Tourist Guide Of Almería

4 febrero 2010 a las 13:40 | Publicado en Cultura, English, Trabajos prácticos | 4 comentarios

ALMERÍA:

A TOURIST GUIDE FOR STUDENTS

INTRODUCTION.

Students from 1º Bachillerato level have been working enthusiastically on a class project about the town of Almería. As a result, they have published the following tourist guide, thought to be useful for students and young people in general visiting our town. They want to dedicate it to those British students from Longdendale School, Manchester (UK), who are coming soon for the Exchange Travel 2010 ( Feb 12th-17th). So, please read carefully and enjoy!

Javier Carrasco (Department of English)

HISTORY.

Almería has been an inhabited place since the Neolithic Age. The romans called it “Portus Magnus” (Big Harbour) and the arabs changed its name to ‘al-Mariyyāt Bayyāna’ (Bayyāna -town name- watchtower) in the 10th century. Then the name changed to al-Mariyyāt, and when the christian Catholic Monarchs conquered it in the 15th century it was called ‘Almería’.  Almeria has been strongly linked to the sea from the very beginning.

CLIMATE

Almería has one of the sunniest, warmest and driest climates in Europe. Almería enjoys about 3000 hours of sunshine annually with around 320 sunny days a year on average (6 hours of sun in January and 12 in August). Almería has an average annual temperature of around 19 °C (66 °F) and only 25-30 wet days a year on average. During the winter, daily maximum temperatures tend to stay around 14–20 °C (57–68 °F). During the warmest month – August, there are clear sunny skies and no rainfall.  This means that going swimming in the sea is possible at just about any time of the year.

MUSEUMS

In Almeria there are two impressive museums. You can see a lot of pictures and enormous galleries that contain art of various famous painters.

MUSEO DE ALMERIA

Created in 1933, It has turned into one of the most important museums of Almeria, of real cultural and historical value, in fact, in the decade of the 60’s its patrimony and the  building itself were rewarded. In the year 1995 it was re-opened, after having remained closed since the year 1991, due to problems in its structure. At present it is located in a modern building, whose construction has finished at the expense of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport.

CENTRO DE ARTE MUSEO DE ALMERÍA

It is located in a Neo-Mudejar style building, aesthetically similar to the Railway Station. It was built in 1927 from a project made by architect Guillermo Langle Rubio. Throughout the year, the “CAMA” organize temporary exhibitions of contemporary artists, although sometimes welcomes the works of great figures of art history. Its beautiful facilities are also occasionally used for conducting lectures, book presentations and other cultural activities.

SIGHTSEEING

La Alcazaba.

In Almería you can visit as well as the Alcazar, an enormous Moorish fortress that once rivalled the Alhambra in Granada for its gardens and palaces. Huge walls enclose the ruins of a mosque that later became a Christian chapel. The hilltop location offers quite a breathtaking, birdseye view of the port city and its surroundings. The castle dominates the city and sits in the hills towering over the Barrio de la Chanca area of Almeria, including the stunning gothic cathedral.

Cathedral

Almeria’s  cathedral is at the heart of the old part of the city and was rebuilt in 1524 to replace a predecessor wrecked by the earthquake in 1522. The architecture is a combination of Gothic and Renaissance, its fortress like appearance was due to constant raids by North African pirates. The north facade is an elaborate mid 16th century design by Juan de Orea.

The spacious interior has a Gothic ribbed ceiling and makes use of jasper and local marble in some of its baroque and neo-classical trimmings. The chapel behind the main altar contains the tomb of Bishop Villalan, founder of the cathedral, and is another work of de Orea, as are the choir with its stalls made out of walnut wood, and the Sacristia Mayor with its fine carved stone roof, windows and arches.

The English Cable

It was built in 1904 on the Almadrabillas beach. It is an example of the iron architecture from the beginning of the 20th century. This structure was used, over a long period of time, in the loading, transportation, storage and embarkation of minerals extracted from the Alquife iron mines in Granada. It was designed by a pupil of Eiffel, who built the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris.

