There are many different types of attractions in the area around the villa including the beaches, the old towns, water theme park, spaghetti western Hollywood sets and, for skiing in the winter, the Sierra Nevada is not too far away.
Just a 10 minute drive from the villa, separated by the Rio des Antas, are the glorious beaches of Vera Playa to the north and Mojácar to the south.
There is a mixture of both commercial beaches and quiet natural beaches all along the coast and it is worth taking a drive to explore.
The coastal area around Vera is a long stretch of grey-golden sandy beach. The southern stretch has all the facilities for the family. An area to the north of the beach is one of the best official naturist beaches in Europe and is over 2½kms long.
The coastal area around Mojácar is also a long stretch of grey-golden sand and has a number of named beaches. The playa at Castillo de Macenas is in a nice natural surrounding and not very busy. In contrast, the playa at Cueva del Lobo, in the Pueblo Indalo resort, has many facilities and has been given the Blue Flag award.
Almeria is a lively and modern city that co-exists with the old historical town. There are a good selection of art galleries, museums and shops. La Rambla, in the centre of the city, is a long avenue populated with squares, street cafes and children’s play areas.
The city has been influenced by many civilizations having been home to the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs and Christians during its history. The Cathedral of Almeria is in the old part of the city. It is heavily fortified having been built in the 16th century when the area was being raided by pirate forces from Turkey and North Africa. Its corner towers once held cannons to protect the port of the city. The architecture has both gothic and renaissance influences and inside is a wealth of priceless artwork.
The Alcazaba fortress, with its three walled enclosures, dates back to 955 and has a great view over the Cathedral in the heart of the old town. In times of war, the Alcazaba could hold an army of more than 20,000 men. The Alcazaba dominates the city and is the main reminder of when Almeria was a major port that grew wealthy on trade and the textile and silk industry.
For the more adventurous, you can take a trip to North Africa from the bustling ferry terminal.
Mojácar town is perched high on a hill with white washed houses, cool courtyards and cobbled streets overlooking the sea and long sandy beaches and is about 25 minutes from the villa.
Mojácar has a long, multi-faceted history which stretches over 4000 years. Populated by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, and Moors, it still remains an intersection of many cultures. It was under Moorish rule that Mojácar really began to flourish, when the castle was built and the town walls were expanded and fortified.
Parque Acuatico, Vera Playa
Parque Acuatico is by the beach in Vera Playa on the road between Garrucha and Villaricos, about 20 minutes from the villa.
It provides all the normal water park thrills including kamikaze, adventure river, tube slides, wave pool, amongst others, and for the little ones the infant pool. There are also other attractions such as mini-golf, mini-park and amusement arcades.
There are plenty of sunbeds and shades and a restaurant and bar – a great day out for all the family!
Mini Hollywood is an area located in the desert of Tabernas, Almeria, the only desert in Europe. It’s unique landscapes provided the backdrops for historic legendary films such as ‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’. It was the spaghetti western location for Hollywood cinema for two decades, in the 1960s and 70s and is where the famous Sergio Leone movies were made. Hundreds of celebrities and actors left their footprints here, such as Clint Eastwood, Brigitte Bardot, Anthony Quinn, Sean Connery, Raquel Welch and Orson Wells.
There are three independent sites that are open for visitors; the Oasys Theme Park, Fort Bravo and Western Leone. All of them offer a variety of the American Wild West attractions and some of them are still being used as film locations.
Bullfighting is the national sport of Spain. It is a ritual; a ceremony that is carried out in carefully prearranged steps, as called for by tradition.
There are 13 bullrings in Almeria and shows are put on a various times, normally once a month per ring. You will need to keep your eye out for posters along the roadside. The closest to the villa, the Vera Bullring, was originally built in 1879 and later restored in keeping with the old style in 1993. It is situated on the outskirts of Vera on the road to Garrucha and is also home to a museum of bullfighting.
Cabo de Gata Natural Park
The Cabo de Gata Natural Park is 71,500 acres of natural landscape and has been protected since 1987. It is volcanic in origin and has an annual average rainfall of only 100mm making it the driest place in Europe. Despite this, it supports a great variety of flora and fauna, adapted to the arid, salty environment.
Cabo de Gata offers much to visitors. The volcanic hills form dramatic cliffs and capes, the backdrop to beautiful, uncrowded beaches such as Genoveses Beach in San José. Within the park and along the coast are scattered settlements of white-washed, flat roofed houses. It is possible to walk the 61km from Retamar, round the southern tip of the cape, then north-east to Agua Amarga, although in summer the lack of shade could make it uncomfortable.
The mountain range of the Sierra Nevada, meaning “snowy range”, is in the region of Andalusia in Spain and, at 3,478m (11,411ft), contains the highest point of continental Spain. It is Europe’s southern-most skiing resort.
In the summer the Sierra Nevada provides good walking country and in the winter there’s the skiing. It’s about a 2-hour drive from the villa.
Neighbouring Mojacar to the north is Garrucha where you will find Karting Garrucha. This go-kart facility has 2 tracks; a 400m track for adults and a 200m track for children. There is a selection of go-karts with different size engines, so you will find one suitable for your experience.
There is ample parking, a bar/cafeteria and an amusement arcade and they also cater for birthday parties.