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El Ejido is a city in the province of Almeria, autonomous community of Andalusia. Within the province it is in the region of Poniente. It is also the third most populated municipality in the province of Almeria.
The tourism in the coastal strip of the municipality stands out, especially in La Balerma and Almerimar, with a marina and the golf course Almerimar.
Its name refers to the communal field, which is on the outskirts of the town. In which the cattle was gathered, or the threshing floors were established.
Etymologically, it comes from the Latin exitum, “exit to the field”, whose low Latin form derived in: Exitu “exit”.
A little history of El Ejido
There are archaeological finds from the Copper Age. And there are also remains from the Roman era. Of which the civitas stipendiaria of Murgi dates. In addition to the Roman period there is a funeral monument of Daimun. Which is also the symbol of the city since 2008.
Also in the Muslim period it belonged to the Taha of Dalias. The flat land was a grazing ground for the transhumant sheep and goats of the Alpujarras of Almería. In addition to the 13th and 14th centuries are the cisterns, watering holes and the ditches from the stream of Celin.
After the War of Granada only the herds under the jurisdiction of the city of Granada were allowed to graze in the Campo de Dalías.
In the Modern Age after the expulsion of the Moors the Alpujarras are a special repopulation area. For this reason they were under strict control. In addition the threat of Turkish and Berber pirates, and other factors make this area does not get to repopulate satisfactorily.
Later, in the 18th century, Dalías was a place of royalty and this nucleus did concentrate population. Because it was an agricultural and livestock bureaucratic centre. However, the current El Ejido in Campo de Dalías was mainly made up of the current population and farmhouses dedicated to subsistence agriculture and grazing.
Also from the 18th century, several defensive constructions stand out, such as La Torre de Balerma to protect from the English and Dutch navy. And also the other part of the defensive system that are the Tower of Punta Entinas Sabinar and the Tower of Cerrillos. Together with the Castillo de Guardias Viejas, also from the 18th century.
In the middle of the 20th century the National Institute of Colonization approved the General Plan for the Colonization of Campo de Dalías. This is why San Agustín and Las Norias de Daza were developed. The settlers arrive in 1956. As a result, in the mid-20th century the Ejido had just over 3,000 inhabitants.
At this time, several improvements were made in agriculture, the biggest example being the use of plastic greenhouses. From then on, El Ejido became the greatest exponent of intensive agriculture in Almeria. That is why the primary sector is developed and becomes a generator of prosperity and employment.
In 1981 the capital of the municipality of Dalías was moved to El Ejido. In 1982 the towns of Dalías and Celín were separated to become an independent municipality.
Currently the greenhouse area of El Ejido and the rest of the western part of Almeria is known as La Huerta de Europa. But it is also called “The Sea of Plastic” because the large extension of greenhouses is visible from space. The NASA certificated this fact with a satelite.
The Coat of Arms of the city
The coat of arms of El Ejido was commissioned on January 7, 1983 by the historian Mayor José Luis Ruz Márquez. He proposed the funeral monument of Daimún, in memory of its distant origin. Also with some waves, in allusion to the Mediterranean Sea, the path of civilizations and with which it shares a long border, and the inscription MURGI. Because this was the name of the Roman city that existed in El Ejido. Everything on sinople field, green, homage to the splendid agricultural present that has allowed the rebirth of the city.
For all its history, its climate and its people it is a place worth visiting. As well as the whole province of Almeria.
Weather El Ejido
El Ejido 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 El Ejido, the average annual temperature is 17.8 ° C. The average rainfall is approximately 260 mm.
The driest month is July, with 2 mm. The highest amount of precipitation occurs in January, with an average of 36 mm.
The hottest month of the year with an average temperature of 25.5 °C in August. The lowest average temperatures of the year occur in January, when it is around 11.2 ° C.
Gastronomy of El Ejido
El Ejido has a delicuous and rich cuisine with gourmets tapas but also dishes from the Alpujarras. Due to its location El Ejido has influence of the healthy cuisine based on the Mediterranean diet, which contains a lot of locally tropical fruits and vegetables worldwide. Moreover , El Ejido is known as a fishing town providing its with a wide assortment of fish, in the most typical dishes of the Almeria coast. We might also mention the large diversity of international well known restaurants you can find in El Ejido.
Some of the best restaurants in El Ejido
First of all this is an Italian style restaurant in El Ejido. In which you will be able to taste its Italian and Spanish kitchens. Because in addition here their chefs prepare a delicious and tender stuffed pasta, perfectly elaborated laing. In addition we recommended its singular salads.
And for dessert is also highly recommended its good tiramisu. All this marinated with a good wine from his letter. And finally highlight the sensational coffee.
