Almeria is located in the bay with its name, it is a bright town, whose origin goes back to distant times. We can observe its important Alcazaba (Citadel), with irregular floor, from its adarves (round paths) there is an exceptional outlook of the town and the port. At the foot of the Alcazaba you can visit the most typical neighbourhood: La Chanca with its polychrome and picturesque houses.
Almeria is a town that lives face to the sea, from there that the port is part of it, in its appearance and daily life. In the port we can observe the old mineral jetty, known like ” El Cable”.
In the centre, the Cathedral, built by way of fortress in order to protect it from the pirates and its greater interest is located inside it.
Besides you can visit the Jardines del Malecón, the neighbourhood of El Muelle de S. Pedro, the square of La Puerta de Purchena, the Square Vieja or the one of La Virgen del Mar.
In Almería we can also visit interesting beaches to enjoy the sun, and part of its municipal area belongs to the Paraje Natural Sierra de Alhamilla, a place with a great ecological and landscape interest because of its abundant vegetation (consisting of a well-preserved wood of holm oaks and woods of reforestation), and because of its ornithological importance.
Although Almeria was inhabited from the prehistory, there were also developed the cultures of Los Millares and El Argar and it was occupied by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. The present settlement in the town and its greater splendour was obtained during the Al-Andalus period. Al-Mariya Bayyana, origin of the present town, was maritime poor area of Pechina. It became first port Al-Andalus and naval base of El Califato de Córdoba during the times of Abderramán III.
With the fall of El Califato de Córdoba became the capital of most important reinos de taifas (isolated groups). Its textile industry had more than 10.000 textile mills where there were made the richest silks, velvets, damasks and brocades. In 1147 the town was taken and destroyed by Alfonso VII that represented its greater competence in the Mediterranean trade. Later Almeria returned to the Muslims. Jaime II de Aragón tried to take it again in 1309. The definitive conquest was carried out in 1489 by the Catholic Monarchs.
In the XVI century it suffered some earthquakes, apart from constant Berber pirate attacks who occupied its castle.
In the XIX century it belonged to the kingdom of Granada until 1833 when the Spanish territory reorganized in provinces, Almería turns into the provincial capital with its same name.
The foreign exploitation of its mines gave it a great push, but it slowed down with the withdrawal of the operator company when it appeared the first signs of problems in the marketing of the products.
Nowadays (its economy is based in the tourism and in the greenhouse growing) it is the winter vegetable garden of Europe. Likewise, in the last years it has dropped with regard to the demand and quality of the handicrafts.
The gastronomy you can enjoy in Almeria is varied and natural, and from the old times you can taste high quality sea and earth products. A traditional isolation has provoked a cuisine with personality that preserves the most ancient essence from the old influences.
Almería is one of the most favourable areas to going bar snacks. Many bars offer the visitor a great diversity of tapas to go with the beer or the robust wines of the area. In Almería, the neighbourhoods of Pescadería and El Alquián and in El Cabo de Gata are very popular the tapas consisting of fish. However, in the streets of the city centre, we can also taste hot tapas (stews, patatas a lo pobre, breadcrumbs fried with garlic, etc.).
In Almería we can find varied dishes eaten with spoon (cocina de cuchara), that for those who visit it from the first time, maybe it seems more suitable from the inlands in Spain, than from a coast sitting. We can say that the soups are typical: sopa de Almería (with shellfish), sopa de ajo almeriense, la fritada specially the one of Sufli, sopa moruna (with lentils, eggs, onion, far, mince, lemon, salt…), sopa negra (), pimentón or caldo colorao (a kind of seafood casserole); olla de trigo (wheat, beans, black pudding, pork, potatoes, fennel, salt..) or the known gurullos (a country dish with spheres of flour, drained and fried in lard with garlic, chorizo, pork fat, game,).
How to get there
You can visit Almeria from anywhere in Europe. The airport, located to some minutes from the capital by motorway, links Almería with the main Spanish capitals and Europe.
Like a town with a clear coastal vocation, Almería receives in its airport vessels and cruises from all the countries, covering airlines to the ports of Melilla, Nador (Marruecos) and Ghazaouet (Argelia), in the North African coast.
By road, you can access to the town through the Mediterranean Motorway, the A-92 links Granada-Almería, by Guadix, and from the coast in Málaga by the road N-340 with many stretches of the Mediterranean Motorway. A complex network of roads cover the region, linking the capital with the Northern towns and Níjar, apart from the roads and interior side roads of the Nature Reserve. You have to bear in mind that most of the beaches in Cabo de Gata-Níjar, in order to preserve this important natural grounds of land, do not have access to vehicles, they can only be visited on foot or by bicycle.
The R.E.N.F.E. offers people a diverse range of products and services that make more accessible the trip by train in our province. It offers services to Granada, Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla and Cádiz.
Distances from Almeria
Jaén 206 km
Cádiz 460 km
Huelva 496 km
Sevilla 404 km
Málaga 206 km
Granada 156 km
Córdoba 305 km
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