From teeming tapas bars to traditional country hostelries and beachfront seafood restaurants, there's no shortage of eating options here. Note that places in the smaller coastal resorts often close for a period over winter, typically some time between November and March.
Feature: Almería, the Greenhouse of Europe
As much a feature of Almería’s landscape as its arid badlands and remote beaches are the plastic-covered invernaderos (greenhouses) that sprawl across the province. West of Almería city, for example, the entire 35km-long coastal plain from Roquetas de Mar to Adra is coated in grey-white polythene. Such is the size of this sea of plastic that sunbeams reflected off it are said to have caused the local climate to cool.
Almería province has long supported agriculture. Its mountainsides have been farmed for centuries after the Moors built a complex system of terraces and irrigation channels a millennium or so ago. But it wasn’t until the introduction of year-round greenhouse cultivation in the late 20th century that this previously dirt-poor part of Spain started to profit from its agricultural endeavours. Now produce grown in the province accounts for some 37% of Spain’s vegetable exports, including around half its tomato sales, with a value of more than €2 billion.
Given this, it’s not surprising that tomatoes are a staple on menus across the region. In summer, mountain-grown, sun-ripened tomatoes are delectable. In winter, look out for tomate Raf, a greenish heirloom variety with a sweet taste and segmented surface.
But away from the restaurants and supermarkets, there’s another, less savoury, side to the story. Reports in the international press have highlighted the plight of greenhouse workers, drawing attention to the exploitation of the largely immigrant labour force and the appalling living and working conditions endured by many labourers.