Puerto de Mazarrón on Spain’s "Hot Coast"
Puerto de Mazarrón is located on the Costa Calida and has a population of around 35,000 residents and over 35 kilometres of unspoilt beaches. With an average annual temperature of 18 degrees it’s an ideal place to relax in the sun and have a paddle in the Mediterranean. The town of Mazarrón sits in the foothills of the Almenara Mountains. The area is rich in minerals including silver, iron and copper. The Romans mined the hills surrounding the town extensively during their time in the region, constructing hundreds of mines. Successive cultures also took advantage of the natural deposits in the hillsides, including the Moors who named the town ‘Almzarron’ which derives from the Arabic word for red, in reference to copper-rich earth.
This mining past can still be seen in the old mining town on the outskirts of todays’ Mazarrón where chimneys, buildings and winches have been left to crumble, providing a striking snapshot of the past. Streaked across the hillsides here are multiple rich colours of earth revealing the different layers of minerals.
The hills around the town not only provided metals but also shelter. The foothills of the Almenara Mountains protect the Bay of Mazarrón from the elements and frame sandy beaches. The bay’s beaches hold Blue Flag status and you can find a wide range of amenities here including scuba diving, watersports, shops and restaurants. The beaches along Mazarrón’s long undeveloped coastline vary from white sand to rocky coves.
There are a number of historical points of interest dotted in and around the town. The proximity of the town to the sea meant that pirate attacks were a constant threat. As a result, three towers were built around the town between the 16th and 18th centuries that look over the town and out to sea. Built on hilltops, today´s visitors to the towers are rewarded with stunning views.
A short car hire drive away, up narrow mountain roads, is the Gun Batteries of Castillito. Also known as ‘Mazarrón’s Big Guns’, these more modern coastal defences were built in the early 1900s and formed part of the defence of Cartagena. The battery offers fantastic views of the coastline and surrounding countryside. The main attraction, though, is the two main guns which stretch for 56 feet and were capable of firing rounds over 20 miles. The site is not only impressive from a military perspective, but also architecturally. Carved into the mountain side, the series of control rooms and lookout posts have been built in the style of a medieval castle.
The must-see sight in Mazarrón is the Bolnuevo Erosions, located on the coast. These sandstone rock formations have been sculpted over millennia by the wind and rain into eerie shapes. Shaped into mushroom-like towers, the sandstone looms above visitors and has become known locally as the ‘haunted town’.
Mazarrón is around one hour and twenty minutes’ car hire drive from Alicante Airport and Drivalia Car Rental. For more information on the town and its attractions visit the Turismo Mazarrón website.