Mazarrón and Águilas
Leaving Isla Plana and skirting the coast, you reach Puerto de Mazarrón, a seaside resort town with excellent hotel facilities and a lively nightlife. A visit to the fishing port is recommended, as well as to La Lonja where a typical fish auction can be observed.
Opposite Bolnuevo beach (its beachside leantos are a good spot to have lunch or enjoy a refreshment break) is Ciudad Encantada, one of the most unusual landscapes in the area where time and wind have eroded the sandstone into bizarre shapes.
Along 35 kilometers (22 miles) of coast, Mazarrón unveils lovely spots, such as the beaches of La Reya, Bahía, Nares and El Castelar, in addition to unspoiled coves, including Cala Amarilla, Percheles, and Puntas de Calnegre, in the direction of Águilas, one of the few areas in a virgin state remaining on the Mediterranean.
The little town of Mazarrón, three kilometers (almost two miles) from the coast, contains some notable buildings, including the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) and the old Ateneo Cultural, both Modernist in style. Also meriting our attention is the 14th century Church of San Andrés with lovely Mudéjar coffer-work, as well as the ruins of Vélez Castle.
A little inland, leaving the road that continues to Murcia, you travel across colorful landscapes now dotted with abandoned mines.
The coastal road takes you southwest to Águilas, an old Roman fishing port. Hornillo wharf, where iron was once loaded for shipping, still stands as a reminder that this was a 19th century mining town.
In the center of Águilas, it is worthwhile to visit the lovely gardens brimming with ficus plants in the Plaza de España, the 19th century Ayuntamiento (Town Hall), and the Parish Church of San José which houses a lovely statue of the patron saint. In the high part of the old quarter stands the castle-fortress of San Juan de Águilas, built in 1579 as a defensive bulwark.
At the foot of the castle is the harbor and a typical black and white striped lighthouse, in operation since the middle of the 19th century.
This sea-faring town boasts extensive solitary beaches with crystalline waters (La Higuerica, La Carolina, Calabardina, etc.) and is also one of the best areas for skin diving.