Almeria

Warmed by the sunniest climate in Andalusia, Almería is a youthful Mediterranean city, basking in sweeping views of the sea from its coastal perch and close to several excellent beaches. It's also a capital of the grape industry, thanks to its wonderfully mild climate in spring and fall. Rimmed by tree-lined boulevards and some landscaped squares, the city's core is a maze of narrow, winding alleys formed by flat-roofed, distinctly Mudejar houses. Now surrounded by modern apartment blocks, these dazzlingly white older homes continue to give Almería an Andalusian flavor. Barely touched by tourism, this compact city is well worth a visit—allow an overnight stay to take in the main sights en route to or from Cabo de Gata or Málaga. Be sure to try the tapas bars, where you'll be offered a free (and usually elaborate) tapa with your drink.

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