The Costa de Almería’s 135 miles of Mediterranean coast and warm climate – 20ºC isn’t unusual in winter – make it a great place to move to. The sunny weather lends itself to an active lifestyle, and golf, tennis, sailing and windsurfing are all popular. Plus, for the price of a flat in parts of the UK, you could be in a villa with a pool.
We love this sunkissed corner of southern Spain, and you could, too – so here are our top eight reasons to set up home on the Costa de Almería.
1. Possibly the best climate in Europe
Almería is officially the only desert in Europe (excluding the Canary Islands which officially come under Africa), with an average of 26 days of rain a year The city of Almería itself is second only to Seville as the warmest city in Europe, with very mild winters. No wonder it’s so tempting to those of us used to damp northern European winters!
Almería enjoys 3,000 hours of sunshine, translating into 320 sunny days a year. No wonder it is one of Spain’s most popular places to buy a home.
Statistically, Almería enjoys 3,000 hours of sunshine, translating into 320 sunny days a year. That’s twice as many sunshine hours as the UK. No wonder it is one of Spain’s most popular places to buy a home. With average daily temperatures of 18º and night time temperatures of 8º, hardly any grey or rainy days, it is number one on the list for many international folk looking to own a property in Spain, whether as a permanent residence or as a holiday home.
Did you know that the Spaghetti Westerns were filmed in Almería? The arid landscape of Tabernas resembles southern American states such as Texas, and you can visit some of the sets used for these films, which have become a tourist attraction. The epic film Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O’Toole was also filmed here.
2. Fantastic, sandy beaches
Most of the beaches have not been over developed and, in particular, the Cabo de Gata at Nijar is a protected maritime park. Here you can enjoy a rugged and totally natural coastline. One way of keeping this area unspoilt is the restriction of vehicles and you may have to walk some way to reach the gorgeous sands and crystal waters. Once you arrive the secluded bays are ideal for swimming and scuba diving.
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Little fishing villages are dotted along the coast and there are numerous secluded beaches to discover. There is a popular nudist beach at Vera but also beaches for people who prefer to wear swimsuits and bathing trunks. Local Spanish people usually head for the beaches at Pulpí, as yet not really discovered by tourists. With fine golden sand and clear water, these beaches are the perfect spots in which to relax, swim and unwind.
The area has a very varied landscape, some parts being desert-like, others bursting with crops. The coastline is rugged with natural sand dunes leading to clear water.
3. A rich cultural heritage
The name of the principal city is Almería, like the province and this stems from the time that the Moors occupied Spain. The original name of the city was Al-Mariyya which in Arabic means “watch tower” which was built to deter enemies. It also had the main harbour and a castle which is the second largest in Andalusia. (The Alhambra in Granada is the largest).
The Phoenicians, Greeks and then the Romans settled in this part of Spain long before the arrival of the Moors and there are vestiges of their stay in the numerous archaeological sites found along the coast. In 1489 it was conquered by the Christians and accepted the rule of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
It suffered many disasters during the 16th century and it wasn’t until the early 18th century that things improved economically when massive iron mines were discovered and French and British companies invested in the area, making it quite an important area of Spain. In 1939, during the Spanish Civil War Almería surrendered to General Franco’s army and was the last city to do so in Andalusia.
4. Easy access from the UK
There is an airport in Almería which has budget flights but many people prefer to fly to Málaga International Airport to the south of Almería province, which has a much larger choice of flights and airlines. Ryanair flies from Dublin, Stansted and Manchester directly to Almería and Easyjet flies from London Gatwick.
A new airport opened in January in Murcia, to the north of Almería, Murcia-San Javier (Corvera) Airport and both Ryanair and Easyjet have flights from the UK. Granada Airport is another possibility.
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If you want to enjoy a leisurely drive, it takes about 19.5 hours from Calais to Almería, allowing for one or two night stops on the way: perhaps one night in France and the second in Spain. Driving has the advantage of seeing lovely countryside and staying in quaint hotels in small towns, not to mention the boot space to fill up with Spanish wine, olive oil and ham for the return journey!
