Almeria, in Andalusia, is the sunniest city in Europe and one of the cheapest in real estate!
This small provincial town is the capital of the coast of the same name which stretches for 219 km. Almeria annually attracts tens of thousands of European tourists who take advantage of the mild climate, the cultural and natural assets of the region, its gastronomy and the beautiful beaches of the coast. Almeria is also one of the cities on the Spanish coast with the lowest property prices: find out in our article. An ideal city to spend your retirement! Buy in Spain at a low price and in the sun, it’s in Almeria.
ALMERIA; 340 DAYS OF SUN A YEAR
Almeria is the capital of the province of Almeria (8,800 km2) in Andalusia. It is a very extensive coastal city (296 km2). It is bounded by Mount Gador (Sierra de Gador) to the west. To the north by the Alhamilla mountain (Sierra Alhamilla). To the east by a large plain that rises to the peak of Cabo de Gata, located in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar natural park. And to the south by opening onto a large bay.
Almeria has a semi-arid climate bordering on a hot desert climate. This type of climate in Europe is only found in this coastal region. With 340 days of sunshine a year, Almeria holds the European record for sunshine. Total precipitation does not exceed 200 mm. For comparison, Paris = 640 mm, Brussels = 785 mm and Geneva = 935 mm. The average annual temperature is 19º varying from 13º in January to 27º in August.
The 3 km of coastline of the urban part of the city are essentially made up of fine sand beaches (San Miguel, Zapillo and Nueva Almeria)
AL-MARIYATA, “THE WATCHTOWER”
The cave paintings and other artifacts discovered in the caves of Nerja, famous in the archaeological world under the name of “prehistoric cathedral”, testify that the region has been inhabited since the early Neolithic times (6,000 B.C.).
On the site of the existing Almeria, a small town already existed in Antiquity, founded by the Carthaginians. Scipio the African took it and renamed it Portus Magnus (Grand Harbor). The Vandals, the Visigoths and the Byzantines then occupied the city. Then by the Arabs, who named it Al-Mariyat (“the watchtower”) hence the origin of its name Almeria. In 955, the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Rahman III built a citadel there, the Alcazaba. The city flourished thanks to its port, which has become an important commercial link with Africa.
The fantastic Alcazaba, the largest citadel built by the Arabs in Spain, dominates the city.
After the fall of the Umayyads of Al-Andalus (Umayyads of Cordoba), the city became the seat of Taifa kingdoms (Emirates). Then it was taken over by the Almoravids. The city was conquered in 1147 by Alfonso VII, king of Castile. This period marked by two wars and an occupation started the economic decline of the city. Recaptured ten years later by the Almohads, it was integrated into the kingdom of Granada a century later. Finally, the Catholic Monarchs conquered it in 1489. Landings and attacks by Berber pirates were also frequent in the 16th century, and continued until the early 18th century. It was then abandoned, since trade with the Americas was going through Seville, and its port Cadiz.
Almeria has returned to prosperity for 20 years with the development of tourism and agriculture under greenhouses (invernaderos).
CULTURE AND NATURE
The city of Almeria has 200,000 inhabitants and the Province 710,000 inhabitants.
Culturally, the city is famous for the citadel of the Alcazaba (Muslim fortress with three enclosures, built in 955), the Cargadero de Mineral also known as Cable Inglés (an old ore terminal dating from 1902), its cathedral built in 1524, and its archaeological museum inaugurated in 2006.
Thirty kilometers to the north is the Tabernas Desert, the only arid desert on the European continent. Dozens of series, documentaries, films and westerns (spaghetti westerns) have made him famous around the world. They were filmed there because of its similarities to North American deserts of the Wild West type. But also with the north of Africa and the Arabian deserts, or the lunar landscapes. Among the films and series shot in the Tabernas Desert: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Conan the Barbarian, Lawrence of Arabia, Patton, The Revenant and… Game of Thrones.
The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park is the other natural asset of the region: It occupies 29,000 hectare of the western part of the Gulf of Almería and was declared a Natural Park in 1987. Its geological, ecological, historical and anthropological richness and landscaped on 63 kilometers of coastline makes it one of the most protected natural spaces in Spain. The park was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1997.
Within 50 km there are also 3 of the most beautiful villages in Spain: Mojacar, Lucainena de las Torres and Níjar.
Almeria was designated in 2019 the Spanish capital of gastronomy. With a culinary offer based on 3 main ingredients: olive oil, fish and vegetables. Come and savor the migas, the ajo colorao puree, the cherigan tapas, the rabbit, snail or cuttlefish gurullos, the garlic fillets, the white garlic cream, the tomato cod, etc..
AIRPORT ACCESS AND PORT CONNECTIONS WITH AFRICA
Almeria has an international airport with traffic of one million passengers in 2019. The main connections are with Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Palma de Mallorca, Melilla, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Düsseldorf and Brussels.
2 hours’ drive away is Malaga airport (20 million passengers).
Almeria is also connected to Morocco and Algeria by sea links provided by ferries: Nador (Morocco) is 4 hours away, Oran (Algeria) at 8 hours.
REAL ESTATE AT VERY ACCESSIBLE PRICES
Real estate prices in Almeria are among the lowest on the Mediterranean coast with an average of € 1,200 / m2 to buy. In the non-coastal rural part, prices are even closer to € 1,000. For rental, it takes about 6 € / m2: for an apartment of 100 m2, the monthly rent will therefore be 600 €.
In urban areas, the closer you get to the sea, the higher the prices, up to € 1,800 / m2.
Around 3,000 properties are for sale, a fifth of which are single-family or semi-detached houses.
Also in the town of Almeria, note the new coastal urbanization of El Toyo located 13 km east of Almeria center at the edge of the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, where prices are at 1,700 € / m2. It was built in 2005 to be used as a host village for the athletes of the Mediterranean Games. El Toyo was designed with many green spaces, cycle paths, terraces and a golf course. The urbanization consists of low-rise buildings, with residential areas equipped with private pools and gardens, around the 18-hole golf course. In the area closest to the beach there are several four-star hotels and dining areas. Close to El Toyo, the urbanization of Retamar is a residential area made up of villas belonging to the Almerians who use them as second homes.
Almeria is the only example of the Mediterranean coast where there has not been a high inflation of sale prices in recent years: € 1,700 / m2 in 2011, € 1,400 in 2013, € 1,200 in 2016, € 1,150 in 2018 and just under € 1,200 / m2 in 2019. So take advantage, we can still do very good business in Almeria in 2020!
If you wish to acquire a property in Almeria, we are at your disposal.
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© buyinghomespain.com – January 2020 – Almeria, the sunshine at very low prices
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