Roquetas de Mar

This municipality in the province of Almeria is a prime holiday destination in Almeria, an ideal spot to spend a day at the beach and uncover more of Andalusia.

Situated a few kilometres (approximately 25) west of Almeria city, Roquetas de Mar is one of the least rainy locales in Europe, where the sun shines for more than 300 days each year. It boasts expansive sandy beaches fringed by dunes, and a mere 80km to the west lies the Sierra Nevada, Spain's premier ski resort.

Roquetas de Mar lighthouse

Roquetas de Mar is also renowned for its golf courses, water sports facilities, and the array of activities on offer in the area.

If you're journeying to Roquetas, you mustn't miss Aguadulce harbour, one of the most notable modern structures in the province of Almeria.

The harbour accommodates numerous moorings for small to medium-sized boats and yachts. Thanks to Roquetas' superb weather, there's a flurry of activity for most of the year. The harbour is also well-equipped with fishing tackle shops, diving clubs, and the Nautical Club.

History of Roquetas de Mar

Roquetas de Mar's history spans millennia, with its first settlers being the Phoenicians who established a trading port. The Romans and Arabs later exploited the area's resources, with the town known as Turaniana under Roman rule. The original settlement was in La Ribera de la Algaida but was relocated due to flooding. This archaeological site is a testament to the town's ancient past.

During the Reconquista in 1489, Almeria was conquered and the coast divided into districts. Despite its potential as a military site, Roquetas de Mar remained focused on salt pans and fishing. The Watchtower of Los Cerrillos, built during the Arab reign, stands as a reminder of this era.

The current town began in the 18th century when inhabitants from nearby towns settled permanently. These fishermen worked the saline lands, making them suitable for cultivation. The Rosario church, dating back to the 18th century, was established during this period.

In the 1950s, Roquetas de Mar's development gained momentum, establishing it as a key city in the province, largely due to intensive agriculture. Landmarks like the Castle of Santa Ana bear witness to the town's rich history and cultural heritage.

Things to do in Roquetas de Mar

Among the things to do in Roquetas de Mar, we highlight the monuments, festivities, and fairs. Roquetas de Mar is divided between different population cores, each with their own unique festivities.

Among the most popular festivities are the Virgin Carmen of Aguadulce, the night of San Juan celebrated on the beach, The Bonfires of December, the Holy Week (Semana Santa), Santa Ana in The Port, and the festivity of the Virgin Rosario in the city centre.

Places to Visit

Castle of Santa Ana
From the 14th century and rebuilt in 2001, it now serves as a museum and an exhibition hall. (Map)

Watchtower of Los Cerrillos
A tower built as a defensive element during the Arab reign of al-Andalus. (Map)

The Rosario Church
This religious temple dates back to the 18th century. (Map)

Wetlands of La Ribera de la Algaida
This natural reserve comprises a lagoon and marshland spanning an area of over 250 hectares. Its coastal location lends it a rich biological and ecological diversity. The wetland is a sanctuary for more than 200 species of birds, making it a paradise for bird-watchers. It also hosts a variety of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals. T. (Map)

Beaches in Roquetas

  • Playa de Aguadulce (Map)
  • Playa de la Ventilla (Map)
  • Playa Los Bajos (Map)
  • Playa Las Salinas (Map)
  • Playa La Romanilla (Map)
  • Playa La Bajadilla (Map)
  • Playa Urbanización (Map)
  • Playa Serena (Map)
  • Playa de Cerrillos (Map)

Fairs and Festivals in Roquetas de Mar

Roquetas de Mar is a hub of vibrant celebrations. One of the most significant religious events is the honouring of the Virgen del Carmen and Saint Ann on 25 and 26 July. This celebration features a spectacular maritime procession with beautifully decorated vessels parading along the coast. The day concludes with games, open-air dances, and a grand fireworks display.

On 7 October, the city celebrates the Patron Saint's festivity in honour of the Virgen del Rosario. This event includes an open-air dance, a motor vehicle Gymkhana, and prize-giving. Aguadulce, another tourist area along the coast, celebrates its Patron Saint's festivity in honour of the Virgen del Carmen on 16 July. This unique sea-land procession is accompanied by open-air dances and recreational activities.

The night of San Juan (St. John) is celebrated on 23 June along the entire coast. Bonfires illuminate the crowded beaches, creating a spectacle of light and colour.

Easter in Roquetas de Mar has become one of the most important festivities in the Province. The Brotherhood of the Virgin de los Dolores is particularly notable for the artistic quality of its images. On 28 December, the traditional "Moragas" festivity is celebrated on our beaches. Locals and visitors alike gather to enjoy typical grilled fish and meat.

Travelling to Roquetas de Mar from Malaga

Roquetas de Mar, a gem on the Costa de Almeria, is easily accessible from Malaga. If you're starting your journey from Malaga Airport, there are a couple of routes you can consider.

The quickest route is via the A-7 road, also known as the Autovía del Mediterráneo. This motorway runs along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, providing a direct and efficient route to Roquetas de Mar. The estimated travel time for this route is approximately 2 hours. However, travel times can vary depending on traffic conditions, so it's always a good idea to check the latest road conditions before you set off.

If you prefer a more scenic route, consider taking the N-340. This road offers stunning coastal views and takes you through a number of charming towns and villages along the way. Do keep in mind that this route is longer and may have more traffic, so the journey time will likely increase. However, the beautiful landscapes and the opportunity to explore the Andalusian coast make it a worthwhile option for those who are not in a rush.

Regardless of the route you choose, the journey from Malaga to Roquetas de Mar offers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Andalusian coast. Safe travels!


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