Andalusia’s undiscovered gem, Almeria is a haven of natural beauty and stunning geography. Home to Europe’s only desert, there’s so much to see and explore, you’ll be spoilt for choice, especially if you have a thirst for adventure. Leave the sun loungers behind and embark on five of the best day trips from Almeria.
Boasting some of the oldest geological features in Europe, the geopark is the only region on the continent with a true desert climate. Hop on a bus and head for a plethora of small whitewashed fishing villages, cliffs, hidden coves, unspoilt beaches, exotic flora and fauna as well as the famous salt lakes. A protected area, the wild landscape holds traces of volcanoes making for a unique terrain unlike anywhere else. Stretching for 50 kilometres, the natural park is the best preserved section of rugged coastline in the Mediterranean. Spend the day snorkelling around Mermaids Reef, relax on the urban beaches at San Jose or the more natural sands of Monsul and dive into the coves of Carnaje and Enmemdio. Truly a sight for sore eyes, this is without a doubt a must-see when visiting Almeria.
Sitting thirty kilometres north of Almeria, the Tabernas Desert is the only desert in Europe. With unrivalled scenery, it’s no surprise Hollywood decided to set up camp amongst the red dusty sand. Featured as the back drop for a string of Western films, take a trip out here and visit the set village of Fort Bravo. Covered in cacti, the vastness and dazzling light will transport you back to the days of saloons and cowboys, without ever having to leave Spain. The cinematic location spans for approximately 280 square kilometres and is listed as a protected natural park.
The jewel of Andalusian heritage, Alhambra Palace is located a two hour bus journey from Almeria and is worth every minute. On top of the hill al-Sabika, the palace dominates the landscape on the left side of the river Darro and boasts views over the city of Granada and la Vega meadow. The devil is in the detail inside this breath-taking structure where every inch of available space is covered in intricate decoration. The walls are covered with spectacular, rich ceramics and all the plasterwork has wooden coverings that have been expertly carved. For a real treat head to the Hall of the Abencerrajes and Hall of the Two Sisters and marvel at the pièce de résistance; a mocarabe vault formed by tons of little cells placed on top of each other. A noteworthy experience to say the least, a visit to the Alhabra Palace is definitely one of the best day trips from Almeria.
When it comes to picture perfect locations, Mojacar hits the mark and then some. Lined with whitewashed Moorish old houses and Mediterranean beaches, this little village can be reached in just an hour’s drive from Almeria and has a bucket-load of history and scenic views to enjoy. Visit the fortress style Santa Maria church that has been standing in the town since 1560 and spend some time relaxing on the shores of Mojacar Playa beach. Wander through the maze of narrow streets in the old town and snap away at the coloured doorways and blooming flower pots. Packed full of activities and sight-seeing, this is a great spot for a day out with all the family.
Founded in 2004 by father and daughter duo, Cristina and Francisco Calvache, La Bodega de Alboloduy is an award-winning winery located in the Alpujarras of Almeria. With an annual production of 70,000 to 80,000 bottles, production here aims to preserve the heritage of the Alboloduy area. Included in the Protected Geographical Indication, the vineyards are scattered amongst a mountainous desertscape so you can enjoy a glass of vino with a spectacular view. Having won prizes at different national and international fairs, this is definitely a worthwhile trip to make when visiting Almeria.
Planning a holiday to Almeria soon? Make sure to tag us in your photos of the best day trips from Almeria using the hashtag #ryanairstories for the chance to be featured on Ryanair’s social media channels.
Flights to Almeria
- Lucy Norris