“Zapillo” Sea Promenade

The promenade is next to the sea and goes from the Zapillo Beach to the University of Almería. It has several sections consisting of  the Zapillo, the Thermal and the Senior Citizen areas. The first section was inaugurated on 29 June, 1989. Today it is ten kilometres long. People love walking, jogging, roller-blading, etc., here.

FEASTS AND CELEBRATIONS

Almería Fair

The big celebration of the city is undoubtedly its fair, which takes place in the second fortnight of August in honor of the patron saint of Almeria, the Virgen del Mar. The show lasts 10 days and includes  these days highlights:

* Sports activities, among which include the petanque championship (outdoor yard sport) or swim races across the harbour.

* The Plaza de Toros de Almería, opened in 1889 and it´s famous for the large number of shawls that adorn Manila during the run and as the birthplace of the tradition of tea, which is between the third and fourth bull afternoon. The main events of the fair are:

* The Fair of the South. It has a great atmosphere of bars in the downtown where you can enjoy tapas, wine, women dressed in ruffled garments and unique Sevillian music.

* The fireworks, which take place at twelve o’clock  both Wednesday and Saturday nights .

*Equestrian activities.

* The People’s Pottery Fair. It´s typically comprised of potters from all over Spain and Portugal.

* Night at the fairgrounds, including a myriad of stalls, all free to enter, and there are also amusement rides.

Holy Week

As it happens in most Spanish towns and villages,  Jesus and the Virgin Mary sculptures are carried by people through the main streets during Holy Week. These sculptures are placed on especial richly adorned carriages called ‘pasos’, which are carried away on people´s shoulders as a sort of penitence. The most popular ‘pasos’ in Almería are:  ‘El Cristo del Perdón’, ‘Los Estudiantes” y ‘El Silencio’

The night of San Juan

June 23rd at midnight, is quite a magical night. Whole families, as well as groups of friends go to Playa del Zapillo y La Térmica to set ablaze many bonfires along the coast. When the clock strikes twelve people go to the sea to touch water with their feet or simply go swimming. It is said you won’t be lucky if you don’t do so. This is followed by fireworks, barbecues, music, and dancing last till the sun rises.

The Day of The Standard

The Day of the Standard is a festivity that is celebrated in the Spanish city of Almeria, on December 26th there being commemorated the capture of the city of Almeria on the part of the Kings Católicos, event that took place in the year 1489. The morning of this day, the town hall of the city celebrates a civic – religious act in which the Standard (banner that the Kings Católicos left in the city) becomes the centre of the ceremony. Normally, the Standard of the Kings is walked downtown to the Cathedral where a mass is celebrated in honour of the day´s happenings.

SHOPPING

In Almeria, you can find too many shops in differents places of the city where you can buy lots of things.

Here there are two main places to go: the Centro Comercial Mediterráneo “Alcampo” and too many shops downtown. Besides there are other large malls on the outskirts of the city and some towns.

The Centro Comercial Mediterraneo is located on the Mediterranean Avenue. In this shopping center you can find numerous cloth shops, home accessories, computers, sports, pet shop, places of entertainment like cinemas and amusement arcade, and a supermarket.

In the heart of the city there is a greater variety of shops like those mentioned above.

For those interested there are also shops for buying and selling second hand goods, having very interesting prices.

Near Almeria, in Roquetas de Mar(20km), on the road to Alicun, we find the shopping center called ‘Centro Comercial Gran Plaza’, similar to the Centro Comercial Mediterraneo.

There, we also find other popular shops as Worten, Leroy Merlin and Toys ‘R’ Us. There are other shopping areas with different types of shops in Huercal de Almeria(‘Paraje comercial La Cepa’) and in El Parador de Roquetas(‘Viapark’)

FOOD & DRINK

This section covers the wide range of various drinks and delicious foods available in Almeria

Almeria is a perfect city to spend a holiday. The capital and the surrounding areas give us a wide range of bars serving incredible ‘tapas’.  The heart of the city turns in summer into a space for leisure and  amusement where a lotof bars can be found. You can enjoy the noble ‘art of tapeo’ with captivation in their terraces. If you go to Almeria on vacation you cannot miss its gastronomy.

