Fall In Love With A Less Known Gem In Southern Spain
Bordered by Granada, Murcia, and the Mediterranean Sea, the province of Almeria is one of the least visited places in Andalucia despite its stunning coastline. Inland you will come across silent mountain valleys and a semi-desert scrubland that was deemed the perfect place for filming spaghetti westerns such as “The good the bad and the ugly.”
In Almeria, the Sorbas caves are a major attraction, as is the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar and its fabulous beaches.
For nature lovers and outdoor sports enthusiasts, the wooded peaks of Los Vélez are ideal for hiking and mountain biking, while the city of Almeria offers culture and nightlife.
Visit Andalusia like a Local!
Most Famous Attractions in Almeria
Almeria’s attraction is that it remains virtually unknown outside of Spain.
Visitors to Almeria can enjoy the province and feel like they have stumbled upon a place yet to be added to the tourist map.
Below we have put together a list of what we think are the main attractions in Almeria.
- Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar – Boasting amazing natural beaches and a mostly empty landscape with the occasional village, this 340-sq-km natural park is the perfect place to relax and unwind. – Book here your Cabo de Gata tour
- Alcazaba – Built by the Moors in the mid-10th century, the Alcazaba was one of Spain’s most impregnable fortresses. – Book here a Cabo de Gata tour
- Cuevas de Sorbas – Located in Karst’s nature park in Yesos de Sorbas, the caves are a vast network of underground caverns and tunnels that stretch for miles.
- Los Velez – Los Velez is a remote area of forests and rocky peaks in the north of the province that nature lovers will enjoy visiting.
- Desierto de Tabernas –Put your cowboy hat on and explore the wild west film sets of the spaghetti westerns. – Book a tour here
Best Almeria Accommodation
Where you decide to stay in Almeria depends very much on what you want to do while on holiday. If you like the feel of a city, stay in the port city of Almeria.
If you prefer a beach resort Mojacar is popular with British families while Roquetas de Mar attracts the Spanish beachgoer.
For a more laid back option stay in the fishing village of San Jose in the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar.
For backpackers and people looking for inexpensive places to spend the night, hostels are nearly always the best option.
In the city of Almeria, you don’t have shared room hostels but several budget hotels from which to select from.
Despite its name, the Hostal Maribel is a low-cost place to stay near Almeria’s bull ring. The historic city center is a 15-minute walk, and there is a bus stop right outside where you can catch a bus to the beach. Prices start from 52€ per night. – Check reviews here
Overlooking one of Almeria’s best beaches in Roquetas de Mar, the 4-star all-inclusive Hotel Best Sabinal features two swimming pools, a children’s play area, and a spa.
Each large room features a balcony with sea views and comes with an empty mini-refrigerator. Prices start from 128€ per night. – Check reviews here
Located a five-minute walk from Almerimar Marina, the modern 5-star Hotel AR Golf Almerimar features a 27-hole golf course, two outdoor swimming pools, and a wellness center.
The hotel offers several restaurants and bars with live music and entertainment. Prices start from 180€ per night. – Check reviews here
How to get to Almeria
The closest airport to Almería is Almeria Airport (LEI), with seasonal flights from the U.K. by easyJet and TUI. Malaga Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) offers year-round flights but is 182 kilometers from Almeria. – Check flights here
getting to Almeria by train is possible but can involve multiple changes of trains. Using Malaga as an example, you would first need to go to Granada and then change trains. The journey would take just over six hours. – Check schedules here
Almeria is one of the provinces in Andalucia where taking the bus is the best form of public transport. To get to Almeria from Malaga Airport takes five hours. – Check schedules here
Having a car when visiting Almeria is a big plus as it will not only get you there from Malaga Airport in two hours it will prove useful for getting around the province. – Check car hire here
Almeria Travel Guide: Booking Resources
In order to make travel planning as easy as possible, we gathered below a selection of our favorite companies. We love them for being reliable and offering the best deals in Southern Spain. All of the recommended companies have top-notch customer service and have been tested by us first-hand.
- Skycanner – Find the best flight deals to Southern Spain
- Omio – THE company to book train or bus tickets online. It’s also a great way to check schedules and stay flexible.
- Discover Cars – Has the best-discounted rates on car rentals in Andalucia
- GetYourGuide – Find the best tours in Southern Spain. They offer great value and we found their prices to be some of the most competitive ones in the market.
- Booking.com – To book the perfect hotel for your Southern Spain trip. We particularly love their review section.
- Homeaway – From stunning beach-front villas or gorgeous city appartments, Homeaway has the best offers when it comes to vacation rentals.
