Aguilas, Spain - must-see historical attractions, beaches, recreation. Complete city overview

Aguilas is a city of eagles on the Costa Calida with a rich history. How to get there, what to see, which beach to choose for your holiday and where to eat? How much does real estate cost?
Águilas is both a municipality and town in the autonomous community of Murcia, the comarca of Alto Guadalentín. It is located on the Costa Calida, in the Gulf of Mazarron. The city has a population of 35,722 (data for 2020). Águilas is 35 km from Lorca, 105 km from Murcia and 75 km from Cartagena.

1. General information

View of the promenade in the centre of Águilas
View of the promenade in the centre of Águilas
The municipality of Águilas is surrounded by a series of mountain ranges separating it from the Guadalentín Valley: Lomo de Bass, Sierra de la Carrasquilla and Sierra de la Almenara, the latter of which is protected as a Zone of Special Protection for Birds (ZEPA) and an Area of Valuable Environment. Águilas includes El Talayón, the highest peak in the Sierra de la Almenara at 881 metres above sea level. Águilas, a beautiful port town, was once a Roman fishing port in the heart of Costa Calida. The city itself was founded during the Age of Enlightenment. From 1785 it began to function as a port town from which various products, including esparto, were exported. In the 19th century, Aguilas became an important mining enclave - the famous Hornillo jetty, from which iron, lead and silver were mined, has been preserved since then.

By the way, in Spanish, the city's name is pronounced with the accent on the first letter - Águilas. The name itself is derived from the Spanish word eagle. Incidentally, eagles are also found on the coats of arms of the Águilas football club and the town. In the city itself, the beautiful gardens of the centenary ficus trees in the Plaza de España (town square), the 19th-century town hall and the parish church of San José, home to the Virgen de los Dolores, created by Francisco Salzillo's school, are definitely worth a visit. At the top of the old town, on a promontory, stands the castle-fortress of San Juan de Águilas, built in 1579 to protect the settlement. At its foot, there is a port and an original lighthouse with black and white stripes, active since the mid-19th century. Águilas is also famous for its archaeological museum, Roman thermae and the 16th century watchtower Torre de Cope.
Flag of Águilas
An eagle is depicted on the coat of arms of the city's flag
But the most important thing to come and relax in this cosy town is the extensive 34 kilometres of coastline. Combined with the wonderful climate, this sunny coastline makes Águilas one of the main tourist destinations in Murcia. Here you can enjoy secluded, picturesque coves and beaches with mirror-like water (La Higuerica, La Carolina or Calabardina), Blue Flag city beaches (Las Delicias, La Colonia, Levante, Poniente). In addition, many of the coves in Águilas, especially those around Cabo Copé cape and the island of Fraile, provide some of the best snorkelling and diving around the Mediterranean.

The main attraction around Águilas is the Cuatro Calas ('Four Bays'), a nature reserve of unusual beauty. This protected landscape is on the border between the Murcia region and the province of Almería. It is also part of the Cabo Cope y Puntas de Calnegre regional park located between the municipalities of Aguilas and Lorca.The economy of Águilas is mainly supported by summer tourism and intensive fruit farming (peaches, oranges, lemons, melons and watermelons) and greenhouse vegetables (tomatoes, lettuce, aubergine, courgettes, capers). Other economic sectors in the municipality include construction, fishing, shipyard activities (construction of fishing boats) and railway workshops, aquaculture (farming of fish such as Dorada and Lubina), hospitality and trade.

2. Climate and weather

Águilas has a warm and arid climate, with very mild temperatures in winter and very hot summers.

The average annual temperature here exceeds 20ºC , and the rainfall is less than 200 mm. Summer has tropical nighttime temperatures (above 20ºC degrees), and daytime temperatures exceed 30ºC degrees throughout the summer. Winter temperatures rarely drop below 7ºC degrees. Average temperatures of July and August are 26-27ºC degrees and 12ºC degrees in January.

