Car Rental Almeria
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Almeria is the perfect destination for a holiday car hire. Select an airport pick-up and get started exploring Andalusia.
With Carhirespain.net, it costs little more daily than most travellers would pay for an airport transfer and a taxi rides to the Alcazaba.
Almeria is the dark horse when it comes to Spanish Tourism. It is only recently, say the last ten years, that it became a destination rather than a day trip for nearby Malaga, Granada, Cartagena, Murcia, Marbella or even Alicante.
Its sudden rise in popularity shouldn’t be surprising — as one of the southernmost coastal cities in Spain next to Gibraltar, Almeria is on the Aldoran sea. It is an excellent jumping-off point for a tour of some of the best holiday destinations on the coast.
Almeria is a unique city. It is in the driest part of continental Europe where the blue Mediterranean washes up on to Europe’s only desert, the Desierto Tabernas. One thing is for sure — when you choose to visit Almeria, you know your holiday won’t be rained out. Almeria receives only 200 mm of rain annually.
This unique climate made Almeria a favourite destination for moviemakers in the ’60s and ’70s. If you are fond of classic western movies there is an excellent chance one of your favourites was filmed nearby. The good news is you can still visit the film sets today.
But beyond its geography and climate, Almeria has a lot to recommend it. It is as elegant and stately a city as any in Andalusia. It just hasn’t received the same attention.
In terms of history and architecture, Almeria can more than compete. The Alcazaba gives Granada’s Alhambra a good run for its money. It is smaller, true, but it is also far less crowded, and you are far more likely to get a chance to explore its gardens in peace.
Food and drink in Almeria
If food is your thing, especially tapas, you will think Almeria is heaven. Tapas comes free with every drink you order, everywhere. In some establishments, you get a choice, and some serve what they have on hand, but it is the custom. The locals know that the more you spend on drinks, the bigger and better the tapas get.
Finally, no Spanish seaside city would complete without its nightlife. Be prepared to start late with dinner after 8:30 pm. Most main dishes are served by midnight, but after midnight the music starts and the bars and clubs start to open.
Almeria is not the madhouse some of the towns up the coast have a reputation of being, but it is no slouch. The difference is here the crowd is primarily Spanish. There aren’t as many of the lads on tour that you would find in other destinations.
In choosing to come to Almeria, you are rooting for the little guy. You are going somewhere most others wouldn’t choose. It is their loss though, Almeria is brilliant, and it won’t remain a secret long.
What to see in Almeria with a hire car
Almeria is a city with no shortage of things to do, making it the perfect place to explore by hire car. Here are a few of the many things that you should put on your bucket list while in town.
The Alcabaza, dating as far back as the year 995 is visible from all parts of Almeria. It sits atop the city, occupying its most defensible position. Alcabaza or al-qasbah simply means fortified city, and this structure was central to the Moorish defence of the area for centuries.
It is probably the most well known and visited attraction in Almeria. And, as far as Muslim architecture goes, it is second only to the Alhambra of Granada in terms of age or scale.
The fortification began as the seat of the local government. Its early plan incorporated houses, squares, and a mosque within its defensive walls and towers.
Layers of Fortification
The fortification includes three layers of walls. The outermost enclosure sheltered the local population in times of emergency. Within it, there is now a large peaceful garden and ponds constructed during the Muslim period.
The second area holds the remains of the Palace of King Almotacín (11th century). Inside this are the huge caliphate wells (10th Century) and a Christian Arch (16th century). Even further inside, within are the hermitage of San Juan and bathhouse, both beautifully restored.
The Government House and Palace Reception area is in the middle.
Unfortunately, all that remains of the Palace of King Almotacín are remnants of his private bathrooms and the “Mirador or Window of the Odalisque, the subject of legend concerning the love affair between a Christian prisoner captive and favoured slave of the king.
