The province of Almeria lies on the eastern edge of Andalucia. It takes it's name from it's capital city which lies on the southern coast of the province. The area was discovered by film makers, providing sets for films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Patton and hundreds of westerns have also been filmed in the local hillsides.
Almeria is the region in Spain with the greatest number of cloudless days, exceeding 3000 hours of sunshine during the year. Its average temperature is 18º and during the summer the average is 24.6º. The waters here are almost crystal clear and usually warmer than the air.
Almeria, with a good irrigation system and fertile soils has become an important growth area and it is well known for the quality of it's oranges and white grapes, most of which are exported from it's port. This is the region's main industry.
Almeria has the longest stretch of beaches in the Andalucian province. These include empty beaches and tiny hidden coves with perfectly clear water, ideal for a relaxing getaway from the busier beaches. Because of the diverse landscapes, the range of sports activities is endless from water sports to hiking, paragliding, horse riding and golf.
Almeria city is a charming yet largely modern city and offers a relaxing holiday destination. The city's history stretches back to The Phoenicans who founded the town. It was occupied by Carthagnians, Romans and Moors and was finally recovered for Spain by Ferdinand and Isabella during the reconquest.
A good time to visit Almeria is during the annual fair in August. From Almeria it is easy to visit many small towns and villages that offer true, unspoilt Spain.
In the centre of the city is La Rambla, a long avenue with squares in which to rest and play parks for the children. Almeria city has a major ferry port, a sports marina and a working fishing port.
If you head along the west coast of Almeria, along the N340 highway, you will pass huge cliffs that shelter small coves. After about 13km you will come to Aguadulce that presents a good tourist centre with hotels and apartments. There is also a yacht harbour and a coastline that offers watersports of every description. Further along you find Roquetas de Mar, a typical fishing village where the white houses contrast with the colourful harbour. Here you will see the ruins of the castles of Santa Ana and Los Bajos. At the nearby urban development there is an 18 hole golf course and facilities for many other sports. From here, head for the beautiful Punta Entinas with areas untouched and undeveloped. A little to the west is Almerimar, a tourist complex with several kilometres of beach, crystal clear waters and a marina for over 1000 vessels. Almerimar also offers 18 hole golf, hotels, a camp site and apartments.
About 11km west of here is the former Roman colony of Adra, and is now a town of about 20,000 inhabitants. A fortress stands on the hill, overlooking the town. The towers and walls remain. The parish church dates from the 18th century and is worthy of a visit. The town has always had naval connections and nowadays has a fine sports harbour and yacht club. The beaches are long and wide and the coastal lagoons are a haven for many bird species. The town is well known for its handcrafted coral work.
On the eastern edge of the Costa Almeria you will find Mojacar, a place founded by the Carthaginians and its steep, narrow streets show a Moorish influence. The parish church consists of undecorated stonework in almost military fashion.
All in all, Almeria offers a diverse landscape with some excellent beaches, beautiful countryside and a wealth of history. The province is surrounded by the provinces of Granada, Murcia and Malaga.