Average monthly temperature in Aguilas

annual temperature graph in Aguilas
Average monthly temperature in Aguilas
Rain is distributed in the interseasonal months: autumn (October-November) and spring (March-April). The Mediterranean climate can occasionally experience cold spells, heavy rain and flooding such as that experienced in Águilas in August 2010.The sea temperature reaches an average of 25ºC during August, the hottest time of the year.

Weather in Águilas, Spain. Forecast for the next seven days


3. How to get there

It takes 20 minutes to get from Murcia airport to the city of Murcia by Interbus from the terminal. The cost of the trip is 5 euros. Then change to a train: RENFE trains run from Murcia Del Carmen station to Águilas. The journey time will be 1 hour and 50 minutes.

From Almería airport, take the ALSA bus in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

From Alicante, there are also ALSA buses via Murcia. The bus journey to Murcia from the terminal costs 5.37 euros and takes 55 minutes. The train to Murcia takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs from 10 euros one way. For information on fares and timetables, check the carrier's websites.

Águilas on the map of Spain

4. Getting around the city

The railway station of Águilas is also home to a small museum
The railway station of Águilas is also home to a small museum
Cercanías trains of the Murcia C-2 line pass through Aguilas, connecting the municipality with Madrid, Lorca, Pulpí, Almendricos, Puerto Lumbreras and other cities.

The bus station is next to the Aguilas train station. Buses run regularly to Lorca, Murcia, Madrid, Bolnuevo, Mazarron, Cartagena and Almeria. In addition, there are several city bus lines in the municipality.

The closest airport to Águilasis the international airport of the Murcia region (97 km). A little further is the airport of Almería (122 km) and Alicante-Elche airport (172 km).Águilas has three seaports. Two of them are for recreation and sports: the newly built marina Club Náutico de Águilas and the marina Juan Montiel. The third is a fishing port to moor a boat. Nowadays, it is not used commercially, and it has become a port for sport fishing. The port is located at the foot of San Juan de las Águilas Castle, near the Punta Negra lighthouse.

5. History

ancient bas-reliefs with faces from the museum of archeology in Aguilas
Aguilas has a lot of rich culture and history
The first human settlement on the municipality site dates back to the 2nd to 1st centuries B.C. It was under the control of the Roman Republic as a strategically crucial coastal area for the delivery of minerals from the surrounding mountains.

During the medieval period, the city belonged to the independent Emirate of Córdoba and later to the Caliphate of Córdoba. In the 11th century, it was under the muslims.
During the Christian Reconquista, Águilas was finally incorporated into the Kingdom of Murcia, part of the Crown of Castile.

During the Bourbon restoration, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a large British colony arrived in the town for large-scale mining operations. With an investment of British capital, the Great Southern of Spain Railway Company Limited built a railway line between Lorca, Baza and Águilas to bring esparto and minerals to the port. It was then that the famous Hornillo jetty was constructed in iron and concrete, becoming an outstanding engineering project of the time.

From the 1920s onwards, the mining crisis led to a decline in population and emigration, which continued until the 1950s and 1960s. People left mainly for Catalonia, southern France, Switzerland and Germany. However, from the middle of the 20th century, with the spread of intensive greenhouse agriculture and the development of beach tourism, as well as improved transport infrastructure (construction of motorways and highways), there came a turning point after which the city's population began to grow.

6. Beaches

Playa de Poniente in Aguilas
Playa de Poniente (photo by
Four city beaches of Aguilas have been awarded the blue flag: Poniente, Levante, Las Delicias and La Colonia.

A breakwater separates the sand and gravel beach of Playa Poniente; its length is 1,100 meters, and width is 50 meters. Located within the city limits, facing south, the beach stretches from La Colonia to La Casica Verde. The entrance to the sea is smooth, sometimes with a sharp drop, especially in the central part. The beach is equipped with toilets, foot showers, garbage cans, telephones, sports and a playground. Vacationers have a fantastic view of the San Juan de las Aguilas Castle and can get a snack at the nearby restaurants. In addition to the beautiful fortress view, the beach bars and restaurants are also available at Levante beach. There are also facilities for various sports such as beach soccer, volleyball and windsurfing.

