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Introduction to Almeria
Almeria is a Spanish city and municipality, capital of the province with the same name as Andalusia. It is also the nerve centre of the Almeria Metropolitan Region. In the extreme southeast of the Iberian Peninsula and the tourist region of Almería-Cabo de Gata-Níjar.
It is surrounded by the Sierra de Gádor to the west. In the north Sierra Alhamilla and in the east the valley and delta of the river Andarax. And, beyond, a plain that culminates in the Sierra de Cabo de Gata. To the south, its port and coastline open up to a wide bay on the Mediterranean Sea.
The city of Almeria occupies the coastal plain of alluvium that forms the delta of the river Andarax. This is between the Mediterranean and the foothills of the Sierra de Gádor and the right bank of the river. In addition, the rest of the municipality extends over the low fertile plain of the river and the plains to the east of it. These extend to the foothills of the Sierra de Cabo de Gata to the east. And those of sierra Alhamilla by the north and northeast. The complex is therefore included in the southeastern foothills of the Penibetic mountain range.
The consistory is located to a height of 16 msnm, although more elevated points exist in the city. Like the hill of the Alcazaba (about 60 meters above sea level) or the hill of Torrecárdenas (about 120 meters above sea level). In addition, in the rest of the district, there are higher points in the foothills of the mountains.
Its origin was in 955 AD thanks to Abderramán III. It is in a place previously dominated by other cities like the Iberian Urci or the Roman Portus Magnus. It also played a fundamental role during the Caliphate of Cordoba. Because it became the most important port of al-Andalus Umayyad. And it also reached its maximum splendour during the Taifa, in the 11th century. It became a commercial and cultural emporium during the time of Almotacín.
But after its incorporation to Castile in 1489, the population was decimated by earthquakes, plagues and piracy. The recovery was not evident until the end of the 19th century. Because then the mining and the export of the Ohanes grape resurged. Also since the 1960s, thanks to the explosion of intensive agriculture, tourism, construction and the marble industry.
Among its historical-artistic heritage, it is worth mentioning the Muslim Alcazaba (10th to 15th century). Also the cathedral-fortress of La Encarnación (16th century). In addition to the mineral loading dock or Cable Inglés (late nineteenth century), and the Museum of Almeria, reopened in 2006.
With a population on 31 December 2019 according to the National Institute of Statistics, of 198,533 inhabitants. It is a municipality of growing relevance in the economic, cultural and sports fields. It is also an important communications hub thanks to its port and its new international airport.
In addition, every visitor can find a reason to come to Almeria. Because it is not a coincidence that thousands of people from different parts of the peninsula choose Almería as their place of residence. Because walking through its streets we will discover a city rich in nuances, cheerful and rural, an Almeria of blinding light. Besides being warm, friendly and full of history.
In addition to the city of Almeria, within the municipality there are seventeen other population entities:
- The Alquián
- The Bobar
- Cabo de Gata
- La Cañada de San Urbano
- King’s Castle
- Caves of the Medinas
- Caves of the Úbedas
- La Garrofa
- Loma Cabrera
- The Mummy
- Morales Boulevard
You’re going through
To these we should also add the Isla de Alborán, which is part of the third district of the city of Almería. Which corresponds to the district of Pescadería, under a Royal Order issued by Alfonso XII in 1884. In addition, the island has no permanent population, because it houses a military detachment of 11 soldiers who are relieved.
Almeria and the Cinema
The film industry has had a prominent role in Almeria since the 1960s. Also like the rest of the province, it has been the scene of large international productions, such as
- Lawrence of Arabia
- The good, the Bad, the Ugly
- Conan the Barbarian (1982 film)
- For a fistull dollars more
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Exodus: Gods and Kings
Other initiatives such as the Almeria International Film Festival and the Casa del Cine are also the result of efforts to maintain the weight of the film industry.
As well as others such as the Almeria International Western Film Festival in Tabernas or the Albaida International Silent Film Festival.
Climate of Almeria
Almeria is dominated by the local steppe climate. There is little rainfall throughout the year. This location is classified as BSk by Köppen and Geiger. In Almeria, the average annual temperature is 17.9 ° C. The average rainfall is approximately 228 mm.
