Almerai, in the southeast of Spain is world famous for its 200 kilometres of Mediterranean coastline, and its natural resources which include a combination of sea and desert, as well as one of the most fertile agricultural areas in the whole of Europe.
It boasts of spectacular historical, medieval buildings alongside some very modern ones.
Its historic and artistic heritage includes several major archaeological sites, the rock paintings at Los Vélez and the Phoenician settlement of Villaricos and the capital in whose film studios, over 200 films and series have been shot.
Almería history is dotted with a heritage of different conquerors but the town itself arose during its time as an Arab occupation during which the Alcazaba or the Citadel, which gave this city its name Al-Mariy-yat or the Watchtower was built.
Being the biggest fortress ever built by the Arabs in Spain, it hosted within its triple wall palaces and mosques.
One can enjoy spectacular view of the historic area and the port from the Walls of Hayrán on top of the San Cristobal Hill.
The Almeria cathedral is another spot has a powerful structure rises in the heart of the ancient city. Its towers, crenulations and thick walls resemble a fortress rather than a temple.
This peculiar layout responds to the continuous Berber pirate attacks that this coastal town had to endure. Spread throughout the main streets you can also see the most important churches in Almeria.
The church of Santiago the Elder is with a plateresque main front and a slender tower that rises next to it, more than 50 meters high. The Neoclassical church of San Pedro, built on top of an ancient Arab mosque.
Of particular interest are the Sierra María-Los Vélez Nature Reserve, with its castle, and the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Reserve, with its endless un-spoilt beaches and cliffs.
Almeria holds a great deal of charm and is steeped in history. Street strolls are one of the popular attractions in Almeria.
The prettiest streets to stroll along are 'Las Ramblas', the 'Paseo de Almería' and around the San Nicolás Salmerón Park.
These can be found in the historical quarter starting in 'la plaza Vieja' (the old square) where you can find the town hall, el Barrio de la Chanca (the Chanca neighbourhood), the San Nicolás Salmerón Park (the Alcazaba gardens), San Juan church (includes the remains of a 15th century mosque wall and a 12th century tomb) and the Arabic baths.
The cuisine from this province has a clear Arabic influence with a strong tendency towards fish and seafood which comes from its own fishing ports and garden produce, particularly peppers and ”pimentón", the ground paprika-like red pepper made from them. Almeria can be reached by road through the Autovia del Mediterraneo from the hinterland and by sea and air.