjoy palm pictures!