Towns of the province of ALMERÍA: Adra - Aguadulce - Almería - Bayárcal (Alpujarra) - Berja - Carboneras - Cuevas de Almanzora - El Ejido - Laroya - Las Negras (Cabo de Gata) - Mojácar - Pulpí - Rodalquilar (Cabo de Gata) - Roquetas de Mar - San José (Cabo de Gata) - Vélez Blanco - Vera -
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Cabo de Gata
Peaceful coves and sand dunes, unspoilt beaches, imposing mountain cliffs, charming villages, deep waters of immense richness – all these are part of the Maritimo-Terrestre Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar. Recognised by UNESCO as of global importance, it covers 38,000 hectares of land and 12,000 hectares of sea, making it one of the most important protected areas in the south of Spain.
The more one gets to know this countryside the more surprised one is that so many varied ecosystems exist in what appears to be such an inhospitable landscape. There are unexpected resources like saltflats and mining(in Rodalquilar) that have been developed in a sustainable way since ancient times.
The surprise is even greater for scuba-diving enthusiasts who can enjoy really striking sights below the clear waters.
The main tourist part of the park is at San José (Nijar) where the best known and outstanding beaches are to be found, such as Los Genoveses, Mònsul, Media Luna and Barronal.
Other popular beaches include:- El Playazo (Rodalquilar), Playa de los Muertos(Carboneras), and Cala Rajá(Cabo de Gata).
Alpujarra-Puerto de la Ragua
The protection afforded by the Sierra Nevada, with its white villages dotted across the landscape, extends as far as Alpujarra Almeriense; a land that the Moors were so attached to that they left only when compelled to, by force of arms.
This protected area is still one of the most unspoilt and undiscovered parts of all the Sierra Nevada National Park. It has wide spreads of forest, fast flowing rivers, snow covered peaks and deep valleys that remain permanently fresh.
One of the best known parts of the park is the Puerto de la Ragua, near to Bayárcal, which has good tourist and sporting attractions. Here it is possible to join in cross-country skiing, dog sledging, mountain biking, trekking, horse riding and lots of other countryside activities.
Desierto de Tabernas – Karst SorbasThe Tabernas desert is one of the most imposing landscapes of the Province and Europe. Here you can experience 3000 hours of sun a year in a terrain devoid of vegetation. Not surprisingly, it has been used as the set for many science fiction and Western films (more than 300), including – Lawrence of Arabia, Conan the Barbarian, Indiana Jones, The Last Crusade, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Magnificent 7, 2001 Space Odyssy and so on.
As well as continuing to be a good location for camera work, both artistic and commercial, it offers one of the best known tourist attractions of Almeria in the pueblos del Oeste (Western Villages) with their records and memorabilia of films shot there, it also makes one realise the impact that golden age of film-making had on Almeria and how a bit of the Hollywood glamour rubbed off on it.
In the three “Western” villages of – Mini Hollywood, Texas-Hollywood and Western Leone, visitors can take part in daily shows with professional film makers and actors, horse ride and have a beer and a meal in an authentic “saloon” and thoroughly soak up the atmosphere of the American Western.
Not far(26km) from Tabernas in Sorbas there is a very famous and beautiful cave complex formed by the soluble water flows(called Karst) which have created,over millions of years, channels,streams, pools, galleries and a whole network of caves.The Karst de Yesos (lime)of Sorbas has excellent visitor and interpretative facilities to explain the process as well as opportunities to see some spectacular stalagmites and stalactites.
This magical underground world of water is particularly striking in the context of the desert conditions above ground.
Velez villagesThese villages are the cradle of neolithic cave drawings,including the symbol of the Province, the Indalo(a man carrying a rainbow which probably signifies a messenger of the gods.) This is just one example of the rich heritage and monument record which villages like Velez Blanco and Velez Rubio hold for the visitor.
The ambiance of the district is created mainly by the impressive country park of Sierra Maria-Los Velez, located in the north of the province, next to Granada and Murcia provinces. This setting, in an important enviromental site, is part of the attraction for visitors.
The north of the province has a mountenous landscape unlike any found elsewhere. Its luxuriant leafy forests are in sharp contrast to the arid character of the rest of Almeria. At the same time it has managed to preserve a rustic way of life wholly in keeping with its environment, making it especially attractive to visitors seeking peace and quiet.
The most important villages are Velez Rubio and Velez Blanco. Stately homes and country houses, castles, burial sites and churches like La Encarnacion (Declared National monument) in Velez Rubio, are waiiting for us.
The main villages of Levante Almeriense(Eastern Almeria) are Carboneras, Mojácar, Garrucha and Vera.
Carboneras is the eastern entrance to the Parque Natural Cabo de Gata-Nijar and has managed to keep the charm of a typical fishing village which together with its fine climate and excellent beaches all make it an ideal place to rest and relax.
In Mojácar the strong Moorish influence is to be found everywhere, in the laberinth of its steep and narrow streets, in the whitewashed houses and in the colourful flowers that adorn the facades. It’s a village in which to lose oneself, to discover in its every detail the whispers of the past.
Garrucha is a sailing village par excellence. It is also a very good place for general holidays because of its excellent(blue flag) beach and some outstanding seafood restaurants
The village of Vera has some really outstanding beaches that stretch for nearly three miles, a golf course and a full range of active leisure opportunities, all of which can be enjoyed in almost three thousand hours of sun a year. All of which has made the resort an ideal location for naturists who make full use of its facilities and resources.
The city of Almeria, was one of the most important ports of the whole Caliphate of Cordoba and the grandeur of its Alcazaba and Catedral underline its importance then and subsequently. Today the narrow streets and whitewashed houses of the historic quarter add to its charm.
It is also a city of contrasts. From the definitely Moorish neighbourhood of La Chanca
to the wide avenues of modern Almeria the city shows a full range of architectural styles which help create contrasting and complementary ambiances. And as always, all washed in brilliant sun.
Outside the old quarters, as the streets widen the buildings reflect the greater wealth of the 19th century. The Ramblas, always busy, leads to the port and the Almadrabillas beach where the historic mineral loading platform, called the English Cable, still stands.
The sun and the beach are reason enough to live in Almeria in any season of the year.
ALMERÍA PROVINCE, Spain. Travel guide and travel information for the province of ALMERÍA and Andalucía, Spain. SOL Spain On Line.
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