In the far Southeastern corner of the Iberian peninsula is this sun-baked province, with the highest hours of sunshine and lowest rainfall in Europe. Given Almeréa's climate, it´s no surprise that much of the province is comprised of semi-arid desert-like landscape. Due to the dry weather, much of this area is a sparsely populated wilderness.
Almeréa´s skies are also some of the clearest in Europe, Europe´s most powerful telescope has been installed here, near Gergal in the Sierra Alhamilla mountain range with an annual average of 3,000 hours of sunshine, it is also home to one of Europe´s largest solar energy plants, the Solar Platform of Almeréa.
|Exotic landsacpe of inland Almeréa|
This hot climate and the natural protective barrier of the Sierra de Gádor also means that Almeréa coast is one of the most productive agricultural zones in Europe for fruit, vegetables and flowers. This intensive agriculture means that a good chunk of the coastal territory is under wraps, swathed in field after field of ugly plastic greenhouses. Fortunately, an equally sizeable area of the Costa Almeréa has protected status as one Andalucia´s most outstanding wildlife areas and its largest coastal reserve, the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park.
The provincial capital and port of Almeréa city is overlooked by a vast, sprawling Moorish citadel, the Alcazaba. Also well worth exploring is Almeria´s old town, peppered with interesting monuments, including a cathedral with an impressive Gothic interior, a 300-year-old hospital and great tapas bars.