Less well-known than some of the other tourist destinations in the Andalusia region, Almeria has seen somewhat of a renaissance in recent times, as an increasing number of people have flocked to the region in search of what many see as a more authentic Spanish experience.
From the incredible Alcazaba fort, through to the beautiful 15th century Gothic and Renaissance cathedral, the buildings of Almeria reflect the region's colourful past.
In the evenings, there are a wide range of activities in Almeria to cater for every taste and budget. The city is well-known for its superb local cuisine, and in particular the old town district of Almeria offers a number of excellent bars and restaurants offering excellent, well priced food.
From the narrow winding streets, through to the beautiful squares, museums and restaurants, there is plenty to explore in this popular part of southern Spain. It is therefore understandable that so many people choose to visit and invest in property for sale in Almeria on a regular basis.
Properties for sale in Almeria are relatively diverse, ranging from spacious and modern studio's, through the more traditional, rural villas. As importantly, the price of property for sale in Almeria is seen as highly competitive in relation to some of the other more popular tourist destinations within the dozen one Andalusia region. As such, Almeria has seen an increasing demand for property in recent times, and at present this demand shows no signs of slowing.
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Almeria is a scenic province located in the south of Spain bordering on the warm Mediterranean Sea. The province is divided into 102 different municipalities and includes many notable cities and towns for investment in property for sale in Almeria
The City of Almeria
The province's capital city is also its namesake. It was originally founded in 955AD by the Moors as an important way to strengthen the defences of Muslim-controlled Spain. Today, it is an important historic city and home to a number of heritage sites from various periods. This, combined with its location on Spain's scenic and world-famous Mediterranean coast, has made the city into a major tourist destination, driving the demand for properties for sale in Almeria.
Roquetas de Mar
One of the more populous areas in Almeria, Roquetas de Mar is one of the province's biggest tourist draws. The town's "urbanizacion" is predominantly geared towards providing visitors with a strong holiday experience, containing a number of hotels, restaurants and other facilities. Roquetas de Mar is particularly popular with Spain's domestic tourist market but also attracts many international investors looking for property for sale in Almeria, particularly from the UK and Ireland.
Mojacar is a smallish municipality in the south east of Almeria, but boasts the highest per capita GDP in the whole of Andalucia. On the coast to the south of the picturesque mountain village of Mojacar one of the province's best and most prominent tourist resorts. This resort, Mojacar Playa, is found on a ten-and-a-half mile (17km) stretch of beautiful sandy beach, of which around five miles (8km) fall within the resort development.
Almeria is a province with a long, interesting and varied history. A number of cultural groups and civilisations have left their mark on the region, and left behind a variety of interesting landmarks and attractions
The City of Almeria began its life as an important part of Muslim Spain's coastal defences. Though the imposing medieval fortress, the Alcazaba, was sadly damaged by an Earthquake in 1522, it still remains a truly extraordinary sight to see. Its multiple walls, towering ramparts, and pleasant gardens have been used for a number of major films and TV programmes.
The Cathedral of Almeria
Also found within the City of Almeria, the Cathedral of Almeria is one of the province's most fascinating pieces of architecture. Originally built as a mosque, it later became a Roman Catholic cathedral and displays both Muslim and Christian influences. What makes it truly unique, however, is the fact that it was designed to be fully defensible from pirates – and therefore looks as much like a fortress as a place of worship!
Cabo de Gata-Níjar
Not all of Almeria's sightseeing highlights are the work of human hands. The Cabo de Gata-Níjar is a spectacularly scenic natural park, showcasing many of the best elements of Almeria's extraordinary landscape. The nature reserve includes a stunning mountain range, a beautiful rocky section of coast, and a number of coral reefs in the warm, blue waters offshore. The park, which is a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, also contains Europe's driest land and only stretch of subtropical desert.
The province of Almeria has been a human habitat since the early stone age, and there are still historical and archaeological sites dating back this far. The first known city to appear in the province also hails from prehistory, dating back to before the arrival of the Bronze Age
Entering recorded history, the Province of Almeria became entangled, at one time or another, with several of the ancient world's most prominent civilisations and powerful empires. The Romans, the Greeks and the Phoenicians all played a role in shaping the history of Almeria.
