s imposing fortress was used to keep Berber pirates at bay, who launched repeated attacks along this stretch of coast for decades. Today, the pirates have gone, so the fortress welcomes visitors with exhibitions and lots to see. The amphitheatre next door puts on live theatre performances and music concerts, making this a great spot for culture lovers too.

The Wetland Reserve

If you've any wildlife enthusiasts in your group, a day at the Roquetas de Mar Wetland Reserve is ideal. With 15km of protected beach and 1960 hectares of unspoilt wetland, this is a haven for birds and animals, including flamingos, lizards and snakes. Because of its size, the Reserve always feels empty and the beach is the perfect place to get out your binoculars and watch our feathered friends at work. Inland, you'll find the dunes give way to mud flats, which house freshwater and saltwater lakes.

Fun-filled festivals!

If you book a July break to Roquetas de Mar, things to do become even more interesting, as the Festival of Santa Ana hits the streets. The patron saint of fishermen, Santa Ana is celebrated by the villagers taking a statue of her through the streets from the church and all the way down to the harbour. Once there, her face is washed by local fishermen, who then place the statue in a boat, which then leads a spectacular parade across the waterfront. In typical Spanish style, the festival continues with music, dancing and fireworks.

A day out in Almeria

The nearby city of Almeria is a great day out if you want to soak up some more of the local culture. You'll find an enchanting maze of cobbled streets hiding architectural wonders, such as the imposing Gothic cathedral. There are some fabulous, traditional tavernas and rustic restaurants in which to enjoy a bite or a drink, and shoppers can flex their bargain-hunting muscles in the wonderful selection of boutiques and shops. All of this is watched over by the commanding figure of the Alcazaba fortress, where the kids will love exploring the dank dungeons and impressive battlements.

4 Things to do in Roquetas-de-mar