Quick guide to Almeria city
Almeria from A-Z
This overview guide to Almeria city comes after living in Andalucia for several years. Almeria is overlooked when considering a trip to Seville, Cordoba or Granada. It certainly has alot to offer.
Here are a few ideas:
- Alcazaba, the fortress with spectacular views of the sea and the city. Worth the hike up the hill. Built in 955, it is the largest fortress constructed by Moors in Spain.
- Butterfly House at Puerta de Purchena. A grand house right in the centre of the city. It was built for the Rapallo Campos family. Once the tallest building in Almeria. The butterflies on the balcony railings give it its name.
- Capri, a great cake shop, stop by for a coffee and ask for a Glaseado to go with it. at C/Navarro Rodrigo 21.
- David Bisbal a recent Grammy award winner from Almeria. Very famous particularly in South American countries for his pop music with a latin feel.
- El Ejido. Known as the greenhouse of Europe. El Ejido produces fruit and vegetables. 70% is exported therefore it is known as the Pantry of Europe.
- Forever, Buy a heart padlock here and declaring your undying love at Plaza Campoamor, fix your padlock to the metal railing next to the image of St Valentine, it´s just a short walk from the shop. Almeria has a special connection with St Valentine, his remains are in buried in the gardens of the cathedral. In the square you can see the writing “Es propio del amor, si es verdadero, compendiar en un ser el mundo entero”. An approximate traslation is: Love is of the nature that if it is true, the whole world is made up of just person, which is you.
- Gustave Eiffel designed the Iron Structure for The Alquife Mines and Railway Company Limited. Find it at the end of the Rambla. It is particularly striking when lit at night. Completed in 1904 locals call it El Cable Inglés. The design of Almeria´s Train station is also by Eiffel.
- Hotel Cathedral, a great place to stay in the very centre of Almeria. Non residents can visit the modern bar for tapas in the evening or coffee and toast with views of the Cathedral square in the morning. Almeria Cathedral is the only one of it´s kind, built as a military stronghold with hardly any windows to protect the citizens from attack.
- Indalo is the symbol of the entire province. (Looks like a stick man with a curve above him) Originally found on the wall of famous cave ‘Los Letreros’ in Velez Blanco. There are 25 cave paintings sites in the area. Declared ‘World Heritage’ by the UNESCO, some paintings are more than 18.000 years old.
- Jabega a refreshing drink for summer served at the Kiosco Amalia, a lemon ice drink with a touch of alcohol, this bar is outside, just opposite Puerta Purchena in the city centre. Another typical drink is the Americano, which is a short milky drink with cinnamon, lemon rind and a dash of cola cream liquer.
- King Jairán built the Arab cisterns that bear his name in 1038 (Aljibes árabes de Jairan) and they supplied water for the whole city. Nowdays it´s the home of Peña El Taranto, the oldest flamenco club in Almeria.
- Lighthouse and the Mirador las Sirenas at Cabo de Gata, if you drive these it´s not for the faint hearted, some very narrow roads, in summer can be particularly difficult to pass other cars. Well worth the trip, see beautiful seascapes, great for photographers.
- Mojito One of my best memories of visiting Almeria was drinking a perfectly blended Mojito at night at the Chiringuito de Diego, this is a beach hut on the sands at Playadulce. Colonial style wood and the sea breeze on your face. No need to go to Cuba!
- Navojoa, Mexico, Cochabamba, Bolivia and Meililla, Spain are all twin cities with Almeria.
- Olive oil 4% of Spain´s Olive oil is produced in Almeria. There is an Olive oil museum in the city, at C/Real and you can buy Organic Olive oil in many places in the city too.
- Parrilla Pasaje this bar designed the well loved Cherigan, a tapa served in many bars around the city, it´s similar to a toasted sandwich. The name Cherigan seems to come from “Sheriff”. Perhaps due to the Western films made nearby in Tabernas desert. Another theory comes from the nickname of a waiter at Bar Parilla Pasaje. Nicknamed the Sheriff as he was very bossy. Find the original Cherigan at C/Rueda Lopez, 1
- Qibla in the Church of St John (Iglesia de San Juan) once was part of the Main Mosque in Almeria, you can see on entering this church the Qibla and Mihrab have been preserved, they are in a side wall of the building. This particular qibla has was very precisely located to the East and dates back to XI century the time of King Jairán
- Retamar one of ten golf courses in the area. A great place for golfing due to the mild climate. Almerimar and Roquetas also have golf courses. Lots of information available online.
- Strawberry Fields Forever was composed in 1966 in Almeria. So this explains why there is a statue of John Lennon in the centre of town. He was on location at the time to film How I won the war, which brings me neatly to ´T´
- Tabernas Natural Park, a breathtaking desert landscape, on which many Westerns have been filmed, especially in th 60s – 70´s A fist full of dollars was filmed here as well as Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones The last crusade. You can visit the Mini hollywood which is 20 miles from Almeria itself.
Civil War Shelters
- Underground refuges from the Spanish Civil War. These tunnels were designed by Guillermo Langle Rubio. Built in just 3 years by civilians. Well worth visiting due to the historical importance of the site. Over 4 kms in length, it is one of the best examples of wartime shelters in Europe. The entrance is at Plaza Manuel Pérez García. Open everyday except Monday.
- Virgen del Mar. (Virgen of the Sea) This floral offering is on the last Saturday in August. The Patron of Almeria, and the whole week is a festival. Different activities take place around the city. The choir of the Rocio take part in this traditional ceremony each year.
- Wine. Local wine is made in different areas of the province. Visit Bodega de Alboloduy for a tour of their cellars. This producer won several awards. Seron also has some good wine too.
- X Crosses in May, during the first days of May the crosses that adorn the city in the are typical in Almeria as well as in some other areas of Andalucía. Worth visiting at this time to see the atmosphere and visit the different displays dotted around the city centre.
- Yacimiento Arqueológico de Los Millares, situated to the North of Almeria, in Santa Fe de Mondújar, this complex was in use from the end of the 4th millennium to the end of 2nd millennium BC, discovered in 1891, first excavated by Luis Siret. Excavation work continues today.
- Zapillo This neighbourhood of Almeria was previously a fishing village. It is the only beach in the city itself with views of the Mediterranean sea.