Mazarrón is set in a wide bay which opens up into the Mediterranean Sea. Its coast used to be visited by Phoenician traders, fishermen of every era and by former miners, who used it to unwind after their hard day’s work. It’s one of the best places to holiday for sun and beach lovers!
Mazarrón is set in a wide bay that opens up into the Mediterranean and has a coastline of 35 km. It has two important urban centres: the port and the town capital, five kilometres from the coast. Since its origin, the name of Mazarrón has been linked to the mining wealth of its mountain ranges, which are rich in lead, zinc, silver, iron, alum and red ochre. In Phoenician, Punic and Roman times, great work was carried out in the mines, leaving behind an abundance of archaeological remains. The Arabs also settled in the area, attracted by its mineral wealth. After the Christian Reconquest, the place known as Casas de los Alumbres de Almazarrón was formed as a consequence of the mines that were opened in the 15th century. Its strategic position turned it into a bastion of defence of the neighbouring lands of Lorca and Cartagena, proof of which may be seen in the numerous defence towers that were built to stop the Saracen advance from Africa.
Mazarrón became very important at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th, during which time iron and galenite were mined. Once the wealth of the mines had been exhausted, Mazarrón developed an important tourist industry and agriculture, and at the same time, promoted its seafaring and fishing tradition. This activity can be seen in the port, with its fish market and shallow-water fishing boats.
As the result of its rich history, the streets of Mazarrón contain interesting monuments. Of special interest are its Town Hall and the Former Cultural Centre, which are of Modernist style and stand as indications of the splendour of the beginning of the century. Behind the Town Hall is the church of San Andrés (16th century), with a beautiful Mudejar coffered ceiling and nearby, the Convent of La Purísima (the patron saint of the town). It is also possible to visit the ruins of the Castle of the Vélez family. Out of the town, there are other towers, such as the Torre de Vieja de la Cumbre (17th century) in the port, the Tower of Los Caballos and the Tower of Santa Isabel in Bolnuevo and, on the hill of El Molinete, a watchtower with a circular layout.
Besides the wealth of monuments, Mazarrón offers beautiful places which stand along the 35 km of its coastline and enjoy the protection of its 300 days of sunshine per year and average temperature of 20ºC. Opposite the Beach of Bolnuevo is one of the most spectacular landscapes of the region, where, on white sandstone, the erosion of the wind and the water has sculpted beautiful shapes, known as Bolnuevo Erosions. Beaches such as La Reya, Bahía, Nares or El Castellar and virgin coves such as Cala Amarilla, La Grúa Beach, Parazuelos, Covaticas, Ballenato, Percheles, etc., offer ideal conditions for beach and sea lovers or for those who enjoy long walks along the seashore.
Mazarrón is also the ideal place for enjoying a complete range of leisure possibilities, nautical activities and active tourism. The Mazarrón marina has 200 mooring points. In its regatta club, competition is combined with courses at beginners and advanced levels. It is also possible to practise rowing, sea paragliding, water-skiing and speedboat racing. Divers can also find many clubs that organise courses at all levels together with diving expeditions to enjoy the beauty of the rocky sea bottoms, spectacular underwater caves and grottos.
Mazarrón also has a great deal to offer the rural tourist in the way of scenery and the traditions of its mining and maritime past. Its protected natural areas of Sierra de las Moreras and La Muela Cabo Tiñoso offer the chance of getting closer to nature in an area of great environmental value and interest.
OUT OF THIS WORLD CREATIONS
Like what you’d expect to see in a science fiction movie, the Bolnuevo Erosions are spectacular. These eroded rock formations, that have been carved and sculpted by wind and water, are really worth a visit. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the sea and nature and it’s sure to impress you.
Sunken across from the Playa de la Isla beach, two Phoenician boats have been located as the oldest in the Mediterranean. If you want to know more about the shipwrecks and the Phoenician culture, then a trip to The Phoenician Ship Interpretation Centre won’t disappoint you. The centre which is next to the Playa de la Isla beach, has a replica of a Phoenician boat from the 7th Century BC on display.
Are you ready to see some whales at high sea? Mazarrón bay is one of the best places to spot dolphins, sperm whales and pilot whales all from the comfort of a tranquil, vintage schooner whilst always respecting the animals and their natural habitat. If you’re looking to explore the underwater world, then you should know that Mazarrón is one of the region’s divers’ paradises! Its crystal-clear waters and the variety of species it boasts make these depths the perfect place for beginners, as well as experienced divers. The diving centres and schools in the area provide lessons for every level, so even if you’ve never done it before, you’ll pick it up easily.
ON FOOT OR BY BIKE?
If you love walks or cycling, then you’ll enjoy the beautiful landscape as land and sea come together at Mazarrón. There are 35 clearly signposted paths that are designed for these activities and run along the coast, mountains and unspoiled landscapes. But if you prefer photography, we’d recommend a visit to the abandoned nearby mines. The derelict buildings and rust-coloured pools are especially impressive.
21st CENTURY BEACHES
There are beaches for summer and winter; for young and old; for sport and music fans and for naturists too. However you like it, there’s a beach for you. But no matter where you go, you will be equally as satisfied, as all of the beaches ranging from Mojón to Bolnuevo have been given the prestigious ‘Q for Quality’ award by the Spanish Tourism Board.
ROMAN SALTING FACTORY
Another place you must visit is the Roman Salted Fish Factory, where the remains of one of the major Late Roman fish salting complexes are preserved. And while you’re here, you’ll be able to learn the recipe for the famous Garum fish sauce.
TREASURES OF THE SEA
Found just beside the fishing dock, the fish market is one of the most important places in Mazarrón. Here, from Monday to Friday, you can witness the traditional fish auction, an interesting spectacle which captures the true spirit of Mediterranean life. The fish market is that important to the Mazarroneros (the local people), that they hold a mass to Our Lady of Mount Carmel just before they all take part in a procession in the sea.
KING OF THE CASTLE
At the top of a small hill smack bang in the middle of the town centre, surrounded by some of the most important buildings of the area, you’ll find the impressive ruins of the Castillo de los Vélez (Los Fajardo Castle). Built in the 15th Century by the Marquis of Los Vélez as a military fortress, its height makes it the perfect spot to catch a breathtaking view of the old town of Mazarrón.
The many parties provide another reason why you need to visit. The municipality of Mazarrón is made of 14 districts and each one has a highly interesting and unique patronal celebration. Held in November, The Bolnuevo celebrations and the beautiful procession on the seashore particularly stand out. As do the patronal festivities dedicated to the Immaculate Conception in December. Here, small clubs of Mazarroneros go out to the streets to enjoy the float procession and other religious and festive activities such as sporting competitions, musical performances and of course, all the local food you can eat.
THE HUERTA AND THE SEA
The link between the Huerta and the sea can be seen in Mazarrón’s cuisine. Some of the local delicacies you won’t be able to resist include: Monkfish; ajotomate (a Murcian tomato salad); hake fish balls; grilled pilchards and grouper cooked in the Mazarrón way. Known for their excellent colour and flavour, the tomatoes of Mazarrón also deserve a special mention. If you happen to be in the area, make sure you take some home for your friends and family!