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Almeria is in the Andalucia region of Southern Spain in the province of Almeria.
Almeria city is the capital of this province and lies on the coast. It is famous for the massive Alcazaba which sits up above the city itself.
The Alcazaba was built in 955 and is the largest of the fortresses built by the Moors in Spain. Almeria at the time was the wealthiest city in Spain and an important trading port for the Moors. It was home to many beautiful palaces and gardens and home to 20,000 people. Sadly not much of this remains. The citadel was split into three different areas, the first - the living quarters and baths is now largely given over to a pleasant formal garden. The second part was the palace buildings. Here you can see aljibes (water storage units) and a Mudejar shrine and a reconstruction of a typical Moorish home . The third and most westerly part was the defensive part built in the 15th century by Ferdinand and Isabella. The defensive towers are give excellent views over the city and harbour below.
Entrance to the Alcazaba is free upon production of an EU passport.
Close to the Alcazaba is the cave quarter, the la Chanca quarter, this was a fisherman's and gipsies quarter and families still live in the caves which often have brightly coloured entrances. Try and visit on a Monday when there is an open air market in the la Chanca quarter.
The cathedral of Almeria is heavily fortified as it was under regular attack by Turkish and North African pirates. It once had a canon in each of corners. The Almeria cathedral was the last gothic church to be built in Spain but its interior is now quite a mixture of styles including baroque and renaissance.
The old quarter of Almeria is centered around the attractive 17th century Plaza Vieja and is a good place to head to for tapas bars and cafés.
Almeria's summer starts before Easter and it can still be hot in November. This makes Almeria's beaches an excellent choice for out of season beach holidays. In mid-summer it can be too hot unless you are a dedicated sun-worshiper.
Almeria's city beach is not very attractive but if you head east the beaches are fairly undiscovered and unspoilt. The resort of San Jose is small and unspoilt and further along the coast is the Moorish town of Mojacar which is now home to a lively beach resort.
Heading west from Almeria there are the beach resorts of Aguadulce and the charming Roquetas de Mar.
Places to visit in the Almeria Area
The Almeria province contains Europe's only desert. This desert has been widely used in film such as 'A Fistful of Dollars'. The nearby town of Tabernas is the place to head for if you are a Spaghetti Western buff and want to visit one ot the two film sets here. There is Mini-Hollywood and Texas-Hollywood.
There is an important Copper Age settlement at Los Millares to the north of Almeria.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Andalucia guide.