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Aguilas

This town stands on a coastal area of 35 km, under the surveillance of its beautiful castle of San Juan de las Águilas and on the southern-most tip of the region. This municipality has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic age, and many other cultures, including the Argaric, Phoenician, Roman and Moslem people, have left their vestiges here. Of particular interest are the Roman remains, especially the baths, which date from the 1st to 4th century. As a modern town, Águilas was born of the enlightened thought of Charles III and his ministers Aranda and Floridablanca, who sought a port for the export of the agricultural products of the river plain of Lorca, and Águilas was the natural departure point for the entire region. The new town, with its rectilinear layout, became a commercial enclave on the up, reaching its zenith in the 19th century with exploitations of silver, lead and iron and the construction of the railway line and the pier of El Hornillo by British companies. Nowadays, Aguilas conserves its seafaring tradition and its deep-rooted vocation as a tourist resort.

Of the town's monuments, the Town Hall is of particular interest; it is a neo-Mudejar building from the 19th century, located in the Plaza de España, with age-old gardens and an old fountain dominated by a swan, popularly known as "the turkey on the pond". The square is surrounded by a few Modernist buildings, the 19th-century church of San José, which contains the statue of Our Lady of Sorrows, who is the patron saint of the town. The historical quarter still has the atmosphere of the seafaring quarters, dedicated to fishing, and is crowned by the castle-fortress of San Juan de Águilas. This tower-fortress was built around 1579 for defence reasons and was later rebuilt in the 18th century. In the Paseo de Parra, there is a monument to the railway, proof of the importance this means of transport once had for the population.

Besides its wealth of monuments and archaeology, Águilas has a coastline with many points of interest. Thirty-five coves, rocky promontories that stretch into the sea and beaches of fine sand. The coves of Cala Reona, Calabardina, Calacerrada, El Arroz Beach and El Hornillo Beach, are places where the protagonist is the countryside, still untouched in places. Indeed, the town has two protected natural areas: the Regional Park of Cabo Cope and the Protected Countryside of Las Cuatro Calas. The very centre of the town has beaches, such as that of Las Delicias. And nearby, opposite the breakwater of El Hornillo, lies the Isle of El Fraile, a small island covered with rocky slope sea bottoms and seaweed colonies for the special enjoyment of divers. These are joined by the interesting sea bottoms at the foot of the Crag of Cabo Cope. East of Águilas, in the municipality of Lorca, is a coastal area of enormous interest, where we find Puntas de Calnegre - literally Blacklime Points, so-called after the dark colour of the rocks. Together with Cabo Cope, Puntas de Calnegre has been a Regional Park since 1992. This is one of the least frequented areas of the coast, with clean, sandy beaches and crystalline waters. The Points end at the sea in high cliffs, between which lie the beautiful coves of Baño de las Mujeres, Siscal and Cala Honda.

The Mediterranean climate of Águilas, with almost no rainfall, 3,200 annual hours of sunlight and average temperatures of 25.2ºC make this place ideal for nautical and sub-aqua tourism. Everything the denomination of Águilas offers (Villa Náutica (sailing village)), has been designed for visitors to get the most out of their stay. Sailing cubs, diving clubs with light sailing boat courses, cruises, diving courses, hire of material, monitors and qualified teachers, tourist accommodation, apartments, hotels and camp sites, etc., all at the disposal of those who decide to pay us a visit.




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