However, it was in the medieval period that the province of Almeria really came into its own. At this time, the province was part of Muslim Spain under the Moors. In the year 955AD, Capilha Abd-ar-Rahman II realised that the Mediterranean defences in this area were very much in need of a boost. In an effort to bolster the defensibility of the coast, he founded the City of Almeria as a major harbour and the site of one of Andalusia's biggest Moorish castles.
The development of the area quickly resulted in not only an important military location but a thriving, wealthy city. Aided by the silk industry, it also established itself as a location for trade.
The province changed hands a number of times over the following centuries. The sixteenth century was also to prove particularly difficult due to a series of earthquakes as well as frequent pirate attacks. Nonetheless, for the most part the area has continued to thrive. In the twentieth century, the threat of a decline caused some of the province's municipalities to turn to tourism. Many of these efforts proved successful, and the tourist trade as well as international investors purchasing Almeria property for sale now makes up a significant portion of the Almeria's economy.
Even by the standards of the Spanish Mediterranean coast, Almeria is a decidedly hot and sunny province. The climate is classed as Subtropical Arid, with little rainfall, hot summers and mild, short winters.
Exact details vary depending on which part of the province is under discussion, but some major tourist areas experience over 3000 hours of annual sunshine. Temperatures in Summer can extend into the forties on the centigrade scale (around 105 Fahrenheit and above), and rarely dip below ten (50 Fahrenheit) even in the coolest months of winter.
Due to the very low amount of annual precipitation that falls on the province, much of the landscape is decidedly dry and arid. Within the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, the province even contains Europe's only piece of "hot" desert. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the distinction of being Europe's driest area belongs to that very same piece of land.
The Andarax River is the main body of water in the province, and has historically been an important source of water in a climate with little rainfall. Today, the river continues to provide the water necessary for agriculture, which makes up an important part of Almeria's economy.
Overall, the landscape of Almeria is varied with many distinctive features on display. Mountains form some of the most prominent natural features, with the province's highest mountain range being the Sierra de Los Filabres. For the many tourists who visit the region each year, however, the Mediterranean coastline is undoubtedly the highlight of Almeria's landscape.
Almeria is an interesting and culturally diverse province. Throughout its history, it has been influenced by diverse groups from around the world such as the Romans and the Moors.
Today, though tourists from within Spain make up a larger portion of the holidaymakers than they do in some other provinces, the area nonetheless receives regular visits from people belonging to a range of nationalities. These, along with their expat countrymen taking up homes in Almeria's sunny setting, also help contribute to a fascinating and diverse cultural atmosphere. This is amplified by the province's relatively isolated geographic position, which has always encouraged it to develop in its own cultural vein.
There are also a number of important cultural and historical sights to be found in the province, particularly but not exclusively within the City of Almeria. Sights such as the Cathedral of Almeria and the impressive Moorish castle that is the Alcazaba ensure sightseers have a truly unforgettable visit.
Many parts of the province, such as the City of Almeria and the holiday resort of Mojacar Playa, are also united by a strong and varied dining scene. Eateries of all descriptions, both traditional and modern, can be found within the province – from small tapas bars to big, glitzy restaurants with huge menus of contemporary cuisine.
A number of important festivals are celebrated throughout the year, particularly in areas with strong tourist and cultural scenes such as Mojacar. These include the Bonfires of Saint John in June, and the Virgin of the Rosary celebrations in October.
Almeria's economy is varied and interesting. However, like many provinces that benefit from a position on Southern Spain's stunning Mediterranean coast, tourism makes up a decidedly large portion
The extremely sunny climate, year-round comfortable temperatures, and an abundance of prime coastal spots and other scenic areas are all factors that serve to attract holidaymakers on a national and international scale. As well as supporting job creation and businesses within the tourist sector, this has allowed strong shopping and dining scenes to spring up in various parts of the province, supported by tourist funds.
This has also historically supported the market for property for sale in Almeria. Though Spanish property has been suffering since the recession, a recovery now seems to be taking place and this is being led by big cities and coastal tourist areas. The strong tourist economy of Almeria leaves it far better-placed than many other parts of Spain to experience the fruits of such a recovery.
Another major part of Almeria's economy, at least as prominent as tourism, is greenhouse farming. High temperatures and an abundance of sunlight create a very favourable environment for certain types of agriculture. With greenhouses trapping the sun's plentiful warm rays, the province is able to grow millions of tons in produce ever year for export around the world.