At first glance, once outside of the popular coastal resorts of Roquetas de Mar and Aguadulce, much of the province of Almeria appears to be an inhospitable landscape of stark and arid mesetas. But on closer inspection this is in fact a land of great geographical diversity, offering a surprising range of tourist attractions and activities.
To the West of Almeria, the year-round snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada
national park form the highest mountain range on the Iberian peninsula.
The summits of Mulhacen and the Veleta prove a challenging climb for
avid mountaineers, while this is also Europe`s southernmost ski resort
where the views from some runs stretch as far as the Atlas Mountains
in North Africa. The less adventurous may prefer to enjoy the delights
of the mountain foothills of the Alpujarra to the south. The constant
supply of water seeping from the mountains above has created a fertile
oasis here, where the resulting landscape of surging streams, lush valleys
and forests of chestnut and pine provide a peaceful haven for horse-riding
Smart Insider Travel Guide to
Almeria (Spain), a Top holiday paradise in Southern Spain..
East of here, the mountainous terrain melts quickly away into the epic semi-desert wilderness surrounding
the village of Tabernas. This haunting landscape bears more than a passing resemblance to the stereotypical
images of the wild west. Not surprisingly, many classic westerns have been filmed here, and the tourist industry
has taken advantage, turning the area into a mini-Hollywood of movie nostalgia. The desert and the city of Almeria
are divided by the mountains of the Sierra de Gador. The salt lagoons and sand dunes that extend from the foothills
are a magnet for birdwatchers, and the village of Gador, as well as Alhabia and Benahadux, are of interest for their
traditional cave dwellings, like cosy cottages carved into the mountainside. To the extreme south-east,
where Spain meets the Mediterranean at its most South Easterly point, the Cabo de Gata-Nijar national park offers a
true sense of escape. Its sparsely inhabited desert landscape reveals the most unexploited coastal gems of the Costa Almeria,
its east coast being a haven of deserted volcanic coves with excellent opportunities for diving.
There are plenty of villas and apartments to
rent in Costa Almeria, both in the popular tourist hotspots and off the beaten track, and getting there could not be
more straightforward. Low-cost budget flights to Almeria, now available from several UK airports, has put this fascinating
province firmly on the list of desireable getaway destinations