Andalucia had been a settlement for different cultures (Pebble Culture, Iberians, Celtics,…) but those who left a big cultural effect were the Moorish (for more than seven centuries) who formed what was calling Al Andalus. This was a territory that comprised a large part of Spain until, with the marriage of Queen Isabel of Castilla and King Fernando of Aragon making the union of the two kingdoms, finally expelled the Moors and united Spain.
Andalucia has eight provinces and all of them have different marvellous views, culture, food, activities: Almeria for the Naturals Parks (as Cabo de Gata and Tabernas Desert, where many Westerns have been filmed) Granada with Sierra Nevada where you can enjoy skiing, or visiting La Alhambra; Jaen famous for the olives trees (the best olive oil in Spain), Malaga for 163 km of coastline and the popular wines, Cordoba for The Mosque is the oldest monument in the West, also famous for its gold and silver jewellery shops, Sevilla is the most popular province of Andalucia for its flamenco culture, kind people and beautiful monuments; Cadiz has 272 kilometres of Coastline mostly beaches with fine and clean sand, bathing with the Atlantic and Huelva has the best Spanish Ham: Pata Negra de Jabugo.
Costa De Almeria and Almeria City
Almería > Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata > Mojácar > Garrucha > Campgrounds in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata
- Almería – La Garrofa http://www.lagarrofa.com/
- Cabo de Gata – El Cabo de Gata http://www.vayacamping.net
- Níjar- Los Escullos http://www.losescullossanjose.com/
- San Jose – Tau http://www.parquenatural.com/tau/ (web only in Spanish)
- La Negras – Nautico la Caleta http://www.vayacamping.net
Almeria City – With a mild weather during the winter, Almeria is a really Mediterranean city. Almeria has narrows streets in the area of the old town (those narrow streets are easy to find in many other towns in the South of Spain, the reason because was building in this way was that the people could feel cool during high warm temperatures) and those narrow streets make you back in the time when Almeria was a big market of the Al-Andalus.
The Parque Nicolas Salmeron (the park) is where you can find the door for access to the Alcazaba (build for the Arabs as fortress in 995) with three lines of baileys build in pink stones, inside of the Alcazaba you can find beautiful gardens with a really andaluz style; fountains with the water running between the bougainvillaea and the rosebays. El Torreon built in the century XV for the Catholics Kings. From the Alcazaba you have a perfect view of the sea, the seaport, the old town and the curious multicolour fish quarter calling Barrio de la Chanca.
Between the narrow streets you can find so many different churches but the most important and bigger is The Cathedral (built as a fortified against constants pirates attacks and rebuild after a violent earthquake happened in 1522), have a Gothic style. Around the cathedral you can find the old quarter of Almeria that it is beautiful to spend time walking around of the narrow streets for to finish in the beautiful square of the Constitution where is the City Hall of the town.
In Almeria is going to be celebrating the XV Mediterranean Games that will start on 24th June 2005 and will finish on 3rd July 2005 (the Mediterranean Games are, together with the Olympics, the most important sports events. All the best sportsmen are going to be here, from 21 different countries, in 24 different sports. The countries that are going to participate in these Games are the ones that are bath for the Mediterranean Sea. The official symbol of the games is with three hoops, that symbolise the three continents involve in the games (Europe, African and Asian)).
From Almería city centre
Head East towards Níjar on the N344
Join the A-7 / E-15 heading east
Travel 7 miles
Take Exit 479 for Níjar, San Isidro
Travel the AL100 for 1.3 miles north to Níjar.
Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Nijar (Natural Park of Cabo de Gata). This National Park in the coast of Almeria extends 38,000 hectares over land and 12,000 hectares over the sea, It is ecological protection because its volcanic origin, with a semidry temperature. The Natural Park you can walking or driving starting from, is you are coming from Almeria, San Miguel de Cabo de Gata, Almadraba de Monteleva, San Jose, Pozo de Los Frailes, Los Escullos, Isleta del Moro, Rodalquilar, Las Negras, Las Hortichuelas, Fernan Perez, Agua Amarga and finishing in Carboneras.
One of the richest parts of this Natural Park is under the sea, where you can find large amounts of crustaceans, molluscs and fishes. This ecosystem is characteristic for to have a big variety of fauna and especially the aquatic births. Near to the coast you can find the flamingos birds, also the seagulls, ducks, herons, storks and others which live in the salt marsh.
Nijar is one of the biggest municipalities of Spain. Nijar extends from the Sierra Alhamilla until the Cabo de Gata, with a distance in right line of 25 km.
The village is located on the foot of the mountain range to the Cabo de Gata, forming a great attractive urban set with a well conserved structure of Arabic.
San Miguel de Cabo de Gata. Ideal town for to taste fresh and variety of fish, as many of the people who lives here are fishermen. You can walk all around to the promenade where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets every period of the year. “Reserve de las Salinas”, a nature salt mine reserve, really near to San Miguel del Cabo de Gata, where you can find a big variety of birds.
Almadraba de Monteleva. This is a really spectacular beach with 660 metres with small fish boats and good sand; this small town is really charming.
San Jose de Nijar: Between Almadraba de Monteleva to San Jose you find so many beaches, some of them are nudist as Cala Carbon, La media Luna, Cala del Barronal, Cala de los amarillos and Los Genoveses.
Cala Raja, El monsul and Cala Higuera are rustic beaches. All of them are suggest visiting, as they are clean water and beautiful sand. San Jose beach is in the same town, it is having all the facilities for tourism, for example showers on the beach.
Pozo de los Frailes: Is a small district near to the coast that it is including in the Natural Park, with a small old quarter and a waterwheel from the 14th century.