Have a seat and enjoy …

A dish quite notable  is the ‘pintarroja’.  It´s a kind of fish difficult to find in other zones of Spain. Monkfish,  mackerel and  octopus are equally delicious. Other local dishes are  migas (flour crumbs similar to couscous) , garlic soup, the fried fish, the ‘gurullos’(thick soup) or  potatoes ‘a lo pobre’.

-Now we will speak about the most outstanding restaurants of Almería:

RESTAURANTE LA GRUTA

(ALMERÍA)

Dishing out honour to its name, this restaurant is located in a natural cave.

Migas con remojón

It possesses a varied list of dishes where  roastings stand out.

RESTAURANTE LA TAHA

(CANJAYAR – ALMERIA) Located in one of the best zones of the village, it specializes  in traditional food from ‘Las Alpujarras’ a region on the slopes of Sierra Nevada, which belong both to Granada and Almería provinces. Excellent wines and delicious desserts are available.

RESTAURANTE EL ALMEJERO

(GARRUCHA –ALMERIA)

Founded 20 years ago The Almejero is a restaurant that only closes when

there is no fresh fish, and that only happens two or three days a year.

Trigo

RESTAURANTE  ‘EL POTRO’

HUERCAL DE ALMERIA (ALMERIA)

Ideal for big celebrations. Traditional food of Almería:  migas, arroz, fish, roastings.

-And now will we speak about tapas bars:

TABERNA POSTIGO

An ideal place to have a drink with  friends in the centre of Almeria.

The bar is small, but you can sit down at the outdoor tables. This is the advantage of the fine weather in Almeria throughout the year. The best things to try: roasted ribs or  melted cheese. Very well-known in Almeria.

LOS DOMÍNGUEZ BAR

The restaurant The Domínguez is the most classic  in El Zapillo found near  the Youth Hostel.

Jibia en salsa

It is always very crowded and that´s a good sign.  You can choose from fresh fish, meat with peppers, baked potatoes and the list goes on…

LA VIRGEN CHICA

Another popular bar with a long list of big tapas at  economic prices. You can eat well and save money. Ideal for students and young people. Also near  the Youth Hostel.

Jamón ibérico

NIGHTLIFE

In this section we will show you some ways of enjoying the night in Almeria. We will tell you about some bars and pubs that we consider important. We hope that this information will be useful for you. Just to set the record straight, we are not necessarily promoting any of these places below.

The first one is called Mae West. It is located at 10 Parque Nicolás Salmerón near the beach so it is a great place for summer. The music played is Spanish pop and Latin rhythms mixed up with the best hits of pop house music. Free salsa lessons are offered Mon. and Tues. nights and comedians perform their jokes on Wednesdays at 23 pm. In conclusion, the pub is quite entertaining for locals and travelers.

El Bicho (The Bug) is another pub near the beach too. It is said that is an excellent place to find love. It is not expensive at all and the atmosphere is young and fresh. Commercial music is played there and it opens earlier than other places so you can start your night tour  here. We suggest having some drinks at this pub before going anywhere else.

Las 4 calles (‘The 4 streets’) is an area that you can’t miss out. It is the historical centre of Almeria. It is filled with lights and people at night and it is the most recognized place to have tapas (very diverse snacks that are had along with a drink) and “cubatas” (spirits + soft drinks). This area is not so glamorous during the day since the old buildings surrounding the area are deteriorated. In order to get there you have to go through El Paseo, formerly described.

Cartabon is a classic pub of Almeria at night. The prices are normal and dance music is played all the time so that you can enjoy with your friends. If you want to drink some coffee in peace you should go there (1 Guzmán Street).

Caramelo (‘Sweet’):  the summer program of the famous disco Sweet that was so successful in the spring continues along the same lines of what hitherto had been carried out: you can have dinner while someone performs or sings for customers or just get down and boogie on the dancefloor on any regular night
12 San Francisco de Asis Street.

Geographic: it´s known for its concert hall. The problem is that it is a bit less economical but its late closing hours make up for its prices. Because of that, it is often packed. Young folks stay here until dawn at times.  Incredible but true! Go to 12 Marqués de Comillas Street if you want to find out.

