Almería is a vibrant and exciting city located in the southeastern region of Spain. Known for its sunny weather, stunning beaches, and rich history and culture, Almería is a destination that should not be missed. The city has a fascinating mix of ancient and modern influences, with a rich heritage that’s evident in its many historic buildings, museums, and art galleries.
Interesting facts about Almería:
- Almería has the highest number of hours of sunshine per year in Spain, with an average of 3,127 hours.
- The Alcazaba of Almería is one of the largest Muslim fortresses in Spain, and it was built in the 10th century by the Moors.
- The Cathedral of Almería was built in the 16th century on the site of a former mosque, and it features a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles.
- Almería has been used as a location for many famous films and TV shows, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- The Caves of Sorbas are a fascinating network of limestone caves that wind their way through the hills near Almería, and they’re filled with incredible rock formations like stalactites and stalagmites.
- Almería is known for its delicious local cuisine, which includes dishes like fresh seafood, tapas, and paella.
- The Sierra Nevada National Park is located just a short drive from Almería, and it’s a beautiful natural park that’s home to snow-capped mountains, rushing rivers, and lush forests.
- The Castle of Vélez-Blanco is a stunning Renaissance-style castle that was built in the 16th century, and it boasts a beautiful courtyard, a series of impressive towers, and a collection of historic artifacts and artwork.
- The Western film sets of Tabernas have been used as a backdrop for many famous films, and visitors can take a tour of the sets to see where these films were shot.
- Almería is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with many opportunities for hiking, biking, scuba diving, and snorkeling in the surrounding areas.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 15 of the best things to do in Almería, from exploring ancient fortresses to relaxing on pristine beaches.
Discover the Alcazaba of Almería
The Alcazaba of Almería is one of the top attractions in the city, and for good reason. This impressive fortress was built in the 10th century by the Moors, and it’s the second-largest Muslim fortress in Spain. Today, visitors can explore the many courtyards, towers, and walls of the fortress, and learn about its fascinating history through exhibits and displays. Some highlights of the Alcazaba include the Tower of Homage, the Palace of the Almohads, and the beautiful gardens and fountains. The views from the top of the fortress are also incredible, with panoramic vistas of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Visit the Cathedral of Almería
The Cathedral of Almería is another must-see attraction in the city. This beautiful cathedral was built in the 16th century on the site of a former mosque, and it features a mix of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. Some highlights of the cathedral include the ornate altarpiece, the beautiful frescoes on the walls and ceiling, and the stunning stained-glass windows. Visitors can also explore the crypt, which contains the remains of some of the city’s former bishops. The cathedral is open to visitors every day, and it’s well worth taking the time to see this beautiful piece of architecture.
Explore the Caves of Sorbas
If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, the Caves of Sorbas are definitely worth a visit. These stunning limestone caves wind their way through the hills near Almería, and they’re filled with incredible rock formations like stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can take a guided tour of the caves to see the most interesting features, and the guides will explain how the caves were formed and how they’ve been used over the years. The caves can be quite chilly, so it’s a good idea to bring a jacket or sweater. This is a unique and fascinating experience that’s perfect for anyone who loves nature and adventure.
Relax on the Beaches of Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park
The Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park is one of the most beautiful natural areas in Spain, and it’s home to some truly stunning beaches. Whether you’re looking for a secluded cove or a wide sandy beach, there’s something for everyone here. Some popular options include Monsul Beach, with its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters, and San José Beach, which has plenty of amenities like showers and cafes. The park is also a great place to go hiking or biking, with many scenic trails that wind through the hills and along the coast.
Experience the Desert of Tabernas
The Desert of Tabernas is a unique and otherworldly landscape that has been used as a backdrop for many famous films and TV shows. Visitors can take a guided tour of the desert to see its rugged beauty up close, and to learn about its many different plant and animal species. Some popular attractions in the desert include the Oasis of the Lost, a small green oasis surrounded by dry desert, and the Fort Bravo theme park, which recreates the atmosphere of a Wild West town. This is a truly unique and unforgettable experience that’s not to be missed.
See the Cabo de Gata Lighthouse
The Cabo de Gata Lighthouse is a picturesque lighthouse that sits atop a rocky cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline, and to learn about the history of the lighthouse and its importance to sailors over the years. This is a great place to take photos and enjoy the fresh sea air.
Wander Through the Historic Quarter of Almería
The historic quarter of Almería is a charming and picturesque area that’s well worth exploring. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets and alleys to see the many beautiful buildings and historic landmarks. Some highlights of the area include the Plaza Vieja, a beautiful square that’s surrounded by historic buildings and cafes, and the Church of San Juan, a stunning Gothic-style church that dates back to the 16th century. Visitors can also see the ruins of the ancient Roman wall that once surrounded the city, and explore the many shops and boutiques that sell local handicrafts and souvenirs.
