'In a Parched Land: An Illustrated Guide tothe Almeria Province of Spain': PDF E-Book: 58 pages
The Province of Almeria lies in the south-eastern corner of Andalucia in southern Spain. Falling
between the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca it incorporates several 'minor costas' - the Costa Calida, the Costa Almeria and the Costa Tropical - yet it is not one of the heavily-trafficked tourist areas of Spain. Tourists flock into Malaga but the majority turn right and head down the Costa del Sol towards Marbella and Estapona. Others head north into the more rugged parts of Andalucia to explore the mountains and ancient hilltop towns. For those who choose to fly into Murcia the majority head north towards the popular resorts of Alicante and Benidorm. All of which is a shame because if they chose to head in the other direction they would find a diverse and fascinating landscape. Mountains rise from the sea in a series of ranges, the grandest of which is the Sierra Nevada, and the uplands are peppered with characterful villages and towns. Stunning beaches line the coast, and all basking in one of the best climates in Europe. Indeed, so dry is this region of Spain that it officially qualifies as a dessert, making it Europe's only such area. Here the riverbeds run dry - so dry that they double as roads sometimes and standing water is exceptionally rare. Yet the villages are festooned with colourful flowers, the hills are often green, olives and tomatoes are grown on a commercial scale and there is even a vineyard.
Treat this book as a Tapas meal - a series of 'small plates' offering a quick taste of a different place, a different landscape, a different culture. In themselves each is pleasant but will leave you wanting more. Hopefully taken together they will provide something altogether more satisfying.