Last but not least, is El Porrón (a long tubular glass normally used to drink  wine).  Situated in Las 4 calles, it is cheaper than other pubs and bars in Almeria.  Tapas and beer are found there. It is similar to El Bicho, you can choose either of them before going on a spree.

TRANSPORT

Almeria province is connected by land, sea and air. With its location,at one end of the Iberian Peninsula, it is not normally considered a transit city, but its opening to the sea and the airport contribute to making it an accessible province from inside and outside Spain.

By land, Almeria borders with Granada and Murcia. Motorway 92 comes from Granada, and links the province with the rest of Andalucia. From Murcia, the Mediterranean Highway circles the city and continues to the province of Granada and Malaga and runs parallel to the coast.

From the Almeria Intermodal Station there are departing bus coaches of companies like Alsa, Linebus, Ramon del Pino, or Bernado, that hold the shuttle service to all peoples of the province and the main Spanish cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Cordoba, Cadiz, Granada, Jaén, Málaga and Murcia.If we talk about the railroad, we must talk about the new station, which has become intermodal and that has risen alongside the old (a building of great architectural beauty), connects the province with Granada, Sevilla, Madrid and Barcelona.

By sea, in the province of Almeria there are some fishing ports as Adra, Roquetas, Carboneras and Garrucha, the latter also with important industrial movement. The main port is in the capital, even though it has always had an important fishing and industrial movement, in recent times tourism has risen to prominence. With regards to passenger transport, it maintains daily communication with parts of North Africa, Nador (Morocco) and Melilla.

However, most of the tourists who come to the coast and Almería city make it through the air, landing in the modern Almeria Airport from other points of the Spanish geography and northern and central Europe. Almería offers regular flights to Madrid, Barcelona and Melilla, apart from a significant number of charter trips.

GETTING AROUND

Although in the town you can see beautiful places, monuments and beaches, we think is around  Almería where you can see the most wonderful landscapes in the province.

In about 100 km you can see beaches that are as wonderful as those you see in magazines. You can also visit the mountains and go hiking or go picnic. And we’ve got the only desert in Europe called Tabernas.

Therefore, here are some of our suggestions the best places you can visit around Almería.

Beaches

-Los Muertos (Carboneras)

One of the most beautiful beaches in the province of Almería. Naturalist activities are allowed. To get to the beach it is necessary to cover 3 km from Carboneras crossing “Camino de Mesa Roldán” way. Then you will arrive at the parking lot, because access by car to the beach is prohibited. You can also go to the viewpoint in a few minutes, following a path.

– Genoveses and Mónsul (San José)

Genoveses Beach

These two are the best ones in “Cabo de Gata-Níjar” Natural Park.

To go there, you must take the road from San José to Cabo de Gata. After 2 kms you’ll see Genoveses  on the right, with its wonderful bay. Then, after 2 kms  the parking area of Mónsul appears on the left too. Too many films have been made in this beach. It is quite exotic.

Historical places

Los Millares

It was a town that was once possibly inhabited from around 2700 BC to 1800 BC,  in a period when the Andarax River was navigable from the sea.

To get to the historic settlement you must leave from Benahadux (a village in the outskirts of Almería) taking the A-348 road until the crossroad of Santa Fe and then you must take  N-324 road during 500 m, until you get to the information point of Los Millares.

Mountain Areas

Available accomodation:

Cottages in La Alpujarra

+Apartments “El Olmo”, “El Olivo”, “El cerezo” , “El manzano” in Fondón

For more information visit the web http://www.turismoalpujarra.es

+”Las Paratas del Faz” in Fiñana

It is a cottage for 10 people

For more information visit http://www.finanarural.es

There are many cottags in the area, you can find more information in the  web pages above and here http://www.escapadarural.es

Desert

“Mini Hollywood” Thematic Park

In the Desert of Tabernas, in Almería, the cinematographic settings of the 60’s Western movies,  have become a Thematic Park and a zoological reserve where you can witness life as it was on the wild frontier.

