Located in Andalucía on the south-east coast of Spain, the province of Almería is best known by European tourists who flock to its holiday resorts during the summer months. Few of these holidaymakers take time to visit the capital of Almería province as they rush from the airport to their hotels in Roquetas de Mar and Mojácar. Their loss is your gain as your cruise ship docks close to the centre of this historic city where you can spend your time in port wandering around its ancient streets or heading out on a shore excursion to the Alhambra Palace in Granada.
Port of Almería
Cruise ships arrive in the Port of Almería at the Muelle de Levante which lies within a short walk of the city centre. Whilst there has been a considerable growth in the number of cruise ships stopping in Almería it’s rare to have more than ship in dock on a particular day. There may, however, be a lot of passengers hanging around the port area as this is an important destination for ferry services to North Africa. You’ll find a useful tourist information office in Parque de Nicolás Salmerón which is directly opposite the cruise port across the main road.
From the port area you are only about 1km from the city centre, just follow the blue line marked along the ground which leads passengers from the port exit to the centre. Alternatively, you can get on the trolley train at the port which takes you on a tour around the city. Taxis are always on hand to take you up to the Alcazaba or on trips beyond the city centre though they aren’t necessary for getting around in the immediate centre.
If you’re meeting a cruise ship at the Port of Almería (or your itinerary ends here) you’ll most likely be travelling via the city’s international airport which lies just 10km east of the city. Airport Bus number 20 operates between the airport and the city centre with a journey time of approximately 35 minutes. Taxis and shuttlebus companies cover the distance in around 25 minutes. Shuttledirect is a specialist airport transfer operator offering private transport from Almería Airport to the port, to hotels in the city centre or to holiday destinations throughout the province of Almería.
Main Tourist Attractions
Historic Sights: As your ship approaches its dock in the Port of Almería you will be able to see the Alcazaba which overlooks the old town from a small hill in the near distance. This impressive fortress, dating back to the 10th century, is the city’s main tourist attraction. You can walk there from the port following signs through the old town. From the entrance there are quite a lot of steps to the top so be sure to wear appropriate footwear.
The city’s other main historic attraction is the Cathedral which stands in the old town and is easily accessible from your ship. The reason for the fortress-style of this building is that it was built at a time when the city was under threat from pirates. A further sight to look out for is called the Cable Inglés which lies in the eastern area of the port complex. This industrial relic once loaded ships directly from the trains which brought iron ore to the coast from inland mines.
Best Museums: The city’s most important museum is the Museum of Almería (Carretera de Ronda, 91) which serves as an archeological exhibition of artefacts discovered throughout the region over many centuries. The bomb shelters at the Museo Refugio de la Guerra Civil tell the story of Almería’s little-known suffering at the hands of German warships during the Spanish Civil War.
Alhambra Palace: The most popular shore excursion available from cruise lines visiting Almería is to the Alhambra Palace in Granada which lies some 170km north-west of the port. This Moorish fortress is one of Spain’s greatest tourist attractions which is a ‘must-see’ for visitors to the region. The long road trip which can take almost two hours each way is a small price to pay to see such a magnificent sight.
Mini Hollywood: A shorter excursion is to the western theme park known as ‘Mini-Hollywood’ which lies just beyond the town of Tabernas some 50km to the north-east of the port. This is where a number of famous spaghetti westerns including ‘A Fist Full of Dollars’ were filmed. The location continues to attract film makers thanks to its desert landscapes. If your cruise ship doesn’t offer this excursion the taxis at the entrance to the port will be happy to take you there, just be sure to confirm a price before leaving.
One Night in Almería
If you’re staying in Almería for a night before or after your cruise you can spend a lovely evening discovering the city’s tapas culture. A good area to start is around Puerta de Purchena at the northern end Paseo de Almería or in the streets surrounding Plaza de la Constitución. Taberna Nuestra Tierra and Casa Puga (both on Calle Jovellanos) come highly recommended whilst El Quinto Toro (Juan Leal, 6) is a popular local haunt with a bullfighting theme.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is the most established and respected airport transfer provider in Europe and northern Africa. Our friendly local drivers will ensure your safe, economical, and convenient passage to and from the cruise terminal, airport, or major train station of your choice with a minimum of fuss. Book your transfer with our easy to use online booking system and leave the rest up to us!