Almeria is a city situated on Spain’s southeast coast, along the Mediterranean sea. The city itself is not as frequently visited as some of the attractions surrounding it, such as the Costa del Sol beaches, Cabo de Gata National Park, or the Taberna Desert.
Our visit to Almeria was by accident rather than design. We had a 3-night stay in the town of San Jose (in Cabo de Gata National Park) planned but an unusual storm meant that the road there was washed away. We only realized this when our expected bus from Almeria to San Jose never showed up. Undeterred, we decided to spend the night in Almeria and see what this often overlooked Andalucian city had to offer.
Top Things to do
The Alcazaba is arguably Almeria’s most famous attraction, and it can be seen from nearly anywhere in the city. Similar to the Alcazaba in the Alhambra, Granada – the Alcazaba served as a citadel for the Arab inhabitants of the city.
It is the second-largest Muslim construction in Spain – after the Alhambra, and has a 1,430m walled perimeter. Due to these walls, and the raised elevation of the Alcazaba, the views over the city are exceptional.
La Alcazaba is open Tuesday – Sunday and the entrance is free. Due to the free entrance, the site isn’t as spectacular or informative as some of the other Moorish attractions in Andalucia. That being said, we really enjoyed our visit – it was very relaxing (apart from worrying about a potential rainstorm – just look at those clouds in the pictures).
The Cathedral of Almeria
The Cathedral was built in a Gothic and Renaissance style in the mid- 16th century, and in appearance, it is quite distinct from other Cathedrals in Andalucia. It is believed that the Cathedral was built this way in order to protect it from attacks and earthquakes (the previous Cathedral was destroyed by an earthquake and often attacked by pirates).
You can visit the inside for €5 but we skipped this due to being completely tired of visiting Cathedrals!
Shop till you Drop
There are ample opportunities to do some shopping in Almeria – and thanks to Aoife, we did a good few hours of it!
Las Ramblas (Paseo de Almeria) is a good place to start, with plenty of clothes shopping on either side of the road. The area in and around the central market also has lots of shopping opportunities!
Coffee and cake at La Dulce Alianza
This is a must – the cake AND the coffee were amazing. It is probably the nicest cup of coffee I have ever had in my life, honestly – it’s that good!
They have a wide selection of pastries, cake’s and tarts – alongside any type of coffee you could possibly want. Personally, we recommend the black forest gateaux – it was delicious!
La Dulce Alianza is located along the Avenida del Paseo de Almeria.
Sun your Buns at Roquetas de Mar
Roquetas de Mar is a beach town located about 40 minutes from the city of Almeria. Like a lot of beach towns in this part of Spain, Roquetas is jam-packed with hotels, resorts and of course, tourists. If you are looking for a traditional slice of Spain – look elsewhere. You will get the all in one tourist experience in Roquetas however, with nightclubs, beaches, seafood restaurants, and attractions aplenty. We can’t give much more info on Roquetas as we stayed in an all-inclusive resort near Playa Serena called Trinidad Hotel. We booked here after our trip to Cabo de Gata was unexpectedly canceled due to an unusual storm, but enjoyed the relaxation.
Visit Cabo de Gata
Something we didn’t end up doing, but as I had planned our trip, I can give some advice on good things to do here. Cabo de Gata is on the outskirts of Almeria and is famous for it’s wild and isolated landscape.
We were going to base ourselves in the quiet seaside town of San Jose, where we could arrive on a bus from the terminal in Almeria. From here it is possible to hike (or drive) to some wonderful beaches – including Playa Monsul and Playa de Los Genoveses.
Also on the plan was to go kayaking in a transparent kayak, along the shoreline with a company called Clear Kayak. We also had the chance to do a 4 X 4 of the rugged landscape in Cabo de Gata with the company Rolling Almeria.