The Best Reasons To Put Almeria On Your Andalucia Itinerary

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When it comes to planning a trip to Southern Spain, Almeria is not on every travelers itinerary. Almeria is often overlooked and overshadowed by the popular Malaga, Granada, Seville and Cordoba. But listen to me – Almeria, located in the southeast of Andalusia, has many things to offer for any traveler. From Moorish buildings to crystal blue waters in Cabo de Gata, delicious food, sun, siesta & sea.

If you’re wondering whether Almeria is worth visiting and what to do there, keep reading and find out everything about amazing things to do there. Later I will give you some basic information on where to stay, when is the best time to visit and how to get to Almeria. I’ll start by telling you which are my best 7 reasons to put Almeria on your Andalucia itinerary. This list will make you want to visit this place as soon as possible.

Reasons to put Almeria on your itinerary

Almeria is full of history

The city of Almeria was founded in 955 by the Arabs, but there are sites that trace their origins to prehistoric times. During the Muslim period, Almeria reached its peak, especially during the sixth and seventh centuries, after the fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba, becoming a populous center of civilization. In the eleventh century, Almeria was the international port of Al-Andalus. Silk was exported, bringing fame to the city with its many looms.

One of the must-see places is the cathedral of Almeria. It was built on the site of a former mosque that was destroyed during an earthquake. For me, this is one of the prettiest buildings there. The architecture of the cathedral is unique and outstanding.

almeria cathedral

City is less crowded & more affordable

As I mentioned before, the city has a rich history, but at the same time it is not overrun with tourists. The city centre has many small streets to wander around and get lost in them. If you are into lovely walks, you should walk down La Rambla, located next to Paseo de Almeria.

The accomodations are generally cheap, especially compared to other more popular cities in Andalusia. Also, eating out is much cheaper.

Almeria is home to La Alcazaba

La Alcazaba, built in the 10th century, was the second largest fortress in Moorish Spain after Granada’s famous Alhambra. La Alcazaba, which rises above the town, attracts a large number of visitors. Only a small part of the original construction remains, but you can still see parts of the original walls. You should spend at least some time in La Alcazaba, especially if you like Moorish architecture. It is located a few minutes walk from the heart of the city.

Entrance to this fortress is free if you come from a country in the EU, in other case the entrane fee is 1,50 EUR. There’s no reason to miss out this gem!

You will love the Moorish quarter

One of the most interesting streets in the Moorish quarter is Calle Descanso, close to La Alcazaba. It is full of colorful houses and this is one of the reasons why is it popular. The second reason is the view of the Alcazaba.

calle descanso almeria

In Almeria, especially in the Moorish quarter, there are a couple of Moroccan tea rooms. If you want to have your tea with a view, you can put Almedina Baraka on your list – it has the one of the best views of the Alcazaba.

There are some beautiful beaches

There are some incredible beaches in Andalucia and Almeria is certainly home to some of them. You don’t have to go all the way to Cabo de Gata to notice this, but I really think that you should put Cabo de Gata on your itinerary. Cabo de Gata is really worth the visit and I think that I can confidentaly say that it will be the highlight of your visit to Almeria. The beaches is this area are more than stunning! Cabo de Gata-Níjar is a nature reserve park which is very unique because it has similar flora and fauna as the north of Africa.

Near the city centre there are some amazing beaches and there is a lovely promenade with restaurants, bars and shops. All urban beaches in Almeria are located southeast of the port. Playa de San Miguel is the closest to the historic centre and stretches for two kilometres. Thanks to its proximity and ease of access by public transport it is one of the most popular beaches in Almeria. A little further to the southeast is Playa del Zapillo with dark sands. This one is the busiest beach in the city of Almería.

almeria beach

I have been to some amazing beaches in Southern Spain, so if you like to spend at least some time at the beach, you have come to the right place.

Planning a trip to Spain and you are looking for some coastal town ideas?

