I have just had reason to look at some files that were on one of my old PCs from some time ago. Being the nerd that I am I have kept copies of a lot of the data stored on PCs I have had since we came to Almerimar.
While looking I found some articles I wrote for a magazine called Mojacar Magazine in 2009. Around 4-5 years after we first arrived in Almerimar. The articles describe the seasons in Almerimar as I saw them in 2009.
Read More to read the articles from 2009 (2 combined into 1) plus a summary of changes that I think have happened between 2009 and now.
CHANGES SINCE 2009
- The biggest change since 2009 is that we now have large numbers of long stay Swedish golfers who are here over the winter. Normally for 1,2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 months. This means that the golf course is very busy in October, November, February, March and early April when the weather is pretty bad in northern Europe. It is still reasonably quite in December and January.
- The golf prices have changed quite a bit. The crisis caused the prices to drop. However high usage of the course in the winter by long stay Swedish tourists are pushing the winter prices up again now.
- Sadly El Arroz no longer exists. However the Italian restaurant that replaced it, Osteria Da Ralph, is one of my favourites.
- We now use the clubhouse for post Friday golf prize giving. It probably did not exist in 2009.
ORIGINAL ARTICLES (2 combined into 1)
Summer in Almerimar
Summer is when a lot of the businesses here hope to make the bulk of their money. Mid-July to the end of August is the liveliest time. With UK school holidays combined with the Spanish approach of using August as a month for holidays boosting the numbers that visit Almerimar.
Almerimar is very busy with lots of bars and restaurants staying open late. If you are staying in the marina area you will probably have to stay up late as there is lots of music and general background noise. If you prefer a quieter time you could perhaps stay in a place 10-15 minutes walk from the marina (like where we live). That way you can take advantage of ´the buzz´ but still have the occasional early night if you like that sort of thing.
During the summer months the local council organise lots of events to keep people entertained. These typically include a medieval market, organised sports events, kids shows with magicians, clowns and face painting etc. plus free music events in the town and at the castle at Guardias Viejas (about 10-15 minutes drive from Almerimar). Some of these events are quite small and informal but some, like the 2 day Bolero festival last year, are quite large events.
June 23rd is the festival of San Juan and we have great fun with barbecues and bonfires on the beach plus people jumping into the sea at midnight. Another fun day is the festival of the Virgen del Carmen which takes place in July. A statue is paraded around the marina and taken out to sea.
From June to September is the low season on the golf course. The ´walk on´ price of a green fee drops to around 46 euros compared to the high season price of around 67 euros for the rest of the year. A great thing for us is that the course is quite empty in the summer so we can play when we like and not be held up on the course.
Autumn in Almerimar
Come September life in Almerimar gets a little quieter. There are not so many tourists around and everyone seems a little more relaxed.
The marina fills up with boats where people plan to stay here for the winter. Until recently Almerimar was viewed as one of the cheapest places to birth a boat over the winter so the marina was full of boats. However, we have been told that prices have risen quite a bit recently so we may not see this influx of people this year.
Many of the properties in Almerimar are owned by people who spend the summer months in Northern Europe and part of the autumn, winter and spring in Almerimar. Many of these are golfers who have retired and want to take advantage of the great climate that Almeria can offer. So autumn is the time when we meet up with friends we have not seen for a while.
Winter in Almerimar
Winter is a time when Almerimar is much less busy. It is easier to find parking spaces and the queues in supermarkets are much smaller than the summer.
As the province of Almería is one of the driest in Europe we do not have a lot of rainfall over the winter. Climate statistics show on average 6 days of rain a month in the worst months. However, in the winter of 2004/2005 when we first arrived in Almerimar we had snow for the first time in over 40 years. Luckily it has not appeared again since then.
We do have the occasional storm but generally the weather is pretty good. However, if can get windy from time to time. This is great for the windsurfers but not so good for the golfers. We have been told that it tends to be windy for 3 days in a row and then the calm weather returns.
A number of the bars and restaurants take a 1 month vacation at different times during the winter. Nevertheless there are still plenty of places to go to eat and drink around the marina in Almerimar. Also, some places do excellent winter deals (e.g. 10 euros for a 3 course dinner including a drink at El Arroz every Thursday from 8-9pm in the winter and spring).
Winter is a time for us to meet up with lots of golfing friends. People with property in Almerimar tend to visit the town from time to time throughout the year. However, a lot of the golfers from Northern Europe spend a lot of time in Almerimar over the winter.
So come October/November we get to meet up with old friends we have not seen for some time. Lots of them take part in the Friday golf competitions we organise every Friday throughout the year. In the summer we only have small numbers taking part but we get more people taking part on Fridays in the winter.
Mostly we play the competition and then go back to a local bar for drinks and prize giving (everyone wins a bottle and the last place team wins some chocolates). However, every so often we organise a special competition where we all go out to dinner afterwards. See the golf.almerimartoday.com (EDITOR'S NOTE: old website now replaced by fridaygolfsociety.es) site for more information about the competitions that we organise in collaboration with Alan and Sharon from Alcor Properties.
There are not as many events taking place in the winter but there is enough going on to entertain people that want to go out for an evening. Some of the bars put on free gigs by local bands and the culture department of the local council promotes events in the town of El Ejido about 15 minutes drive away (e.g. Jazz and Modern Music Festival in November, ballets, theatre etc.).
Spring in Almerimar
When spring arrives in Almerimar the winter golfer all go back to their home countries. The exodus starts in late March and the last ones tend to leave in May.
Spring is probably my favourite season in Almerimar. You can virtually guarantee that the weather will be good. So good that friends that come over to visit us in April have been known to go nude sunbathing on the nudist beast that is only a short drive from Almerimar. Also, the golf course is pretty quiet so you can get a game of golf just about any time you fancy.
In spring there is still snow showing on the Sierra Nevada mountain range that you can see from Almerimar. It is said that if you start early enough in the day you can drive to the Sierra Nevada, ski in the morning, then drive back to Almerimar to play golf in the afternoon.
Easter is always a hectic time in Almerimar. Lots of visitors come here during the Easter holidays. There are lots of masses and parades at churches in the various towns in the area.
Once Easter is over the town goes quiet for a little while but come the end of spring it starts to have a bit of a buzz going on. As the local businesses all start gearing up for the summer season where they make the most of their money.
Then the cycle continues……