Pilar de la Horadada, Spain: the southernmost point of the province of Alicante

Detailed city guide: where is it located, how to get from Murcia and Alicante airports. Review of the best local beaches. History of the city, museums, and attractions. How much is the property in Pilar, what types of housing are available?
Virtopropertу continuеs to preparе reviews of popular cities and regions in Spain. Today in turn is Pilar de la Horadada from the province of Alicante. You are ready?

1. General information

Pilar de la Horadada is a Municipality in Spain. It is in the southern part of the province of Alicante Province, only 1 km north of the border of Murcia Province. This southernmost settlement of Valencia has 21 905 inhabitants. Until 1986, it belonged to the Orihuela Municipality.

The distance to Valencia is about 230 km, 68 km to Alicante, 45 km to Murcia, 41 km to Cartagena, 36 km to Orihuela and 18 km to Torrevieja. Geographically, the city is located 3 km from the sea, in the coastal plain. The origin of the name Pilar de la Horadada is associated with the construction of numerous watchtowers. They were very common in coastal municipalities to detect and prevent pirate invasion during the Reconquista. One of these towers, Torre Horadada, was named after the rock of the same name on which it was built. Later, in the 18th century, the village changed its name to Pilar de la Horadada — in honour of the patroness of the city of Virgin Mary del Pilar.

Historically, Pilar de la Horadada was a group of villages scattered between agricultural farms: Los Carretillas, Barrio Baskunian, Los Melitonas, and others. In this regard, in this are there is no historical centre in the usual sense. But some of these villages formed separate quarters of the future town: Los Saez, Los Girres, Los Vilhenas, La Almasara, Los Segundas, San Isidro, Los Ortelanos, Las Casitas and so on. Also, the district includes the coastal region of Torre de la Horadada, surrounded by the modern urbanizations of Pueblo Latino, Mil Palmeras and El Mojon (shares its territory with the neighbouring municipality of San Pedro del Pinatar).

The most important administrative centres are Torre de la Horadada and Pinar de Campoverde, which locals usually call simply La Torre and El Pinar. The main sectors of the economy of Pilar de la Horadada are agriculture and tourism, including residential and commercial real estate. Pilar is very popular due to its excellent climate. In essence, there is a "constant spring": the average annual air temperature reaches +18°C, and the sun shines more than 3200 hours a year.
Beach in the city
Beach in the city
In Pilar de la Horadada, both on the coast and inland, there are vast territories of high environmental value. A tourist can see a magnificent landscape with a canal and mountains covered with forests of pine, oak and strawberry trees. The coast pleases with wide beaches with fine sand and small picturesque bays with a rich underwater world. The treeless lands of this region were traditionally used for agriculture, which made the municipality one of the leaders in the field of modern irrigated agriculture in the Valencian community.

The surrounding mountains are covered with pines, various conifers. There are herbs and shrubs typical to Mediterranean forest. Areas of great environmental importance are famous for black hawthorn, kermes oak, asphodelus duodenum, and mastic tree. Among the mountains and hills, especially within Pinar de Campoverde, also live valuable representatives of the local fauna. Reptiles are fascinating: the Iberian skink, an ordinary dragon similar to a seahorse, lizards and small snakes and others. The region is also known for its predator birds, including peregrine falcons, golden eagles, hawks, and kestrels.

2. Climate and weather

Pilar de la Horadada has a dry Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and rather hot summers. Northeast, southwest and westerly winds prevail. Summer days are sultry and mostly clear, in winter, sometimes there is cloudiness and a cold wind. During the year, the temperature ranges from +6°C to +30°C and rarely drops below +1°C degree or rises above +32°C.

The hot season lasts from mid-June to the end of September, during this period the average maximum daily temperature is more than +27°C. The average temperature in July-August is +26°C. In August, the maximum temperature can reach +32°C. The cold season begins around the 20th of November and continues through the second half of March. The average temperature in December-January is 10°C-12°C.
Pilar de la Horadada Promenade
Pilar de la Horadada Promenade
The water temperature in the sea on the coast of Pilar de la Horadada in July and September is +25°C, in August it reaches +26°C.

