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Almería is located in southern Spain on a golf named after the city. It is the most eastern major city of Andalusia. Amería was founded by the Moors. Kalief Abd ar-Rahman III built a fort at the end of the tenth century, which is one of the city's biggest attractions. This Alcazaba is on top of the hill and it is obvious that you have fantastic views over the city and the sea. The complex is beautifully restored; do not forget to visit the Arabian gardens, which have been restored to their ancient glory.
Located in the heart of the old city is the cathedral, which was built after its predecessor was destroyed by an earthquake in 1522. The cathedral resembles a fortress more than a church. In times of pirate attacks the cathedral functioned as the refuge for the population and the intruders were bombarded with cannonball fire from the reinforced towers. Inside, note the carvings and paintings from artists like Murillo, Ribera and Alonso Cano.
The Almería Museum houses many objects which were found in the area. Worth a visit too is the Museum of Modern Art.
It is lovely to stroll around in the historical center and you can enjoy some fantastic meals here too. Along the marina runs a pedestrian street where many tapas bars are. For cafes, go to the 'four streets' (cuatro calles), near the cathedral. It is particularly busy here late in the evening.
About twenty miles north of Almería lie the ruins of Los Millares. The town was once walled and the population was engaged in copper winnings and manufacturing of copper items. Near the city is a necropolis with over 100 beautifully decorated crypts.
You can imagine being a cowboy west of Almería! Many westerns were filmed in these surroundings, the dry deserted area was perfect for it. Famous westerns like A Fistful of Dollars, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly were recorded here. This history is kept alive in two theme parks, Mini Hollywood and Texas Hollywood, both accessible with a rental car via the N340. You can have a drink in a 'saloon', but luckily there are no bullets flying around anymore.
Here you are in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. A trip through this rugged mountain area with picturesque villages is highly recommended. Keep in mind that the roads are sometimes very narrow and the drops are steep and deep. So drive carefully.
Thirty years ago, the beaches near Almería were still rugged and pristine. This has changed dramatically in most places: large hotels and holiday parks have been built. It is not easy to find a quiet, unspoiled beach in the immediate vicinity of the city, If you see a small path towards the coast from the main road, it might be worth it to follow that path. Who knows, it might lead to a beach entirely for yourself! Rugged and unspoiled nature can be found in Cabo del Gata, a protected nature reserve east of Almería. The landscape consists of rocks, sand dunes and salt planes. It is a paradise for bird lovers. Even though it is a protected area, you can swim and dive in front of the coast.
Located north of Cabo del Gata (and northeast of Almería), is Mojacar, a picturesque town on a hill, where Arab influences are still clearly visible. Surrounding this town lie beautiful wide beaches with fine sand.
Further to the north lie the Almanzora caves (Cuevas de Almanzora). Some of these caves were still inhabited just twenty years ago and therefore feel quite 'modern'. But there are many older caves to admire too.
There is a wide range of accommodation in Almería. The most popular hotels and guest houses are located around the Central Market (Mercado Central de Almería). There are many holiday resorts along the beaches in the region too.
In the old city center it can be difficult to find a parking space for your rental car. Fortunately, most hotels have parking places for their guests, although limited at times. It is very dry in the area of Almería. If it does rain, keep in mind that the roads might be slippery.
Almería Airport lies ten kilometers west of the city. The airport is easily accessible by rental car via the AL-12 (Autovia del Aeropuerto). From the A-7 toll road (Autovia del Mediterraneo) the exit is clearly signposted too.