What to do in Almeria to avoid getting bored on the beach.

With budget airlines Ryanair flying to Spain’s coastal city of Almeria from London Stansted and Easy Jet from London Gatwick, it has become an attractive destination for Brits looking for sun, sea and sand. Indeed, the mild winter weather keeps its promenade buzzing all year round, with seafront cafés and restaurants serving the Andalusian specialty of delicious fried fish and more. It’s far more laid back than the Costa del Sol, drawing those in search of family fun rather than wild partying.

Of the beaches close to town, the San Miguel Las Conchas and Nueva Almeria beaches are popular and the El Toyo resort offers a golf course, plenty of hotels and other facilities. If you prefer to get away from the crowds, try the Cabo de Gata to the south east of Almeria, famous for its unspolit coastline and attractive coves.

The Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park created in 1987, is the first terrestrial - marine park in Andalusia made up of 38,000 hectares of dry land and 12,000 hectares of land under water, which provides some great scuba diving and snorkelling. There are no towns around, just a few small villages.

Must-stops in town include the city’s Catedral de la Encarnación, rebulit in 1522 after it was destroyed by an earthquake, the Alcazaba, a Moorish fortress dating back to the 10th century and the Cable Inglés, a port loading bay built at the turn of the last century in iron following the Gustave Eiffel school.

Almeria province is also home to Europe's only desert which is a major tourist attraction because of the hundreds of Spaghetti westerns filmed there as well as Lawrence of Arabia, Never Say Never Again and Raiders of the Lost Ark. A Film Museum has recently opened, which makes for an interesting visit.

So remember when you book your flight to Almeria, the sand is not only on the beach! Make sure you take some time to see what the region has to offer.

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