Upon entering Villaricos you will notice the beautiful Torre de Cristal situated on the seafront. A diverse village with many bars and restaurants. Villaricos has one of the most attractive promenades along the Andalucian coastline. It has dark sand and rocks, coming from old casting slag, which witnessed the fruitful mining past of this enclave. There are two marinas and two diving schools due to the wealth of sealife in the surrounding seas. Sunday is market day with people coming from the surrounding areas to purchase the fresh local produce.
In the 19th century lead ores were discovered in the surrounding Sierra Almagrera mountains. After this discovery, the silver rush happened and Villaricos became famous on the stock exchanges throughout Europe. Flues can still be seen dotting the hillside. At the beginning of the 20th century the mnes were closed when they became to expensive to operate. The village resorted back to its fishing trade which still exists to the current day.
The two main beaches in Villaricos are the Playazo de Villaricos and Playa Luis Siret. At the entrance to Villaricos you have the Playa Quitapellejos a long and wide stretch of clean river sand from the Rio Almanzora. The bamboo borders along the beach give you a secluded, tropical feel, a lovely natural beach.
Things to see
At the mouth of the Rio Almanzora, at the entrance of Villaricos you will see a horseshoe-shaped tower, Torre de Cristal or Cristal Tower, this guards the southerly marina. Built between 1763 and 1772, during the reign of Charles III, it is a typical coastal defence installation. Originally the entrance was on the first floor, accessed by a rope ladder. The lower room was storage for the gunpowder and provisions. The gun emplacement on the roof carried two 24 pounder cannon. In the 19th century, the tower was garrisoned by the Carabineros Corps and after 1941 by the Guardia Civil. In the early 1990s the tower was restored and is now the tourist information office on the ground floor and a small display of photographs of the finds from Baria on the first floor.
Villaricos enjoys an exceptional all-year-round sub-tropical climate, as does the whole of the Costa Almeria. The area is protected by the Sierra Cabrera mountains, however, it still peaks temperatures of around 40ºC in the summer months, dropping around mid-September to a milder, but still warm and enjoyable 23ºC-27ºC degrees. The winters are mild and mostly dry, although the winter evenings can get chilly.