With an average temperature of 19.4C throughout the year, Almeria in Spain is a stark contrast to Glasgow’s annual rainfall of 1,079 mm.
The province’s turquoise waters and fine sand beaches stretch along rugged mountains and arid planes that have provided the backdrop for more than 170 Western movies, including Once Upon a Time in the West.
With a yearly rainfall of only 200mm, Almeria is known as one of the least rainy places on earth, owing to its geographical location among the Sierra Madre mountains which shield the town from the Mediterranean winter rains.
Its unique positions also contribute to one of the region’s most unusual attractions; The Taberna Deserts. While there are numerous barren regions dotted between Romania and Italy, the Tarbena is considered the only true desert in Europe.
Almeria’s rock arches, canyons and plateaus have made it a hit with 4×4 drivers and camel riders too. It has also become a favourite among tourists seeking exotic landscapes, without having to endure the inconvenience of a long-haul flight.
Aside from being one of the continent’s only deserts, the 1,000-year-old city has Moorish roots reflected in its architecture, such as the Alcazaba, a grand castle towering over the city from a tall hill.
Karen Rosenblum, the founder of the blog Spain Less Travelled, recently shined a light on the little-known destination in her travel blog.
She said: “Unlike the region’s more popular places like Granada, Sevilla, Cordoba and Malaga province, very few people from overseas make it to Almeria Spain, in the southwest corner of Andalucia.
“Underrated and often completely overlooked, Almeria city might not have the beauty of Granda and the life of Malaga, but if you’re willing to see beyond the dusty edges, the regional capital has a lot to offer to visitors.”
Rosenblum refers to the tapas scenes in the region, which according to the blogger, “really one-ups its neighbours”. She also makes note of the coastline, where travellers can enjoy sweeping Mediterranean beaches seemingly all to themselves.
There is more good news for Britons. Skyscanner lists flights from the UK to Almeria starting at £39 each way, while Kayak offers hotel stays from £32 a night.