The 450 meters long Levante beach is located in the centre of the city, between the marina of Club Náutico and the fishing port of Aguilas.
Playa Las Delicias in Aguilas
Playa Las Delicias
The highlight of Las Delicias beach is the beautiful promenade with palm trees. There are rocky cliffs on one side of it, and on the other, there is a picturesque view of San Juan Castle. Usually, boats come in here and drop anchor for a few days. Here you can go windsurfing or play beach volleyball. The beach, which stretches between the Sea Club and Cape La Aguilica, is 800 meters long and 50 meters wide. It is one of the best beaches in the city, it covers almost the entire Levante bay, which is considered the most beautiful in the Mediterranean.

Playa La Colonia is surrounded by gardens, palm trees and recreational areas. It starts from the hill on which stands the castle of Las Águilas. The entrance to the sea is smooth and ideal for swimming with children. The beach is 575 m long and 60 m wide.

Between the municipality of Pulpí (Almería province) and Águilasis the small, 150m long beach of Los Cocedores (Playa de Los Cocedores), also known as Cala Cerrada.

It is a beach with calm, crystal clear waters, impressive coastal cliffs and natural pools, ideal for children who can not swim.

Los Cocedores beach is 5.5 km from the city, in a truly heavenly place. The crescent-shaped sandy beach is surrounded by wind-protected mountains of unique rocks - on one side a black stone of volcanic origin, and on the other a yellow one with remains of fossil sands.

La Carolina beach has a Blue Flag award and has well-deserved popularity with vacationers. The beach is well accessible - there is a path to the coast from the main road. From the shore, there is a beautiful view of the town and the cape with the castle. The sand at Carolina beach is very fine and pleasant, and the entrance to the sea is smooth. This beach is part of the protected natural landscape "Cuatro Calas", the smallest of the four bays of the reserve.Higuerica beach of fine sand is located in a natural environment, 4.5 km from the city. It is also a part of the protected area of Cuatro Calas. The beach is well protected from the west winds. On the opposite, there is a small rocky island with sharp edges, known among fishermen as "La Cama de los Novios". The beach is 225m long and 47m wide. The south-facing Playa de Calarreona beach is the longest and widest in the area (490 m long, 45 m wide), with small dunes in the adjacent saltmarshes. A small cape in the centre, on which the Calarreona hostel is located, divides it into Calarreona las Tortugas (western part) and Calarreona la Cabaña (eastern part).
Playa del Hornillo in Aguilas
Playa del Hornillo (photo by
Hornillo beach is located along a small bay at one end of which is Amarilla beach and the small island of Fraile, and at the other end is the former industrial pier of Hornillo. Thanks to railway proximity, this beach is popular with Lorca residents.In front of the beach, there is a beautiful Gaudí-style mosaic staircase of bright mosaics that leads to an observation deck with gardens and benches, and an esplanade where the Ave María chapel is located. This complex, called Rincón del Hornillo, is the work of the Murcian artist Juan Martínez Asensio.

Next to Hornillo Beach, there is a large shopping centre, "Águilas Plaza", with parking nearby.

On the east side, Cabo de Cope Cape protects Playa de Calabardina beach. It is the ultimate place for anchoring boats.The 450 m long and 30 m wide beach with fine sand, smooth entrance to the sea and clear water faces south. Today, the old jetty used for boat trips by small boats and diving clubs is a witness to the times when the fishermen unloaded the hauls of Almadraba: mackerel, tuna, Atlantic bonito.

7. What to see in Águilas

The castle of San Juan de las Águilas
The castle of San Juan de las Águilas
The castle of San Juan de las Águilas is perhaps Águilas' main attraction. It is an 18th-century military fortification that was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1982.

The castle was built on the site of previous defensive structures dating back to Carthage times. After the expulsion of the Arabs from the city, the fortress was abandoned.

In 1579, during the reign of Philip II, the San Juan watchtower was erected on the promontory to protect the Spanish Mediterranean coast against attacks by Berber pirates. This tower was very similar to the nearby Torre de Cope and served to warn Lorca's troops of enemy attacks. Unfortunately, the San Juan Tower was badly damaged by an earthquake in 1596 and was finally destroyed by Berber attacks in 1643. In the mid-18th century, during the reign of Fernando VI, a new project for the construction of a new castle was presented. Shortly afterwards, construction began and was completed in 1756.

