Almeria champion trees

Almeria champion trees

A Nature tour with Champion-trees seekers Enrico & Erna Liebenberg.

Almeria champion trees
Almeria champion trees: Enrico & Erna Liebenberg and David & Elaine Shaw sharing the nice moment in which I received a memorable copy of the book signed by the authors.

I was so happy to share time  (lots of time) along the last month of October ,with the most well-renowned people in the world about CHAMPION TREES: Enrico & Erna. Coming from South Africa in holidays, they chose Almeria (Spain) to meet good friends as the Shaw family (David & Elaine). Uouh… Almeria as an international meeting point for renowned naturalists and conservationists. I feel so happy and so proud.

The Liebenberg are authors of the internationally renowned book WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS. A master piece of art and a collection of excellent information about the biggest and oldest trees in South Africa, that huge country that no one knows as well as Enrico and Erna.

In our 4 days discovering Almeria mountains and countryside, we visited many natural monuments, also “champions”…  as the holm oak named “La encina del Marchal del Abogado” or  the monumental cypresses  aka “los cipreses de D Gonzalo” and much more. The group was amazed by the high quality of our landscape at South Spain and the excellent level of environmental conservation happening in Almeria mountains and flatlands, while looking for our Almeria champion trees.

Thanks for your visit, deared friends and thanks for the copy of your book WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS .

Always be very welcome and never forget that a part of my soul is also now in South Africa with you.

Jesus Contreras

Tour leader – Discovering Almeria. October 2015 

Almeria champion trees
Almeria champion tree called “Encina del Marchal”. Under its millenary branches, Enrico Liebenberg.

Cinema Almeria Spain

Cinema Almeria Spain. Coastal locations for Conan the Barbarian and For a fistful dollars.
Cinema Almeria Spain. Coastal locations for Conan the Barbarian and For a fistful dollars.

Cinema Almeria Spain

Main movies filmed totally or partially in Almeria since the beggining of the industry till 2014

Cinema industry, film locations, movie-sets, deserts, mexican villages, Indiana Jones, Lawrence of Arabia, Temple of doom…. or perhaps Walt Disney was an almerian. These are so many of the topics floating around anyone of our movie-trips; I do not like to visit museums nor film-offices to show visitors what is the real Almeria cinema landscape they came looking for; to discover these places we need to leave asfalt and start the off-road adventure.

Almeria is so important in the Cinema industry because of its sunlight ratio and good weather, just linked to an amazing set of very different geographical landscapes.

In this post I attach a list of main movies filmed in Almeria lands since the real start of the business in the fifties, although we can say it begun before, just in the forties.

This collection of titles have been created by Jesus Contreras. Please if you detect any mistake or perhaps any broken link, please contact me at almerianature@mailbox.org

Cinema Almeria Spain. Who does not know Cortijo del Fraile famous movie-set?
Cinema Almeria Spain. Who does not know Cortijo del Fraile famous movie-set?