It has amazing tapas

The tapas scene in Almeria is beyond amazing and just like in Granada (or even better), where they give you a free tapa with every drink order. In some cases you will be offered a selection of tapas to choose from, while in others a surprise tapa will simply come along with your drink. I’ve really liked the “tapas culture”, because it gives you plenty of opportunities to sample all the Andalucian dishes. Plus that, eating out is really cheap and affordable.

Almeria was named the Gastronomic Capital of Spain for 2019.

It’s the biggest desert in Europe & film location for Hollywood

Almeria has around 3000 hours of sunshine and 320 days of sunshine per year. As a result, Almeria is one of the sunniest and driest cities in the whole of Europe. It is home to the continent’s only desert, the Desierto de Tabernas, located about 30km north of Almeria. This is a beautiful and wild expanse of dunes, hills, and mountains that almost never see rain. The desert has some villages that were built for filming purposes. You can drive through the desert and admire the scenery or make a stop to explore the film villages.

How to get there

Spain has excellent public transport, so most cities are really easy to visit. The same applies to Almeria, which can be reached by any means of transport, even if you don’t have your own vehicle. One of the options they often use is BlaBlaCar, which is essentially a car sharing service. It’s a common way to travel in Spain and you pay the price set by the driver through the website. Usually, this option is faster than the public transport.

If this option doesn’t suit you best, there are other options.


Almeria can be reached by bus from many Spanish cities. Services are operated by the national carrier Alsa and tickets can be bought directly from their website. Some travelers say that the Alsa sometimes doesn’t accept cards that aren’t from Spain, so you may have some troubles with the payment. In my case it wasn’t like that. I managed to pay for my tickets with my card without any problems.


Almeria also has a train station, so you can take the train too. I arrived in Almeria from Granada by bus, and after a few days continued my journey from there to Cordoba, this time by train. Both options were good and I had no problems travelling. I bought my train tickets via the Renfe website. On the website you will find the timetables, prices and travel times.


As Almeria is on the coast in the south of Spain, you can get the ferry here from ports in Morocco or from the Spanish city of Melilla. 

By plane

Almeria has an international airport, so you can also fly into city. Flights are more common between April and October, when there is a high season.

Where to stay

The best area to stay in Almeria is the Historic City Centre. Almeria’s Old Town is home to the main museums, historical and cultural attractions, excellent nightlife, restaurants and some of the best accommodation in the city. The centre is also very well-connected to the port and the train station.

The accommodation in the city varies and includes simple family-owned properties, tourist apartments and boutique hotels with spectacular views.

Best time to visit

If you are asking yourself when is the best time to visit, I can tell you that anytime is the best time. The hottest months are July – September, so I suggest you to come out of these months, unless you are comfortable with the heat. The shoulder months may be better option.

In fact, the city of Almería is located in the Almería province, which is the driest place in Europe. If you are looking for a desert climate in Europe, you have come to the right place as it has Europe’s only true desert climate. So, what does that mean? It means lots of sunshine and very little rain.

So, now you have at least 7 reasons to visit Almeria. I can almost say with certainty that this is one of Spain’s hidden gems. I am definitely convinced that it is worth at least a short visit and that it will find a way to your heart.

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  • Anna Schaeffer
    June 3, 2023

    UGGGHHH I’m going to Spain next April and thought I had my itinerary all worked out, and now you have me questioning it??? Granada was on our list. But omg Almeria is stunning.

    • Jasmina
      July 6, 2023

      I feel you, I had the same problems when I was making plans! I’d love to go back and explore more of Spain. I loved Granada, but one of my favorite places in Andalucia was Cordoba.

  • Kiara Gallop
    June 3, 2023

    I love reading about this part of Spain! One of my close friends has moved out to a little village near Albox (about an hour inland from Almería) and I keep meaning to factor in a day or two exploring the city before I head out to see her. But, I’ve not made it yet! We have spent loads of time down on the Cabo de Gato though and we took her littleun to Mini Hollywood in the Desierto de Tabernas, which we loved!

    • Jasmina
      July 6, 2023

      I loved this part of Spain – it totally exceeded my expectations. I would love to explore the small villages in Andalucia, but sadly, I was limited with time.