Unfortunately, only remnants of its splendour have survived. One of the surviving facades shows a shield with the lions of Castile on it. Recent excavations have uncovered underground passageways in the surroundings of the castle.

The castle was restored in 2007 and can be visited. An impressive panoramic view of the city and its surroundings can be enjoyed from a height of 85 metres. The fortification consists of three parts: the San Juan fort, the San Pedro battery and the link to the two forts that protected access to the castle.

To the north of Cape Cope, close to the sea, within the Cabo Cope y Puntas de Calnegre Regional Park, is the Torre de Cope watchtower, also known as Santo Cristo. It was erected in the 16th century to protect the coast from frequent attacks by North African corsairs and Berber pirates.

In the 19th century, when piracy already posed no threat, the tower lost its purpose and was abandoned. Between 1990 and 1991, the Cope Tower was rebuilt and became an outstanding example of defensive construction on the coast of Murcia.

Speaking of towers, about 2 km from the city centre is the Tower of the Doves (Torre de las Palomas), an 18th-century structure belonging to the Hacienda de la Casa Grande. Although the interior decoration of the tower is in ruins, it is quite well preserved on the outside. Unfortunately, access to it is restricted, as it is located on private land, surrounded by agricultural plants and orchards.

the Faro de Águilas lighthouse
The Faro de Águilas lighthouse
Next to the city's main port in the Bay of Levante, at the foot of San Juan de las Águilas Castle, stands the Faro de Águilas lighthouse, which has a fascinating black and white colouring.
It started operating in 1973 and is situated 30 metres above sea level. It is a cylindrical concrete tower, painted with black and white stripes. It is 23 metres high, 3 metres in diameter and has a light range of 24 kilometres.

In the 19th century a silver deposit was discovered in the Sierra de la Almagrera, which marked the beginning of mining activities in the area. Later, iron mining was added to silver mining.

The Embarcadero del Hornillo, or Piers Hornillo, also known as the Puente del Hornillo, functioned for most of the 20th century. It was built for the loading of minerals arriving by the Almendricos-Águilas railroad, opened in 1890.

The pier began operating in 1903, and in August of that year, an extension of the railroad line was opened, connecting the station to the pier. The piers were intended for the loading of iron.

The Embarcadero del Ornillo, now called the bay, became the second most important in Spain. Its construction was made entirely of steel and concrete and could be used for the simultaneous placement and supply of minerals to two ships. It was 178 meters long and 12 meters high. It was connected to Águila's station by a 40-meter metal bridge.

In the 1960s, the port facilities of Águilas surpassed those of Cartagena and Alicante. The pier continued to operate until December 1970, when the last unloading of ore onto a ship occurred.

In 2009, the Spanish Government Council declared the pier of Hornillo a cultural heritage monument, and in 2017 it was opened to the public as the railway museum of Águila's history.

The pier of Hornillo (bahía del Hornillo) in Águilas
The pier of Hornillo in Águilas
Across from Hornillo Beach is another local landmark, the Rincón del Hornillo (Ornillo's Corner), a wide staircase lined with Gaudí-style mosaics. This work was handmade by Juan Martínez Asensio, an industrial craftsman, draftsman and graphic artist, in 1980. All the work was done right on the cement.

Five hundred meters of tiles and several million ceramic shards decorate this beautiful corner. Among the decorative details stand out the shields of Águilas and Lorca, images of the castle, mills, sculptures of Pava de la Balsa and much more. The way the main grille is forged and the weathervane with the profile of the master himself are also noteworthy.To the south of the Embarcadero del Hornillo, Pico de L'Aguilica is another picturesque place, the result of sea erosion and wind, which looks like an eagle's beak sticking out of the sea. There is an observation deck with an impressive view of the city and the bay.

