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Almeria is a beautiful city that sits in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It is a popular tourist destination, largely due to its famous fortress, La Alcazaba, which is the second-largest Arabic-influenced castle in Spain. The cathedral, the museum of Almeria, the Castle of San Cristobal and the thriving harbour attract thousands of tourists each year. Despite the city’s compact size, car rental in Almeria still provides the quickest access to many sites around town.
Who to Book With
There are about half a dozen rental companies found in the city centre. Fantastic discounts can be found online, so booking over the net before reaching Almeria is recommended. Some globally recognised rental firms operate within Almeria, including Avis and Europcar, as well as several local companies.
Best time to go
Almeria can be visited at any time of the year, as sunshine drenches this coastal town round the calendar. Nevertheless, the months of April through to September receive the highest amount of sunshine and the hottest temperatures. Rates tend to decrease between the months of December and February, but tourists need to be ready for cooler nights and higher rainfall in these winter months.
Need to Know Essentials
Renting a car in Almeria requires several documents:
- A national or international driving permit
- Passport ID for photo and address confirmation
- Booking confirmation number
- Credit card used to make the reservation
Almeria’s downtown roads and streets are generally well-maintained, but many are very winding and narrow, so drivers have to be careful when travelling through the centre of town. Parking in the heart of Almeria is also not easy to find. Due to the hilly terrain outside the centre, getting around by car on the outskirts is recommended. Some of the highways, such as the N-344 and AP-7, are free-flowing most of the time, making it easy for tourists to get out of Almeria on a whim.
The old town quarter and main attractions around Almeria can mostly be explored on foot. However, the town does become rather hilly in some areas, although there are several public transport options to choose from. There are regional trains available, but Almeria does not have a public metro network. Instead, buses and taxis are the main forms of transportation in town. Car hire is widely used for getting outside the central zone of Almeria.
Most of the taxis operating in Almeria are available through private companies. Although taxis are more expensive than the buses, the city of Almeria is not an overly extensive town, so prices will not by astronomical. Most taxi companies require telephone bookings, but this means tourists can request the type of vehicle needed, such as a sedan, van or spacious wagon. Radio Taxi Almeria is a tried and tested cab company within the town, as is Tele-Taxi Almeria.
For the cheapest public transport available, the buses serving Almeria cannot be beaten. There is no single public network of buses in the town. Instead, several private companies operate routes across Almeria. Estacion Intermodal is the largest bus station in Almeria, and not surprisingly, most routes that connect the suburbs and outskirts of town radiate from this hub. The inner-city of Almeria tends to be well connected by buses, but services become rather lean in the outer-areas of the town. Most of the bus routes in Almeria are managed by ALSA.
Andalusia’s beautiful sites are only a short drive from Almeria, making this town the ideal base for exploring the region. Over the past decade, roads leading to and from Almeria have improved significantly, meaning daytrips are now easier than ever when driving. Tourists should explore the beauty of cities like Almunecar, and take in natural landmarks such as the Sierra Nevada National Park when holidaying here.
Sierra Nevada National Park - only 50 miles from the heart of Almeria, the park offers tourists a fantastic day out. Hiking during the summer, skiing during the winter and plenty of other outdoor attractions await tourists throughout the year in this park. Several peaks within the park reach higher than 3,000m.
Almunecar - Located on the Mediterranean coast, some 60 miles to the west of Almeria. Visitors can enjoy a daytrip here to see the Roman aqueduct, the Castle of San Miguel and an incredible old town. Playa de Invierno, Almunecar’s main beach, is also worth visiting.
Cartagena - home to a historical blend of cultures, Cartagena boasts a wide variety of historical attractions. Roman architecture, such as the Roman Theatre, neo-classical architecture like the impressive Town Hall, and nearby beaches, add to the spectacle of this city. It sits along the coast to the north of Almeria, within an hour’s drive along the AP-7 highway.