3. How to get to Pilar de la Horadada

Pilar de la Horadada can be reached by car on the N-332 road and the AP-7 Mediterranean motorway (exits 768, 770 and 774), as well as the ring road that connects it with San Pedro del Pinatar via El Mojon. On the other hand, CV-925 connects this municipality with Orihuela and CV-920 with San Miguel de Salinas.

20 km away, in the Murcia region is situated the nearest train station — Balsicas Mar Menor. With regard to air traffic, one airport is also located in Murcia (Aeropuerto Internacional Región de Murcia, or Murcia-Corvera, 45 km away), and the other in Alicante (Aeropuerto de Alicante-Elche, 70 km).

From the airport of Murcia-Corvera, the INTERBUS bus runs to San Pedro del Pinatar 2-3 times a day. The cost of the trip is 10 euros, travel time is 1.5 hours. The schedule can be viewed on the website. In San Pedro del Pinatar you need to take the LATBUS bus number 70, which takes you to Pilar de la Horadada in 15 minutes. By car, the road will generally take 35 minutes.

From Alicante Airport several times a day leaves a Costa Azul bus to Pilar de la Horadada. The fare is 5.3 euros (in March 2020), travel time is about 1.5 hours. The schedule can be clarified on the carrier's website.

4. Best beaches

The beautiful beaches of Pilar de la Horadada with excellent and white sand stretch for a total of 5 kilometres. Many of them have the Blue Flag. All of them are safe, even for the smallest kids. There are no sharp descents or irregularities — in most places, the entrance to the sea is shallow and gentle.

The coastal waters in this area are famous for their biological diversity. Here you can see not only the usual inhabitants of the Mediterranean Sea but also a rare seagrass Posidonia oceanica, which grows and multiplies in clean oxygenated waters. Besides, it strengthens the sandy bottom, protecting the beaches from erosion, and is also a place of refuge for numerous fish, crustaceans, and molluscs. All this marine life with pleasure is observed by diving enthusiasts. It is a seagrass species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea.

The beaches of the municipality provide numerous services for tourists and also have good accessibility for people with disabilities. Spacious beaches of fine white sand with dunes covered with spring blooming plants contrast spectacularly with secluded bays of Torre de la Horadada.
Las Higuericas and Mil Palmeras are the two most popular beaches in the area. Playa Mil Palmeras is a sandy beach bordering Vista Mar on the north and Rio Seco on the south. This is one of the busiest beaches in Pilar de la Horadada, due to its easy access and parking. It is located in an urban environment and has a promenade with restaurants. The beach is equipped with slopes for the disabled, there is a rescue service, beach bars.
Playa Mil Palmeras
Playa Mil Palmeras
Nearby, near the mouth of the Seco River, is the Río Seco Beach, also equipped with everything you need, including foot showers. Here you can rent water equipment. Although this beach is located far from the primary urbanization, it is viral. A little further south, in Punta del Gato, are the Rocamar bays (Calas de Rocamar), quite inaccessible and therefore isolated, but very picturesque. There are beautiful sand and calm water.

Next to Calas de Rocamar is Playa Jesuitas, a sandy beach owned by Torre de la Horadada. This beach is 465 m long and 65 m wide, bordered on the north by cliffs, and on the south by the marina of Torre Horadada. Beach is surrounded by the red wall, the name of the beach is associated with these walls. Once a Jesuit monastery was located here. Vacationers visit the Latin village — an area with buildings, on the ground floors of which there are bars, restaurants, and terraces.