In the historic centre of the city is Plaza de España de Águilas, commonly known as La Glorieta, a well-maintained square that serves an urban, cultural, social and recreational function.For most of the 18th century, it was a regular site until it began to take on a more modern appearance in 1874, giving a start to the square that it is today.Glorieta is surrounded by several historic buildings, such as the neo-Mudejar town hall and the San Jose Church (both from the 19th century), representing architectural heritage. Numerous renovations of the square have contributed to the fact that it is possible to combine having fun and recreation.The square has a fountain with the famous Pava de la Balsa sculpture, depicting a swan with a snake sinking its fangs into its neck. For many residents of Águilas, this is a magical place that is believed to give good luck and strength to romantic couples. To achieve it, tradition dictates kissing and touching the fountain's water at the beginning of a relationship. Spain Square is also decorated with a garden with various trees and plants, among which stands out a hundred-year-old ficus from Brazil.

The parish church of San José (Iglesia de San José), located in Plaza España, was built in the 19th century. This structure is built in the style of strict neoclassicism, without decoration. The interior is a combination of grey and white tones.The church is famous for the image of the town's patroness Virgen de los Dolores.

Not far from the Plaza de España there is another notable building, the Casino of Águilas (Asociación Cultural Casino de Águilas), built between 1894 and 1895.

At the end of the 19th century, the casino was seen as another incentive for tourism. Gradually, the Casino de Águilas became a meeting and dancing place. Surrounded by modernist gates, open-air festivals were held in the neighbouring square. In addition to local bourgeois society, the English who had settled in the city frequented the casino.

In the '60s and '70s, the casino became a cultural centre and now hosts various events: exhibitions, concerts, gymnastics classes, gastronomic days, interpretation and music, seminars, book presentations, political events, gatherings of associations and fraternities. There is even a board game room and public library.

A bronze statue of Icarus made, 2.5 meters high, is situated on Paseo del Puerto. The width of its wings is more than four meters. It is the work of Murcia sculptor González Beltran, commissioned by the municipal government and dedicated to Aguilas' main festival, Carnival. The opening ceremony of the monument took place in 2006.
Molino de Sagrera in Águilas
Molino de Sagrera

Very picturesque landmarks of Águilas are the old mills that decorate the cityscape. Molino de Sagrera is an abandoned grain mill. It is accessed through narrow streets that lead to a typical fisherman's quarter. There is a Tourist Center next to the mill, and the Mirador del Pescador observation deck offers beautiful panoramic views of Levante Bay and the city.

At Cabejo square, on Calle Robles Street, there is another unusual observation deck of Aguilas, Mirador de la Calica. It is a futuristic structure in the form of a perforated white dome.

8. Museums

One of the main historical museums of Águilas is the Thermae, the remains of Roman baths dating back to the 1st century A.D. Of particular interest is the caldaria (hot water hall). The exhibits were opened on November 30, 2001.

In the small exhibition that accompanies the surviving archaeological finds, one can see the floor plan and the reconstruction of the building with the hot spring. In Águilas, there was also a second thermal building (Termas Orientales) built in the middle of the 2nd century A.D. These baths are located next to the church of San José and were discovered in 2000 as a result of emergency excavations carried out before new construction began on the site.

The Museo Arqueológico Municipal de Águilas,created in 2000, helps trace the city's present history back to the Neolithic. The Archaeological Museum building is one of the best examples of civil architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its unique façade standing out.

In the museum's permanent exhibition, items from the Roman period especially stand out, as well as a collection of fossils. The Roman exhibits are the remnants found as a result of excavations carried out in recent years. They are evidence of the existence of a Roman settlement on the site of today's Águilas.

The medieval period is represented by materials from Monte del Castillo, belonging to the time of Muslim rule between the 11th and 13th centuries. The numismatic collection includes coins from the first Spanish-Roman to late Roman mints. The area around the Embarcadero del Hornillo and the new unloading tunnel is a veritable open-air museum. Following the old railroad tracks, you can walk to one of the old unloading tunnels recently created by the museum and to the observation deck of the Embarcadero del Hornillo. It is a remarkable monument of Spanish industrial heritage.

