Things to do in Costa Almeria

Apart from the alluring beach resorts and the scenic coastline, Costa Almeria boasts some supremely unusual natural landscapes and the many historic attractions of Almeria City. The region is a delight for movie buffs, as both the city and the desert surrounding the village of Tabernas are favourite locations for film shoots. In fact, the movie sets built in the town are now theme park attractions, and, oddly, the European desert is the perfect place to get a taste of the American Wild West.

Almeria is dominated by the massive Alcazaba citadel and has an interesting Old Town and a great archaeological museum to keep culture vultures busy. However, the arid desert landscapes, volcanic mountains and coves, and unexpected wetlands and lagoons are the main attraction of the Costa Almeria, drawing active and adventurous nature lovers to mountain bike, hike and scuba dive in the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park and all along the coast. The huge reserve also contains some historic ruins, quaint fishing villages and spooky abandoned towns to explore. The picturesque village of Nijar is a particular favourite with travellers and a good place to go shopping for arts and crafts in Costa Almeria.

Almeria City photo

Almeria City

The ancient Andalusian city of Almeria lies sheltered at the base of a bay, proudly dominated by the amazing Alcazaba, a huge Moorish citadel with three walled enclosures dating fr…

Almeria City

The ancient Andalusian city of Almeria lies sheltered at the base of a bay, proudly dominated by the amazing Alcazaba, a huge Moorish citadel with three walled enclosures dating from 995. A 16th-century Christian castle was built on the foundations of the original Moorish citadel, creating a potent aesthetic mixture of architectural styles. From the citadel, visitors have a good view of the city's most impressive and important Christian monument, the Cathedral, dating from 1524, designed more like a fortress than a church because of the need to defend it from pirate attacks. The Cathedral contains numerous art treasures, including a tabernacle dating from the 18th century and designed by Ventura Rodriguez.

Tabernas photo

Tabernas

About 16 miles (26km) from Almeria and set between the Sierra de Alhamilla and Sierra de Filabres, the little village of Tabernas is in a barren landscape of canyons and rocky wast…

Tabernas

About 16 miles (26km) from Almeria and set between the Sierra de Alhamilla and Sierra de Filabres, the little village of Tabernas is in a barren landscape of canyons and rocky wasteland. A few decades ago, when Western movies were the most popular Hollywood genre, legendary stars such as Clint Eastwood, Lee van Cleef, Claudia Cardinale and Charles Bronson strutted their stuff here in the dry heat on film sets that fans will recognise from movies such as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars, and The Magnificent Seven. The movie lots have now become theme park tourist attractions.

Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park photo

Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park

North of Almeria, a lighthouse stands at the tip of the Cabo de Gata Peninsula marking the extremity of Andalusia's largest coastal nature reserve. The park is a fascinating landsc…

Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park

North of Almeria, a lighthouse stands at the tip of the Cabo de Gata Peninsula marking the extremity of Andalusia's largest coastal nature reserve. The park is a fascinating landscape of arid desert, volcanic mountains, jagged sea cliffs, sand dunes, wetlands, a lagoon, and hidden sandy coves. Mountain bikers, hikers, bird-watchers, and water sports enthusiasts enjoy this natural wonderland, which encompasses some quaint fishing hamlets, historic ruins, and magnificent stretches of beach. Two of the most popular beaches are Playa de Monsul, which has picturesque volcanic rock formations, and Playa de los Genoveses, which is within walking distance of San Jose. Tiny rock islands cluster off the rugged coastline and there are extensive coral reefs along the shore.

Website www.parquenatural.com