Strategically placed right next to and open to the Mediterranean, Almeria has acted as a magnet to many seafaring empire-building cultures. Archaeological remains dating from the entire historical spectrum are found littered about the landscape and it’s not unusual to see an Arabic watch tower side by side with a Roman fortress or remains of a Palaeolithic settlement. Phoenician, Carthaginian and Greek merchants all used the coastal ports to expand their trade routes. The Romans established a port in the capital of Almeria that dominated the Mediterranean until the Spain was overrun by the Visigoths at the collapse of empire.
Coastal plains give way to desert regions where survival is a major task but where salty lagoons provide protection to many exotic species of bird and plant. The beautiful parkland of Cabo de Gata has, since 1980, has been providing protection for an almost unique variety of flora and fauna that abounds on deserted beaches far from the tourist crowds. Snow on the Sierra Nevada lasts all year round and to the north, the Natural Park of the Sierra María-Los Vélez provides infinite views into the imagination.