The driest month is July, with 1 mm. The highest amount of precipitation occurs in October, with an average of 31mm.
The hottest month of the year with an average temperature of 25.3 °C in August. The lowest average temperatures of the year occur in January, when it is around 11.8 ° C.
Gastronomy of Almeria
Almeria has been chosen for its “delicious and rich cousine offer” Spanish Capital of 2019, amazing products from the sea, and charcuterie, among others.
The Phoenician origin of the city and the passage of the different Mediterranean civilisations settled in it have influenced our gastronomy for centuries.
Since time immemorial, Almeria has generated an intimate communication between land and sea. It is, therefore, an agricultural and seafaring city.
The versatility of the ingredients of the sea or the fertile plain is manifested in the singularity of its dishes. Our recipes, tasty and healthy, are a living reflection of the different customs and popular traditions.
The richness and variety of fish and seafood provided by the Alboran Sea, which our fishermen so respectfully know how to catch, as well as the vegetables and fruit cultivated in the extensive Vega, are the protagonists of our cuisine.
The best seafood restaurants in Almeria
Restaurante La Lonja de Almería
Arroceria La Lonja Almería Restaurant is a family business opened in 1960 by a very enterprising family from Almería. And from the beginning specialized in fish and seafood from the coast of Almeria. Moreover, as time went by, it has been expanding its menu to offer the highest quality. In addition, in this restaurant, great care is taken with the raw materials. Only top quality, freshly caught fish and seafood is purchased from the Fish Market in the Port of Almeria to be served to your table. Besides, its varied rice dishes are exquisite and typical of the whole province of Almeria.
Thanks to its great tradition this restaurant offers a great variety of dishes.
Don’t miss La Lonja Restaurant if you come to Almería.
Bello Rincón Restaurant
Another small but immense quality family restaurant is the Bello Rincón de Almería Restaurant. This is the fourth generation to run this fish and seafood restaurant.
This restaurant specialises in fish and seafood and began as a road-side restaurant and later as a picnic area for the first customers and tourists in the 1960s. Until it became one of the best restaurants in Almeria.
As we are dedicated to fresh fish and seafood of the day we offer a menu according to the market of the day, so there is quite a variety. The best are grilled and fried fish. But their great speciality is seafood in salt, a speciality and a pioneer in this, “shrimps, prawns or red shrimp in salt”.
We must also highlight the rice, in a small but carefully prepared variety, seafood rice (broth), rice with lobster and mixed paella. Spoon dishes should not be missed, such as fabes with partridge or clams, noodles with skate, “potatoes with onions and hake”, gurullos with ribs, fideua caldosa or Almerian wheat, among others.
The best restaurants for children in Almeria
First of all, sometimes we want to eat out with our younger children. But in the end we stay home or opt for other activities. Because the kids get bored in a normal restaurant. That’s why we present you some restaurants with children’s areas to eat in Almeria.
Restaurant Club de Tenis Almería
The Restaurant Club de Tenis Almería is 3 km from the capital of Almería. But in an environment of nature isolated from pollution and noise. That’s why here you can taste typical dishes of Mediterranean cuisine. And in addition the children will be able to enjoy in their ample infantile zone with swings.
It is also necessary to say that this restaurant is specialized in rice and ox to the stone. and offers daily menu and letter.
Club de Mar Restaurant
This excellent restaurant is located in the marina of the capital Almeria.
It must also be said that since 1956 it has been part of the gastronomic culture of Almeria. That is why it is a reference for the city. Its menu offers a creative and market cuisine.
The Club de Mar can serve up to 400 guests in its two rooms. It is also perfect to go with children, thanks to its terraces and children’s areas.
To enjoy Almeria with children, you can also visit some of its most outstanding restaurants. This is the case of La Trattoría where you will taste typical Italian food from different regions with special emphasis on Roman cuisine. It offers a variety of dishes from pasta to meat, including pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. With a cosy and quiet atmosphere, it is located in the Zapillo neighbourhood.
The place where La Trattoría is located was for many years a very famous fish tapas bar in Almería. One characteristic is its location, because when there is a strong westerly wind, there is calm on its terrace.
Marhaba Restaurant is an excellent meeting place and good gastronomy, an ideal space to celebrate all kinds of events. In addition this restaurant offers several menus exclusively for children.