Along the beach stretched promenade and parking. On the coast, there is a specially delimited area for departure to the sea by boat. Since 1992, the beach has been granted the status of the Blue Flag. South of Playa Jesuitas is a small beach del Conde, notable for its picturesque views — on its territory is the famous tower of Torre Vigia de la Horadada. Nearby, from the marina of Torre Horadada, stretches Playa del Puerto (about 700 meters). This is a spacious beach — its width is 95 meters. From the south it borders on one of the most popular beaches of Pilar de la Horadada — Playa de Las Villas, passing into Playa de Las Higuericas. Villas-Higuericas Beach is 1,400 meters long and 80 meters wide. It is a white sand beach surrounded by small dunes. It often hosts city events and concerts, in particular, the Luna de Agosto Youth Music Festival.

The last beach of the municipality, located on the border with Murcia — Playa del Mojón with a small but pretty promenade, wooden floors, and dunes. This beach is popular with fishermen due to the existence of reefs that stretch along the coast, known as Esculls del Mojón — a kind of trap between the stones into which the fish fall.

5. History

The first settlement on this site appeared during the time of the Roman Empire. Once upon a time on the August road connecting Cartagena with Elche, there was a Roman villa called Thiar. This place was used as a resting place so that travellers could regain their strength along the Mediterranean coast to Rome. Augusta Road (Vía Augusta) was the longest Roman road in Spain, with a length of approximately 1,500 km.

In the 7-8 centuries, this area was ruled by Visigoths, in particular by Theodemir of Orihuela, the guard of King Egica. As payment for his services, the king granted Theodemir land in the vicinity of Elche. After the Arab conquest of the region, Theodemir managed to conclude a peace agreement with Abdul-Aziz ibn Musa, the military commander of Al-Andalus and became the ruler of a small principality. In 778, 35 after the death of Theodemir, his lands became part of the Cordoba emirate. The Arabian presence in Pilar de la Horadada is evidenced by both archaeological remains and a large number of geographical names that have kept to this day.

During the reign of Fernando III of Castile and Jaime I of the Conqueror often occurred border conflicts. Still, then they were resolved thanks to the Treaty of Almizra, signed in 1244. Then borders of the kingdoms of Valencia and Murcia were established, leaving Pilar de la Horadada as part of the municipality of Orihuela city.

In 1304, the border between the Kingdom of Murcia and Valencia was changed, and Orihuela, together with Pilar de la Horadada, became part of the Kingdom of Valencia. Since then, the historical border coincides with the modern boundaries of the municipalities of Pilar de la Horadada and San Pedro del Pinatar. In the 18th century, agricultural farms centred around a group of houses in this zone were called Campo de la Horadada. In 1750, the population of Campo de la Horadada was about 300 people living in scattered villages, but around a small oratorio called the Sacred Heart Chapel. In 1752, Bishop Gomez de Teran decided to build the parish church of Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. Already in 1758, this church owned all the lands that were in front of it. Now the city square is located on this place.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
During the Civil War, Pilar de la Horadada was in the republican zone. After the war and the subsequent change of politicians, the city gradually developed and grew. Among the main events — work on the transfer of the Tajo-Segura canal, which allowed to significantly expand irrigated areas and give impetus to the development of intensive agriculture.

On July 30, 1986, after several years of waiting, Pilar de la Horadada ceased to be the village of Orihuela, having separated and established its own city council. Since then, the pace of development of agriculture and tourism began to increase exponentially, mainly due to the construction of resort real estate and greenhouses in the agricultural sector. The population also began to grow. In the last decades of the 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century, this town began to prosper.

6. Main attractions

In the centre of the city is situated the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar Church, the main attraction of the Pilar de la Horadada. It was built in 1981 on the site of an old destroyed temple. The church, dedicated to the patroness of Pilar de la Horadada, holds several valuable sculptures by the local author Jose Maria Sanchez Lozano, including an image of Our Lady of Pilar. In 1616, on the site of the future church was built a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. In 1745, due to its dilapidation, it was demolished. Instead, the construction of a new church began, which also had to be demolished in 1975 due to unsatisfactory conditions. From the previous church, the original 24-meter bell tower of 1899 has been preserved.

The rectangular Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Pilar was built of brick, to match the old bell tower. The central nave is surrounded by 8 lateral chapels, where are various concentrated sculptures of great artistic significance. Among them are the works of Sanchez Lozano (Our Lady of Sorrow La Dolorosa, Theotokos del Carmen, Christ of Communion, St. Anthony of Padua), and others.

