The Alcazaba is the second largest of the Muslim fortresses in Andalusia, after the Alhambra in Granada. It was built on top of a 70 metre high hill and is divided into three fortified sections. The third enclosure is at the very top of the hill, housing the palace which once was thought to rival the Alhambra. After the reconquista it was enlarged to its present size. The original mosque was consecrated to the Archangel St. Michael by the catholic monarchs. The Alcazaba is closed on mondays.
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The Tabernas Desert is probably the best example of a real desert in Europe. It is located in the southeast of Spain, in the province of Almeria (province). The Tabernas Desert is situated between the Sierra de los Filabres to the north and the Sierra de Alhamilla to the south and southeast. It is a protected wilderness area with fantastic desert landscapes and as a desert is receives just less of the maximum of 250 mm a year in an area known as Levante. It is isolated from the humid winds of the Mediterranean Sea. On top of that, evaporation is much higher than that, especially during the long and hot summers when months without a single drop of rain and 12 hours of sunshine a day occur. This is when temperatures can exceed 45 °C in the shade (if you can find any!). Because of its splended desert wilderness, it was the location of many Spaghetti westerns and an Indian Jones movie as well. Some of the sets are now in use as theme parks, with names as Oasys, Fort Bravo and Western Leone.
The Natural Park of Cabo de Gata Níjar, located in the province of Almeria, is a volcanic landscape and brags about have the best and most unspoilt beaches of this Mediterranean coastline. The interior of the park is scattered with wild plants and cactuses.
The weather in and around Almeria is arid. Even in the wettest months, on average there are no more than 3 days with precipitation. The average maximum temperature in the winter lies around 17 °C and in the summer, daytime averages are around 35 °C. Maximum temperatures can reach above 40 °C in July and August in Almeria. This makes Almeria the warmest area in Spain and Europe. There is no precipitation during the summer months. Daytime lows at dawn are between 8 °C in January and 24 °C in August.
Almeria has an international airport (IATA: LEI, ICAO: LEAM) which is located 9 km east of the city. From the airport bus line 20 goes to the city centre.
For more information and timetables, check the website of Renfe.
You can reach Almería by the A-7 Mediterranean Highway, which connects the Mediterranean area (from the border of France) and Spanish A-92 that unites it with the rest of Andalusia.
See also International Telephone Calls
If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times can vary and the main post office usually is open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages.
Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78.
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