Our apartment in Spain can sleep up to 7 people. There are 2 bedrooms one with a double bed and the other with a two twin beds. Located also in this room is a full size single fold up bed.. There is a sofa bed in the lounge. The kitchen has all the mod cons including dishwasher, washing machine, microwave etc.. There is a small balcony at the front of the property with partial views of the sea. The small complex is built in a square and has swimming pool and a small paddling pool for children. The grounds are beautifully kept and have and toilet by the pool. The development is gated and so only those staying can use the pool. The beach is approximately a 2 minute walk down the road where there are beach bars. The bedrooms and lounge area have air conditioning units which can be reversed in the winter to provide heat.
Flights are available from many UK Airports and the nearest airport is Almeria which is 50 minute drive away or Murcia which is 1 hour 15 minute drive.
There are many companies offering deals for hire cars but we recommend:- AA Parking http://aaparking.es
There is a bus/coach service from both Almeria and Murcia Airports which drops you off fairly close but there would be a walk involved to get to the property.
The town of Vera is situated in the Levante region of Almeria and is very close to the coast. Indeed part of its area includes a stretch of about 5 kms of safe sandy beaches which is known as Vera Playa. It is a typically Spanish town with a smallish population of around 14,000 and has many streets, plazas and interesting historical buildings including its own bullring.
Vera dates back to the Paleolithic Age. Artifacts from this period have been found throughout the town. There is also proof of man’s existence during the Bronze Age. Eventually, the Carthaginians settled in the area. They continued a long history of mining the mountains for lead and silver. As is true throughout history, their success caught the eye of the Romans who attacked and killed or banished the Carthaginians. Under Roman rule, Vera continued to thrive. Silver mining reached an all-time high, but by the 8th century, the mines were pretty much cleansed of the precious metal. Moors had been entering the area for some time, and they took over control. The Moors thrived until the Christian armies launched a war that would kill many. When the dust settled, the Moors were forced to live in the outskirts of the town they had once called home. As Christians worked to rebuild the population, they also dealt with repeated attacks by the displaced Moors. Tariffs demanded by the kings began to rise drastically, and many Moors opted to leave Spain and return to their ancestors’ original home – Africa.
After the battle between the Moors and the Christians, the Moors were forced to create their own community away from the town centre. This area, called “The Hill of the Spirit Santo,” can be toured by visitors. Most of the buildings were destroyed by an earthquake, but the remnants of their water system and a few walls are still visible.
If you happen to be in Vera in the month of September, you will not want to miss the nine-day Celebration of San Cleofás. The celebration dates back to the 1500’s when the Moors and Christians finally ended their battles. Today, the nine-day event offers parades, games, races, culinary delights, bonfires, and more!
The 16th century Church of the Incarnation is a Baroque style chapel with one rectangular main building with towers erected on each corner. The main feature of this church is the glorious altarpiece. Another area church, Church of San Agustin also dates to the 16th century. The third church is the Hermitage of our Lady of the Orchards which was erected in the late 1500’s. This church sits on the outskirts of town. It is worth visiting due to its amazing architectural details. Vera also has a free to enter historical museum which is located in the 19th century City Hall.
Do spend some time shopping in the area – many artisans sell their goods from stores in Vera. The city square, established in the 1800’s, is beautiful with flowering gardens and rows of boutiques and cafes. When visiting Vera, it is hard to ignore the quality baskets, pottery, glassblowing, embroidery, weaving, and marble crafts that are all available. Tourism is very important to Vera. Without tourists, many locals would never sell their goods to the public. Make sure you take home a few treasures when you leave Vera. Agriculture only plays a small part in Vera’s economy with barley, citrus fruits, almonds and lettuce being among those crops grown in many farms and fields that surround Vera.
The culinary dishes in Vera vary from area to area. Those closer to the mountain eat more meat than those closer to the sea. For this very reason, dining within Vera is a treasure ! Meatball stew is a common dish consisting of beef meatballs being simmered in a rich broth with onion, cumin, coriander, and some local produce. The dish is delightful ! Ajo Colorao is also one of Vera’s most traditional dishes being potatoes, paprika, tomatoes, garlic, and red peppers sauteed in olive oil. Strands of saffron are then added along with some water. Once the mixture is soft, it is pureed and decorated with halved boiled eggs. For dessert, one might sample some locally made pestiños these are bread rolls containing aniseed. The dough is formed into a pretzel-like twist and then deep-fried in olive oil. Once they have cooled, they are dipped in honey and eaten slightly warm.
Tapas bars are a mainstay in Vera. A wide selection of tapas bars are available to weary travellers and locals alike. You cannot leave Vera without spending a few hours sampling the local beer, wine, and fare!
The Vera Bullring (Plaza de Toros) is located at the Calle Mayor roundabout to the south of the town. It is the oldest bullring in the province and was built in 1879 using money generated by the local mining industry. Its Mudejar style has suffered slightly through several resorations during the years, but nowadays, it can be seen and enjoyed during the bullfighting season or by just visiting the ring and its small museum of memorabilia. It has a capacity of some 6,500 spectators and still holds many bullfights each year. On a recent trip one renter and her family turned up at the bullring (which is open during ‘normal’ hours) and was given a free guided tour, albeit in Spanish, by the man on duty and which included their young son being dressed in full costume and having his photo taken by his family – not like some tourist places where they try to take pictures for you and sell you them ! Well worth a visit and can be found on your way into Vera from the Al Andalus Thalassa Resort using the A-1200 Garrucha to Vera road – arrive at the roundabout with the large fountain in the middle and head straight on and the next roundabout is the Calle Mayor. Parking is free and right outside the main entrance, you are also welcome to stroll around unhindered and free of charge. If you are wishing to watch an event then tickets can be purchased on-line by clicking here. Alternatively you can visit the bullring itself to find out about forthcoming events and ticketing details.
Villaricos is a small, unspoilt fishing village, both charming and tranquil, which maintains a typical Spanish feel. The village is located at the foot of the Sierra Almagrera Mountains. Villaricos (rich village) derives its name from ancient silver mines, which have their place in history, as its from here that Hannibal paid his mercenaries when he besieged Rome. Along with fishing, tourism is its main source of income. Its superb climate makes it a popular destination, with its mild winters and the summer highs refreshed by the soft breezes from the Mediterranean Sea. There are two beaches; a pebbled expanse that borders the village and next door an unspoilt golden sandy beach. The later is in a sheltered bay which, although popular with the locals, is never crowded. There is an excellent chiringuito called La Basilca which overlooks a pretty harbour where those catching the rays can get refreshed. There are actually two harbours that sit at each end of the village linked by a broad promenade with numerous places to sit and contemplate. It is a favoured for many for an evening stroll by both the Spanish and visitors alike. Villaricos is known for it’s crystal clear warm waters and it’s fabulous diving and for those with their water wings there is a local diving school. Just beyond Villaricos is a rugged undeveloped coastline where you can relax in peace and solitude amongst the rock pools and sand. There is a good selection of restaurants and bars with food at very reasonable prices and cuisine ranging from native Spanish to British pub food. There is a small market every Sunday morning in the village square.