Almeria Province - Inland Almeria

Much of the interior of Almeria province is semi-arid steppe. It is a parched, lunar landscape of low, mostly barren mountains and dried-up river beds, like a scene from the North American Wild West and it´s no surprise that this is where many spaghetti westerns were shot. You can visit Mini Hollywood, near Tabernas, a former film set where A Fistful of Dollars and many other westerns were made, or the two other Wild West theme parks in the area: Texas-Hollywood and Western Leone.

Two sections of this desert in particular have exceptional geological features: the Karst en Yesos de Sorbas Natural Area, the most outstanding gypsum landscape in Spain, and the strangely eroded mountains of the Desierto de Tabernas Natural Area. Set against a rugged backdrop of the Sierra Alhamilla Natural Area, south of Sorbas, is the village of Níjar, famous for its earthenware ceramics that it has been producing since Phoenician times, using the same primitive techniques.

Southwest of Tabernas is Los Millares, Europe´s largest Bronze Age settlement. West of Los Millares is Almeria´s section of the Sierra Nevada National Park. Láujar de Andarax is the main centre for the Sierra Nevada in this province and has a park information centre.

Tucked away in the little-visited northern corner of the province is the Sierra María-Los Vélez Natural Park, a surprisingly extensive wooded area, given the otherwise arid aspect of Almeria´s territory, where there are some superb walks. The two main towns in the park - Vélez Rubio and Vélez Blanco - are well worth a visit, particularly the latter for its original castle and Cueva de los Letreros with prehistoric rock paintings.

Villages

Almanzora Almería Alpujarra
From the Macael marble quarries, one of the most well-known villages in this area, comes the marble used to construct monuments such as the Mezquita de Córdoba and the Monasterio del Escorial.
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Its small and typically Muslim villages are a favourite with lovers of rural tourism and adventure sports such as climbing, hiking and cross-country skiing.
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Filabres-Sierra Alhamilla Inland Villages
In this area, visitors will find the Tabernas desert, the only desert zone in the whole of Europe, and the Calar Alto observatory, one of the few astronomical observatories to exist in Spain. More >
These villages are further inland many situated in protected areas such as the Sierra de María-Los Vélez Natural Park.
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Parks

Cueva de los Letreros Desierto de Tabernas
The prehistoric cave paintings of the Cueva de los Letreros are spectacular, they can be found 3km out of the town of Velez Rubio.
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Sandwiched between the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, Gador, Filabres and Alhamilla is one of the most dramatic landscapes in Spain.
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Sierra Alhamilla Natural Area Sierra María-Los Vélez
Only 15km northeast of Almeria city is this largely barren and rugged 8,500ha mountain range, designated a protected natural area in 1989.
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Designated a natural park in 1987, the Sierra María-Los Vélez occupies the eastern end of the Cordillera Subbética in the north of Almeria province.
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Sierra Nevada National Park Yesos de Sorbas Natural Area
The Sierra Nevada is a dramatic, rugged and extensive mountain range, the highest in Europe after the Alps.
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Like the nearby Desierto de Tabernas Natural Area, this is a dramatically eroded lunar landscape of semi-arid desert.
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