Found on the shores of the Mar Menor, this town has for generations been considered the ideal place to relax as you enjoy its beaches and water sports. Today, Los Alcázares is one of the top tourist destinations in the whole region.
A THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD HISTORY
Found amongst modern buildings in the village of Los Narejos, are Las Balsas Romanas de Los Diegos (Roman pools). Hidden for nearly 2,000 years and only found by chance, it is not yet certain what they were used for. Although, it is thought that they were part of a bigger hydraulic complex associated to a settlement or from industrial exploitation. This thousand-year-old history is just around the corner!
COME FLY WITH ME
Aviation fans will fall in love with the Municipal Aeronautical Museum of Los Alcázares, which is dedicated o the fact that it was the first seaplane base in Spain and one of the pillars of the Spanish air force during the first half of the twentieth century. Weapons, military uniform, aircraft propellers, anti-aircraft guns, hundreds of snapshots and important figures make up one of the most comprehensive military aviation collections.
A FAMED SPA FOR THE FAMOUS
Built in 1902 and witnessing the town thrive, The Hotel Spa of La Encarnación, has kept the same conservationist charisma from the early twentieth century. Some of the most distinguished people of that era stayed here, including King Alfonso XIII and The Duke of Galliera (El Infante de Orleáns). A visit to the hot springs hotel, which would use the waters of the Mar Menor for its therapeutic treatments, is a special experience due to how well it has been preserved and indeed its overall charm. If you do manage a visit, make sure you have a drink in the scenic terrace that overlooks the sea.
HUERTA AND SEA
In the early twentieth century the people of the Region of Murcia began coming to Los Alcázares to enjoy their holidays and recharge their batteries with the famous novenarios (Huertanos used to bathe themselves 9 times in the Mar Menor as they believed it had healing powers). As a result, over the years a close partnership formed between the Huerta and the sea. Nowadays to celebrate this relationship, la Semana Internacional de la Huerta y el Mar (the International Week of the Huerta and the Sea) takes place in the second half of August. Performances and traditional, cultural events are held in the park of the Peñas Huertanas where you fill find a craft fair and the chance to sample the traditional food in their Huerta styled huts. All in all, making it one of the most anticipated and fun summer occasions.
ARGH ME HEARTIES!
Every Easter, the town of Los Alcázares recreates the raids of the Barbary pirates that were carried out on the banks of the Mar Menor during the 16th and 17th Centuries. Take a tour of the medieval market, see the pirates ashore on the beach or just stroll the streets of the city with the pirates, jugglers, falconers and the many more colourful characters. It's quite an experience!
A CALDERO CONVERGENCE
On the 12th of October, in between a series of cultural and sporting events which are designed to celebrate the municipal independence of Los Alcázares, a celebration of one of the most typical dishes of the Region of Murcia takes place: Caldero (a fish and rice dish). Even at daybreak you can already see the beach full of cooking equipment to prepare the rice. Let the seaside atmosphere wash over you as the smell of the sea mixes with the smell of the Calderos that the locals are preparing on the shores of the beach. But if you aren't able to make it that day, don't worry. All of the local restaurants offer excellent Calderos throughout the year, just make sure you enjoy them whilst overlooking the sea!
LIFE'S A BEACHHUT
In the summer months, a never-ending line of huts and bars will await you on the beach. Here, you'll discover some of the local tapas; octopus, marineras (a potato and tuna salad upon an anchovy topped breadstick), matrimonies (salted and pickled anchovies) and steamed mussels. All of which you'll learn, taste so much better whilst eaten overlooking the sea. As the night goes on, some of the huts will transform into livelier bars and get the party started with live music, allowing you and your friends to continue enjoying yourselves.
ASSUME YOU'LL HAVE A GREAT TIME
On the 15th of August it is the local holiday for the patron saint of Los Alcázares, Our Lady of the Assumption, who is commemorated in a beautiful procession that starts at sunset on foot, and concludes with a boat ride to the soundtrack of fireworks, music and raw excitement. Crowds of worshippers and curious tourists gather in tribute to her and to be part of one of the most meaningful and popular festivals in Mar Menor.
FROM DUSK TILL DAWN
One of the things you must do in Los Alcázares is take a walk along the promenade at sunrise. A walkway between the palm trees allows you to enjoy one of the finest views of the Mar Menor and it's at this time when you can see the beautiful range of colours that blend into the horizon. It's a real treat for all the senses! Then, when this fantastic sight makes way for the day to begin, you know it's just the right time to enjoy a nice, refreshing dip in the sea. But if you're not an early riser, don't worry. The horizon puts on another magical show of light and colour at dusk, a real eye pleaser!
As well as being a big touristic resort, the waters of the Mar Menor are amongst the most highly regarded in Spain to host regattas. Due to the good weather and the warm, calm, and shallow conditions it boasts, you can practice all kinds of water sports here all year round. There are many teaching schools that cater for all levels so that anyone can go sailing, canoeing, windsurfing, kite surfing, speed boating and surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. No matter how old you are!