Last year my husband & I flew from Stansted airport on a sunny June morning. It was my birthday treat to go & visit my Sister in Villamartin. We flew into Murcia airport where as a surprise my husband had a convertible car booked for the duration of our holiday. It had air-conditioning for when the top was up and a great breeze in the hot air with the top down (thank goodness I packed my baseball cap)! We drove the brief journey to Villamartin past the vineyards, farms, old Spanish tractors onto the new motorway and within 20 minutes arrived at my Sisters apartment. Angie had a great Spanish dinner ‘on the go’ when we arrived & true to form Michael Jackson playing with a glass of wine waiting for us! We chilled on the veranda and caught up, a extremely relaxing day considering it was spent mostly travelling. For the following 3 days we chatted, swam in her swimming pool, sunbathed, read books, & ate her new Spanish recipes. All of which were delightful (apart from the Michael Jackson music)!
On day four we started our adventure across the Costa Blanca and Costa Almeria
. With the roof down and baseball cap on we set off to cover quite a distance, only just stopping for the loos and to grab a sandwich from the roadside cafes. Unlike back home motorway or main road cafes sell good fresh sandwiches at a competitive price so here is no need to worry about making up a picnic. As well as in the heat a sandwich wouldn’t be at its ‘best’ by lunchtime. We hadn’t booked any hotels, apartments and villas and decided this would make things interesting & add to the adventure of it all.
The journey was fun on the way we saw fresh peppers, fields and mountains in the distance & abundant of beautiful houses. We would stop and buy a watermelon from a van at the side of the road, or homemade olive oil off an old Spanish lady.
On our first night we stayed in Cartagena a fantastic city with tall historical buildings narrow streets & museums, art galleries and shops a plenty, there is also the world’s oldest submarine on the marina of Cartagena. We found a rustic & friendly hotel, had dinner, and crammed as much sightseeing in the next day as possible. And of course visiting any Spanish city wouldn’t be complete without popping into El Corte Ingles!
The next day we headed south down the AP7 motorway towards Mojacar through Mazarron, Vera, and Garrucha. We would often stop to stretch our legs and have a quick drink in a quaint tapas bar. With each drink we would receive a free plate of tapas, sometimes sardines, sometimes olives, always bread, a little salad, or on occasion’s meatballs. Enjoying the relaxing ambience, & citizen watching. Often next to the tapas bar there would be an authentic ceramic pottery shop. I picked up quite a lot of souvenirs in these shops, which have great memories.
No holiday to the Costa Almeria is complete without visiting Texas Hollywood
. A film set where the famous cowboy films such as a “Fistful of Dollars” & “the Good the Bad and the Ugly” were filmed. Now I expected it to have a feel of Disney where you were very well aware of being on a film set but Texas Hollywood was so rustic and real you could almost forget you were on a film set! There is a cowboy bar with swing doors where you are able to order yourself a drink & the cowboys come running and shoot their guns and the scare the life out of you if you aren’t expecting it. Then there is the photography studio where if you want, you are able to dress up as a cowboy and have a memento of the day. I wore white linen which I wouldn’t recommend as part of the authenticity of this day is a whopping amount of dust!
One day we found a hotel in Roquetas de Mar which is a typical Spanish commercialised seaside resort with high rise Hotels, water sports, and fine white sand. It is a bit more upmarket than your usual resort & we quite enjoyed chilling on the beach.
On our last night we were in Mojacar
and unexpectedly there was a fiesta which finished the holiday off with a bang. Mojacar is a developing city situated on a little estuary. We wandered down to the exclusive boat harbour for a drink then back up the steep hillside to a little restaurant with the windows wide open to be part of the fiesta. Outside there was dancing, stalls, bands, and lots of visitors. There were a really array of citizens from the super chic Spanish women & the local hippies. After dinner we watched the parades, & headed back to the hotel ready to catch our flights the following morning. We flew home from Almeria, simply dropping the rental car that we had collected from Murcia at the Almeria airport. I had a fabulous holiday and would highly recommend it to anyone.