The Museo del Ferrocarril, created in 1985 by the Association of Friends of the El Labradorcico de Aguilas Railway, is located in the basement of the Travellers' Building in the Aguilas Railway Station. It occupies a room that in the days of the British company The Great Southern of Spain Railway (G.S.S.R.) was used as the archive and safe of that company. The museum's main hall, with its massive brick walls and open vaulted ceilings, houses a large number of interesting photographs related to the history of the railroad from Lorca to Basa and Águilas at the end of the 19th century.

In addition, the museum displays a large number of tools and objects used in the past on the railroads, such as flame lanterns, clocks, uniform caps, apparatus and tools for workshops and tracks, etc. The entire collection has about 500 items, including expertly made models of operating trains and a 1:22 scale model of a railroad, the largest in the world.Sea Interpretation Center - Aquarium Águilas introduces visitors to the information and tools needed to understand and use the natural and marine heritage of Águilas. This centre focuses on profound knowledge and protection of marine resources, emphasizing people's attention to the importance of a responsible attitude towards the municipality's unique nature. The exposition is divided into a museum area, an authentic fishing boat that can be not only observed but touched as well, and the Aquarium.

The most important cultural and entertainment event of Águilas is its Carnival, and there is a separate museum dedicated to this event, the Museo del Carnaval. Carnaval has been taking place here for the past two centuries and is of great social and cultural importance. It is a celebration in which everyone participates, directly or indirectly, in the preparation and celebration of the event.

The Carnival Museum displays samples of various carnival elements - clothing, decorations and paraphernalia - so that anyone who visits it can imagine what the Águilas Carnival is like at any time of the year.Next to this main space is the audiovisual room, at the entrance of which is a huge tiger representing the carnival chariots. In this room, visitors can watch a film of about 40 minutes, briefly recounting last year's carnival. The museum is located in the Francisco Rabal Culture house, on the first floor.

The modern architecture of Águilas is represented by the Auditorium Infanta Doña, located in the Bay of Levante. This unusual structure completes the configuration of the current promenade. The building is used as a congress centre and auditorium; concerts, exhibitions and various cultural events are held here.

9. Natural wonders

Cabo Cope y Puntas de Calnegre Regional Park occupies part of the coastal mountain ranges on the east coast of Aguilas. The limestones in Cabo Cope, sedimentary rocks of glacial origin in Calnegre beaches, and cliffs are some of the most interesting geological elements of the reserve. Thanks to the excellent climate, the park can be visited all year round. One of the best times to do so is the end of winter when it changes to early spring. During this time, everything here is in lush bloom. However, when exploring the natural attractions, you should be careful in this period, as many birds are already beginning to nest, and the careless presence of man can disrupt this process. Among the park's diverse flora are such plants as black garlic, saltwort, ziziphus, immortelle, orchids, white broom, and blackthorn. Many of them are of particular interest because they are Ibero-African species, preserved from the times when Africa and Europe were united. Also noteworthy is the population of black junipers in Cabo Copa, which is separated from the rest of its range.

Among the fauna found in the park are the Moorish turtle and the hawksbill eagle, which are considered endangered species in Spain. Reptiles are represented by the reed toad, eyed and red-tailed lizards and other species. The most striking representatives of birds, in addition to the hawk-eagle, are the eagle owl, peregrine falcon and desert bullfinch.The park is home to the 16th-century defensive tower of Torre de Cope.

Playa de la Higuerica in Aguilas
Playa de la Higuerica
The protected natural landscape of Cuatro Calas ("Four Bays") includes the bays of Calarreón, Higuerica, Carolina and Los Cosedores. The latter is in the province of Almería. Wind and sea erosion have created unique landscapes with numerous outcrops of volcanic rocks. Among them is the Punta Parda volcano, significant from a geological point of view.

It is a small coastal strip of 222 hectares. Small reliefs with esparto grass are combined with gorges and ravines, including the Cañada Brusca salt marsh and sandy coves and cliffs on the coast.

Thanks to the protected status of Quatro Calas, the Cañada Brusca salt marsh is home to unique native flora, among which the sarsazan stands out. The fauna of Kvatro-Kalas is represented, among others, by the grey skylark, peregrine falcon, red-tailed lizard, Mediterranean turtle.