This most recent layer contains a Christian royal residence, a Mosque (later converted into a church) and its baths. The whole complex has a single entrance which disappears into the enormous walls and vaulted ceilings. It is the most secure area in the city.
Castillo de San Cristoba
One thing that can be said of ancient Almeria is that they took security seriously. Straddling the Cerro de San Cristobal hilltop north of the Alcabaza is the Castillo de San Cristobal. Once known as Laham Hill in the Muslim era the hill is covered by ruins of 11th-century protective walls. Old towers stud the walls as a testament to the areas military heritage and the tensions of changing cultures,
There are seven towers on the hill — three square ones constructed by Ancient Muslim architects, and four semicircular ones built by the Templars after the Christian conquest of the city in 1147.
The Castillo was a Muslim military fortress and is now a great place to get a feel for the rich, tapestry of Almería’s history. The epic view of the modern city of Almeria isn’t too bad either.
Almeria’s Air Raid Shelters
Almeria seems always to have been defined by one conflict or another. That said, this monument to the city’s past is all too recent in the memories of some of its older citizens. The Almeria air raid shelters are a stark reminder of what Almería’s population endured from 1936 through 1939 during the Spanish Civil War.
During this period Almeria experienced an estimated 52 air and seaborn bombings. Historians estimate somewhere in the area of 754 bombs fell upon the city. As if the Spanish civil war wasn’t plenty, the Second World War overlapped Spanish Civil War in 1937, and the nazi bombings began.
The air-raid shelters, the largest shelters built in Europe, could protect up to 40,000 souls. Spanning almost 5 km underground, and equipped with their own hospital and food storage areas, the Almeria shelters are small towns unto themselves.
The citizens of Almería have kept the shelters wonderfully preserved to the present in honour of all the lives they saved.
Whether you consider it grim or not, a visit to the Almeria Air Raid shelters is a fascinating way to get out of the midday heat.
Before you begin to think that Almeria is all gloom and doom, you should take the hire car out for a day at Las Ramblas. As the name suggests, Las Ramblas is a series of rambling alleyways and interconnected squares that join the main avenues of Almeria.
The area is much loved, and popular with locals and tourists alike. Las Ramblas is literally a tree-shaded snarl of busy shops and cafés perfect for leisurely exploration.
Start with Avenida de Federico Garcia Lorca. This area offers a choice of cafes and children’s playgrounds. You can follow it to Almería’s busy port and golden beaches. To cool off, stop along the way to sit in the mist of one of many sculptured water fountains.
If there is somewhere you need to be, Avenida del Mediterraneo is where you find the city’s bus or train stations. You will also find the best hotels in the city here as well as the lush Mediterraneo shopping centre.
If you want even more shopping, Paseo de Almería is for you. It is full of malls and small boutiques which spill out into the neighbouring alleys.
Once you have had enough bustle and commerce, Calle de Coches will lead you through lovely gardens and shady palms beside the blue Mediterranean seaside.
Day trips from Almeria with a hire car
With its location on the Mediterranean in southern Spain Almeria is the reason hire cars were invented.
There is so much to do and see on this coast that you could drive for a month and never run out of things to explore. Almeria is blessed to have the Cabo de Gata, a combination desert and seaside paradise.
Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar
Extending southeast of Almería, you can be in the natural park of Cabo de Gata-Níjar in a little over a half-hour in your hire car. The natural park has some of Spain’s most pristine and least crowded beaches.
The park consists of 340 sq km of cliff bordered coastlines and Almeria’s desert terrain. In between beaches and scrub you will find quiet white villages lonely farms. The landscape can be harsh and the desert littered with strange rock and abandoned mines.
The Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjarwhich runs from Retamar to Agua Amarga. Wind swept eaches line the entire cost along the way. Along the way, there are plenty of small hotels hostels and guest houses if you don’t fancy returning to Almeria in your hire car.
