Almeria was once the largest fortress built by the Muslims in Spain, its triple-fortified walls are designed to protect both palaces and mosques. The Jairán Wall on San Cristobal Hill affords superb panoramic views of the old town and the port. The population that didn't reside in these areas lived beyond the Alcazaba. Nowadays, troglodyte dwellings are the main feature of the La Chanca district.
The Cathedral, which looks more like a fort than a place of worship, stands at the centre of the old town and should not be missed under any circumstances! Other important churches include the Church of Santiago el Viejo, with its 50m high tower, and the Church of San Pedro, built in the place of an Arab mosque. The historic centre covers the area between the Alcazaba, the Puerta Purchena, the Rambla Belén and the port. On the outskirts of the town, not too far away, you'll find the excellent beaches of the Almeria coast and the Cape of Gata-Níjar Natural Park, the first park in Andalusia to span both land and sea. You should also make a point of visiting other villages and towns in the region, such as Roquetas de Mar, the main tourist resort of Almeria, and Mojacar, its unique charm emanating from its white houses, beaches and landscapes.
The main ingredient used in Almerian cuisine is the raisin, and there are many local specialties, such as 'ajo colorao', prepared with minced cod, olive oil and paprika, or 'berca de uvas', another raisin-based dish. Garrucha seafood and date biscuits are also popular in the area.