The steep and rocky Fraile island (6.3 hectares) is east of Aguilas, declared a protected natural area. It is a small island with an impressive history. It has been inhabited since Roman times, and there are archaeological remains and ruins from this period. Also on the island were found amphorae, dishes from the 4th century and grey pottery. Under the Romans, the island was a source of famous fish sauce "garum".

The island is known for its Mediterranean greenery and one of the richest marine basins in the south-east of the peninsula, primarily because of the extensive oceanic population of posidonia - the Neptune grass. It is a dolphin-watching site and is also home to a large colony of gulls. Geologically, the island belongs to the Cordillera-Subbética mountain ranges.

Because of the relief features and its protective status, the island of Freyle attracts fans of sea sports. The prevailing east winds on the Águilas coast also contribute to this.
Sea Turtle
Sea Turtle

10. Holidays and festivals

Carnival of Águilas
The Carnival of Águilas
In January, Águilas hosts traditional Spanish festivals such as the Cavalcade of the Magi and the Feast of San Antonio Abad, the protector of animals. The most important part of the festival is the blessing of pets,held after a solemn mass.

In February and March, just before Easter Lent, the city celebrates perhaps its main festival, the Carnival of Águilas.

This festival is the most symbolic carnival of the region of Murcia and one of the most famous in Spain. In 2015, it was declared a festival of international tourist interest.Carnivals are traditional Spanish festivals that have been handed down from generation to generation for centuries. They were originally celebrated in honour of "Momo," the ancient god of laughter and mockery, but over the years, they have lost their pagan connotations and have evolved into popular festivals whose protagonists are people.

The festival begins with the "Invocation" and the "Battle of Don Carnal and Doña Cuaresma," some of the festival's main characters, each with their own followers. Don Carnal, the reincarnation of the god Janus, always wins the dialectical confrontation, and this event ignites the festivities. For three days there are grand parades with carnival chariots and brass bands in an atmosphere of joy and fun.

The Carnival Queen, the Muse, represents the festive spirit of the event, the ingenuity of the people in their last days of joy before the onset of Lent. She is responsible for bringing magic and radiance to the streets of Aguilas throughout the celebration. Doña Cuaresma is the opposite of the Muse. She symbolizes abstinence, modesty and seriousness.

Carnival in Águilas lasts for two weeks around the clock. During the daytime celebrations, there are parades of various carnival groups that parade through the city's streets to the statue of Icarus, the symbol of the Águilas Carnival. The famous Peñas dancing girls wear colourful, striking garments designed and created throughout the year. Many peñas accompany their procession with very elaborate choreographThe biggest Night Carnival event falls on the first Monday of the festival. On this night, the streets are filled with dressed-up people and music, guaranteeing an unforgettable night of entertainment and partying.

The main point of the night's festivities is town square Plaza de España, where a platform is set up for those wishing to enter various individual or team competitions. At the end of these competitions, prizes are awarded for design and originality of costumes, best make-up and most spectacular show. Carnival is invariably accompanied by cuerva, an alcoholic drink made from wine, lemon, sugar and fruit, similar to sangria and zurracapote. It is recognised as a symbolic drink of the festival.

On the Friday before Palm Sunday, Águilas celebrates the day of its patroness, Our Lady of Dolores, called Viernes de Dolores. A mass is held in honour of Our Lady in the morning, followed by a floral offering by townspeople dressed as peasants and peasant women. At noon there is an afternoon fair with young people from fraternities. In the afternoon, Mass is held again, and at its conclusion, around 9 pm, there is a Solemn Procession with the image of the Patroness, Our Lady of Sorrows. She is carried on her shoulders under the banners of all the fraternities of Aguilas, accompanied by various musical ensembles.

On June 9, to mark the anniversary of the Federal Autonomy Law, the Region of Murcia Day is celebrated in Aguilas.

11. Gastronomy and restaurants

El caldo de pescado
El caldo de pescado
Aguilas' native cuisine, with a great variety of flavours, is based on the produce of the sea and garden. Dishes are usually heavily spiced, and Arabic influences can be felt in almost all the dishes, especially the desserts.