Los Escullos. The most outstanding here are the cliffs and the escolleras (fossilised dunes) formed as consequence of erosion. The castle of San Felipe was build as coastal defence, around the year 1800.
Isleta del Moro. Small fisher town.
Rodalquilar. It is a village with miner origin located between beautiful valleys. It is really interesting here the miner’s ruins and the coastal defence castle.
Las Negras. This is a beautiful beach. The village of Las Negras has the small boats on the seashore. The beach is a mix between sand and crushed stone.
Las Hortichuelas. It is a small village situated 2 km from the coast, has a valley with spectacular views and it is keeping the traditional look of Mediterranean towns.
Fernan Perez. It is one of the few municipality of the natural park, and it is still keeping the beautiful rural atmosphere, small white houses, church, school,…
Agua Amarga. Its name comes from the Arab Al-hawan, which mean water location. It is one of the densely populated towns of Nijar. It is a big tourist spot on the coast of Almeria. It is interesting its geology here.
Carboneras. The villa is out the protection area of the park. The municipality is located in the Almeria levantina coast, with a landscape formed by barren, semidesert and volcanic lands, all within the Natural Park.
The Tower of the Ray is the oldest artistic element of Carboneras bunkers. It was built at the nazarí time and was modified in the Renaissance.
Here finish the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata but when you drive out of the villa of Carboneras, the road is bringing us to Mojacar beach which is only 3 km from the Mojacar village typical Mediterranean town, founding in the top of the mountain with a beautiful viewpoint of the coast.
Garrucha. Is a beautiful and lively fishing town. Over the last few years it has becomes a popular tourist destination.
Head South on the AL101
Travel 2 miles
Join the A-7 / E-15 heading North-east
Travel 13 miles
Take Exit 504 – Ls. Molinos del Rio Aguas, Sorbas, Gafarillos
Travel the AL-140 for 6 miles
Turn Left at T-junction for Sorbas
Total approx. 22 miles
Almeria. When you travel inside to the province of Almeria your imagination make you fell the co-star of “Lawrence of Arabia” or some Western movie, as it’s land is a desert and your imagination is not too far of the reality as lots of Western movies had been filmed here.
Be sure to visit the thermal spring in Alhama de Almeria and in the Sierra de Alhamilla. Their temperatures of this thermal spring are between 30 degrees to 46 degrees centigrade and they were building in the Romans period.
Taberna’s Desert. Located 30 kilometres from Almeria city, you can find it in the villa calling Tabernas it is Natural Park, with a desert landscape, where there is 3.000 hours of sun light, it is not much vegetation. The climate conditions of this desert was the perfect reason that some co-producer Italian-Spanish started filming movies calling SPAGUETTI-WESTERN in the year 1957 here.
Sorbas. This small town teeters precariously on the cliff edges above the river Aguas and is possibly one of the most picturesque in the region. The “casas blancas colgadas” or whites hanging houses are typical of this village and dangle over the gorge.
This town is particularly noted for it’s pottery and a visit to the Barrio Alfarero or Potters’ Quarter is recommended. Also worth a look are the Cuevas de Sorbas, spectacular caves with columns of gypsum, marvellous stalactites and stalagmites.
Sorbas Tourist Information Office – Calle Terraplen 9, 04270 Sorbas (Almería), Spain.
Tel. +34 950 364 478 Fax +34 950 364 001
Cuevas de Sorbas – Paraje Barranco del Infierno, 04270 Sorbas (Almería), España
Tel: +34 950 364 704
Huercal-Overa. The early development of Huércal and Overa was based on lead mining in the highlands but now joined, this is a thriving agricultural market town. On market day it becomes a bustling hive of activity where local food produce and crafts can be seen. Huercal-Overa is particularly noted for it is embroidery. It is typically Andalucian town with narrow cobbled streets and white washed homes. The main historic buildings to see are the church; Iglesia Parroquial de La Anunciación, which dates from the 18th century, and the Town Hall. The Plaza de Torres (Bullring) was built at the turn of the century has space for 4,500 spectators.
Vélez Rubio. Vélez Rubio is a market town for the local agricultural produce. It is an unusually youthful town with over one fifth of the population under 21 years. This means that there are many cafés, shops and nighttime entertainment for this age group. The most notable buildings to visit are fine examples of Baroque architecture; the Church of our lady of the Incarnation (Iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Encarnación, the Convent de San Francisco and the parish church).
The local museum can be found inside the Hospital Real and contains many fascinating artifacts including a section on the ancient cave paintings in the area.
Vélez Rubio Tourist office – Calle Carrera del Carmen 29, Vélez Rubio, Almería, Spain
Tel: +34 950 410 148.
Velez Blanco. It is essential a relax walk for the urban part where you can see the Arabic style of the Moreria’s Quarter, where was building the old mosque, it was changing in the first Catholic Church. The Alcazaba was destroyed for to build the Castle, that it was the resident of the Marquises of the Velez.
Also you can find here the famous Caves of Los Letreros, National Monument and the caves of El Gabar and Santoge are The Spanish Centre of Schematic Art, with excellent cave paintings.
Natural Park of the Sierra de Maria. It is the less dry area of Almeria. The mountain range of Maria forms one of the mountains mass more important of the eastern of Andalucia. It was declared Natural Park on 1987, with a surface of 18.962 Ha, its situated in the municipals districts of Chirivel, Maria and Velez-Blanco.
The Natural Park of Sierra de Maria has a big richness of birds, the birds that you can find here are golden eagles, owls, alcaudones and autillos. The pine forest is used as hiding place for badgers and squirrels. We recommended you the visit of Los Alamicos and the hermitage of La Virgen de la Cabeza, where you can fin a botanical garden with all the species of the area.