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Almeria

Almeria is a city in the south of Spain in Andalusia. The city derives its name from the Arabic term al-Mariya (mirror of the sea). Almeria is also the capital of the province of Almeria. The city made a rapid tourist development in the last century.

The Alcazaba of Almeria is one of the largest in Spain, after the Alhambra in Granada after. The Alcazaba was built in 995 by the Caliph of Córdoba. The building consists of three walled courtyards. In the second yard you will see the remains of an old mosque. The Alcazaba was expanded in the 11th century by Caliph Al-Mansur.

The Cathedral of Almeria is definitely worth a visit. The cathedral was built in 1524 and represents a combination of Gothic and Renaissance styles. The building resembles a fort due to the incursions of pirates from North Africa. The interior is decorated with a large amount of jasper and marble. The chapel behind the choir contains the tomb of Bishop Villalan, the originator of the construction of the cathedral.

When you are in Almeria, also bring a visit to the Cabo de Gata. It is the largest protected coastal area of Andalusia and is of volcanic origin. The rugged mountains and rocky landscape is one of Europe's most remarkable geological areas. The Sierra de Gata is the largest volcanic rock formation of Spain, with sharp peaks and ocher cliffs. At the coast the jagged cliffs rise steeply up from the sea intersected by ravines and gullies leading to secluded coves with white sand beaches. Off the coast there are also many small, rocky islands and submerged reefs rich with marine life.

One of the most charming squares of the city is the Plaza del Bendicho. Have a walk over the square and through the Nicolas Salmeron Park and along the promenade and enjoy the panoramic views of the port.

The beaches of Almeria are of excellent quality for those who love the sun and the sea. Do not forget the previous mentioned Cabo de Gata for there are wonderful private beaches as well.

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