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Almeria's skies are the clearest in Europe, therefore Europe's most powerful telescope is located near Gergal.

With an average of 3000 hours of annual sunshine, Almeria is also home to Europe's largest solar energy plant, the Solar Platform of Almeria [PSA], an EU solar energy research centre.

You can peer over the wire fence and marvel at the rows of futuristic heliostats refelecting the sun's rays into the towering solar oven and many other devices for turning the sun's energy into electricity.


 

A little further to the north of Mojacar is the naturist beach at Vera, where there are a number of new holiday complexes

West of Almeria city are the highly developed modern tourist resorts of
Aguadulce and Roquetas de Mar.

Roquetas de Mar, "the little rocks of the sea", is a purpose-built resort, popular with couples and families.

It has lots of open-air bars and cafes, plus some discos and has seen rapid expansion over the last 20 years.

It also has the advantage of being on flat ground, so it is ideal for strolling and bicycle riding. Flamingos can be seen near the salt lagoons of Las Marinas 4 km south of Roquetas.

There is a splendid yachting marina at Aguadulce, which is a busy resort, popular with Spanish people and a favourite with youngsters.

Further west along the coast is the purpose-built, fast-developing, tourist resort of Almerimar, on the edge of natural parkland. It has yachting marinas, a golf course, large modern hotels and many other tourism facilities.

Travelling even further west towards the Costa Tropical and Costa del Sol, you come to the the fishing port of Adra, sometimes missed by tourists on the coastal motorway.

Villaricos is a charming small town 10 km from the lively fishing harbour of La Garrucha.

Villaricos has a strong fishing community and several unspoilt beaches. The surrounding countryside is stunning.

Inland from the Costa Tropical are the impressive mountains of the Sierra Nevada and, just to their west, the historic jewel of Andalucia, the city of Granada.

Granada is the location of the famed, magnificent Alhambra Palace.

The word Alhambra is Arabic for "the red", due to the red clay used to construct it.

If any historic location is worth visiting in the whole of Spain, it is the very large, superbly ornate, Alhambra Palace on a hill overlooking the city of Granada.

This is a tremendous legacy left over from the Moorish rulers of Spain.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fantastic must-see tourist attraction.

The palace is currently a museum exhibiting exquisite Islamic
architecture and is visited by people from all over the world. It is well worth the coach trip from the Costa de Almeria or Costa del Sol to get to the Alhambra.

The city of Almeria also has an interesting vast Moorish citadel.

This is the Alcazaba Castle on a hill overlooking Almeria.

The city has many interesting historic monuments and a Gothic Cathedral. It also has great, authentic tapas bars!

Almeria is also the location of the airport serving Costa Almeria.

There are other airports at Granada to the north west and Malaga to the west along the coast. The latter largely serves the Costa del Sol and is consequently a very busy airport.

Due to the constant sunshine, Almeria is one of the most productive agricultural areas in Europe, with more than 10,000 hectares of fruit, vegetables and flowers grown mainly in plastic greenhouses, or "invernaderos", largely between Almeria city and Granada, using irrigation water from the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada
behind the coast.

Costa Almeria is much quieter than the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca and well-worth considering as a holiday destination.