The best of Almeria in a day
A single day might not seem like much, but one of the many great things about Almeria is that the best parts of the city are within walking distance of each other. Because of this, it’s easy for you to get to know this city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. Take in its picture-perfect whitewashed houses and stroll up San Cristóbal’s mount to the unmissable Alcazaba, all without too much walking. It doesn’t take long at all for this small but charming city to captivate its visitors.
Itinerary day 1
There is no better place to start your tour than at the castle that overlooks the entire city. This 10th century fortified citadel is the largest of its kind from the period of the Al-Andalus. Once inside, you’ll discover its gardens, its cisterns and intricate plumbing system, as well as public baths, chapels and even homes.
Almeria suffered over 52 bombing raids during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and for this reason they built a network of air-raid shelters in 1937. In these 4 kilometres of tunnels, up to 40,000 people could shelter from the merciless bombings. To be fully prepared for the horrors of the air raids, the people of Almeria built bathrooms, a kitchen, an operating theatre and a store within the shelters themselves. To ease the tension in the tunnels, no one was permitted to speak about politics or religion when a raid was in progress.
In the heart of the city, you’ll be able to have lunch at this bar that has a wide range of dishes on offer. Here you’ll find tapas, a la carte dishes, sharing plates and traditional dishes. It is well worth trying the dried octopus which is a speciality of the region. To add to the experience, the bar is decorated in an Almerian style, in tribute to its home city.
One of the most spectacular buildings in Almeria is its fortified cathedral. This building’s façade is an exquisite masterpiece from the Renaissance period. Apart from its religious mission, the cathedral was also used as a defensive structure against raiding corsairs. Furthermore, the cathedral houses a number of pieces of art such as the alabaster tomb of the bishop Fernández de Villalán.
Visiting the Archaeological Museum of Almeria is a great way to get to know this region and learn about its people. Some of its early inhabitants, the powerful Millares and El Argar cultures, both from the 2nd and 3rd millennium B.C., have special exhibitions dedicated to them. Additionally, the museum provides teaching materials and art rooms for public use.
This impressive port is in a constant state of growth due to being a trading hub. Not only will you see enormous ocean liners and pleasure boats, but also bars, cafes, restaurants and other facilities. It’s a great place to take a break and watch the world go by.
This futuristic structure will definitely come as a surprise when you first come across it. This magnificent platform, known as the Cable Inglés, or English Pier, stands tall on the Almerian seafront, where it connects the port with the railway line. The structure was designed to take locally mined minerals straight to the docked ships for loading. Today, this avant-garde construction remains a site of cultural interest but, more prominently, it is seen as a symbol of the development that came from the industrialisation of Europe.
To wind up your day in Almeria, there aren’t many things better than strolling along the promenade and watching the sun set, all the while listening to the waves break on the beaches of San Miguel, el Zapillo, la Térmica and Nueva Almeria. Take the opportunity to relax amongst its gardens and palm trees or check out some of the bars, restaurants, shops or other facilities that are on the prom. If you still feel energetic, then you could take advantage of the bike lanes for a different point of view. The promenade is named after Carmen de Burgos who was an Almerian writer and Spain’s first female war correspondent.
This restaurant, located in the centre of Almeria, has a wonderful selection of Mediterranean cuisine which combines a simple menu with high quality ingredients. Some of the dishes on offer are: ‘Octopus in oil with paprika parmentier and vitelottes’ and ‘beef tenderloin with foie served on a base of sweet potatoes and sautéed sweet garlic shoots’. The restaurant also boasts a great wine menu and selection of desserts.