Beaches of Cabo De Gata
There are countless beaches along the coast in Cabo de Gata, each almost more beautiful than the next. If you plan a day trip, remember, not all of these beaches are easy to get to. Prepare your self for the hike, and you will not regret the effort. Not all of these beaches are easy to get to, but if you are prepared to park the hire car and go for a hike, you won’t regret it.
Let’s start with one of the more popular and accessible of the Cabo de Gato beaches. It is about 15 mins out of San Jose, and an hours drive from Almeria.
Mónsul beach is the top of the bucket list for a few reasons, but the main one is access. You can drive your hire car down most of the way down to the beach. This isn’t without its disadvantages though, in high season, the authorities charge for parking. It really is a small inconvenience, but arrive early, the number of cars is limited.
Once you have parked the hire car, say goodbye, you won’t see it for long because sand dunes separate the beach and the parking.
If you feel a bit more adventurous, you can hike to Monsul beach from town. You will pass many smaller beaches along the way. Beware, it can be a tough hike, but the view of the sea, cliffs and hidden coves is an adventure in itself.
However you arrive, Mónsul is a broad sandy expanse with a huge central rock that will shade you as the sun moves.
El Barronal Beach
El Barronal beach is before Mónsul if you are coming via San Jose. Despite this, it is essentially the same distance, 57km, in a hire car from Almeria. It might actually be a great idea to spend a night or two with your hire car in the area. That way you can visit as many of these beaches as you want without hurrying.
El Barronal uses the same trailhead as Monsul, but the walk is a little longer from the parking area. The trail to Barronal snakes through the dunes, so be prepared for a scorching desert trek before you reach the payout.
And what a payout it is, not because El Barronal is a nudist beach (It is), but because it is usually deserted and utterly beautiful.
Once you are there, you can hike one more beach over. Make sure to bring solid footwear and supplies — there is no concession. But you will have the place to yourself, and the views are breathtaking. It is so worth the climb.
Los Escullos beach is 40km fro Almeria and should take you about 45 minutes to drive to in your hire car. It is located to the west of San Jose while both Monsul and El Barronal are situated to the east of the town.
Los Escullos is a long strip of sand and easy to reach from the main road. What makes it special is the cliff that surrounds it. You can hike along the top to enjoy the views or head down onto the sand to enjoy its hidden coves and many natural pools.
While you hike atop the long stretch of cliffs that make Los Escullos unique keep an eye out for the narrow paths that lead down to the water. Many of the hidden bays are completely invisible from above, and you may find your own private Eden.
To the south of the main beach across the cliffs, there are more hidden coves and saltwater pools to explore. Even in the peak tourist season, there is an excellent chance you will have your little piece of Los Escullos to yourself.
How do I know if my car hire in Almeria booking is confirmed?
When you book with Carhirespain.net, you receive a booking voucher by email to confirm your booking.
Your booking voucher displays your booking, the types of policies you have selected and the total amount due at check-in.
If you have not received your voucher or have misplaced the email, please go to Carhirespain.net > Manage Booking for details.
Can I pick up my Car Hire in Almeria at any time?
You can pick up your hire car in Almeria at any time during opening hour or out of opening hours if you have pre-arranged an off-hours pick up.
When you make your booking with Carhirespain.net, you are expected to provide your itinerary details, so your car is ready for you when your flight lands.
My plans changed, is there a penalty for cancelling my car hire in Almeria?
No, there should be no penalty for cancelling your car hire in Almeria. Carhiresapin.net works primarily with car hire suppliers that have a no-penalty policy for cancellation up until 24 hours before your pre-arranged pick up time.
Is it necessary to present my booking voucher when I pick up my hire car in Almeria?
Yes! You must present your booking voucher when you pick up your hire car in Almeria.
Your booking voucher is your proof of payment and includes information necessary for car hire suppliers to verify your rental
To avoid any delays at pick up, ensure you have your credit card, national ID (passport) and your booking voucher.
If you are a North American driver, you may also be required to show an International Driver’s Permit.