- For other places with the same name, see Almeria (disambiguation).
The word Almería is an Arabic word which means mirror of the sea. Like many Andalusian cities, Almería kept its Arabic name after it had been recaptured by the Spanish. It is an average-sized city by the Mediterranean Sea with a population of around 200,000 (2018). In its region lies the Natural Resort (Parque Natural) area of Cabo de Gata.
Almería has a hot, arid climate. Almería's winters are very mild, around 18 °C (65 °F). Summers are long and hot and often reach and exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in the shade during July and August.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Almería airport lies to the east of the city, and serves domestic flights, and those from elsewhere in Europe. Iberia offers connections from Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Palma de Mallorca (also served by Air Europa) and Melilla, while British Airways flies from London Gatwick, and TAP from Porto (seasonal). Various other European low cost airlines, including EasyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair offer a mix or year round and seasonal flights from a host of cities throughout Europe.
Car hire is available at the airport, and it is served by municipal bus route #30, which runs to the city centre and to the bus/train station.
Almería's train station is on the Plaza de la Estación immediately south-east of the city centre (10- to 15-min walk), by El Cable. Train service to Almeria is quite limited for a city of the size because it is isolated at the end of a long branch line. RENFE operate a Talgo service to Madrid Charmatin, and a regional service from Sevilla via Granada and Cordoba.
The route from Madrid is quite slow (almost 7 hours), but incredibly scenic, as the train winds along a serpentine route though the desert, revealing a landscape like nothing else in Europe, with barren mountains, and tiny, remote arroyos (wadis) where a few cactus and palms survive on underground moisture. The train also offers a spectacular view as it approaches Guadix, a town in the desert backed by a massive cliff, into which numerous cave buildings have been carved. After a few hours the train breaks through the mountains and beyond the desert into the flat tableland of the Meseta, from where it sprints towards Madrid in a dead straight line.
The bus station is combined with the train station, and is immediately south-east of the city centre, near to the Cable. Buses arrive from Jaén, Málaga, Granada and a variety of other cities all day. Less frequent long distance buses run from points along the coast to Barcelona, and up to Madrid. Additional options are available if routing through Granada, which is quick and simple. The bus station only serves long-distance buses. Some municipal buses stop outside, but don't start or terminate from here.
Ferries connect Almería to Melilla, a Spanish city on the North Africa coast, to Nador in Morocco (across the bay from Melilla), as well as Ghazaouet and Oran in Algeria. All ferries carry cars as well as passengers. A fast-ferry also operates to Melilla, and offers a significant time saving, with a crossing time of 3½ hr.
Despite the mountainous terrain surrounding the city, Almeria itself is mostly flat, and getting round on foot is easy and pleasant, due to the dry conditions and shaded streets. There is also a comprehensive, if not terribly frequent, network of municipal buses, operated by Surbus. Fares are affordable, and routes and timetables can be found on the company website.
- 1 Casa de los Marqueses de Torre Alta.
- 2 Cathedral of Santa María de la Encarnación. The cathedral has a fortress-like appearance due to its towers, merlons and protected paths, created to defend it from Mediterranean pirates. It was built as a mosque, and later converted into a Christian church, before being destroyed in the 1522 earthquake. In the 16th century it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, whilst keeping some of its defensive features.
- 3 John Lennon Monument.
- 4 Las Claras Convent.
- 5 Museo del Aceite de Oliva.
- 6 Palace of the Marquees of Cabra.
- Palace of the Viscounts of the Castillo de Almansa.
- 7 Alcazaba de Almería (La Alcazaba) (in the middle of town; the main path up leads from C/ Joaquín Santiestaban; Bus L1 stops at the bottom of the steps), ☏ . 09:00-15:00 and 19:00-22:00 (summer), 09:00-18:00 (winter). Massive Arabic hilltop fortress that dominates the city. It was beautifully decorated with intricate stucco work that rivalled that of the Alhambra, but much of it was destroyed or removed during periods of abandonment. Nonetheless the surviving structures are beautiful, and a sympathetic restoration has created beautiful, shaded gardens and fountains that make the site a haven of tranquility, with fantastic views over the city. You dsn't get views without climbing: the site is on top of a rocky outcrop and is spread over multiple terraces. Bring your pedometer and feel virtuous. The site is frequently used for exhibitions and shows. Check the website to find out what's on. Free for EU citizens, otherwise €1.50.
- Visit the great beaches of Las Salinas and La Almadrava de Monteleva.
- Natural Park of Cabo de Gata Nijar (Cabo-de-Gata-Spain), Almeria (Province). Just outside Almeria is an important natural reserve. The Natural Park of Cabo de Gata Nijar. It is a volcano area with virgin beaches and isolated coves.
- Film studios. Film studios in the Tabernaz desert were used to film many spaghetti westerns, and parts of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Game of Thrones. Some sets can be visited.
- Círculo Mercantil
- Mercado Central - the central market.
There are numerous tapas bars around the town, offering a choice of meat, fish and seafood as well as some typical tortillas and potato dishes. Tapas bars are typically visited by the locals before the night fiesta.
- Paseo Maritimo zone. The pedestrian street by the sea offers a great number of bars de tapa, where breakfast, coffee, juices beers and tapas can be enjoyed with the view of the sea and the beautiful sunsets.
- Calle Mayor (center). Calle Mayor is a tapas-bar between the Rambla and the paseo de Almería near the centre. It has a variety of tapas, often different than the most common choices found in most of the tapas bars in the city, some of the choices being vegetarian. The price for a caña of beer (a smaller glass than the tubos) and a tapa is only €1 in the evenings.
- 46 (center (quatro calles)). For a different selection of tapas, 46 is an Italian tapas bar, with a variety of lasagna and pastas as an additional choice to the common tapas. Price of a tubo of beer and tapa is €2.
Most of the bars are in the area known by the locals as cuatro calles (the four streets) in the very centre of the city and just under the Cathedral plaza. Depending on the day, a litre of beer could cost as little as €2 in some bars.
- NH Ciudad de Almeria, Jardín de Medina, ☏ .
Almería is generally a peaceful town. Robberies or crime is highly unlikely although the locals might advise to keep away from the Roma neighbourhoods at night.