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Almeria Mini Guide
The scene of many a spaghetti western during the 1960s, the city of Almeria was favoured by Italian film makers for its rugged, dusty landscape. Almeria is the capital of the Spanish region of Almeria on the Eastern coast near to Andalucia.
The movie ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ was made in a part of Almeria known as the badlands, while Europe’s only desert region also welcomed the film crew which shot ‘Lawrence of Arabia’.
Almeria overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and you can use cheap car hire Almeria Airport to take trips to the beach. All vehicles are fully air conditioned. Almeria airport also has the airport code LEI.
Although the region has been one of the largest agricultural producers in Spain, Almeria is now increasingly welcoming tourists to its beaches which lie on the Mediterranean sea. To welcome the new influx, tourist resorts have been formed in the east and the south coasts at Almerimar and Aguadulce, to name but two.
Those tourists can almost always expect fine weather as Almeria is one of the driest parts of Europe and has over on average 330 days of sunshine per year on average. Almeria is a region of contrasts and home to a natural park, the Cabo de Gata-Nijar, which is of volcanic origin. There is also a mesmerising crystal cave in the area but unfortunately that has been blocked off to prevent looters getting to it.
The commercial centre and fishing port of Almeria has been occupied by many different people throughout history because of its good location and Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Christians all lived there.
It is a microcosm of how old Spain is becoming new Spain, and modern architecture sits side by side with ancient relics such as the Moorish castle Alcazaba which was built to watch over Almeria’s inhabitants. Alcazaba is one of Europe’s architectural marvels and the former fortress, which is now filled with beautiful gardens, overlooks the town and the sea.
, walking in Almeria centres on La Rambla, a long avenue which is flanked by shops, bars and restaurants of every description. It is also a great place to take small children as there are a number of play areas there.
To get around, buses can be caught from a road which has been named after Spain’s greatest poet, the Avendia Frederico Garcia Lora and there is a daily ferry to Melilla, a Spanish region which lies on the coast of Morocco
But to really see all the historic sights that Almeria has to offer, car hire is recommended. These include the cathedral of Almeria, the Cervantes theatre, the church of Santiago and the Diocesan museum nearby which has an extensive collection of rare, old artworks.
If you want to get out of the car for a while, another great experience in Almeria is to take a horse riding trek through the marshland on the coast of Andalusia. Starting at dawn, you'll be treated to rare and beautiful sights from the start.
- One of the most amazing excursions you can do from Almeria and certainly one not to be missed is the 'Film Tour'. You spend nine hours in a 4 x 4 or hiking to visit the sets for the films 'A Fistful of Dollars', 'Indiana Jones', 'Lawrence of Arabia' or 'Cleopatra'. In doing the trip you'll travel through Europe's only true desert.
- Spain is renowned for beautiful classical guitar music and this will be showcased to best effect this autumn in the Julian Arcas International Guitar Competition held in the city from the 18th to the 26th October.