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Almeria, in Spain, is an unspoilt area of natural beauty with quiet fishing villages dotted along nearly 200 miles of sandy beaches and secluded coves. It is said to be Western Europe’s sunniest and warmest destination. The centre of Almeria city is lively with cafes, a marina, sports centres and hotels to suit everyone, all overlooked by the old Alcazaba Castle. There are several parks in the town, where you can watch Western themed shows, hire a horse or have a drink in the saloon bar. The Peurta de Purchena area is popular for its local cuisine, with tapas and fish dishes.
Almeria hosts several celebrations throughout the year, including its own local festival in August, la Virgen del Mar. This ten-day long holiday is held in honour of its patron saint, the Lady of the Sea and her statue is decorated with flowers before being taken by boat from the lighthouse to the pier on the last Saturday of the celebrations. Visitors are encouraged to sample the local cuisine in the centre of town, before the evening’s celebrations get started at the fairground. Among the activities to be enjoyed are dance, music, cookery competitions and horse shows. Famous singers from around the region perform to large crowds and some of Spain’s top matadors compete at the bullfighting festival. Visitors to this great destination should be certain to browse the traditional pottery on sale on the Paseo de Almeria. The celebrations have been designated as a Fiesta of International Tourist Interest.