Almeria On a Budget
SightsThere are plenty of things to see in Almeria, from the gorgeous untamed coastlines to the expanse mountainous region, to one of the only desert areas in Spain, there is plenty of natural beauty to behold. There are also many cultural and historic sights to see, of which the most popular is the Alcazaba. Founded in in 995 AD, it's the second largest Moorish fortress in Spain. It provides sweeping views of the cave quarter of Barrio de la Chanca below and is definitely worth a visit.
Another sight worth stopping at is the Almeria Cathedral, which looks like a fortress from the outside, but is a beautiful cathedral on the inside. The reason for its fortress-like construction was to protect against pirate raids.
NeighborhoodsThe primary city in the province of Almeria is the city of of the same name, Almeria. It is the province's capital city and is the largest city in the province. The city of Almeria has the most cultural and historic sights and some of the best restaurants in the region.
Roquetas de Mar is another large city area and is one of the more popular areas of the Almeria province. This area also has many options as far as shopping, restaurants, and large hotels. There is free entertainment in parts of the city during the summer, which makes it a popular destination for locals on holiday.
ActivitiesThere is always something to do in Almeria, whether you want to go for a hike in the mountains, a swim in the warm Mediterranean waters, or a nice day lounging on the beach, the natural environment provides plenty to do in itself. One incredible thing to do is to go on a tour in the Sorbas Caves. The caves are located in the Gypsum Karst Natural Park, and guided tours are available into the subterranean world with stalactites, stalagmites, and impressive gypsum crystals.
The Museum of Almeria is also worth a visit and it showcases many prehistoric findings from the region, which makes it the most impressive archeological collection in the Almeria region.
For something a little different, visit mini Hollywood in the Tabernas Desert. Its open and arid landscape has been used for Westerns and Hollywood blockbuster screens, including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Food and DiningAlmeria, as many places in the region, is great for food and dining. The abundance of naturally grown, flavorful produce plays heavily into the fantastic flavors of the area. Because of its location right on the Mediterranean, it also has a fabulous seafood cuisine. There are many local specialty dishes worth trying. One such dish is bocas de la Isla, which is an exotic crab meat dish. A couple other local dishes to try include Iberian ham and bull's tail.
Almeria has plenty of great restaurants to choose from. On of which is Casa Puga, which is a typical Spanish taberna and has been around since the 1870's. Their specialties are anchovies and prawns, as well as their delicious vino de la sierra de la Contraviesa, a local wine personally provided by Casa Pluga's owners. Another popular restaurant is El Quinto Toro, which many locals consider to be the best tapas bar in Almeria.
TransportationThe best prices for buses and trains in Spain can be found on Omio (formerly GoEuro). They let you search across all train, bus, and plane routes throughout Europe.
Almeria does have an airport, but it is mostly for regional flights, though it does have some international flights. The best airport in the area for international flights is into the Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport. This airport is the oldest airport in Spain still in operation and is the fourth busiest in Spain. From Malaga, you could take a regional flight into Almeria airport, or there are both bus and train options from Malaga into Almeria.
Hiring a car is also a good way to get from Malaga into Almeria and is also a good option for your stay in the area. Having a car will make it much easier to get around to the many landscapes and attraction in the area, as well as nearby cities and towns. There is also a decent public transportation system including trains and buses, but it is not as extensive as in the bigger cities and may not have routes to all areas.
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