The most popular dishes are the red mullet, shrimp, tomato and caper.

Visitors interested in the gastronomic heritage of the region will enjoy the region's distinctive, easily recognisable cuisine, with dishes such as el caldo de pescado (fish broth), Los escabeches (spicy marinated fish), ajo colorao (tomato and potato potatoes with garlic), ensalada de pulpo (octopus salad with onions, tomatoes and capers), arroz a banda (rice in fish stock), ensaladica cocida (vegetable salad) and more.

The production of the typical local sausages deserves a special mention. These are traditional Murcian sausages, but with some variations: onion blood sausage (morcilla de cebolla), giblets and blood sausage (salchicha), and pork sausage (longaniza).

12. Real Estate in Águilas

Typical coastal and historic centre development overlooking the port
Typical coastal and historic centre development overlooking the port
The cost of real estate in Aguilas is quite affordable, and housing is available for purchase. There are many options close to the beach. In Aguilas, you can buy a townhouse or duplex with a sea view, investing only about 150 thousand euros.

In October 2021, the average price of housing, according to the portal of Idealista, was € 1050 per square meter. This average figure includes all available options in the city, but if you look at the prices of the most liquid new buildings, they in the same period amounted to 2.282 € per square meter.

How have property prices changed in Águilas over the past six years?

Average price per square metre of housing in Águilas for the period from January 2015 to October 2021 in euros
Average price per square metre of housing in Águilas for the period from January 2015 to October 2021 in euros
Examining the dynamics of houses' prices, apartments and villas in Águilas, we can see that even in a period of strong upheaval in the market, it has remained relatively stable, and the market has not had drastic fluctuation. That said, prices did follow the general trends established in the country.

During the pandemic period, real estate values declined compared to the 2020 period, and this was due to reduced transaction opportunities for buyers. Currently, costs are steadily bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels.Average price per square metre of housing in Águilas

for the period from January 2015 to October 2021 in euros

Dynamics of the average cost per square metre of housing in Águilas from January 2015 to October 2021.

The cost of housing depending on the area of the city

Map of flat prices by the neighbourhoods in Águilas, Spain
Average cost per square metre of housing in Águilas by area
When looking at the cost per square metre of housing in Águilas by neighbourhood, the most expensive and sought-after is Hornillo, with an average residential property cost of €1,496 per square metre. The reasons for it are both the central location of the area and its proximity to the promenade. The lowest price is in the historic centre of Casco Antiguo, with 833 euros per square metre, mainly due to the offer of housing in a rather old stock, requiring significant maintenance costs.

The prestigious parts of the city are also Calarreona-Las Lomas (1358€/m2) and Los Geraneos (1305€/m2). The latter has had the highest prices since 2008. In January 2016, the average cost of properties for sale was 1.986€/m2, indicating the rather high growth potential, especially in new homes in the seaside area.

Housing costs in Águilas by property types

All the most popular types of Spanish property can be found in Águilas, from holiday flats for rent to detached villas for family living.

The average price per property for Autumn 2021 was € 230,475, while the maximum average per property in November 2012 amounted to € 527500.

The value of residential properties by type is also related to the area in which they are located, but there are some regularities. Properties in new buildings on the coast, which have high investment potential, are most sought-after at the moment.
Thank you for your attention! If you are interested in Spanish real estate
contact our agents!

Get the monthly Virto Property newsletter
Subscribe to get the must-read news in your inbox.
Once a month you will hear about our latest features and hottest news.
And no spam, of course.
Read more related articles

An overview of the resort of San Pedro: where it's located and how to get there. Climate, water temperature, an overview of the best beaches on the sea and Mar Menor Bay. History of the city, museums and attractions. Mud treatments and the best spa hotels. What is the average price of a property in San Pedro del Pinatar

The municipality of San Roque, where the Sotogrande residential area is located, is experiencing a growing interest by those who buy property in Spain to enjoy the sun all year round

Spain's most expensive and hard to enter gated community

Knowing the best suburbs to live near Alicante — what are the good and bad ones? What do expats prefer and why? Property and living prices with examples

Want to keep up to date with the latest news on Spanish real estate?