Trips

Boat trips, 4×4 trips and hiking.

+Boat trips around Natural Park “Cabo de Gata-Níjar”. A trip by the east coast of Almería, showing us the most beautiful places of the province.

+4×4 trips. You can choose one of the three routes. A route on the coast, inside  the Natural Park or a “Cinema route” where you can see more of the scenarios that appear in films like “Indiana Jones” or “Last Crusade”.

+Hiking. Caves Route, Minig Route and “Route of Stars” (You can see the most beautiful places at night)

For further information you should visit these web pages:

http://www.cabodegata-nijar.com

http://www.elcaboafondo.es

SPORTS

Handball

Handball is one of the most practised sports in Almería. These are the official teams:

– Keymare Almería: It was founded as a sports association in 1997. The first years they remained in Division B. In the season 2001/02 the team managed to compete for the first time in the Asobal League. In 2004/05,2005/06 and 2006/07 they remained in the Asobal league, until they dropped down in 2007/08 and from this day up to today they remain in the second division B.

– Vicar Goya: It was founded in the 80’s by Fernado Rey and Rafael Florido. It is a female team and  was created in 1986. In 1999, the team rose to the highest female category. In 2001, the women’s team obtained its first participation in Europe.

Basketball

The C. B. Almeria is the first entity in Almeria basketball history which has existed for more than forty years, since it was firstly founded.

In the second half of the sixties,they used to play in an outdoor court at the Rambla. This was the beginning for the team. After they then moved to other places: La Salle, the plazas of San Pedro, or Virgen del Mar. Later, when they reached second division, they got a covered court, the present Sport Center Rafael Florido, a former warehouse. Nowadays they belong to the “Adecco LEB Plata League” of the Spanish Basketball Federation.

VolleyBall

The best team in Almería is the Club Voleyball Almería or better known as Unicaja Almería. And here is a little summary of its history: The CV Almería Centre of the capital town is the oldest team and it was also winner of the Spanish men’s volleyball Cup. It has been competing for more than  20 years. At 1992-1993 season it was second in the league and the Cup, and between 2000 and 2005 they won six consecutive “Fantasy Cups”. .They  are sponsored by Unicaja Bank and have won 8 “Superliga” Cups, 4 Super Cups and 7 Cups. Moisés Ruiz was one of the first stars of the team.There is also a women team that has won some trophies and tournament, and the cadet men’s volleybal was runner-up at the Championship of Spain.

Football (Soccer)

There is a soccer team in Almería called UD Almería. It belongs to the most important Spanish League, the so-called BBVA League. It  is the only team of Almería  in the best league of Spain. It was founded in 1989 and has been in 1st division for  3 years, 7 years in 2nd group or division , 6 years in 2nd B  division and 2 years in 3rd group. If you visit the Mediterranean Games Stadium you will see the field where they play matches every two weeks versus such teams as Barcelona FC or Real Madrid.

MAPS

You can see in the following link a map with a “blue route” showing the way from the Youth Hostel to IES Alhadra School:

Look at the  map

And here is a link to the Bus #3 going from Youth Hostel to IES Alhadra School:

http://www.surbus.com/inicio.aspx?cat=0&id=3

Nightfall in Zapillo Beach

_______________________

AUTHORS

Museums: Juan Antonio Heredia, Miguel Segura, Jose´Manuel López-Joya.

Sightseeing: Ángeles Blanes, Macarena ramírez, Rocío González.

Feasts & Celebrations:  Rosa Dotes, Ana Morales.

Shopping: Mª Carmen Gómez, Rocio García, Lola Borde, Iván García.

Food & Drink: Patricia Aljarilla, Ainoha Guerrero, Salima Zakhini, Marta Segura.

Nightlife: Dolores Plaza, Mariana Sorroche, Manuel Lozano, Juán Avilés.

Transport: Yassine Bellagssouri, Ángela García, Fabio López,  Alexandru Stephanescu.

Getting Around: Loli García, Laura Salmerón, Paqui Vera, Lidia Montiel.

Sports: Hamza el Orfi, Francisco lópez, Pedro Fernández, Rubén Sola.

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