Cinema Almeria Spain

List of main movies filmed in Almeria

50´s


1952     La llamada de Africa

1954     Judas´Kiss

1954     Cursed mountain

1954     Escape from Fort Bravo

1958     Les Bijoutiers du clair de lune

1959     Duelo en la cañada


60´s


1961     King of kings

1961     El Cid

1962     Lawrence of Arabia

1962     Two against all

1962     The savage guns

1963     Cleopatra

1963     Gunfight at Red Sands

1963     Taste of the savage

1963     Apache Gold

1964     Seven Guns from Texas

1964     Cent mille dollars au soleil

1964     Ringo: The Killer (Ballad of Death Valley)

1964     Bullets don´t lie

1964     A fistful of dollars

1964     Saul and David

1966     Totó of Arabia

1965     Attack of the Kurds

1965     The Hill

1965     The relentless Four

1965     Finger on the trigger

1965     Gunmen of Rio Grande

1965     Left handed Johny West

1965     Gideon and Samson

1965     A place called Glory

1965     Minnesota Clay

1965     La muerte cumple condena

1965     For a few dollars more

1965     Five thousand dollars in one ace

1965     In a Colt´s shadow

1965     Operation Double Cross

1965     The last Tomahawk

1966     Operation Atlantis

1966     Some dollars for Django

1966     Arizona colt

1966     Guns for the dictator

1966     The good, the bad and the ugly

1966     Sharp-shooting twin sisters

1966     Account rendered

1966     L’homme de Marrakech

1966     Johnny Yuma

1966     Lost command

1966     For one thousand dollars per day

1966     The ugly ones

1966     The return of Ringo

1966     Las siete magníficas

1966     Seven guns for the MacGregors

1966     A bullet for the general

1966     The rat patrol

1966     Texas, addió

1967     Face to face

1967     Taste of killing

1967     Cervantes, the young rebel from La Mancha

1967     How I won the war

1967     Ringo: Face of revenge

1967     Death rides a horse

1967     The cruel ones

1967     Day of anger

1967     Dinamita Joe

1967     I´ll kill him and return alone

1967     Man and a colt

1967     John the bastard

1967     Dinamita Joe

1967     Long days of vengeance

1967     Le canard en fer blanc

1967     Hate for hate

1967     Halleluja for Django

1967     Professionals for a massacre

1967     Sugar colt

1967     Tobruk

1967     Blood river

1967     A coffin for the sheriff

1967     Custer of the West

1967     The vengeance of she

1967     Any gun can play

1968     Cry for revenge

1968     The return of Monte Cristo

1968     The bastard

1968     Run, man, run

1968     Ace high

1968     The magnificent texan

1968     Duffy

1968     I do not forgive… I kill!

1968     Once upon a time in the west

1968     Man, pride and vengeance

1968     Beyond the law

1968     Go Kill Everybody and Come Back Alone

1968     Play dirty

1968     The girl of the Nile

1968     A sky full of stars for a roof

1968     The ruthless four

1968     Fifteen scaffolds for a murderer

1968     Requiem for a gringo

1968     A professional gun

1968     Wild Kurdistan

1968     Death sentence

1968     Shalako

1968     Stress-es tres-tres

1968     A talent for loving

1968     Tepepa: long live the revolution

1968     Train for Durango

1968     One against one… no mercy

1968     Day after tomorrow

1968     They came to rob Las Vegas

1968     Villa rides

1968     A long ride from hell

1968     A bullet for the general

1968     Full house for the devil

1968     2001: A space odyssey

1968     Today We Kill, Tomorrow We Die!

1969     Commandos

1969     100 rifles

1969     Boot hill: Trinity rides again

1969     10,000 dollars blood money

1969     Cemetery without crosses

1969     I protect myself against my enemies

1969     A bullet for Sandoval

1969     Twenty thousand dollars for seven

1969     Guns of the magnificent seven

1969     Wrath of God

1969     I came, I saw, I shot

1969     I want him dead

1969     The desperados

1969     A minute to pray, a second to die

1969     The price of power

1969     Sabata

1969     The strangers

1969     The royal hunt of the sun

1969     Death on high mountain

1969     Shoot… gringo, shoot

1969     Susana

1969     Forgotten pistolero

1969     The valley of Gwangi

1969     Wanted

1969     Land raiders


70´s


1970     Have a Good Funeral, My Friend… Sartana Will Pay

1970     El astronauta

1970     Cannon for Cordoba

1970     El Cóndor

1970     The 5-man army

1970     Manos torpes

1970     Kill him

1970     More dollars for the MacGregor

1970     Nest of vipers

1970     Patton

1970     The deserter

1970     Sabata the killer

1970     Companeros

1970     Alive or preferably dead

1971     A fistful of Dynamite

1971     Valdez is coming

1971     Hannie Caulder

1971     Rum runners

1971     A man called Sledge

1971     Figures in a landscape

1971     The hunting party

1971     The corsairs

1971     Four rode out

1971     Delusions of Grandeur

1971     Raise your hands, dead man, you’re under arrest

1971     Doc

1971     The roosters of dawn

1971     Man in the wilderness

1971     Run for your life

1971     Indio Black, sai che ti dico: Sei un gran figlio di…

1971     Johnny hamlet

1971     The horsemen

1971     Catlow

1971     Sartana kills them all

1971     Petroleum girls

1971     Red sun