In the church, there is an altar and a deep polished wood carved reredos, designed by Antonio Garcia Mengual in 1997. It depicts scenes of the presence of Mary in the life of Jesus: the Annunciation, Christmas, Flight to Egypt, Jesus among the learned sages in the temple, Marriage in Cana of Galilee, Meeting at Mary and Christ, and, finally, the reredos presents the scene of the Coronation of Mary.
Archaeological and Ethnological Museum “Gratiniano Baches”
Archaeological and Ethnological Museum "Gratiniano Baches"
In the House of Culture of Pilar de la Horadada, on Carretillas Street 19, you can find the most important museum of the municipality — the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum "Gratiniano Baches". There you can see archaeological finds and a variety of objects telling about the history of the region. The museum consists of five sections: environment (fauna and flora of the municipality), fossil remains (molluscs, and others), archaeology, ethnology (household tools, including those related to winemaking and paper production) and numismatics, where are represented coins from the Iberian period until the 20th century.

On the coast of Punta de la Horadada, between the beaches of El Puerto and El Conde, stands the watchtower Torre vigía de la Punta de la Horadada, which we have already mentioned. It was built in 1591 as part of the defensive system of Felipe II to protect residents from piracy, prevalent at that time in the Mediterranean. In those days, a network of coastal towers communicating with each other using signal fires. So it made possible to see enemy ships in time and warn the population and defenders of impending danger.
Torre vigía de la Punta de la Horadada
Torre vigía de la Punta de la Horadada
Another popular local attraction is located on the coastline, at the mouth of the Rio Seco (Dry River), in the urbanization of Mil Palmeras. These are the remains of Roman quarries (Canteras Romanas), which were used by the Romans to extract stone during the construction of roads, including, most likely, the creation of the famous Augusta Road.

Also in Pilar, there are ruins of the ancient Roman villa Thiar, located on August Road, halfway between Ilyichi (Elche) and New Carthage (Cartagena) have also reached us.
Rio Seco
Rio Seco
In the vicinity of the centre of Pinar de Campoverde, there are two hiking trails through the river Seco. One of them is circular, 4 km long, and the other is linear, 10 km, reaching the natural zone of Mil Palmeras. Patience and caution along the route will help tourists to see unique representatives of the local fauna: kingfisher, golden bee-eater, nightingale, blackbird, robin, hawk-eagle, snake-eater, buzzard, kestrel, green woodpecker, hoopoe, titmouse, hedgehog, rabbit, and eyed lizard and many other exciting species.

Another 3-kilometre route connects the centre of Pilar de la Horadada with the sea and runs along the bed of a dry river; you can ride it on a bicycle.

In general, in Pilar de la Horadada works more than 40 km of bike paths and lanes throughout the municipality, known for a large number of routes for cyclists. Schemes of walking and cycling routes presented on the city's website.

7. Holidays and fiestas

In Pilar de Horadada are celebrated all the holidays traditional for Spain. In January, the inhabitants of the city with pleasure participate in the Cavalcade of wolves, a costumed procession with gifts for children. In February, in Pilar de la Horadada takes place a colourful carnival, and in March there opens the Medieval Market (Mercadillo medieval).

In April, the time comes for one of the leading Christian holidays — Holy Week (Semana Santa). And, of course, the next Easter with all the attributes. Throughout the week, the municipality hosts many stunning marches from various religious brotherhoods of Pilar de Horadada.
Semana Santa
Semana Santa
On the first weekend of May, the city opens the Seville Fair (Feria de Sevillanas). A few days later, the May Cross Day (Cruces de Mayo) is celebrated, which pays tribute to Christian tradition and religiosity. In connection with this citizens organize a Pilgrimage in honour of St. Isidore (Romería de San Isidro), the saint patron of farmers. The pilgrimage procession consists both of pilgrims on foot, and carts and riders, as well as representatives of local authorities.

