Almería is a major port city in the Mediterranean Sea, located in Andalusia (southeastern Spain). This is also a large ferry port serving the routes to Northern Africa (Morocco and Spanish Morocco). The city has a population of around 200,000.
Almería was founded because of the need for a better defense system for regional Arab towns. Abd-al-Rahman III founded the Citadel (Alcazaba), which gave this city its name: "the Watchtower" (Al-Mari'yah).
In 2000, geologists found a cave in an abandoned silver mine close to Almería that was filled with huge gypsum crystals. The cavity (measuring 1,8 x 1,7 m) is the biggest geode ever found. Cave's entrance has been blocked by 5 tons of rocks and is under police protection in order to prevent looters from entering. According to existing geological models, this unique cave was formed around 6 million years ago, when the Mediterranean Sea evaporated and left layers of salt sediments. The cave is not accessible to tourists.
The city's economy is mostly based on agriculture, located mainly in the western part of the area. Numerous greenhouses produce tonnes of fruit and vegetables with over 70% of the production being exported to the rest of Europe.
Port Almeria offers sea connections to Algeria, Morocco and Melilla, and also Mediterranean ship cruises. The port has a marina with moorings for yachts and pleasure boats.
The area was expanded with new docks and the port was transformed into container port serving large-sized box ships. Almeria connects with ferries the following destinations in Algeria (Oran, Ghazaouet) and Morocco (Melilla, Nador).
For 2018-H1 (first half), Port Almería exported a total of 1,352804 million tons of solid bulk cargoes, the most exported of which are plaster, cement, clinker (cement lumps). These cargoes go mainly to the UK, Ireland, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana.
On November 23, 2020, the Spanish passenger shipping company BALEARIA carried out Port Almeria's first-ever LNG bunkering operation by supplying with LNG (liquefied natural gas) the cruiseferry Bahama Mama. The fuel was bunkered via the truck-to-ship method.