1971     A name that cried revenge

1971     Whity

1971     Captain Apache

1971     Blindman

1972     What am I doing in the middle of the Revolution

1972     God in Heaven… Arizona on Earth

1972     The sin

1972     Chato´s land

1972     A town called hell

1972     Campa carogna… la taglia cresce

1972     Night child

1972     Can be done, amigo

1972     The last run

1972     La Banda J.S.: Cronaca criminale del Far West

1972     Treasure island

1972     Antony and Cleopatra

1972     The fighting fists of Shangai Joe

1972     A reason to live, a reason to die

1972     Pirates of Blood Island

1972     Full house for the devil

1972     Con men

1972     Vente a ligar al oeste

1972     Travels with my aunt

1972     The sentence of God

1973     War goddess

1973     Autopsy

1973     Here We Go Again, Eh Providence?

1973     Chino – The Valdez Horses

1973     Charley-one-eye

1973     The final programme

1973     F. for Fake

1973     The heroes

1973     The man called Noon

1973     Ben and Charlie

1973     Me has hecho perder el juicio

1973     Proceso a Jesus

1973     La valija

1974     The four musketeers

1974     Diez negritos

1974     Whisky and ghosts

1974     The stranger and the gunfighter

1974     My name is nobody

1974     Kill the poker player

1974     The passenger

1974     Even angels eat beans

1974     The Spikes gang

1974     Zorro

1975     White, the yellow and the black

1975     Four gunmen of the Apocalypse

1975     A genius, two friends and an idiot

1975     Dr. Phibes rises again

1975     The wind and the lion

1976     Curro Jimenez

1977     Cipolla colt

1977     March or die

1977     Sinbad and the eye of the tiger

1977     Valentino

1978     The thief of Baghdad

1978     The four feathers

1978     The biggest battle

1978     They died with their boots on

1979     China 9, Liberty 37

1979     Jaguar lives

1979     Bloodbath

1979     Wild horse hank


80´s


1981     Fast, fast

1981     Buddy goes West

1981     Last harem

1981     Comin’ at Ya!

1981     Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

1982     Conan the barbarian

1982     Cristobal Colon, de oficio… descubridor

1983     Exterminators in the year 3000

1983     Hundra

1983     Never say never again

1984     Al este del Oeste

1984     The Almeria file

1984     The NeverEnding story

1984     The desert warrior

1984     Yellow hair and the fortress of gold

1985     Rustlers´rhapsody

1985     Mad Max beyond thunderdome

1986     Sky bandits

1986     Solarbabies

1987     Lieutenant nun

1987     Straight to hell

1988     The adventures of Baron Münchausen

1988     Miss Caribe

1989     The things of love

1989     Indiana Jones and the last crusade

1989     The best of times


90,s


1990     Las cartas de Alou

1990     Against the wind

1990     Navy seals

1991     El cielo sube

1993     The man who lost his shadow

1993     El pájaro de la felicidad

1993     The young Indiana Jones chronicles

1994     Morirás en Chafarinas

1995     Trinità & Bambino… e adesso tocca a noi

1996     Bwana

1996     Extasis

1996     The killer tongue

1997     Aquí llega Condemor, el pecador de la pradera

1997     Martin (Hache) 

1997     Spanish fly

1998     Denk ich an Deutschland – Herr Wichmann von der CDU

1998     Don Juan

1998     The return of El Coyote

1999     El arbol del penitente

1999     Dollar for the dead

1999     Outlaw justice – The long kill


00´s


2000     The year of Maria

2000     Queen of swords

2000     Sexy beast

2001     Die Manns – Ein Jahrhundertroman

2001     Honolulu baby

2001     Sergio Leone: cinema, cinema

2001     Manitou´s shoe

2002     800 bullets

2002     The stone raft

2002     Bestiary

2002     To love too much

2002     Talk to her

2002     Mucha sangre

2002     Poniente

2003     Imagining Argentina

2003     La Leyenda del Sheriff McCorgan

2003     The Tulse Luper Suitcases. Part 1: The Moab Story

2003     Jericho mansions

2003     The Gospel of John

2003     Dreamship Surprise: Period 1

2004     Blueberry: the secret experience

2004     Abgefahren

2004     Lucky Luke and the Daltons

2004     Stork day

2004     Exiles

2004     Hipnos

2004     The reckoning

2005     Energy Hunter

2005     A sound of thunder

2005     Black swans

2006     Stealth

2006     Peacemaker

2006     The white knight

2007     Limoncello

2007     The Tonto woman

2007     Asterix at the Olympic Games

2008     Camino

2008     Dead bones

2008     Possibility of an island

2008     Road Spain

2008     The missing lynx

2009     Lemo

2009     The limits of control

2009     The Sindone

2009     Stella´s Oorlog

2009     Los hombres de Paco

2009     Millennium – Men who hate women

2009     Goodbye, doll


10´s


2010     Half of Oscar

2010     Naúfrago

2012     Postcards from the moon

2013     Solsticio

2013     Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados

2014     Exodus: Gods and Kings

Cinema_almeria_spain_part_II_03

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Our Cinema Almeria Spain partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Sierra Nevada Mountains

Sierra Nevada Mountains in Almeria - 10 months a year snowed.
Sierra Nevada Mountains in Almeria – 10 months a year snowed.

