The weather is quickly warming up in southern Spain. Given this, I (Radhi) planned a quick two-day trip down to the coast in Almería with friends visiting from the U.S. Most locals recommend a visit to the beaches of Cabo de Gata but no one said anything about visiting Almería the city. In the end I found a great hotel deal in the historic center so we opted for a quick day-trip to the beach, with the rest of our time spent in town.
Our first day we went directly to Playa de Los Genoveses near San Jose in Cabo de Gata Natural Park. The weather was windy but sunny and the kids enjoyed watching the kite and wind surfers. This felt like an introductory trip for us and we will definitely be back. The beaches are very natural which means no facilities, nor food so go prepared.
After the beach we drove the 45-minutes back to our centrally located hotel in Almería. From there we were able to enjoy several nice tapas restaurants within easy walking distance. Our favorite was Casa Puga. Inside was a newspaper clip hanging on the wall that suggested this bar may be the oldest in all of Andalusia.
We started with a few great tapas including havas con jamón (fava beans cooked with cured ham), alcachofas (artichokes), and lomo a la plancha (grilled pork loin). The food was so good that the kids ate it too quickly for me to take any pictures. Our only mistake was not staying at the bar and continuing to order from the tapas menu. We opted to sit at a table for our meal, then realized that the table menu was quite different from the tapas menu. The food was good but the tapas were better. Next time I’m staying at the bar and sticking with the tapas menu.
The second day started with a stroll through the streets near our hotel. We made our way up the hill to the Alcazaba. Coming from Granada, home of the world famous Alhambra, our expectations were set low. That being said, the Alcazaba proved to be a pleasant surprise. Admission was free and the fort has a nice view of city along with some wonderfully restored gardens.
We finished off our visit to Almería with a stop at a kids park that we found driving around the prior day. The park, aptly named Parque de las Familias, is located at the southwest corner of Avenida del Mediterráneo and Calle Antonio Muñez Zamora. It looks to have been completed in late 2014 and ranks up there as one of the best kids parks that we’ve ever visited. There were multiple large climbing structures built for our older children, wonderful fountains and gardens planted throughout. Plus a bouncy house floor built right into the ground which made for some fun aerial acrobatics by the neighborhood teenagers.
Our kids really enjoyed the park and since it was close to the water we also got in a bit more beach time before we made the couple hour drive home to Granada.
I would recommend a stop in Almería if you are headed to Cabo de Gata or other beaches in the area. The park and Alcazaba are likely hot during the day in the warmer months so plan accordingly.