Monuments of Almeria
It is the most visited and famous monument of downtown Almeria. The Alcazaba began in 955 when Almeria used to be called Medina city by Caliph of Cordoba. It was supposed to be the local goverment so it was built within a system of defensive towers and walls.
(Moorish Water Cisterns)
In the Muslim period pillars and fountains were built in Almeria due to lack of a water supply network. A water pipe was created from Alhadra area to the highest part of the city.The volume of water was around 630,000 litres. It was enough amount to fill all the wells and to supply the population of Almeria.
Almería Popular Festivals
The mid day “Feria”
First of all, this is the main festival of Almeria. In honour of the Virgin of the Sea. Because she is the patron saint of the city. Its date is the last week of August.
Among other activities, the pétanque championship, the classic Travesía del Puerto a Nado, the popular pottery fair… In addition to the fireworks. There are also equestrian activities and bullfights.
The night “Feria”
The fair at night is in the fairgrounds, with its booths, all of which are free to enter, mechanical attractions, and mobile stands. Since 2010, there is a new exhibition site for the fair right behind the Mediterranean Games Stadium.
But there are also cultural events such as the Flamenco Festival or the Folklore Festival of the Iberian and Mediterranean Peoples. In which groups from different countries present their dances and customs.
Pilgrimage to the Hermitage of Torregarcía.
This is the Pilgrimage of the Virgin of the Sea. Its date is the first Sunday of January.
Carnival has been a tradition since the end of the 19th century. With its costumes, parades, and some chirigotas in the theater. The Carnival ends on Piñata Sunday with the famous Burial of the Sardine, which takes place on Almadrabillas beach.
As in all of Andalusia, Almeria also experiences Holy Week. This is one of the most important religious celebrations in Andalusia. In 2015 23 brotherhoods and confraternities went on procession. Besides, the Holy Week of Almería is a Festival of National Tourist Interest.
Cross of May
Las Cruces de Mayo is a celebration held by the Easter brotherhoods and fraternities and other associations. Every year a prize is awarded for the best cross. Very popular is the visit to the different congregations and their decorated crosses, where typical Almeria tapas are usually served.
The Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is another holiday in which on the Sunday of the week that Corpus Christi is celebrated, the brotherhoods raise altars in the churches. Also in the afternoon is the procession of the Santísimo from the Santa Iglesia Catedral.
The Magic Night of San Juan
The Night of San Juan is celebrated on the night of 23rd and 24th June. It is one of the most popular festivities. In addition to the traditional night bonfires, or moragas, they are accompanied by food, drink and music. At midnight there is a swim and fireworks. The next day is a local holiday in Almeria.
The Day of the Banner
Banner Day is every December 26th and commemorates the taking of the city by the Catholic Kings in 1489.
The 5 best restaurants in Almeria
Three friends with a long experience in the world of hospitality are responsible for El Chaflán. They began to dominate a sector that, for different reasons, led them to return to Spain at the same time.
“It was a bit risky: we didn’t want to lose the tradition of the typical tapas of the city, but we did want to give them a more original touch”.
Always under the influence of haute cuisine taken to a bite. That’s why they have a menu in which many dishes stand out and even make it difficult to choose. Their cuisine is based on seasonal products and daily preparations. That is why they sacrifice quantity for quality.
Manuela Marbacoa & Brasserie took its first steps at the end of September 2016 with a very clear idea: to propose an updated Mediterranean cuisine. Therefore, it offers a gastronomy with products of the area, traditional recipes and certain touches of renovation.
Its chef always gives a lot of love to the dish as well. Grilled knives, oysters and other seafood combine in the menu with classic fish such as the rooster pedro. And also grilled red mullets or different meats: from marinated ribs to a Mozarabic chicken. That’s why you have to pay attention to the suggestions of the day and the daily menu, which changes every day.
Our Land Tavern
On a corner of Jovellanos Street is this restaurant. In which gastronomy is understood in a different way. Because here the tapas are also the base. But many of them seek innovation, surprise, to go one step further. And always under the philosophy of slow food, with products of the land and quality.
Besides, this restaurant has a nice decoration, a great location and a good treatment confirm. That is why it is one of the places to visit in the capital of Almeria.