Sierra Nevada mountains

Ragua mountain-pass, where Almeria changes its name by Granada.

Few people visiting Spain know that Sierra Nevada mountains are in a big extension part of Almeria province, and not only in Granada, although this second one has traditionally used commercially the name, thanks to their high peaks Mulhacen and Veleta , worldwide famous because of their ski areas, and because also of the famous Alhambra palaces and gardens at its foothill.

Granada lose its name becoming Almeria just at the place of Puerto de la Ragua (Ragua mountain-pass) at a high of 2000 meters above sea level. The panoramic view so as the pure air are really astonishing, and also it is a small paradise for those in love with geography and geology; coming from Almeria side it is a short-way of visiting Nevada Complex geo-locations without going no more far away.

DSCF0685 (2)

Just at the top of Ragua peak we will find metamorphic rocks as micaschist and quartzites, the same ones than in Veleta-Granada peak; the symmetry of both slopes at north and south is nearly perfect at this point. Coming down a little bit we will find the next geo-level with more metamorphic rocks as schist and marble, and downhill in the valleys it begin to appear phyllites and dolomites. At the bottom of the mountains, where the highs evolve in hills, we find recent sediment formations coming from the dismantling of Sierra Nevada along millions of years while it was slowly lifted-up (geologically talking). Only can be missed in this area the glaciar landscape, and although it is really there, it is not so prominent as in Granada highs because of the lower altitude of this area, so glaciars where never not so active as in Mulhacen and other Nevada western peaks. As something curious we can say also that some hills built in carbonates, limestone and dolomites (Triasic period around 240 million years ago)  can be found in some places at the northern planes.

Water coming from ice-melting generate in Ragua valleys a precious resource of life for the lands underneath, including the so-called Plastic Sea, faraway in the coast; these mountain streams anyway cannot be considered as real rivers, although sometimes after winter snowfalls they can become very active, and the flow can be very intense as dangerous.

SNE006

Water from Sierra Nevada mountains is the main wealth of Almeria western coast; without it, the miracle of plastic greenhouses would be absolutely impossible. Both legal figures of National and Natural Parks protect this special almerian area, just with its continuation towards West in Granada.

On the other hand we must say that this region is amazing from a natural history and landscape point of view; a real cultural and human landscape absolutely anchored in time, linked to the amazigh (the free men) tribes living here along centuries, cultures that were very difficult to be conquered by the big empires of Rome, Arabs and Christians; although finally the moriscs (descendant people of these tribes) were expelled from Spain, they came back slowly and adapted themselves to a more modern way of life; they (we) feel proud of our history, linked to Sierra Nevada mountains.

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Our Gata Geopark partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain (Sierra Nevada trips in Granada)

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Geo landscapes

Geo landscapes in Gata Geopark - Volcanic domes.
Geo landscapes in Gata Geopark – Volcanic domes.

Geo landscapes in Gata cape

Geology in Gata Cape (Cabo de Gata) as a different way to understand landscape

Cabo de Gata mountains are built-up with very peculiar materials; mainly there can be found magmatic rocks coming from very ancient volcanic activity. It is something very different to that happened in the mountains bordering this are, that are named Baetic Ranges (sierras Béticas) and are mainly metamorphic; also these magmatic materials are very different to those others in the nearby coastal depressions, that are mainly compounds of seaside shores and shallow-water sedimentary rocks, where can be found fossil shells of Strombus bubonius… a big sea-snail that lived here 200.000 years ago (actually can be found in tropical areas as Senegal coast).

The volcanic condition of Gata Geopark rocks is due to its intense and active geological past, starting aproximately 15 millions of years ago, just when the magamatic flows started to arise up to the surface of the sea in the not faraway area of Alboran Sea (Alboran island is actually part of Almeria province, offshore). Indeed these Gata rocks are part of this huge magmatic area, just emerged from the sea at this point and in the named Alboran island. The last Gata Geopark active volcanoes were extinguished around 7,5 million years ago.

