The article here on the Ideal site has details of a 3 year local tourism plan:

Here is a Google translation of the article:

The surroundings of the Castillo de Guardias Viejas will be a didactic Mediterranean garden

The Tourism area prepares a Sustainability Plan that includes maritime paths, an 'Agriculture Experience Center' and a Tourism Observatory

The Tourism area of ​​the El Ejido City Council has prepared a Sustainability Plan for the Ejido municipality with which to give a boost to a sector that has been severely beaten by the Covid-19 health crisis. A Plan that includes interesting and ambitious projects with which to promote a change in the tourist model of the town and that is based on both the development and the sustainable transformation of the tourist resources of El Ejido.

Precisely the Governing Board on Thursday gave the green light to present this Plan to the Ministry of Tourism of the Junta de Andalucía and the Secretary of State for Tourism, with the aim of attending the national call for the program 'Plans for Sustainable Tourism in Destinations '.

In this sense, the El Ejido City Council will try to revitalize the surroundings of the Castillo de Guardias Viejas, a privileged enclave, from where the entire extensive ejido coastline can be observed. To do this, it plans to create a didactic Mediterranean garden around the Castle, as well as a Center for Gastronomic Experiences in the Carabineros Barracks, located in front of the Castle. However, these are not the only projects included in this Plan, but the creation of an 'Agriculture Experience Center' and a maritime path that connects Almerimar with Old Guards is also proposed.

Precisely the progress of construction in the nucleus of Almerimar already places it very close to that of Guards Viejas.

In the same way, the Tourism area includes in its Plan scooters and electric bikes and points to recharge them in its main tourist resources, with the aim of promoting environmental care and promoting sustainable transport.

To all this would be added the creation of a tourist observatory that will allow the sector to monitor the flow of tourists and, therefore, advance their knowledge, to continue implementing measures to improve it.

A three-year program

Regarding the call for the program 'Plans for Sustainable Tourism in Destinations', proposed by the Secretary of State for Tourism, it establishes that it will be developed in three years and will be funded at 33% by the three administrations involved, such as the City Council, the Junta de Andalucía and Central Government. That is why the Governing Board approved on Thursday the sending of the plan to these two supra-municipal organizations.

The call is intended to increase the sustainability and operational capacity of local entities that manage tourist destinations, as well as help them to articulate local action plans that incorporate actions against the crisis in the sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which improve the sustainability of destinations and allow them to recover, maintain and attract tourist demand.

El Ejido will have a gastronomic experiences center

A place like El Ejido, where the largest number of agricultural holdings are concentrated with about 13,100 wintering hectares that annually produce about 1,330,000 tons of top quality fruits and vegetables, and which has a varied gastronomy that is also nourished by its coast, it had to have a space dedicated to highlighting all this wealth, and it will.

The Sustainability Plan prepared by the Tourism area contemplates the opening of a Center for Gastronomic Experiences that merges agriculture with artisanal fishing.

A center that is also expected to open in a historic enclave such as the Carabineros Barracks, in the vicinity of the Guardias Viejas Castle.

I picked this up from someone on a Boro message board would is about to travel to Spain....

"If you are travelling to then be aware you need to fill an online form in. This isn’t a simple tick box you can do at the airport - it’s a five stage complicated going on which you can only finalise two days before travel. Lots of security codes emailed and texted back and forth. You can’t travel if you haven’t done it in advance.

It’s not well publicised, we picked up the link through the online check in and it wasn’t even obvious on there. Also you need to put something in every box even if it’s a zero.

I'm guessing there may be similar for other countries, but don’t know. Worth checking though."

Updated: Here is a link to the form provided by a reader Alan S....

hotel zerbinetta

hotel zerbinetta

hotel zerbinetta

Apologies for not publish much here recently. Last week Jacqui and I were visiting family and playing a bit of golf in the UK. So I did not have time to publish stuff.

At the weekend we made a repeat visit to Hotel Zerbinetta in Dilar (near Granada). The photos above were taken from the garden and terrace of this rustic hotel.

Here is the story of our first visit there in 2015 (with a lot more detail of stuff). Since then Jacqui, myself and our friends Alan and Sharon have visited the same hotel and area on a number of occasions.

This time we had a 1 night stay in the hotel. With a lovely a la carte dinner in the hotel restaurant. Including among other things some local produced black pudding, Plus a meat platter for two that was very good (with a side portion of chips added).

In the morning we had a light breakfast and a wander around the area close to the hotel.

After checking out we then went to the La Tasca restaurant in Nigüelas for lunch. Again we had another lovely meal. The chicken souvlaka was great. As was the shared grilled vegetable starter. Also, Alan said that the pizza he had was the best he has ever eaten.

Be warned that La Tasca gets busy at the weekend. So it is worth booking in advance. Also it is best to park in one of the two parking areas on the outskirts of the the town. Then walk up to the restaurant from there. As the streets in the village of Nigüelas are very steep and narrow.

I can really recommend a trip to both this hotel and restaurant. The area is less than 2 hours away by ca from Almerimar. With dual carriageway all the way until the turn off for Dilar

The hotel is on a hill at the top end of the town. There is a route through the countryside that you can use to avoid driving through the centre of Dilar. However the drive through the town is an interesting experience.

