Almeria Coast - Levante

This stretch of coast covers a wide strip of land between the limits of the Cabo Gata Nijar Natural Park and the provincial border with Murcia.

Carboneras, with its 16th century Castle of San Andres, is a typical Mediterranean town, clean and tidy, and which is experiencing a growth of tourism. The arquitecture of the developments by the sea recalls once more the areas Arab past, with dazzlingly-white cube-shaped buildings finished off with half-spheres, all set against the intense blue of the Mediterranean. This whole area reflects the indalica culture. Close by the town, on the beach at el Algarrobico, the locals still recall the Arab village built by David Lean to represent Aquaba, Jordan, for the filming of Lawrence of Arabia. Yet again, the magical light of Almeria worked its effects, and for a few days this land was home to great stars of the screen, such as Peter OToole, Omar Shariff, Alec Guiness and Anthony Quinn.

From this point onwards, and moving out of the Nijar area, the road rises among the cliffs, to then drop down to Sopalmo and Agua del Medio. Soon, the charming image of the Castle of Mecenas appears before our eyes as a predule to the wide beach populated with tourist developments, some which stretch up into the Sierra Cabrera. This is Mojacar-Playa, a tourist explosion where everything is possible, from the least imaginable wtaersports to dinning on exquisite fish dishes, from the most outrageous dances in one the fashionable discos to the simple peace and quiet of relaxing among the find golden sands of the beach. Overlooking all this from ots watchtower or atalaya, the village of Mojacar is situated in the foothills of the Sierra Cabrera. It is actually quite difficult to find two streets at the same level in this beautiful, ancient town, with its clear Arab past. A past which stretches back to before the times of Al-Andalus, and even the Spain of the Romans and Iberians. This one of the points of entry for the first settlers of south east Andalusia. Mojacar should be visited without hurrying, to fill our senses with its strong personality which has caused such a deep impression on many foreign visitors, especially the English, many of whom came here, became attracted, and stayed.

The end of the Sierra Cabrera opens out on to a fertile valley which is home to villages such as Cortijo Grande, with its golf course, Cabrera (set up high upon a mountaint), Bedar and Turre (with a very special centre and archaeological remains close by), and further inland, the magical landscapes of the Karst and Yesos de Sorbas Natural Site.

This valley, known as the Valle del Bajo Almanzora, has clearly defined personality, very different from the neighbouring area of Campos de Nijar.

Up to the southern limits with Murcia, a number of villages with tourist developments can be found. Garrucha, thanks to its ancient mines and related industries, was transformed into an elegant summer resort at the end of the 19th century. Nowadays, the attractive promenade, with its elegant marble balustrade looks out over a clean sea, where, every evening at sundown a collection of small fishing vessels make their back to the shelter of the port. A good place to try their fish dishes.

Vera, with Roman and Arabic heritage, maintains some of its past through the churches of la Encarnacin and San Agustn, as well as in the interesting Museo Arqueolgico (Archaeological Museum). Meanwhile, its coastline offers yet a wide range of touristic activities, with the special attraction of Europes first nudist hotel, located in the areas best-known complex, "Puerto Rey".

Antas, cradle of the prehistoric Argar civilization, Pulp, with its Charles Vera castle, San Juan de los Terreros and its cave-houses along with fishing villages such as Palomares and Villaricos completed our itinerary along the attractive east Almerian coastline.

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