The delightful port city of Aguilas is located on the Costa Calida. A tradition of seafaring combines with a wide range of tourist facilities, which makes the most of one of its main attractions, the extensive coastline.
Aguilas is situated approximately 1 hour 30 minutes drive from either Alicante or Murcia San Javier Airports.
Aguilas was a Roman fishing port, which was re-established when in 1785 it began to operate as a port of export for the produce of the Murcia regions fertile fields.
In the 19th century Aguilas became an important mining area. The Hornillo jetty, where iron, lead and silver from the nearby mines were loaded onto ships, is a reminder of those times.
The city, which has a rich seafaring flavour, is home to the beautiful gardens of the Plaza de Españas, with a myriad of rubber plants on view. The 19th century City Hall and the parish church of San José, where the image of the patron saint is housed, are of architectural interest.
Above the old town, standing on a promontory, is the castle-fortress of San Juan de Aguilas, built in 1579. Below it sits the port with its characteristic black-and-white striped lighthouse, which has been in operation since the mid-19th century.
The town has a fine food market.
Aguilas offers the visitor an extensive coastline stretching some 34 kilometres, which makes it one of the main tourist destinations in the Murcia region.
There are many solitary coves and beaches with crystal-clear water, such as La Higuerica, La Carolina, Calabardina and Las Delicias.
Aguilas is one of the best places on the Mediterranean coast for scuba diving, thanks to its rocky seabed. Favourite diving areas are Fraile Island and the area around the rock of Cape Cope.
The plains of Murcia are incredibly fertile, and produce a vast array of fresh fruit and vegetables, which make up the base ingredients of the regions cuisine. Rice is also staple here, and finds it's way into many dishes.
The abundant and varied seafood from the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean, along with game and farmed meat from the mountains complete the picture.
Some typical dishes include: Arroz y Conejo (rice with rabbit), Arroz de Verduras (Rice and Vegetables), Arroz y Costillejas (rice and ribs), Arroz Marinero (seafood rice) and Paella Huertana, a vegetable paella.
Non-rice dishes specialities include Potaje, a rich stew dish; Menestra, a dish of sautéed vegetables; Habas con jamón" (ham and broad beans and Caldo Murciano, a local soup dish. The king prawns fished in the area are also particularly fine, and the Huevas de Mújol, a type of caviar, is also a high delicacy of the region.
Aguilas enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with cool sea breezes in summer and protection from the surrounding mountains against the cold North winds in winter. The area averages nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees.
In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area as one of the most equitable in the world - neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. On average it can boast 325 sunny days each year making it an ideal all year round destination.