It must also be said that it is easy to find this restaurant thanks to its great location. Many diners indicate that the waiters and waitresses are sophisticated. The quality/price ratio is very acceptable. And it is an establishment with a nice attractive decoration and its charming atmosphere help their customers to feel relaxed.
In this restaurant specializing in Spanish cuisine, which is the most attractive in this establishment. Because their cooks prepare here some famous covers, a homemade laing and some surprising pintxos.
In addition also we recommended the singular ice creams of La Venia. It is necessary to emphasize also his good service. And in this restaurant besides the good wine we recommend its extraordinary beer.
Many clients assure that the treatment with the personnel is very good. Their divine service is a huge addition to this place. Also the relation quality price is very interesting. In this bar you can enjoy a charming atmosphere
The Ham Cellar
The breakfasts are perfect, the coffee is the best in town and the toasts are very good, the tapas are exceptional for their variety and quality. Besides, Fridays are the special day for rice. It is also a perfect place for dinner thanks to its atmosphere. The staff is close and friendly.
It is a spacious and clean place. It eats very well, both tapas and dishes.
Puentezuelas Bar in El Ejido
If you don’t want to enjoy good Spanish cuisine this is your place. In Puentezuelas Bar, your customers can take some amazing tapas, a perfectly prepared laing and a generous octopus.
We also recommend their delicate tostones. In this place, their diners can drink a good beer, a delicious cordial or an extraordinary wine.
You can sit outside or inside. This place offers a magnificent service. Everything in a charming atmosphere.
Hotels in El Ejido
La Terraza (Gran Hotel Victoria)
This 4-star hotel on Boulevard de El Ejido is a great place to enjoy the city. It offers from single rooms to complete suites. It also has several rooms for business meetings or conferences. In addition to its excellent rooftop swimming pool.
The characteristics that define this hotel are professionalism, care and maintenance. That is why it is a reference in the province of Almeria. It follows the ideas of the “urban hotel”. Careful and silent rooms. Good buffet breakfast.
El Ejido Hotel
This is a 3 star hotel offering 86 modern rooms in the center of El Ejido. Although it opened in 1990 in 2002 it was completely renovated.
Its location is excellent, 15 minutes walk from Playa Mayor, downtown and next to the Business Initiative Center. And only 45 minutes by car from Almeria Airport.
It also offers excellent meals in its restaurant, where everything is delicious. It also has a swimming pool.
The Eden Hotel El Ejido
In the heart of western Almeria was born “El Edén” is a hotel that is distinguished by the family treatment given to all guests. It has an excellent restaurant in which its dishes are prepared 100%, with magnificent products from the land and the sea that surrounds us, the countryside of western Almeria known as “La Huerta de Europa”. It is a traditional cuisine with modern touches that make most of the palates delight in our gastronomy.
In addition this hotel has 40 rooms, among which there are 18 with terrace, direct access to the swimming pool and private garage. In addition to 20 hotel rooms and 2 suites.
All of them have bathroom, free wifi, air conditioning and television.
If this were not enough, it also has magnificent facilities, among which are its rooms for events, its terraces and swimming pools.
Throughout the year in El Ejido there are different festivals and celebrations that should be highlighted:
- Hogueras de San Antón: celebrated on January 17th or the nearest weekend.
- Holy Week: as in all of Andalusia, in El Ejido there are various brotherhoods and sisterhoods that during Holy Week make their stations of penance and take their images out in procession.
- Pilgrimage of San Marcos: 25 April each year or the nearest weekend. This Pilgrimage is also called a Festival of Tourist Interest by the Andalusian Government.
- Cruces de Mayo (May Crosses): the first weekend in May, with flower crosses in each neighbourhood and square, accompanied by music and a bar to enjoy tapas.
- Santa María de la Paz: held on the first weekend of June in La Loma de la Mezquita.
- Hogueras de San Juan Bautista: the night of 23rd June, especially in the coastal area.
- San Isidro Labrador: which is one of the two most important festivals in El Ejido. Because San Isidro is the patron saint of the town of Almeria. And it is always the last weekend of June.
- Patron Saint La Virgen Niña, la Divina Infantita: the first Sunday of October is the other great festival of El Ejido, because it is the festival of the town’s patron saint.
- Virgen del Pilar: On October 12th, apart from celebrating the Virgen del Pilar, it is also the Hispanic Day which is celebrated throughout the Hispanic and Latin world.
In addition, each neighbourhood and population centre of El Ejido has its own festivals.
What to visit in El Ejido
Punta Entinas Sabinar
Located between Playa Serena (Roquetas de Mar) and Almerimar it is classified with a double protection by the Regional Government of Andalusia : Natural Area and Nature Reserve. Punta Entinas Sabinar covers more than 2,470 hectares and It is famous known for its great faunal , botanical and landscape values.
