In the shadow of the imposing Alcazaba fortress, Almería is far less crowded than neighbouring Andalusian cities – but still packs a punch with its Gothic cathedral, ancient baths and tapas restaurants. Here are the most diverting attractions in this southern Spanish city.
Almería, capital of the easternmost part of Andalusia, is the only city in Europe with a hot desert climate – perhaps not that surprising, given that it neighbours the continent’s only actual desert. Here’s our pick of the top things to see and do in a city often overshadowed by Andalusia’s Big Four (Granada, Málaga, Seville and Córdoba), including a visit to the only defensive cathedral in southern Spain and kayaking off the country’s largest volcanic rock formation.
The “shopping street” branches off the northern end of the Paseo de Almería in the Old Town. In addition to its modern clothing and shoe outlets, two of its most venerable tenants are still standing – El Valenciano, an eye-catching curiosity and souvenir shop founded in the 19th century, and Amalia, a kiosk-sized bar with a small terrace. Its speciality tipple is the Americano, a concoction of hot milk, sugar and kola nut liquor, named after the American actors who are said to have requested it while filming here in the 1960s.
Even on a street lined with tapas joints, this one manages to stand out. With every beer, wine or soft drink you order, you’re entitled to a free tapa of your choice, but you can also request extra dishes for a small charge. The menu consists of Spanish staples such as croquetas and pinchos (mini skewers of pork or chicken), some contemporary presentations of tuna and octopus and plenty of veggie options. There’s not much space, so arrive early to secure a table.