Things to do in Almeria

Boiling over with modern charm and spectacular natural beauty, Spain’s sunniest city is the ultimate getaway for a quick fix of vitamin sea. Home to Europe’s only desert, the potential for exploring is endless in Almeria. Venture deep into the rugged dry lands, or spend a day time travelling at one of the many magnificent historical sites. Whatever takes your fancy, this city on the edge of the Mediterranean is a real treat. Here’s seven of the best things to do and see in Almeria.

1. Alcazaba

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Overlooking the entire city, the Alcazaba fortification was built in the 10th century and is without doubt one of the best things to see in Almeria. The biggest of the Arab citadels in Spain, this complex is a sight for sore eyes with enormous walls, vaulted ceilings, gothic doors and unbeatable panoramic views. Visible from any part of the city, visit the site and explore the remains of the impressive cistern system. A unique attraction, this is a must when visiting Almeria. 

2. Mini Hollywood

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A theme park with a difference , Oasys or mini Hollywood is a hidden gem in the middle of Europe’s only desert. Located near the town of Tabernas, the original set was constructed in 1965 by Carlo Simi for Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More western movie. Purchased by the crew after filming wrapped, the set has been preserved as an attraction ever since, treating visitors to tours and live shows daily. Wander round the makeshift town and watch can-can dancers weave through mock shoot outs and saloon brawls for an experience you won’t forget. 

3. Almeria Cathedral

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Standing in the centre of town since the 16th century, Almeria Cathedral is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. With high defensive walls, closed front façade and a blend of gothic, renaissance, baroque and neoclassical, the cathedral is listed as an historic-artistic monument. Boasting some unique features, inside the choir with its 75 walnut seats is the oldest part of the site while its cloisters are the best example of neoclassical architecture in the country. 

4. Cabo de Gata

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Covering the entire cape to the east of the city centre, Cabo de Gata is a natural park with a difference. Set against the rocky backdrop of volcanic, subtropical landscape, the area is home to some of the best secluded beaches in the region, abandoned mining villages, coastal wonders and glorious sea views. Discover the colony of flamingos living on the salt flats, cliff dive off La Cala del Cuervo, eat local delicacies at the tiny village of Fernan Perez and swim with the fishes at Los Escullos beach. With so much to see, this is definitely one to add to your list of what to do in Almeria. 

5. Museum of Almeria

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Housing the largest collection of archaeological artefacts in the region, this is one of the most important museums to visit in Almeria. Located at Carretera de Ronda street, the museum is located inside an award winning contemporary building and has been a part of the city since 1934. Featuring interactive displays and audio visual elements, the space exhibits artefacts from prehistoric remains to finds from the Roman era and old Islamic Almeria. A great day out for the whole family, the museum is a chance to delve deeper into the history of one of the most undiscovered destinations in Spain. 

6. Castillo de San Cristobal

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Sitting on the top of Cerro de San Cristobal hill, the Castillo was built in the 11th century as a military fortress but now acts as one of the best tourist attractions in Almeria. Ringed by ancient ruins of protective walls, the fort consists of seven towers and is guarded under Spanish laws. Aside from spectacular views over the city below, the historic site is home to an impressive marble pedestal representing the Sacred Heart of Jesus, given to the city as a gift from the nearby village of Macael. 

7. Almeria Central Market

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For a masterclass in home grown organic produce, head to the end of Paseo de Almeria and feast your eyes and your belly on the stalls at the city’s central market. Forget about shopping in supermarkets and enjoy the ultimate authentic experience as you browse rows of fresh fruit, veggies and fishmongers selling sea-life you never even knew existed. Make sure to try the famous Spanish jamon Iberico and wash it all down with a glass of the finest local wine. An unforgettable outing, this is definitely one of the best things to see in Almeria.


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- Lucy Norris