Things to do in Almeria
There are many things to do in Almeria, but here we feature just a handful.
Cabo de Gata
This natural park is highly regarded as one of the most unspoilt beaches in Europe. It is a UNESCO Biosfera reserve, containing over 1300 species of creatures, and over 1000 species of plants – many unique to the area. It is here that you will also see flocks of flamingos, who nest in the area. It is this diversity that draws scientists and botanists to the area for research.
With almost 50000 hectares, the area contains many beaches, quaint Spanish villages, and the stunning resort of San José. The area, as a reserve, has managed to escape the high rise overdevelopment that so many other coastal areas of Spain suffer from.
Cabo de Gata was originally named Cabo de Agata, because of the many agates found in the area. Later the word was shortened to Gata. Gata means cat (female) in English, so the new name is often confusing or misleading to those who know a little Spanish.
Monumental Ensemble of La Alcazaba
If you like wandering around ancient buildings, then this must be on your itinerary. The building and walls are spectacular to view as you approach, and once inside you can view the city in all its glory.
Located in Almería city itself, this imposing building is where you must head for amazing views of the sunset, in addition to the galleries, well tended gardens in the lower areas, and history lessons that come as part of your tour.
It is free for EU citizens to enter, and regularly receives high praise from its visitors. If disabled access is high on your pririties, then unfortunately this isn’t that accessible for you.
Location: Calle Almanzor, Almería.
Save a horse… ride a cowboy
Yee-haw cowboy! Like Westerns? Were you a fan of the old movies with such folks as John Wayne, Clint Eastwoord and Yul Brynner? Then this next section will be right up your alley.
In the Tabernas desert are a number of small villages that have been turned into theme parks. Originally, Sergio Leone filmed a number of Westerns in the area, including such classics as “A Fistful of Dollars” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”. You will also recognise the scenery from other movies like “Indiana Jones”.
The area was most used during the 50’s and 60’s – the heyday of cowboy films, with things quietening down in later years. In 2013 however, the area was buzzing again as Ridley Scott arrived to shoot his latest blockbuster, “Exodus”, starring Christian Bale, Aaron Paul and Joel Edgerton
Visitors now get to play along in the following:
- Oasys Parque Temático del Desierto de Tabernas – Here you will find the Sheriff ‘s office, the bank, the funeral parlour, the telegraph office, the barbershop and other shops and office of the old American Western genre. There is also a cinema museum, amuseum of carriages and stagecoaches, a cactus garden, a kiddies’ Indian park . Look out for the shows too. Not had enough yet? Good, because there is also a zoo with a wide variety of animals including, alligators, bears, lynxes, flamingos, kangaroos, giraffes, hippos, tigers, plus an aviary and a reptile house.
- Fort Bravo – A Mexican village, here you can watch the white hats triumph over the black hats, and visit an American style cemetary as well as get up close and personal with bison and cattle
- Western Leone – this is Cowboy town at its purest, where you can catch a gunfight re-enactment, or take a drink in the Saloon.
Don’t forget your camera – there are memories galore to be made here… and you would be forgiven for forgetting that you’re still in southern Spain.
by Elle Draper
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Gandy-Draper. Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, their three bouncing dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.