The Mala tortilla shop
First of all, to enter La Mala tortilleria is to enter the world of Tura Satana. Who is a Japanese actress turned classic of the American B movies of the 60s. Because she is the thread of a very different space in Almeria.
Since 2012 this restaurant of Spanish cuisine is mixed with international proposals.
Besides, the house specialty is tortillas. The best one is the truffle, but there are also gorgonzola cheese, octopus, sea urchin and seaweed… up to 15 varieties for a menu that is completed with a raw food cuisine.
If there’s a classic place in Almeria, it’s Casa Puga. Running since 1870 by Juan Puga Antequera and María López Romero. That is why it is one of the essential places of Almeria’s gastronomy.
Artichokes with anchovy, mojama with fried almonds, red prawns, grilled kidneys and also fried fish are its dishes.
In addition its decoration is excellent with photos, memories, newspaper clippings and a multitude of objects populate its walls. These do not change over time.
Many Hollywood actors have also passed through here, as well as the cast of Game of Thrones.
The film studios in the Tabernas desert in Almeria have been the setting for some of the best-known western films in history. And many film stars have passed through here as:
– Clint Eastwood.
– Charles Bronson.
– Claudia Cardinale.
– Henry Fonda.
– Bud Spencer and Terence Hill.
– Yul Brynner.
– Arnold Schwarzenegger.
– James Earl Jones.
– Harrison Ford.
– Sean Connery.
At the present time there are several theme parks that can be visited.
The similarity of the orography of the Tabernas desert in Almeria with that of the western United States has attracted Hollywood and European film studios since the 1950s.
The Tabernas desert is in the north of Almeria and is characterised by a series of gullies crossed by wadis, which create a very characteristic landscape. It is the only desert in Europe.
The film studios:
Even in the Tabernas desert there are several film studios and theme parks such as these:
– Oasys Tabernas.
– Western Leone
– Fort Bravo.
– Texas Hollywood.
The film studios located in the Tabernas desert have shot more than 300 films since the 1950s, with the golden age being the 1960s and 1970s and the dominant genre being westerns. More than 50 films have been shot at Fort Bravo, including titles such as
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
For a fistul of dollars (1964)
The Magnificent 7 (1966)
But scenes from films such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) have also been shot. In addition, commercials or music videos are often shot, such as “Bulería” by David Bisbal and some by Camela.
Beaches of Almeria
First of all the province of Almeria is 35 km. Of which 6 belong to the capital, Almeria. Besides, most of them are low and sandy beaches. Because they suffer the erosion of the alluvial activity of the Andarax river and the wadis that descend from Sierra Alhamilla. There are also very high cliffs in the area closest to the Sierra de Gádor.
In total there are 16 beaches of various sizes throughout the province of Almeria. The three located to the west have almost no occupation and are of low quality because of their environment. Towards the East there are six more in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, which have special environmental protection.
It should also be said that Isla de Alborán, which is in the sea of the same name. Between Spain and Africa it belongs to Almeria.
The beaches of the city of Almeria:
They are all urban beaches where there are all kinds of services and activities. In addition all enjoy BanderaAzul.
Beach of the Palmeral
This beach is the continuation of the Zapillo beach, it is also next to the promenade. It is in the area of the intersection of Avenida Cabo de Gata with Avenida Mediterráneo.
Just in front of the palm grove area there is a breakwater parallel to the coast that serves to make the sea in this area much calmer.
Beach de la Térmica
After the Palmeral beach begins the beach of La Térmica.
In front of this beach there is a long accessible jetty which is an ideal place for fishing.
Beach of San Miguel – Zapillo
This urban beach is closer to the city center.
This beach is more than two kilometers long, and in each stretch it receives different names. It is a beach of fine, dark sand, with a high level of occupation.
Nueva Almería beach is in front of the residential neighborhood of the same name, and is the most easterly.
At the end of the beach there are several machine gun bunkers built during the civil war.
Beach de las Olas
Small beach of about 200 meters which is in the west of the city. It is a semi-urban beach because although it is next to the city there are no houses nearby.
This beach is far from the capital, at the level of the airport. And you can reach it by car, road AL-3202.
