Almeria, the sunny one at a very soft price
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 extends over 219 km. Almeria attracts every year 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 real estate prices: discover them in our article. An ideal city to spend your retirement there! To buy in Spain at low prices and in the sun, it is in Almeria.
ALMERIA IS 340 DAYS OF SUNSHINE A YEAR
Almeria is the capital of the province of Almería (8800 km2) in Andalusia. It is a very extensive coastal city (296 km2). It is bordered by the Gador mountain (Sierra de Gador) to the west. To the north by the Alhamilla mountain (Sierra Alhamilla).
To the east by a large plain that culminates at the peak of Cabo de Gata, located in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park. And to the south by the opening to a large bay.
Almeria has a semi-arid climate on the edge of a hot desert climate. This type of climate, in Europe, is only found in this coastal region. With 340 days of sunshine per year, Almeria holds the European record for sunshine.
Total rainfall does not exceed 200 mm. For comparison, Paris = 640 mm, Brussels = 785 mm and Geneva = 935 mm. The average annual temperature is 19º ranging from 13º in January to 27º in August.
The 3 km of coastline in the urban part of the city are mainly made up of fine sandy beaches (San Miguel, Zapillo and Nueva Almería).
AL-MARIYATA, “THE WATCHTOWER”.
The cave paintings and other artifacts found in the Nerja Caves, famous in the archaeological world as the “prehistoric cathedral”, testify that the area has been inhabited since the early Neolithic period (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 (Great Port). The city was then occupied by the Vandals, Visigoths and Byzantines. Then the Arabs, who named it Al-Mariyat (“the watchtower” or “the watchtower”), hence the origin of its name Almeria. In 955, the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Rahman III had a citadel, the Alcazaba, built there. The city prospered thanks to its port, which became 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 Córdoba), 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 was marked by two wars and an occupation that led to the economic decline of the city. Reconquered a decade later by the Almohads, it was incorporated into the kingdom of Granada a century later. Finally, the Catholic Monarchs conquered it in 1489. And from a commercial port with Africa, it became a coastal city threatened by barbarian pirates. It was then abandoned by trade with the Americas, of which Seville and its port Cadiz had a monopoly.
Almeria has regained prosperity in the last 20 years with the development of tourism and greenhouse agriculture (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 walls, built from 955), the Cargadero de Mineral also known as Cable Inglés (an old mineral terminal dating from 1902), its cathedral built in 1524, and its archaeological museum inaugurated in 2006.
About 30 kilometers to the north is the Tabernas Desert, the only arid desert on the European continent. Dozens of series, documentaries, films and westerns (the spaghetti westerns) have made it famous all over the world. They were filmed there because of its similarities with the North American Wild West type deserts. But also with North Africa and Arab deserts, or 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 Natural Park of Cabo de Gata-Nijar is the other natural asset of the region: It occupies 29.000 ha of the western part of the Gulf of Almeria and was declared Natural Park in 1987. Its geological, ecological, historical, anthropological and landscape richness along 63 kilometers of coastline makes it one of the most protected natural areas in Spain. The park was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1997.
Less than 50 km away 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 enjoy migas, mashed ajo colorao, tapas cherigan, gurullos with rabbit, snails or cuttlefish, garlic fillets, cream of white garlic, cod with tomato, etc..
AIRPORT ACCESS AND PORT LINKS WITH AFRICA
Almeria has an international airport with a 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.
Malaga airport (20 million passengers) is a 2-hour drive away.
Almeria is also connected to Morocco and Algeria by ferry links: Nador (Morocco) is 4 hours away, Oran (Algeria) is 8 hours away.
REAL ESTATE AT VERY ACCESSIBLE PRICES
Real estate prices in Almeria are among the lowest on the Mediterranean coast with an average of 1200 €/m2 at purchase. In the rural non-coastal part, prices are even closer to €1000. When renting, it is necessary to count about 6 €/m2: for an apartment of 100 m2, the monthly rent will be 600 €.
In urban areas, the closer you get to the sea, the higher the prices are, up to 1800 €/m2.
About 3000 properties are for sale, of which one fifth are detached or semi-detached houses.
Also in the municipality of Almeria, it is worth noting the new coastal urbanization of El Toyo located 13 km east of the center of Almeria at the border of the Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Níjar, where prices are 1700 €/m2. It was built in 2005 to be used as a host village for the athletes of the Mediterranean Games.
El Toyo has been designed with numerous green spaces, bicycle paths, terraces and a golf course. The urbanization consists of low-rise buildings, with residential areas equipped with private swimming 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 composed of villas owned by the Almerians who use them as second homes.
Almeria is the only example on the Mediterranean coast where there hasn’t been a high inflation of selling prices in recent years: 1700 €/m2 in 2011, 1400 € in 2013, 1200 € in 2016, 1150 € in 2018 and a little less than 1200 €/m2 in 2019. So take advantage of it, we can still make very good deals in Almeria in 2020!