Almeria is a province in Andalucia, Spain. Tipped as one of the most beautiful parts of the country (and certainly the least well-trodden), it borders fellow southern regions Granada and Murcia. Hot and lush, Almeria is definitely worth seeing. Its raw scenery has been used countless times by film directors and it has a lot to offer those after something a bit different. Here’s how to see Spain’s best kept secret when you’re on a budget.
Cueva de Los Letreros
There are various caves throughout Almeria which date all the way back to prehistoric times. It was back in 1868 that a local man called Antonio Gongora Martinez discovered one particular painting in nearby village Los Velez – what is now known as the Indalo man. This man has become a symbol of Almeria and the caves have since become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rock art has become synonymous with Almeria and as the same Indalo man has been found in other caves. The Cueva de Los Letreros is Almeria’s prehistoric jewel and definitely worth visiting. The drawings inside the cave are a brilliant red and depict archers, wizards and idols.
Never Say Never Again – movie location
Movie buffs will love that a trip to Almeria is like stepping onto a film set. Many of the region’s attributes have been used in last few decades by big film makers. While they might have had big budgets, you don’t need one! Almeria’s famous Alcazaba was used as the backdrop in Never Say Never Again starring Sean Connery and also the spectacular Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. You can see why – the sunsets here are dazzling. A few miles down the road is Cabo de Gata Natural Park where western For a Few Dollars More was set.
The Tabernas Desert
This is the only true semi-desert in Europe. Worth the visit? You bet. It’s not often that you’d get to visit somewhere with desert-like features so make the most of it in Almeria. The Tabernas Desert is easily accessible from the centre and is about 30 kilometres north – there are plenty of buses.
You’ll see all sorts of reptiles here including ladder snakes, spiny-footed lizards and marsh frogs. These are relatively safe to encounter, just don’t poke them. Other wildlife you’ll see include: swifts, hedgehogs, jackdaws, thrushes and larks.
Built in the tenth century the La Alcazaba completely dominates the Almeria skyline. La Alcazaba is an old fort that used to wall up the city in ancient ties. It was originally designed as a military camp and a place for the residents of Almeria to take refuge in when the city was under siege. Today, you can gaze at this fabulous structure that once housed Moorish kings.