Adra is a coastal city located southwest of Almeria, where the main economic activity is currently based on intensive greenhouse agriculture
, along with other secondary activities such as fishing. With a landscape consisting of steep ravines, the bulk of the population is concentrated in the coastal strip.
The origin of the locality is at Montecristo Hill
, where the town of Abdera
was founded in the second half of the 8th century B.C. by Phoenician navigators. However, its name is of Greek origin, who chose the zone as it was similar to their own country's terrain. The Greeks were involved in a bartering economy that was mainly focused on the mining of iron deposits in the interior regions.
The settlement of groups in the interior, such as La Alcudia (which today forms part of La Alqueria), and an economy based on activities such as irrigation agriculture, the silk industry and the promotion of maritime trade, came with the Islamisation of the area in the 9th century.
The Modern Age was characterised by the incorporation of Adra into the Crown of Castile in 1489 and the construction of the castle between 1492 and 1495. This was part of the coastal defensive system against Berber piracy, alongside beacon towers, such as the Guainos Tower
. Adra was populated with prosperous old Christians who built a walled fortress, known as Adra la Nueva, where three towers and some walls are still preserved. During this time, the city's commercial activities were focused on the port, along with the cultivation and processing of sugar cane, which intensified during the 17th and 18th centuries. Wine production and fishing activities were added later.
Entering the 20th century, with the fall in the price of lead and the depletion of supplies, Adra focused its economy on the construction of the port, which started in 1907, and other commercial activities. Lately Adra is mainly engaged to the intensive greenhouse cultivation of vegetables.