Gardens - Almeria province

Agapanthus in Almeria. © Michelle Chaplow
Agapanthus in Almeria.

PARQUE NICOLAS SALMERON, ALMERIA

The main park in Almeria itself is the Parque Nicolas Salmeron, in the city centre. It is named after the Almerian politician and philosopher who served (albeit briefly - a month and a half) as the president of the First Republic in 1873. The large, landscaped park is made up of two parts: the Parque Viejo (Paseo de San Luis and los Jardines del Malecon), with lots of ficus and terebinth trees; and the Parque Nuevo, built when the port was extended in 1924, with palms and ornamental plants. The two parts are separated by a pillared fountain called La Fuente de los Peces, on calle Real.

JARDIN BOTANICO DE ALBARDINAL, RODALQUILAR

This botanical garden, situated inside the Cabo de Gata natural park, has plants from all the main geographical regions of Almeria province, from desert to coast to mountain. Its name comes from the plant albardin, which is like esparto, a very tough grass used for weaving baskets and other products. In the garden's nine hectares you can find "useful plants", palms, cacti, and plants from many landscapes in Spain, including semi-arid (Tabernas Desert) and arid (dunes and beaches), as well as endangered species. Look out for the Jujube (red date). Both native and foreign species are well represented.

JARDÍN BOTÁNICO LA UMBRÍA DE LA VIRGEN, MARÍA

This garden, in the hill town of Maria, forms part of the little-known Parque Natural Sierra de María-Los Vélez. It is divided into two main sections: the lower part has fruit trees, vegetables, cereals, aromatic and medicinal plants; in the higher area, you will find native mountain plants, which you can see by taking three different paths around the 40-hectare zone. Four specialised areas show plants which grow in certain types of soil: saladar (tidal marsh; succulents), aljezar (chalky soil; only gipsofitos), blanquizar (pale, alkaline soil; light-coloured plants with thick skins) and roquedo (poor, thin soil; water-holding plants with special seeds).

PARQUE PERIURBANO CASTALA, BERJA

This forested park is situated on the southern slopes of the Sierra de Gador, in the western part of Almeria province. It is an old nursery belonging to the State Forestry. The trees are mostly Aleppo pines, and the park offers views to the Albufera de Adra Nature Reserve. Other plants include broom, esparto grass, rosemary and buckthorn.

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