It has taken some time to get over the circumstances of our arrival in Almerimar, and to slowly come to the conclusion we quite like it here! It has even been mooted that it would not be unthinkable to spend a further winter here!
There is a large liveaboard/cruising community during the winter, and there is plenty of social life. A 'cruisers' net' is held every morning Monday to Saturday on VHF Channel 67. During this session, information is exchanged about arrivals and departures, local facilities, lift sharing, items for sale or exchange, social activities and the weather forecast.
Regular activities include Pool, Boules, Quiz evening, Coffee morning for the ladies, a general-get together, bike rides and walks, book and dvd exchange, etc.
Almerimar Marina has been established over 15 years. There are 3 pools (Darsena 1 to 3), divided by piers. The berths are Mediterranean style bows or stern to, with fixed mooring lines laid to the middle of the channel. There are over 600 berths, but many are occupied by long term occupants (some private berths) and a large number of boats for sale. Because of the relatively reasonable costs, the marina fills up in winter. In addition, there is a large area of hardstanding for boats laid up ashore. Unfortunately, security has recenty become an issue.
Around the head of the Darsenas there have been built a buildings for commercial use, or apartments with lock up units below. There are a large number of bars and restaurants. Mercadona have a very good supermarket at the head of Darsena 2. There are doctors, dentist, hairdressers, and numerous other services. Alamar is a chandlery with helpful English speaking proprietors (Spence and Sam). There are many other services at El Ejido, 10 minutes by car (or a frequent bus service), supermarkets, and an excellent district hospital.
Almerimar has been developed as a golf resort. Behind the marina are two golf courses. The Melia hotel has in addition a fitness centre and heated swimming pool that is open to non-residents to join. There are beaches to the East and West. There is a national park on the dunes and undercliff to the East, and extensive lagoons in which many birds, including flamingoes, can be seen.
Unfortunately, the land between the cliffs above Almerimar and the mountains is filled with plastic covered 'greenhouses', which provide a large proportion of Northern Europe's winter vegetables. These are unsightly and quite claustrophobic when amongst them! However, the mountains are not far away and the Sierra Nevada, with its skiing, is easily accessible.
Easyjet and Ryan Air fly daily services into Almeria airport, about 45 minutes drive from Almerimar. Malaga and Alicante airports are alternatives, but both are some three hours drive away.
Grandada can be reached via the coast road and Motril, or by motorway from Almeria. There the Alhambra palace is a must. In Almeria, the old town, cathedral and Alcazar castle are also worth seeing.
|The 'torre de control' at the entrance to the marina||The marina has 3 'darsenas' separated by piers, around which apartment blocks and many restaurants and shops operate|
|The plastic greenhouses are claustrophobic at ground level||They stretch from the mountains to the coast|
|The lagoons east of Almerimar have many birds, including flamingoes||We cycled west to the Roman fort|