Almeria, Spain

A pretty and largely modern city, Almeria is the capital of the Spanish province bearing the same name.

 

Occupied first by the Phoenicans then the Carthagians, the Romans and the Moors, Almeria has an interesting and diverse history. Situated in the middle of the bay, facing the Mediterranean Sea, the area offers a selection of fine sandy beaches and coves. Standing atop the mountain, which provides the backdrop to the city, is the Alcazaba or Arab Fortress, built in 995, which commands some magnificent views. The reinforced cathedral, with its unique blend of Renaissance and Gothic architecture, was also once a fortress. Stroll through St Nicholas Salmeron Park then head up towards the caves in the old gypsy quarter. Alternatively, shop in the charming old town for fine leather and sample local wines and local specialities. Venturing inland you can explore the verdant countryside, still dotted with Moorish remains, from where it was part of the historic kingdom of Granada.