A train from Paris to Almería takes 17.5 hours, with a change in Madrid. There is a very fast train now from Paris to the Spanish capital and this journey takes you through some wonderful and varied scenery. Eurostar has special offers from time to time to Paris. Why not spend a night or two in the French capital before heading for your home in Almería?
5. Wide range of places to live
Do you want to be in a town with every possible amenity or do you prefer to be away from the bustle and live in a tranquil Spanish village? You have the best of both worlds in Almería with the busy tourist towns of Roquetas de Mar and Almerimar but also the quieter historic fishing town of Adra.
Mojacár is probably one of the best known whitewashed towns in the area with its El Playazo beach. Here, there are some wonderful festivals to enjoy, June brings the Moros y Cristianos and, in July, San Juan is celebrated.
Almería city is becoming a major player for international buyers, as it offers excellent restaurants and good shopping. The centre has mostly apartments but on the outskirts you can find different types of houses and villas.
Vera is a small town with a population of around 7,000. Despite its history, it has become a modern Spanish town with restaurants and shops which accommodate all budgets. It too has become popular with the British and other nationalities.
If you want to be in a quiet location well away from the larger towns, have a look at San Juan de los Terreros. Contemporary design of new properties is in keeping with the area and don’t tend to stand out, which avoids the eyesores one can find in parts of Spain. The range of new property ranges from standard to luxury so there is something for everyone.
Inland, have a look at Oria which is in the centre of agriculture and some lovely countryside. This could be good place for people wanting a country life and a small finca as there are some pretty farmhouses in the area.
6. Take up a new hobby (or two!)
One of the main reasons to move to Spain is to live an outdoor life which is another reason to head for Costa de Almería. Golf is a sport enjoyed by people of all ages and the thought of being out on the links in almost guaranteed sunshine is a lure that can’t be ignored.
There are nine major golf courses to explore, some on the coast, others inland. All have accommodation of different types from apartments to luxury villas. You don’t have to buy a property in a golf club to enjoy golf and green fees in Almería are very reasonable, starting at €39 with buggies from €25. Desert Springs Golf course is more expensive with green fees starting at €66 for even players with buggy, groups 12 players or more. On the other hand, you might find you’re sharing the course with Ian Botham or Daley Thompson, both of whom have been property owners here.
If you’re looking to buy a property near or on a course, have a look at our guidance on buying a golf home.
Golf isn’t the only sport available on this coast as it is a haven for all types of water sports too, such as scuba diving, snorkelling, water skiing and kayaking. Take a boat tour to discover hidden inlets and coves or enjoy trekking along the coastline. For tennis fans, there is no shortage of courts and clubs and padel is now popular all over Spain.
Take a boat tour to discover hidden inlets and coves or enjoy trekking along the coastline.
7. An international community
People from all over Europe and the rest of the world choose to settle on the Costa de Almería. Together with Murcia, Almería is the 2nd most sought out part of Spain by British people, (Málaga and Alicante are joint first).
Recent figures show that there are just over 15,000 native English speakers live in the province not all of whom are British as they come from Canada, the USA, Australia, South Africa and other far-flung countries. The majority though are British and together with tourism from the UK, this has led to a very good English infrastructure in the region. The Times writer Matthew Parris owns a cave home here. There is support for the elderly and most people working in the health service speak English.
To take the best advantage of this, you should aim to live on the coast but for those who prefer a less busy way of life, a short distance inland will lead to a relaxing existence.
8. Reasonable cost of living
Life in the sunshine doesn’t need to be expensive! The cost of living is very reasonable with dinner for two in a local bar costing around €25, and a menú del día lunch, including wine, €11.
Job opportunities are scarce if you don’t speak Spanish but there is always the possibility of teaching English. You can enjoy being part of an expat community or not, as you choose. For authentic Spain, go inland. You really do need a car as there are bus services between towns but they are not that frequent.
Buying property in the Costa de Almería
Buying in the Costa de Almería is quite a straightforward process, as long as you have a team of trustworthy specialists on your side. We can put you in touch with expert, experienced estate agents who can help you find your property. Simply fill in our form below. And, if you have further questions, give us a call on 020 7898 0549 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.