Almería, Andalusia, Spain

Geography | Economy | Tourist Industry | Transport

🇪🇸 Almería is a city in Andalusia, Spain, located in the south-east of Spain on the Mediterranean Sea, and is the capital of the province of the same name. Caliph Abd al-Rahman III founded the city in 955. The city grew wealthy during the Islamic era, reaching its greatest splendour in the 11th century, with an active port that traded silk, oil and raisins. Its economy centres around vegetable production, with greenhouses, supplying much of Europe.

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Geography Due to its arid landscape, numerous Spaghetti Westerns were filmed in Almería and some of the sets are still remain as a tourist attraction. These sets are located in the desert of Tabernas. The town and region were also used by David Lean in Lawrence of Arabia (1962), John Milius in The Wind and the Lion (1975) and others.

One of Almería's most famous natural spots is the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park. This park is of volcanic origin, and is the largest and most ecologically significant marine-terrestrial space in the European Western Mediterranean Sea. The Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park runs through the municipal areas of Níjar, Almerimar and Carboneras. Its villages, previously dedicated to fishing, have become tourism spots. The beaches of Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park are also an attraction.

Almería has one islet that it administers as a part of its territory in the Alboran Sea, Alboran Island. The island has a small cemetery, a harbor, and a lighthouse, built in the 19th century.

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Economy Intensive agriculture has been the most important economic sector of Almería for the last 50 years. Nowadays, greenhouse's production, handling and commercialisation of vegetables, and the supply industry of the sector, represent almost 40% of Almería's GDP. Directly, agricultural production accounts for 18.2% of the provincial GDP. In Andalusia, the average contribution is 6.6% and in Spain it is only 2.9%.

This situation is the result of a great dynamic model, which can continually incorporate new technologies: using soil sanding, plastic covers, drip irrigation systems, hybrid seeds, soil-less cultivation, irrigation programs, new greenhouse structures, and so on. They all allowed to improve production and increase commercialisation calendars, assuring the profitability and quality of the crops and the competitiveness of the markets. Moreover, Almería's economy has an important exporting vocation: 75% of production was sold abroad in 2018, with a value of 2.400 million euros.

This development is explained by familiar investment, as subsidies have been limited or non-existent. In this sense, the horticultural sector receives the least European aids from the Common Agricultural Policy: 1.9% of total income. This figure is much lower than that received by other sectors such as olive groves (33%) or cereals (53%).

The production of this area is based on a fair competition with officially a just remuneration of employees, with similar salaries than the ones in the same sector in Europe: 8% higher than Italy and 11% than Belgium. This avoids the social dumping exerted by non-EU countries, like Morocco, with salaries up to 90% lower than those of Almería. However, there is well-documented widespread exploitation of workers from North Africa who work and live in terrible conditions, earning much lower than the minimum wage.

From a social point of view, Almería and Granada are an example of familiar agriculture, with small farms and little concentration of land. This social nature generates high equity in the level of income and welfare, that is, social cohesion is produced, and inequality is reduced. Concretely, Almería is made up of 12.500 farms with an extension of 2,5 hectares and a 30% of familiar labour. It is also important the high education levels of the farmers, who shows an innovative and receptive character when it comes to continuing learning: 81,2% have some type of official academic training.

At the same time, a commercial system based on social economy enterprises has been developed, e.g. as cooperative societies. These companies represent the 62% of production and sales.  They assure the access to the market in optimal conditions, because they increase its position inside the agri-food supply chain, facilitate financing, technical advice, and incorporation of technology. Moreover, local ties increase environmental sustainability.

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Tourist Industry • The Alcazaba, a medieval fortress that was begun in the 10th century but destroyed by an earthquake in 1522. It includes a triple line of walls, a majestic keep and large gardens. It commands a city quarter with buildings dressed in pastel colors, of Muslim-age aspect. It is the second largest among the Muslim fortresses of Andalusia, after the Alhambra. • Almería air raid shelters, underground galleries for civilian protection during the Spanish Civil War, currently the longest in Europe open for tourists. • The Cathedral has a fortress-like appearance due to its towers, merlons and protected paths, created to defend it from Mediterranean pirates. Originally designated as a mosque, it was later converted into a Christian church, before being destroyed in the 1522 earthquake. In the 16th century it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, whilst keeping some of its defensive features. • Renaissance church of Santiago, built in 1533, with tower and portal decorated with reliefs. • Chanca, a group of houses carved into rocks. • Castle of San Cristobal, now in ruins. It is connected to the Alcazaba by a line of walls. • Museum of Almería. Includes findings from Prehistoric, Iberic, Roman, Greek ages and Muslim objects, mostly from the Alcazaba. • Paseo de Coches, a modern seaside promenade with gardens and palms. • Cable Inglés (English Pier), 1904 iron railway pier built to transfer iron ore, copper, and silver produced by British- and French-run mines in Granada from trains to waiting cargo ships.