Geo_landscapes_02
Geo landscapes in Gata Geopark – emerged volcanic domes.

Just at Gata Cape there can be recognized unique massive emergent volcanic rocks, that have been identified by geologists as volcanic domes.  A volcanic dome is an elevation in the land (can be up to 500 metres altitude) shaped as a coliflower or dome, that is the solidification result of very dense lava; this density avoid that lava mass move away by gravity as a fluid, and become solid very nearby to the place where it came up to the surface. Sometimes pressure generate lava explosions, generating a new class of rocks called Piroclastics or Ignimbrites (literally fire-rocks).

Between two different geological moments, lava density can be changed and become less dense… and flow then as a lava river. These three different density moments can be perfectly spotted in some areas at Gata GeoPark.

The hexagonal structures that can be seen in some of the places are generated by lava retraction after have being cooled, generating one of the most amazing Geo landscapes in the world.

Geo landscapes in Gata Geopark -  and uses of the land.
Geo landscapes in Gata Geopark – and uses of the land.

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Our Gata Geopark partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Desert walker

Desert walkers: one of the most amazing landscapes in Europe - walking all year except hot summer.
Desert walkers: one of the most amazing landscapes in Europe – walking all year except hot summer.

Desert walker.

Some years ago I worked in a big company and one of our brand´s marketing slogan was Keep Walking; later I remember proudly all the effort that our team kindly invested in this succesful campaign and I took the decission of launching my own Walk, my own Desert Walk… so I begun to be a lonely Desert Walker running here and there the Tabernas desert and badlands. I had everything I needed: time, enthusiasm, a big desert with highs of 2200 metres above sea level and inmense dry badlands areas for starting my activity.

Walking in a desert is an experience that need to be planned calmly; winter is cold there and summer is sometimes too warm. Wind, snow and intense rainfalls can ruin your trip and what is worst, risk of flash-floods is always on your rucksack.

Desert walkers:  exploring history, human landscape and uses of the lands.
Desert walkers: exploring history, human landscape and uses of the lands.

But to live the experience of discovering ancient galleries, film locations, spot rare birds or understanding geology cycles it is much than more for going down the ramblas and start walking and discovering the secrets of the desert. People have been living here along times, and still they do it in some places although actually in a different way, more modern and comfortable; life here for a family was so cruel and hard that nearly all the population emigrated in the last decades down to the coast, looking for a better way of life for their children (ourselves) in the new business of plastic green-houses.

Deserts walker that have been travelling with me down in the badlands know perfectly of what am I talking about, and what is the real experience there, at Kingdom of Silence.

Desert walkers:  exploring the highs in closed winter - below zero.
Desert walkers: exploring the highs in closed winter – below zero.

But the experience of the desert do not end down in the dry seasonal riverbeds (ramblas). Up the mountains there it is a unique experience walking in the snow of these arid lands, reinventing yourself and looking down to the world underneath your feet in a different way than usual.

That is the desert, that is the desert walker experience…. and much more.

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Desert walker partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Mountains beyond mountains

Mountains beyond mountains: that is the real Almeria.
Mountains beyond mountains: that is the real Almeria.

Mountains beyond mountains.

Always I describe Almeria say that it is the most mountainous region in Spain; indeed it is. The elevation of the mainland due to the tectonic plates crash has lifted up the territory in different areas, so that Almeria is run from East to West by different ranges of mountains (sierra = saw) in all its area: the main ranges are Gador, Alhamilla, Cabrera, Filabres, Nevada and Estancias, but there are also smaller ones with their own identity and beauty, their hidden villages and their own culture.

Mountains beyond mountains: up to 2000 metres above sea level.
Mountains beyond mountains: up to 2000 metres above sea level.

This is one of the main aspects to be considered while travelling to Almeria. It is a land where you will find always mountains beyond mountains, where it can be enjoyed the unique experience of travelling from sea level up to 2000 metres in less than 40 minutes; take breakfast at the sunny coast of Cabo de Gata and enjoying a bottle of spanish red wine one hour later in the highs, hidden in the middle of nowhere, at undiscovered high peaks that kiss the sky with their genuine pure air.