- Airbnb– Explore Andalucia like a local and stay with local homeowners. It’s a great way to connect.
- Hostelworld – If you travel to Spain on a budget, Hostelworld has the largest selection of hostels in Andalucia.
- Adrenaline Hunter – If you are an adventurous kind of traveler, Adrenaline Hunter will be your favorite resource ever. From kitesurfing to kayaking, it’s basically heaven for outdoor lovers.
- SafetyWing – Never travel without travel insurance. A stupid accident can quickly turn into a financial nightmare. With SafetyWing you can travel worry-free.
- Transferwise – Withdraw money without hidden fees and avoid exchange charges + get a free Mastercard debit card to spend money abroad
When to go to Almeria
Most people visit Almeria from June until August, with the beaches being the province’s biggest attractions. It can get scorching during July and August, with the sea temperature never below 24°C. The ideal month to visit is September as most people are back in work, and the kids are at school.
What to eat in Almeria
Almeria is considered Spain’s pantry, a land of greenhouses producing tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and melons.
Innovatively many of the farms use helpful insects to protect the plants and prevent diseases rather than pesticides. Almeria is also famous for its fish and practice called “boat to table” where the daily catch of prawns, monkfish, and squid is sold directly from the fishermen to restaurants.
Dishes typical of Almeria include the following:
- Ajoblanco – Having been introduced by the Moors Ajoblanco is a cold almond and garlic soup often served with a few grapes.
- Calamares en Aceite – Calamares en Aceite is slow-cooked squid in olive oil and white wine with a hint of garlic.
- Gurullos – Gurullos is a type of pasta served in a rabbit stew with potatoes and chickpeas.
- Plato Alpujarreno – Typically found in Granada and Almeria Plato Alpujarreno is a dish of fried potatoes, sausage, ham, and black pudding served with a fried egg.
- Almerian bouillabaisse – Almerian bouillabaisse is a simple fish stew that was originally made from the leftovers of the days catch.
What to do in Almeria for Outdoor lovers?
Almeria offers visitors the chance to experience everything from a volcanic created coastline to a seemingly endless desert and snow-capped mountain peaks.
Ancient forests and precious white mountain villages are dotted throughout the interior, but most tourists visit Ameria for its spectacular beaches and endless sunshine.
- Channels of Padules – Translated as meaning “small lagoons,” Channels of Padules is a network of gorges and rockpool carved out by the Andarax River. The clear mountain water and scenery make for an exciting day of hiking and swimming.
- Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park – Considered the most important volcanic formation in the Iberian Peninsula, the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is a secret place with fantastic beaches and coves. – Check tours here
- Tabernas Desert – Famous for being the backdrop for spaghetti westerns and The Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Tabernas Desert is the only arid desert in Europe. – Book tours here
- Cycling – While it is too hot during the summer, Almeria is the perfect place for a cycling holiday in the spring and fall. Routes through the Cabo de Gata Natural Park and around the Tabernas Desert’s edge offer a diversity of scenery with flat and mountainous terrain.
- Scuba Diving – Due to its status as a protected marine reserve, the scuba diving around the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is best in Spain. Several dive centers in the area cater to novices and experienced divers. – Check dives here
What to do in the surroundings of Almeria?
As we have already mentioned, Almeria’s province is a little off the beaten track for tourists except for those who visit the beach resorts during the summer.
Having said that, Almeria’s city has some exciting attractions, and there are several places you can visit in a day.
Alcazaba and the Catedral de la Encarnacion
Located in Almeria, the Alcazaba and its curtain-like walls became one of the most magnificent Moorish fortresses in Spain.
Constructed beginning in 1525 Almeria’s formidable cathedral was built to be both a place of worship and a refuge from pirates.
Visit Oasys Western Theme Park
Originally called “Yucca City” when it was built for Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More in 1965, the park now features cowboy shootouts and much more to keep you entertained. – Book tickets here
Spend the day in Granada while immersing yourself in the Nasrid Kingdom by visiting the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens. Enjoy tapas and a refreshing drink in the old Albaicín Arab quarter before heading back to Almeria. – Check tours here
Home of the famous Nerja Caves, this lovely seaside town and the village of Frigiliana make for a great day out. If you have the time go sea kayaking along the Maro cliffs or walk the Rio Chillar. – Check tours here
Lorca and Cartagena
Head north up the AP-7 motorway and discover the Baroque majesty of Lorca and the Roman ruins in Cartagena. While in Cartagena, be sure and take a boat tour of the harbor.