Visit the Archaeological Museum of Almería
The Archaeological Museum of Almería is a fascinating museum that’s dedicated to the history and culture of the region. The museum’s collection includes everything from prehistoric artifacts to contemporary art, with a particular focus on the Roman, Phoenician, and Moorish periods. Some highlights of the museum include the beautiful Roman mosaics, the ancient Phoenician pottery, and the many intricate Moorish ceramics. Visitors can also see the remains of the ancient city walls and gates, and learn about the different cultures and civilizations that have shaped the region over the years.
See the Castle of Vélez-Blanco
The Castle of Vélez-Blanco is a stunning Renaissance-style castle that was built in the 16th century. The castle boasts a beautiful courtyard, a series of impressive towers, and a collection of historic artifacts and artwork. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms and halls to see its many treasures, including a series of stunning frescoes that depict scenes from the Bible and classical mythology. The castle is open to visitors every day, and it’s a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region.
Explore the Sierra Nevada National Park
The Sierra Nevada National Park is a beautiful natural park that’s located just a short drive from Almería. Visitors can hike through the park to see its stunning landscapes, including snow-capped mountains, rushing rivers, and lush forests. Some popular hiking trails in the park include the Mulhacén Trail, which takes visitors to the highest peak in mainland Spain, and the Poqueira Gorge Trail, which winds through a beautiful valley and past several small villages. Visitors can also go skiing or snowboarding in the park during the winter months, making it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts year-round.
Take a Day Trip to the City of Granada
Granada is a historic city that’s located just a short drive from Almería, and it’s definitely worth a day trip. The city is known for its stunning Alhambra palace, which is one of the most famous landmarks in Spain. Visitors can also explore the city’s many museums and art galleries, or simply wander through the narrow streets and alleys to see the many beautiful buildings and historic landmarks. Some popular attractions in Granada include the Cathedral of Granada, the Albaicín neighborhood, and the Sacromonte Caves, which are home to a thriving flamenco scene.
Visit the Cabo de Gata Botanical Garden
The Cabo de Gata Botanical Garden is a beautiful garden that’s home to a wide variety of plants and flowers from the region. Visitors can explore the garden’s many trails and paths to see its many different species, from cacti and succulents to native shrubs and trees. Some highlights of the garden include the greenhouse, which contains many exotic plants from around the world, and the pond, which is home to a variety of aquatic plants and animals.
Explore the Western Film Sets of Tabernas
Tabernas is known as the “Hollywood of Europe” thanks to its many Western film sets.
Visitors can take a tour of the sets to see where famous films like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly were shot. The sets have been used for many other famous films and TV shows as well, including Lawrence of Arabia, Game of Thrones, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Visitors can explore the sets to see the various buildings and structures that were created for the films, as well as learn about the history of Western films in Spain.
Go Scuba Diving or Snorkeling
The waters around Almería are home to a wide variety of marine life, making it a great place to go scuba diving or snorkeling. There are many dive shops and tour operators in the area that offer guided trips for both beginners and experienced divers. Some popular dive sites in the area include the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, which has many interesting rock formations and underwater caves, and the San José Beach, which is home to a variety of colorful fish and other sea creatures. Snorkeling is also a great option for those who want to explore the underwater world without diving, and there are many shallow areas around the coast that are perfect for snorkeling.
Enjoy Local Cuisine
Almería is known for its delicious local cuisine, which includes dishes like fresh seafood, tapas, and paella. Visitors can sample the local fare at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the city, and experience the unique flavors and ingredients that are used in traditional Almerían cuisine. Some popular dishes to try include the espeto de sardinas, which is grilled sardines on a stick, and the arroz con bogavante, which is rice cooked with lobster. Many restaurants offer a variety of tapas, which are small plates that are perfect for sharing and trying a variety of different flavors.
Almería is a unique and exciting travel destination that offers something for everyone. From the historic Alcazaba and Cathedral to the stunning beaches and natural parks, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in the area. Visitors can also explore the many cultural attractions, such as the museums and galleries, and sample the delicious local cuisine. With its beautiful weather, friendly locals, and rich history and culture, Almería is a destination that should not be missed.
What is the best time of year to visit Almería?
The best time to visit Almería is from April to June or September to November, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
Is Almería expensive to visit?
Almería is generally less expensive than other popular destinations in Spain, although prices can vary depending on the time of year and the type of accommodation you choose.
Can you visit the Alcazaba of Almería at night?
No, the Alcazaba is only open during the day, although it may stay open later during the summer months.
What is the best beach in Almería?
This is subjective, as there are many beautiful beaches in the area. Some popular options include Monsul Beach, San José Beach, and Playa de los Genoveses.
How do I get to Almería?
Almería has its own airport, as well as a train station and bus station, making it easily accessible from other parts of Spain.