Of the summer holidays, it is worth highlighting the Bonfires of San Juan (Hogueras de San Juan), which are held on June 24 in the Las Casicas quarter and the Municipality Day (En recuerdo del día de la Segregación), celebrated on July 30th. As well as the August youth music festival "Luna de Agosto", dedicated to youth day. At the festival, music is played by local and famous visiting DJs, foam parties are held. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere with spectacular illumination, giant screens, numerous bars, and powerful sound.

On the last Saturday of September, with the elections and coronation of the Queen of Festivities (Elección de la Reina de las fiestas) begin festive events in honour of the patroness of the municipality — Holy Virgen del Pilar. The celebration of the patroness lasts from October 1 to 21. On October 11, takes place a multiple offering of flowers (Pilar de la Horadada — the second producer of cut flowers in Spain), October 12 — the solemn Holy Mass and procession.

8. Hotels

There are several hotels in Pilar de la Horadada, as well as apartments for rent for every taste and budget. The Palmera Beach Aparthotel is located in urbanization Mil Palmeras. It offers a seasonal pool and free parking. Nearby are golf courses, the distance to the sea is about 100 meters. The rooms of the hotel are 2-bedroom apartments with a kitchen-living room. The cost of living varies from €58 per night in the low season to €140 in summer.
In Mil Palmeras is also located guesthouse Fidalsa X Veremos. It has 2 bedrooms, a living room and an equipped kitchen with a dining area. Price per night — from €77 to €187 (excluding taxes and fees), depending on the season. Bioko II Mil Palmeras apartments are located in newly built luxury condominium with private pool. There are only 120 meters to the beach and price is from €60 to €133.
Lo Monte Hotel
Lo Monte Hotel
In the very centre of Pilar de la Horadada, you can find the Hotel Congra, where the price for a double room starts from €45. Only 500 meters from Torre da la Horadada, the democratic modern Lo Monte Hotel offers its guests highly rated guest reviews. It is 1.6 km from the beach. The cost of a double room is from €45 to €55. In the urbanization of Pueblo Latino works is a cosy modern campsite Lo Monte with 3 outdoor pools, a gym, a spa, a hot tub. Guests can appreciate free shuttle service to the beach (approximately 1 km), restaurant and bar. All wooden bungalows are furnished and equipped with air conditioning and heating. A 2-bedroom bungalow costs between €50 and €75, depending on the season.

9. Property for sale in Pilar de la Horadada

Pilar de la Horadada is the principal city of this zone, a centre of agglomeration of coastal urbanizations located next to Mil Palmeras, Torre de la Horadada, and El Mojon, Pinar de Campoverde. The city itself is located some distance from the sea behind the N-332 highway, resort areas adjoin the sea and beaches.

Most real estate objects — apartments, villas, townhouses - in this area are built as holiday homes. In this part of the Costa Blanca, residents of the Scandinavian countries, as well as investors from England and Germany, especially like to buy real estate. The opening of a new airport in Murcia will affect the cost of housing in this region in the future 2-3 years — the cost of housing in this region will increase.

The average cost at the beginning of 2020 amounted to €1782 per square meter and increased by 2% over the year. The most expensive housing in the Pilar de la Horadada zone is located in El Mojon (€2074/m²), Mil Palmeras (€2205/m²), Torre de la Horadada (€1929/m²).

The most expensive and liquid housing is located within walking distance from the beaches (up to one and a half kilometres from the coast). Resale apartments placed on the first lines, cost from €120,000, townhouses — from €160,000. Similar new buildings — from €150,000 for flats and from €380,000 for a detached villa. If we move beyond the N-332 highway, 3-5 km from the beaches, you can buy a new building at a lower price. For example, apartments in a new building cost €100,000-€120,000, a villa with a pool — from €270,000, a townhouse — from €200,000.


Torre de la Horadada, Spain: Important Information for Home Buying and Vacation Planning
You can learn more about real estate prices in Pilar de la Horadada at catalogue.
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