This article is the perfect starting point to discovering San Javier Spain, Murcia Region.
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About San Javier Spain
The small town of San Javier is located in the South east of Spain, along the Costa Calida in the province of Murcia.
The city of Murcia is only about 40 minutes from here, while Alicante and its international airport is less than one hour from the town.
(San Javier, Murcia – Google Maps)
The resort area of the Costa Blanca is about 20 minutes driving time to the north.
There are good connections by road with other cities and towns of Murcia region including Cartagena, Murcia city, Mazarron.
San Javier is famed for its summer festivals and the numerous beaches located along the Mar Menor.
The inland sea offers safe bathing in shallow waters that are ideal for water sports with warm thermal winds offering a favourable year-round climate.
General information about San Javier
San Javier was named after the 17th century Apostle San Francisco Javier, although its history extends back to the Phoenicians, Romans, and Carthaginians, all liking this location for its safe harbour created by the 21km long sand spit of La Manga del Mar Menor, the largest saltwater inland lake in Europe.
The town of San Javier, next to San Pedro del Pinatar, is one of four municipalities that are associated with the inland lake of Mar Menor.
Together with the sand spit of La Manga there are 73km of landside waterfront and over 40km of beaches enclosed in the area.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, tourism is the major industry in the area, along with agriculture, particularly the cultivation of greenhouse and salad crops.
There is a large expat community present in San Javier Spain, particularly in the area of Roda, the overall population of San Javier is in excess of 20,000 people.
(I really like those little houses on the beach, but have no clue what they are for)
What is the Weather like in San Javier?
San Javier, like most of this area of Spain receives something like 2800-3000 hours of sunshine annually with average temperatures every year in the low 20C’s.
The winter temperature rarely drops below 15C and the summer average is in the low to mid 30C temperature range, with an annual average of 18C, making it the warmest mainland region of Spain.
In the height of summer, the temperature can reach as high as 40C during July and August, but the cooling breezes and the inland lake are often a little cooler than the temperatures experienced on the main beaches of the Costa Calida.
What Architecture can be seen in San Javier?
Having only been established since the 1880s, San Javier Spain does not contain too much in the way of historic architecture, one of the oldest structures is the parish church, known locally as Iglesia Parroquial de San Francisco Javier, and was constructed during the 17th and 18th centuries. The church contains several richly carved sculptures, most of them made of wood.
Another historical site is the Villa El Retiro, which dates from the year 1900 and has been fully restored to its original Colonial-Vernacular style, sitting on the Avenida del Retiro, the building is one of the most unique villas to be found in this area of Spain.
Murcia has several surprises including its gastronomy. One of those surprises is “salazones,” these are salted fish products, often found in bars and restaurants across the Costa Calida and produced on the shores of Mar Menor. Mojama and Hueva are most commonly eaten in tapas bars or sold locally in restaurants.
Mojama are thin slices of tuna that are first slated then washed and dried naturally in the sun. It looks like ham and is often served with salted meat, roasted almonds to accompany the drinking of beer. It is also used in cooking.
Hueva are fish roe or eggs that have been salted, then dried before being compressed into bar shaped snacks, they are available in tapas bars or can be purchased from supermarkets and used in cooking or salads.
(Boats seem to be there to be picked up anytime)
How much does it cost to rent or buy property in San Javier?
In General, the province of Murcia is among the cheapest in Spain for property prices, although that is not necessarily the case in San Javier itself with properties costing from around €170,000 for a two bedroomed apartment, apartments with a sea view are likely to cost around €260,000, and traditional villas in excess of €480,000.
If you are looking at renting a property in San Javier Spain, a one bedroomed apartment will cost anything from €300 up to €550 per month depending upon the size and location. A three bedroomed apartment is likely to cost from €450 up to around €900 per month, again dependent upon size and location.
What are the most Interesting Attractions you should visit in San Javier?
Museo de Historia Local de San Javier
The San Javier Museum offers the history of the local area, including the daily life, family and social aspects and culture through the local history.
The museum relates to the local agriculture, traditional fishing and the development of aviation seen through the aerobatic demonstration team known as the Eagle Patrol, based at the nearby Spanish Air Force located just outside San Javier Spain.
One hall is dedicated to the Air Force Academy, there are also temporary exhibitions, a library with newspapers. Entry is free and there are more than 1,250 items on display.
San Javier hosts several festivals throughout the year including the San Javier Jazz Festival, the Carnival, held in Santiago de la Ribera, the Romeria of San Blas, held in February every year, the Romeria of the Virgin del Carmen, held in July and one of Spain’s largest nativity plays, known as Belens, held in the lead up to Christmas with the highlight being the arrival of the Three Kings by boat.
Regular Weekly Street Markets
San Javier hosts three weekly markets and Spanish street markets are a great way to shop for the enormous range of goods with just about everything you will need available, and of course, the freshest fruit and vegetables around.
The three weekly markets are every Thursday from 8am until 2pm at Calle Coronel Fernandez Tudela in San Javier. On Carrero Blanco in Santiago de la Ribera every Wednesday morning, and at La Manga de Mar Menor, on the esplanade by the Calle Puerto Tomas Maestre roundabout every Saturday morning.
Beaches of San Javier
There are simply too many beaches to list them all here individually, so in general there are two sections of beaches, the first in Santiago de la Ribera, close to the town centre of San Javier Spain, and the other section of beaches are known as the Mar Menor beaches.
The Mar Menor beaches are located on the spit of land called La Manga de Mar Menor.
Mar Menor beaches are protected from the Mediterranean and offer the best conditions for learning watersports. The shallow water means warmer water temperatures without tides, so a perfect location for families with young children.
(Promenade along the beach – Santiago de la Ribera, San Javier, Murcia)
The Parish Church of San Francisco Javier
This church dates from the 17th and 18th centuries and was constructed in the shape of a Latin cross with barrel vaults and load bearing walls offering side enclosures off the central opening.
The highlights of this church include the cupola in the transept, the bell tower and the Baroque altarpiece constructed by Antonio Carrion Valverde.
The pulpit was made entirely of carved wood, with an octagonal body, with a canopy or cover. On the front are carvings of four evangelists and an image of Jesus.
A museum attached to the church houses objects and relics related to San Francisco Javier, the apostle who the town takes its name from.
Spanish Air Force Academy
The Spanish Air Force Academy is the chief training centre and headquarters of the famous Patrulla Águila, alternatively known as the Eagle Patrol.
Every year, during spring there is an open day, organised by the academy that enables visitors to view the facilities of the academy, exhibitions of static planes, a memorial that honours its dead, the parade square and its museum.
Another memorable day for visitors is held on the 25th of July during the Santiago Apostle festival, when a display is held exhibiting the flying stunts of the academy, also, every year, during the month of July the appointment of new officers takes place.
(You may see the “Patrulla Águila” —Eagle Patrol— in the sky one day)
Auditorio de San Javier
This amazing amphitheatre is located in the heart of San Javier’s municipal park. There is seating for up to 5,000 people, where concerts and other events are held throughout the year.
The venue hosts some great events with wonderful music at real bargain prices. The arena has fantastic acoustics and offers a wonderful atmosphere on a warm night. One word of warning though, you are strongly advised to take a cushion with you as the seats are very hard and not the most comfortable.
Image Credit: Coleccionista I.
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