The economic impact of the port in Almeria city
The Port of Almeria is in the Gulf of Almeria. It also has lines to several North African countries and to Melilla. It is also a port of call for tourist cruises among other services that we now present to you.
History and economic impact of the Port
Since its first opening back in the 10th century. The port of Almeria has been the base of its economy, as well as for the defense of the city.
Abderramán III wanted to stop the expansion of the Fatimid caliphate in North Africa. Among the measures he took was the construction of a fleet. This turned the Caliphate of Cordoba into a maritime power based in Almeria.
Thanks to this, the cities of Melilla, Ceuta and Tangier were conquered.
Thanks to the Port and the fleet, Almeria was, after Cordoba, the most influential and prosperous city in the peninsula and one of the richest in the whole Islamic world.
With the fall of the Caliphate, Almeria continues to gain importance, becoming, as an independent kingdom, one of the most prosperous Taifas.
But it was not until the middle of the 19th century that the bourgeoisie began to demand port facilities appropriate to the economic reality. Due to the booming mining and uvera industry.
As we have already pointed out the port of Almeria has several economic activities, being:
- Base of the Maritime Service of the Guardia Civil
- Passenger Port
- Customs Surveillance Service Base
- Base of the Maritime Rescue Society
At present the port of Almeria is continuously being expanded with new docks to transform it into a container port as well. So that large international shipping companies can call in and thus increase their goods traffic.
Among the goods with the highest volume of exports is bulk gypsum and the import of ornamental rocks from different parts of the world for the Macael transformation industries.
The lines with the following destinations are normally covered:
- Ghazaouet (Algeria)
- Oran (Algeria)
- Melilla (Spain)
- Nador (Morocco).
And since 2.015 the Canarian company “Armas” also operates a line to Nador.
The most important sport clubs in Almeria
Almeria is a city that has sports teams in the top competitions of almost all sports:
La Unión Deportiva Almería S. A. D. is the most important and representative soccer club in the city of Almería. Since 1989 under the name of Almería C.F., changing its name in 2.001 to the current one.
It is also true that there have been other clubs in the First Division based in the city of Almeria. But they have been disappearing or merging until only the UD Almeria.
This last season it has played in the Second Division of Spain. Because he was relegated from the First Division of Spain after six of the last eight seasons in it.
In terms of sporting achievements of the U.D. Almeria have been in the XXI century. Because it was promoted to the First Division in the 2006-2007 season and remained there for 6 seasons.
It also reached the semifinals of Copa del Rey in 2011, being eliminated by FC Barcelona. In the season of his debut in the Spanish First Division (2007/08) he achieved his best ever result in the First Division (8th).
On August 17, 2019, VAR was used for the first time in the history of the Second Division of Spain. In the match that faced the Unión Deportiva Almería and Albacete Balompié.
On September 2, 2019, U.D. Almería became the first team to implement “SMARTABASE” in Spain.
On December 10, 2019, the U.D. Almería became the first soccer team in Spain to have a double billboard in its stadium with “U Televisiva” technology.
The club also has a women’s section since 2018. In addition, since 2018 the club has also been represented in LaLiga GENUINE Santander, which is a soccer league adapted for people with disabilities.
The Costa de Almería team was a professional cycling team, which competed in the big laps. It was also sponsored by companies such as Jazztel and Paternina.
It is also worth mentioning that it had riders such as José Ángel Gómez Marchante and David Herrero.
Reverté Minerals Chess Club, popularly known as Reverté, is a chess club with branches in Almería and Albox. It was founded in 1999. The aim was to support the Albox chess team economically and to relaunch chess in the whole province of Almería because of its educational character.
Besides in 2006 another branch was created at IES Alborán in Almería. In 2015 the chess club was renamed Reverté Minerals Chess Club.
Besides being champion of Spain and Andalusia in different categories, it also organizes competitions on national and international level.
Club Voleibol Almería, is a volleyball club. It was founded in 1986 by a group of students.
With the disappearance of several clubs on the national scene, it is currently the oldest and most successful team in Spanish men’s volleyball with twenty-seven titles.
It currently plays its matches in the Moisés Ruiz Pavilion, which gives its name to the team and has a capacity of almost 1,500 spectators.