In these heights I feel myself free, totally human… with the World at my feet, only missing a couple of wings; and this is what I share with visitors travelling with me. Although Almeria is also the driest area of the Iberian peninsula, with its unique desert of Tabernas (Desierto de Tabernas) it is not something rare to be in the middle of the snow at any moment, either in a snow-storm or under a snowed brilliant blue sky. Because of this we locals like to say that… everything is possible in Almeria; also travelling by excellent secondary roads of mountains and more mountains beyond mountains.

Mountains beyond mountains: the desert seen from the roof.
Mountains beyond mountains: the desert seen from the roof.

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Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Major cruise ports in Europe

Major cruise ports in Europe: From Atlanta to Almeria.
Major cruise ports in Europe: From Atlanta to Almeria.

Major cruise ports in Europe

Till recent times, travelling in a cruise was something only reserved for privileged people, or at least so was understood by local ones here, awaiting for tourists in the european ports; but time has been passing by and cruise business has evolved in a way in which it can be understood so simply as a different way for travelling, discovering the lands from the sea, stopping consciously at any destination and mixing yourself in the mistery of local civilizations, lost cultures…  always seen from a different point of view.

But there is a moment in this evolutionary business in which travellers do not know where to go, where aremajor cruise ports in Europe, Africa or any other place in the world. The traditional big destinations are collapsed by tourists, and new travellers want to make their trip in a very different way: enjoying in tailored tours, being attended professionaly and paying no more than really required.

Major cruise ports in Europe: From Almeria main peer.
Major cruise ports in Europe: From Almeria main peer.

In this way we need to make a difference with the concept ot what are indeed major cruise ports in Europe or wherever, and where are indeed major cruise ports in Europe. Saying major does not mean to say the biggest one, or the port with more passesgers crossing in it. To say MAJOR is to say the best, the main destination, the authentic place you are really looking for in your holidays, small towns or hidden national parks as here they are in the spanish Mediterranean, undiscovered for cruise passengers till recently.

Almeria port at south Spain it is an example of these emerging major ports in Europe; with its amazing permanent blue sky so in winter as in summer, the quality of the air, the unique landscape so arid and dry, the hospitality of its people and the simple thing of being in Spain in a different way… make a difference with other crowded destinations, that of course will be also visited along trips.

Although Almeria is a small town with unique culture and ways of life, there are both an international port and airport that connect this emerging town just to the future, under a different point of understanding what is really travelling in a cruise.

Major cruise ports in Europe:  General view of Almeria port.
Major cruise ports in Europe: General view of Almeria port.

So many places to be visited in the shore excursions, such as Spaghetti-western desert, the moor valleys, high peaks or white-washed villages.

Look for Almeria when you check-in your travel and do not forget to remind your to show you the port from the top of the town (attached photo); really an amazing landscape view before returning to the ship. Waiting for you at the peer… don ´t forget to book your tailored trip in advance. Keep in touch… in one of major cruise ports in Europe: Almeria port.

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Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Responsible tourism destinations

Responsible tourism destinations: Almeria in Spain - Responsibility  with Nature.
Responsible tourism destinations: Almeria in Spain – Responsibility with Nature.

Responsible tourism destinations

Nowadays anyone talk here and there about green-tourism, eco-tourism, responsible tourism and more and more and more ridiculous concepts and ways of continuing doing the same unsustainable activities than in the past, but washed up with a green name. Under the name of responsible tourism destinations I have seen in recent times how so many natural habitats have been destroyed and how many local populations have been economically ruined. So when we are talking about Responsible tourism and Responsible tourism destinations, what are we really supposed to be talking about?.

In past times people travelled not as tourists but as travellers; this healthy concept changed in the last decades and indeed persons became objects to be profitably and easily commerced with. In this way, big resorts were built everywhere by big companies with the only purpose of doing quick money, selling sun and beach in the best case, but really always looking for profit, more profit and again more profit, and never looking for achieving good and unforgetable experiences for clients, that now they have been changed their status for bieng considered simply tourists. The local populations changed also their roles and they were promised lots of work and jobs with this new way of economical activity that changed forever their lives, their culture and their lands. Work was finally low quality employment and no more, and once the european economical recession begun, everything became worst and worst.