Castillo de Guardias Viejas
is located in the municipality of El Ejido, Almería specifically in the town Los Baños de Guardias Viejas. The castle was built in 1769 , on low rise of the Mediterranean Sea. Actually is owned by the Government of Andalusia. It was refixed in 1980. A lot of events are celebrated in the Castle such as the Creamfields Andalucia and The Natural Music Festival
Puerto Deportivo Almerimar
One of the largest infrastructures in Europe is Almerimar Marina with more than 1,100 moorings spots for boats and of all the different depths.
Festivals in El Ejido
This Festival has been held in El Ejido since 1973. Normally it takes place between May and June. It is considered a Festival of Tourist Interest by the Junta de Andalucía. It is also worth mentioning that it stands out for its quality and variety, aimed at a heterogeneous audience.
Its main seat is the Teatro Auditorio Ciudad de El Ejido, although there are also performances in other parts of the city, such as:
- Municipal Theatre
- Plaza Mayor
- Cultural and Recreational Circle
- Municipal Sports Pavilion of El Ejido
- Antonio Mira Maldonado Square
- Municipal Park
In this respect, several festivals in El Ejido stand out, such as the Ciclo de Conciertos del Castillo de Guardias Viejas. This has been held every year since 1998. Another festival worth mentioning is the Plastic Festival. In addition to other concerts that take place throughout the year. The Certamen de Marchas Procesionales, organised by the Agrupación Municipal Ejidense, is also held.
It is also worth mentioning that the XIV Festival de Música Tradicional de la Alpujarra was held in El Ejido in 1995. This is a manifestation of Alpujarra folklore. It has been held annually since 1982 on the second Sunday in August in a town in the Alpujarra of Almería or Granada. This festival is also complemented by a fair of artisan products and gastronomic and tourist offerings.
And in 2007 the Bigger Band Tour of the Rolling Stones was held.
The Economy in El Ejido
El Ejido’s Agriculture and Plastic Sea
The economy of this city is based on intensive agriculture. The so called greenhouses because around them a rich auxiliary industry of commercialization of the horticultural products has been generated. Such commercialization has been both at national and international level.
The greenhouses have spread so much that the area is called the Sea of Plastic. Because you can see from outer space as if it were a sea the quantity
For example, the production of beans, zucchini, tomatoes, etc., are one of the main axes of the economy of El Ejido. It must also be said that its success is mainly due to:
– creation of seeds and patterns of consumption standards
– control of growth and specialization of production to respond to the demand of different markets
– the generation of a marketing network at international level which ensures the placement of the production.
A general change in pest control techniques has also been made recently. Because now in most greenhouses pests are controlled by biological, and not chemical, control.
In addition, for some years now the Town Hall has been implementing the “Plan for the Improvement of Rural Roads” and the “Ordinance on Greenhouses and their Environment”. All this to improve the environment and make it more sustainable. For that reason it has installed hedges to promote the biological control outside the greenhouses, the use of rainwater.
In El Ejido, tourism is concentrated around the coast. In which the main areas of tourism are Almerimar and Balerma.
The Ejido has a commercial area called the Parque Comercial Copo. In addition, there are many national and international franchises with establishments in El Ejido. And there is also room for several high-end car dealerships.
El Ejido is the only city in the entire province of Almeria in which there is a Corte Inglés. It has 9 floors, and opened to the public in 2010.
Film set in El Ejido
Thanks to its landscapes, El Ejido has been a location for the shooting of many films. In particular, it was one of the main geographical locations for the shooting of Hollywod Conan the Barbarian’s film in 1982. With a young Arnold Schwazenegger and James Earls Jones, directed by John Millius. Specifically, it was where the great temple of the endless staircase of Thulsa Doom was built in Bernal Rock. This is where several of the most spectacular scenes in the film take place, with several thousand extras. In addition to the final scene.
In 2002 the fiction film Poniente, which has some locations in Motril. But it reflects the economic and social situation at the end of the 20th century in El Ejido.
2006 also saw the release of a controversial French-Belgian-Moroccan documentary called El Ejido, la loi du profit (literally translated: The Ejido: the law of profit). Filmed between 2003 and 2006. It shows the irregular situation of some immigrants, whose employers do not agree to regularise their situation.
This led to several agricultural organisations protesting against this documentary. In addition, the Coordination of Farmers and Cattle Raisers (COAG) of Almeria responded:
– Saying that the documentary offers “a flat and biased view of reality, that it would be part of “an orchestrated campaign from Central Europe to discredit the fruit and vegetable production of Almeria”. Furthermore, the latest process of normalisation resulted in 20,000 foreigners regularised in the agricultural sector alone, most of whom abandoned their employers a few months after their situation was regularised”.
Furthermore, in 2015 the fictional series Mar de Plástica, set in the fictitious village of Campoamargo, will be released. Although it was filmed in locations in El Ejido.