This morning I was popping down to the clubhouse and calling in to Mercadona to buy some bits and pieces. While down there I called in to the tourism office to see where the new local council office is now located (it is a couple of desks on the right just inside the entrance to the tourist office).

As usual I was listening to SI FM radio (93.3 mhz) while driving around. This is a local Spanish radio station for the Almería area that plays a good mix of Spanish and international music. Of various genres depending on the time of day.

As I was listening there was an advert for the Pepe Aguado restaurant in Ugíjar. This is somewhere Jacqui and I frequent from time to time when we go for a day out in the Alpujarras.

You can see a little more information about day trips to the Alpujarras and this restaurant here on the site. You can also see an article here from 2015 about when we stayed for a few days in the Alpujarras.

I have only just spotted that San Javier airport in Murcia is closing in January 2019. This has been talked about and written about for a number of years. However it is now happening in a couple of months time.

The replacement airport opening in January 2019 is Corvera. Corvera is closer to Almerimar than San Javier. Corvera is accessible in less than 2 1/2 hours according to Google maps. The route without toll roads is just under 2 /12 hours with dual carriageway all the way. Or you can use toll roads and get there even quicker - probably around 2 hours to 2 hours 15 minutes.

Although it is a little further away than Málaga it is quite a bit closer than San Javier.

I understand that Jet2 and Ryanair are among the airlines that are planning to use the new airport when it opens in January.

I wonder who will be the first Almerimar resident to use Corvera airport.

One of our readers, Ken P, has pointed out that the summer BA direct flights between Heathrow and Almería are now coming to an end.

I have to admit I did not know that there were any direct flights on this route.

I have just checked and you can book direct flights for June 2019. So I guess they are starting again at some point next year.

Bodegas Perfer - 16 October 2018

Over the years we have lived here Jacqui and I have visited many bodegas in the area. Most of them are located in the Alpujarras (foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains). Only a few of them are located in the Levante (east) part of the province of Almería.

Early this year a friend, Alan S, spotted on Facebook that there was a bodega in the desert part of the province. He also spotted that the bodega was unusual as it sells a lot of blue wine in many countries around the world. The bodega is called Bodegas Perfer.

On Tuesday 16 October 2018, in conjunction with the Friday Golf Society and the El Ejido Bowls Club, we visited the bodega. Alan, his wife Sharon, Jacqui and myself organised the trip.

Read More for details of the day trip.

I was looking at the Vueling website recently and I have noticed that the site is now showing flights for late June 2019 onwards.

I know that among many other places they have flights between Malaga and London.

At present it looks like they have filled in the calendar of flights for the period through to the middle of October 2019. However if you try to book any flights after late June they are currently unavailable to book. So my guess is that they should be releasing these flights for booking pretty soon.

Perhaps they release flights for different routes at different times over a period of time to reduce load on the booking part of their website.

I have just noticed that Jet2 flights to and from Almería are now available for summer 2019. You can see more details here.

The same link is also available in the Featured Tourism menu on the site.

I was chatting to some friends yesterday and I mentioned the Alpujarras (foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains). This area has some magnificent scenery and is a great area to visit. There are two parts to it - the part in the province of Granada and the part in the province of Almería.

I said I would pass on some information to them about the area. This morning I thought I might as well do it in the form of an article here.

Here is an article about a long weekend trip we did to the area a few years ago.

We went back to play the golf course again later and it was not as good the second time. It was not in great condition. However the rest of the information is still useful I guess.

If you want a day trip rather than a longer stay then the end of the article might be useful. You could perhaps go to Pampaneira and/or Trevelez.

Another alternative day trip is the following route:

Almerimar to Laujar de Andarax - there is a small bodega and a small tourist centre when you enter the town. Just north of the town there is a walking and bbq area with a small waterfall. This is called Nacimiento Del Rio Andarax.

If you wish you can stay down in the valley area closer to Laujar and visit various villages and bodegas in the area.

Alternatively, if you do not mind heights, you could go up the mountain. To do this you go from Laujar to Bayácal. Then up the mountain to Puerto de la Ragua. This is a high mountain pass with narrow roads. It is an area where people go cross country skiing in the winter.

Once you are over the top of the pass at Puerto de la Ragua the road goes down past some towns/villages on the way to a motorway. The motorway is the inland route to Almería from Guadix. You can take the motorway back to Almería then come home to Almerimar via the motorway from Almería to El Ejido.

Another good day out is market day in the town of Ugijar. This takes place on the 5th and 20th of each month (or at least is used to). The town has a nice, simple restaurant that serves a filling menu del día lunch. The restaurant is called Pepe Aguado and it can be found behind the church in the town. If you do go on market day or Sunday the price of the lunch is a little more than other days. Also, it might be worth calling in and booking a table as it can get busy on market days or Sundays.

There are lots of other places to visit in the Alpujarras. So have a poke around on Google maps and plan your own day trips or short breaks away from Almerimar.

The article here on the Sol Times site has details of more Jet2 flights into Almería for 2018. From Belfast, Birmingham, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Leeds, London Stansted, Manchester and Newcastle.

On many occasions we have taken day trips to the Cabo de Gata nature park. Having just had a look at the article here on the Voz de Almería site I have found out that later this month there will be the 30th anniversary of the natural park being founded.

Read More for a Google translation of the article (and click on the link to the article to see a few good bird watching photos).

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