Big companies business grew up and up till finally it was collapsed by its own weight, and tourists begun to think by themselves again, and said NO to this situation; they were and are always the owners of their money and their time, and it was unlikable to be treated as a consum object. This was the real start of Responsible tourism, trying to change everything and understanding the concept under four points of view:

I am not a tourist, I am a person travelling and looking for new experiencies and alive knowledge.

I choose where I go and what I do at any moment. I am the owner of my money and my time.

I want to collaborate with the local populations I am visiting, so they can see tourism not as an industry but as a way of life, as something positive also for them, as a real way of life that helps them to preserve their culture.

–  I love local culture and wild Nature in the places I want to visit, and I will not allow none of them to be destroyed in my name.

Responsible tourism destinations: Almeria in Spain.
Responsible tourism destinations: Almeria in Spain – Responsibility with travellers and with local society.

So a responsible tourism destination must be really implicated in respect to Nature, sustainable growth of population, economical return to locals and full respect for people travelling in the territory, always considered as travellers and never as tourists. Nature and local culture in one hand, experience and knowledge in the other one; that is indeed responsible tourism, also known as ecotourism or green tourism.

The problem is that this new concept has also been discovered by the big monster of the macro-economical system and they are trying to put their claws on it, doing things finally again in the same way as in the past were done, but with different names and under different concepts; in spanish we have a proverb for that situation, and is that we have the same dogs but with different collars.

I will never understand responsible tourism destinations if they are not leadered and leaded by local persons living in visited lands; I know it is a very long way to achieve it, but really it is the only way for sustainable tourism in a responsible way.

Responsible tourism destinations: Almeria in Spain - Responsibility  with youngs in schools and education.
Responsible tourism destinations: Almeria in Spain – Responsibility with youngs in schools and education.

Since our activity as Wildlife Guide Almeria  started in 2010 we have been always looking for meeting points among travellers and locals, so both of them feel a part of the tours activity; since we started we have been spreading the word of conservation and sustainability although sometimes it could have had a bad effect in our profit; since we started enjoying really with what we liked so much, we have been allied with local schools and education for building a better world and helping to fix the young population to the lands where they were grown up.

Is all this stuff to create a Responsible tourism destination?. I don´t know really… it is perhaps your time to say if it is good or if it is not. Anyway we/I will continue walking by the same way and in the same direction.

If you want to organize a free talk about Almeria and/or responsible tourism destinations, please do not hesitate to mail us. Only transport and extra expenses would be required to be covered, mainly for other countries different of Spain.    Thinking in a different way.     Almeria: come and see.

   ASK FOR A FREE TALK ABOUT ALMERIA NATURE NOW 

Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Agave bloom

agave_bloom_2
Agave bloom landscape linked to movie sets and literature locations: Cortijo del Fraile in Cabo de Gata; the inspiration of Federico Garcia Lorca Blood Weddings.

Agave bloom

Almeria landscape generally, and mainly Cabo de Gata National Park… are highly linked to botany; dwarf fan palm tree, fig tree, pome granate, almonds and olive trees, sparto grass, prickly pear or agave plant are common shrubs and trees found everywhere in this nice south-iberian region.

The agave plant, also known as Century plant in North America or pita and pitaco in Spain, is really not originary from Europe, although it is so present in our arid landscape that it would be very different without them. Century plant´s name is given to the Blue agave (Agave americana) because it spends a lot of time before finally blossoming (after blooming, the plant dies). It is just the time that the plant needs to store all the required energy nutrients for when favorable weather allows it to develop the long sticks that will bring up with blooming.

For this Agave plant a dry and hot hot hot summer as this one we are suffering in 2015 is the greatest moment for blooming. It is just time for doing that: agave blossom time.

Agave bloom landscape: a unique experience only happening in Almeria mediterranean unusual deserts.
Agave bloom landscape: a unique experience only happening in Almeria mediterranean unusual deserts.

In Almeria lands there can be mainly found three species of Agave plants: Agave furcroydes and agave sisalana, planted in past times for taking the so-called sisal fiber, and Agave americana that is a bigger shrub than others and has been used for different purposes, as building corrals or ladders with its sticks, fences with the plants by themselves or agave sirope with blossoms´ honey.

The problem with sisal was that at the same time that first entrepeneurs begun to manage big plantations for obteining the fiber, just then plastic fiber was discovered and comercialized under a cheaper price; so the pita growths (pitares) were abandoned just at the beggining, before they could show if were profitable or not.

