The classy, cultural capital of Spain’s southern province
Almeria is both a city and a province in the south of Spain. Costa Almeria, as it is best known to the Brits, boasts 200 miles of attractive, rugged coastline and beaches, dotted with increasingly popular tourist resorts and towns. The provincial capital, Almeria, is a lively place with a great blend of beaches, marina, picturesque squares and café culture. The dry, arid landscapes of inland Almeria set the scene for Sergio Leone's spaghetti westerns and David lean's Lawrence of Arabia, but the stunning coastline is one of the best in the country, with miles of golden sandy beaches, rocky inlets and wonderful villages and resorts. For those of a very ‘sunny’ disposition, Almeria even has the largest naturist beach in the whole of Europe, with dedicated accommodation to go with it.
Spend some time in the capital, Almeria city, to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and visit some of the incredible mediaeval and renaissance buildings in the city. The glorious weather of Almeria province makes it perfect for beach holidays, and there is no shortage of superb towns and villages along the coast that are much less touristy than in some parts of Spain.
When to Go?
The semi-arid climate of Almeria makes it hot and dry throughout the year, with temperatures peaking in July and August. Like much of southern Spain, Almeria’s main tourist period is between April and October, but the hottest months are also the busiest, when families from all over Europe flock to the beaches here. If you want to do some sight-seeing in Almeria, come between March and May when it is a little cooler and less busy.
How to get there?
As one of the up and coming ‘Costas’, flights to Almeria are gradually gaining in popularity. Currently Almeria flights are available from London Gatwick and London Stansted with easyJet and Ryanair respectively. You can fly charter with Thomas Cook from Gatwick, who also have departures from Birmingham and Manchester. Monarch scheduled flights depart from Birmingham and Manchester as well, and bmibaby has flights to Almeria Airport from East Midlands Airport.
Visit the Moorish Alcazaba Fortress, which dominates the town from its hilltop position. There are some spectacular views of the harbour below from up on the hill. The Church of Santiago Apostol is an attractive renaissance period building, built in 1559, and the Cathedral of Almeria is another impressive 16th-century fortified building. Almeria has a museum containing architectural finds from Greek and Roman times, as well as Islamic artefacts from the Alcazaba. Get out onto the beautiful scenic coastline of Almeria with a stroll in the Paseo de Coches, a modern seafront walk and gardens.