A little over 4-hour drive from Valencia, the city of Almeria, was the perfect stop during our one-month road trip to Spain. Located in Andalusia, the big-not-so-big city with its 200,000 inhabitants has left us with a fond memory.
We settled in Almeria from July 20 to July 23, 2019, with our young family during our trip around the world. We took the time to eat some seafood and visit, among other things, the fortress of Alcazaba.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN ALMERIA
The fortress of Alcazaba
Of course, a must-see in Almeria, Spain, is to visit the fortress of Alcazaba. The over 1000-year-old monument is really well preserved, which makes its visit impressive.
Beautiful gardens surround the fortress, and the view you get when perched on the different levels of the towers overlooking Almeria and the ocean is more than gorgeous.
We visited the fortress of Alcazaba during sunset—an extra touch that made our experience magical.
We love to go to the beach and were gladly surprised by Almeria’s beach. Located in the city this beach is wide and there are conveniences such as outdoor showers, public toilets and so on.
The beach is made of lots of small stones, BUT it doesn’t hurt your feet! On the contrary! We were first disappointed when we saw this when we arrived, but it was so hot that day that we decided to swim anyways. It turns out we liked it quite a bit, as the water was transparent (the clear blue kind), and the small stones remained on the ground, despite the waves. The water was really warm— the warmest water we enjoyed in Spain. And, confession of a #mom, I found the little pebbles less annoying than the fine sand that sticks everywhere in every nook and cranny of my babies’ skin.
Also, during our visit, we didn’t see any algae—in other words, we really enjoyed our day at the beach of Almeria!
Cabo de Gata National Park and its beaches
Cabo de Gata National Park, a 45-minute drive from Almeria, is full of charming villages, by the sea and on the mountainside where it’s pleasant to go for a walk. As for us, we drove there.
We chose to go to the beach in the village of Agua Amarga because we could park the car nearby. There are restaurants and public toilets nearby. It was a #FamilyFriendly choice. Even if I heard good comments about the other beaches located in nearby villages that were more natural and less crowded, they also happened to be less accessible as well. In the sense that you have to walk for about 10 minutes on a small path, with no public toilet and no restaurant nearby. The Agua Amarga’s beach was the best choice for a family, but the other beaches of Cabo de Gata National Park are even more “breathtaking” (Google it to understand ?).
We really enjoyed our day by the beach of Agua Amarga. Two huge mountains surround the blue sea. BUT it’s important to note that the path to the water is quite steep for toddlers.
“El Cable” and picnic in the port
One afternoon, we had a delightful picnic on the seaside at the port of Almeria in the Las Almadrabillas Park. With our feast ready to eat, we found a small corner in the shade near a children’s playground (to the joy of our little ones). A place where we could enjoy everything while admiring the open sea, as well as the English Cable, which was built by Mr. Eiffel (yes, yes, THE one that built the Eiffel Tower). An “eccentric” and imposing structure that transports ore in the port of Almeria.
Nueva Almeria District
Almeria’s central district, with its main street that leads to the ocean, is a pleasant walk. Its lively vibe makes it nice to walk there by day or night! It’s in this area that we can find the “big stores”. The main avenue (Calle Bélen) is an easy walk with its wide sidewalks. Plus, there is a huge green space between the two lanes where you can walk.
La Chanca District
Going for a walk in the district just beneath the Alcazaba is like walking through small alleys made of large stones, with picturesque fishermen’s houses on either side. They look like those in Cuba; of different pastel colours and made even more beautiful with age. It gives a charm that will catch the apple of your eye.
WHERE TO EAT IN ALMERIA
A restaurant that offers tapas, of course, but also the formula ‘when you buy a glass, you’re given a tapas’ (as it’s common to see in Granada). The vibe is cool, the food is good, and there are several tables to eat outside (and room for strollers ?). We even went there twice because it was such a pleasant experience.
Almeria being a coastal city, it’s the perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood. Its specialties are fish, shellfish and seafood of all kinds. The presentation of the dishes is basic, and note that fried dishes are very oily. Still, if you want a wide choice of fish, it’s THE place to be.
WHERE TO SLEEP
We stayed at the Torreluz Centro hotel. I remember that it was our best value between hotels and a homestay (Airbnb or HomeExchange style) during the touristic period. The hotel is very well located in Almeria; it’s a few minutes’ walk from the Alcazaba.
Our room was well equipped, with air conditioning, a television, a small fridge, Wi-Fi and a large bathroom. We were provided with a retractable bed for Téo and a crib for Ély.
There is also a park located very close to the hotel. So on our side, every night after dinner, we would make our children run there—Spanish children stay in parks until very late at night.
You can almost have breakfast at the hotel—you have to cross the street to eat at the hotel right in front (the Torreluz Aparthotel). It’s just across the street, and breakfast is fine (fruits, eggs, pastries, coffee, meat, bread, yogurt, and so on).
Feel free to leave a comment if you have a question, or you want to add tips for other travellers that will read this article in search of information on Almeria! ?
This post was translated from French to English by:
My name is Aimy and I am a second year-student in translation studies. I discover my truths through my passion for literature, arts and culture. I have a keen eye for beauty, a lust for life. For me, every day is a chance to acquire knowledge and create. As Einstein once said, “creativity is intelligence having fun.”