From these abandoned plantations come the actual agave landscape that can be found in the area of Nijar and Cabo de Gata National Park. It is something that must be mentioned that this plant, after blooming, develop small plants on the top of the sticks, that afterwards are blown by the wind, generating new plants. So Almeria province is actually a wild agave forest, deared by many people and not so much by others, that see in the agave-plant an invasive species in competition with local vegetation.

Agave bloom in Almeria cultural and human landscape.
Agave bloom in Almeria cultural and human landscape.

In any case the agave plant or century plant is highly linked to Almeria´s landscape; so much that we can say that agave bloom is a part of Almeria´s cultural and human landscape so as part of its natural history, although it is happening in the area only since few centuries ago.

When it is hot hot hot in Almeria it is time to look for the agave bloom; ideal moments for photographers so as naturalists and for every person in love with natural mediterranean landscape.  Almeria, come and see.

Do you want to visit the agave bloom??…

  BOOK YOUR AGAVE BLOOM TRIP NOW 

Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Desert photography ideas

Desert photography ideas at salty coastal marshes of Almeria. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.
Desert photography ideas at salty coastal marshes of Almeria. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.

Desert photography ideas

Almeria is one of the most important destinations for wildlife and nature photographers from all Europe and some parts of  North America, South Africa and Australia. Advanced travellers and professional photographers that do not want to lose their holiday-work time. So it is very important to know what are you looking for (birds, architecture, land formations, landscape, sunrises/sunsets, perhaps others??), so important as knowing well the language of the place your visiting and what places are allowed to visit or not; all these clues will improve your time for being used in the real thing that you are looking for when travelling: taking your pictures.

Weather in Almeria is unpredictable for anyone that is not a local, and sometimes it can really ruin your day. You need to learn how to move yourself in a windy day or with flash-floods risk, so that you finally reach your goals succesfully, and although almost times visitors coming to Almeria they enjoy a nice weather with clear and intense blue skies, you will never be exempt of storms and gales… also so usual here, and as said before… unpredictable.

Desert photography ideas at geology landforms in Almeria coastal locations. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.
Desert photography ideas at geology landforms in Almeria coastal locations. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide.

Wind: When wind is blowing, you must know that Almeria lands are abundantly mountainous, so you can shelter yourself always at one or other side of the hills (poniente versus levante), and do your work at the other slope of the valley in which wind is blowing from.

Sea storms: Sea is always nice for painting and art, so as for photogaphy and photographers; but always take care of the shore level when you are in the middle of a gale; shore level can change in a moment and ruin all your work; on the other hand tides are not relevant in this side of Mediterranean Sea.

Flash floods: keep always far away of ramblas (temporary seasonal riverbeds); they never will warn you that they come-down with tons of water and bolders in only some seconds/minutes; keep always a security distance from these floodable places.

Snow: Almeria mountains usually enjoy snow-storms in winter and spring times; be always careful with dirt-tracks and take at any moment notice of how you can leave the place in an alert situation.

Summer: never never never forget to take some litres of drinkable cool water in your car, mainly while travelling in the desert and up the lost mountains.

Winter: Don´t forget to place your warm cloths always inside the car-boot; you don´t know in which moment they will be much more useful than your camera or your own car.

Luggage: Although Almeria is a highly safe destination, never forget to leave nothing inside the car when you park it in lonely places; it is the only way to avoid anywhere uncomfortable situations.

Desert photography ideas for landscape and uses of the land at south Spain. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide and photographer.
Desert photography ideas for landscape and uses of the land at south Spain. Guided trip with a senior birdwatching guide and photographer.

Of course, the best option will be always trust your local guide, because he/she will know what to do at any moment and will ensure that your photography trips or art tours become totally successful and enjoyable along your stay in our lands.

At any case Almeria will make a difference in your photography and art trip. These were only some desert photography ideas for those travelling by themselves, with no external assistance or nature guiding.

Do you want any more desert photography ideas or perhaps do you want to book a trip with me?.

  BOOK YOUR photography / art FIELD TRIP NOW 

Our partners:

Picachico | Casas Rurales en Almeria

Hostal Rural Restaurante Alba

Hotel MC San Jose. Parque Natural Cabo de Gata Nijar (Almeria)

Spanish Nature

Spanish Highs Mountain Guides, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Kisacar Rent A Car

Jesus Contreras

Culture and Nature tours in Almeria and Granada. Spain