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Transport By land, Almería can be reached by the A-7 Mediterranean Highway, which connects the Mediterranean area with the Spanish A-92 that unites it with the rest of Andalusia. Almería railway station is served by Renfe Operadora with direct rail services to Granada, and Madrid Atocha using a branch off the Alcázar de San Juan–Cádiz railway; the Linares Baeza–Almería railway. In the future, high-speed rail AVE services will link Almería to Madrid via Murcia. The central railway station has been closed for several months and it is not known exactly when it will re-open. Passengers currently start their journey by being bussed a few km to Huercal de Almería station.

By sea, the port of Almería has connections to Melilla, Algeria, Morocco, and tourist cruises in the Mediterranean. It also has a marina with moorings for pleasure boats. Currently the port of Almería is being expanded with new docks and transformed into a container port to take large-scale international shipping and thereby increase its freight traffic. It normally connects with the following destinations: • Acciona: Ghazaouet (Algeria), Oran (Algeria), Nador (Morocco) and Melilla. • Comarit: Nador. • Comanav: Nador.

By air, Almería is served by Almería Airport, the fourth largest in Andalusia. The winter timetable includes flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Melilla, London, and Seville, with international connections to Manchester, Birmingham, Brussels, Dublin and Swiss, German and other EU airports being added during the summer.

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Almeria, Spain 
Almeria, Spain
Image: Adobe Stock julien leiv #326491731

Almería has a population of over 196,851 people. Almería also forms the centre of the wider Almería Province which has a population of over 701,688 people. Almería is the #390 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 1.8039 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores.

To set up a UBI Lab for Almería see: https://www.ubilabnetwork.org Twitter: https://twitter.com/UBILabNetwork

Twin Towns - Sister Cities Almería has links with:

🇲🇦 Al Hoceima, Morocco 🇪🇸 Melilla, Spain 🇲🇽 Navojoa, Mexico
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | Hipster Index

Antipodal to Almería is: 177.536,-36.842

Locations Near: Almería -2.46365,36.8419

🇪🇸 Roquetas de Mar -2.6,36.75 d: 15.9  

🇪🇸 El Ejido -2.817,36.767 d: 32.5  

🇪🇸 Huércal-Overa -1.933,37.383 d: 76.4  

🇪🇸 Motril -3.517,36.75 d: 94.3  

🇪🇸 Lorca -1.691,37.681 d: 115.7  

🇪🇸 Granada -3.6,37.167 d: 107.2  

🇪🇸 Jaén -3.771,37.767 d: 154.7  

🇪🇸 Melilla -2.939,35.292 d: 177.6  

🇪🇸 Vélez-Málaga -4.1,36.778 d: 145.9  

🇪🇸 Cartagena -0.983,37.6 d: 155.8  

Antipodal to: Almería 177.536,-36.842

🇳🇿 Tauranga 176.154,-37.7 d: 19860  

🇳🇿 Rotorua 176.25,-38.133 d: 19832.1  

🇳🇿 Gisborne 178.016,-38.659 d: 19808.7  

🇳🇿 Cambridge 175.467,-37.883 d: 19798.6  

🇳🇿 Taupō 176.072,-38.687 d: 19772.9  

🇳🇿 Hamilton 175.28,-37.788 d: 19789.5  

🇳🇿 Napier 176.9,-39.505 d: 19713.8  

🇳🇿 Auckland 174.763,-36.853 d: 19768.3  

🇳🇿 North Shore City 174.75,-36.8 d: 19767  

🇳🇿 Hibiscus Coast 174.698,-36.606 d: 19760.8  

Bing Map

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