Los Alcázares is a spa town on the western shores of the Mar Menor – Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon – on the Costa Cálida. Its name comes from the Arab word for ‘palace’, referring to the Islamic mansions that were built along its coastline during the Arab occupation.
This beautiful part of Spain offers 7 km of spectacular sandy beaches – linked by a paved promenade from Los Narejos to Punta Brava – and is just 40 minutes away from the bustling city of Murcia.
Once a former fishing village, Los Alcázares is now a thriving coastal town, considered by many as a perfect option for enjoying a wide range of all-year-round sports – in, on and out of the water!
Despite all its charms, the town remains relatively unknown outside the Murcia region and is arguably one of Spain’s best-kept secrets… just waiting to be discovered.
Los Alcázares is the youngest municipality in the region of Murcia, only receiving its status in 1983 – but it is actually the oldest known populated area in the Mar Menor, dating back hundreds of years.
According to official data (2022), the number of permanent residents in Los Alcázares is just over 17,500. However, this number rises dramatically when the summer season is in full swing, and tourists swell its numbers to over 100,000.
Around 65% of the permanent population is Spanish, with the remaining 35% comprising British citizens and people from other European countries – meaning it still holds much of its original Spanish charm.
What is it like to live in Los Alcázares?
Whether you’re looking to retire to the sun, start a stress-free life overseas with your family, invest in a rental property, or enjoy an enviable lifestyle as a digital nomad, Los Alcázares is definitely worth serious consideration.
With a wonderfully warm climate boasting over 320 days of sunshine a year, the emphasis is very much on healthy outdoor living, whether that be relaxing on one of the stunning beaches, enjoying a range of water sports in the warm, shallow waters of the Mar Menor, indulging in your passion for golf, or merely dining out daily with incredible views.
This Spanish town is much more than a holiday resort and is favoured by discerning ex-pats who have made it their home. All the amenities needed for everyday living are on your doorstep, with bars, restaurants, shops, etc., open all year round.
It also boasts one of the liveliest nightlife areas along the Costa Cálida during the summer months. For those who enjoy an evening cocktail, live music and even a little dance, the centre of the action is just a short walk from the beach on Mercadona Square and Avenida Rio Nalón.
Eating and drinking out
Los Alcázares is divided into two distinct areas: the modern part to the north and the old part of town to the south. The choice and quality of places to eat in both areas are outstanding, with a wide selection of local and international food available.
As you would expect, fresh fish inspires the cuisine with a level of culinary delight that is seriously good. So be prepared to sample salted fish such as Mojama (salt-cured tuna), La Hueva de Mújol (mullet roe) and delicious Mar Menor prawns.
Spanish food fans can delight in the traditional seafood dish of the area, El Caldero, the most famous dish in Los Alcázares. The fishermen of the area invented this tasty rice dish cooked with ‘something from the sea, something from the land’ – typically served in a traditional cauldron-style pot (from which it takes its name).
It’s so famous that it even has its own special day of celebration, ‘Día del Caldero’, where families and friends gather on the beach to share a meal on Spanish National Day – 12 October.
And like everywhere else in Spain, tapas are a characteristic part of the cuisine here, best enjoyed with a large glass of wine or a cold beer – and not to be rushed!
Shopping in Las Alcázares and further afield
There are several small shops for clothes and gifts in the town, and for grocery shopping, there is a Mercadona supermarket where you can get everything you need for day-to-day living.
For those that love to bag a bargain and enjoy wandering around a traditional market, Tuesdays and Saturdays are market days in Los Alcázares. You can buy a wide selection of fresh local fruits and vegetables, bargain clothes and a wide range of local, handmade goods.
For a wider choice of shops, there are two large shopping malls close by.
Dos Mares Shopping Centre (10 minutes by car) has the usual choice of stores, from high fashion outlets to a Carrefour supermarket. It’s the perfect place to exercise some retail therapy and enjoy time out in one of the cafés or restaurants. If you want to take in a film, there’s also an 8-screen cinema on site with all the latest films.
Las Velas Shopping Centre (5 minutes by car) is slightly smaller than Dos Mares, but there are still plenty of shops to choose from, along with cafes, restaurants and another cinema.
Sport and leisure in and around Las Alcázares
The beaches and promenade
The 7 km of sandy beaches in Los Alcázares are linked by a paved promenade from Playa de La Concha in the south to Playa Las Salinas in Los Narejos. The beaches offer a full range of services with easy access and facilities for people with disabilities. All are clean and well maintained, and safe for young families to enjoy. In the summer season, expect medium-high occupancy.
The promenade is a glorious seafront walk with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants along the way. It’s a great place to stop for a chilled meal and indulge in some ‘people watching’. There’s also plenty of shade, exercise equipment, and several children’s play areas.
Murcia is the warmest mainland region in Spain, making it perfect for outdoor sports. As the water on the Mar Menor isn’t tidal, Los Alcázares is an ideal place for beginners to feel safe as they try out a wide range of water sports – from canoeing, jet skiing and kitesurfing to windsurfing and sailing.
There’s a sailing school on the promenade where you can find activities and equipment for every water sport you can imagine – and you might just bump into one of the many international professionals that come here for their winter training!
The area is a favourite with golfers from all over the world who can enjoy their passion in the glorious sunshine all year round while taking in stunning views.
The Mar Menor Golf Resort is just a 7-minute drive away by car. Designed by Dave Thomas and Niklaus Design, you can enjoy playing on generous greens protected by large bunkers. Wide fairways allow for big shots, and a spectacular lake challenges even the most seasoned golfers!
La Manga Club Resort is only 20 minutes away by car and boasts three 18-hole championship golf courses along almost six square kilometres. The prestigious North, South and West courses offer different styles to challenge golfers of all levels. The magnificent golf facilities here also include a Golf Practice Centre, considered the best of its kind in Europe.
Roda Golf Resort is the nearest golf course to Los Alcázares, considered one of the best in the Murcia region. Play on lush greens with broad, flat fairways, acres of Mediterranean shrubs, and hundreds of planted trees. There is also a driving range and practice zone. The course is suitable for players of all levels and abilities.
La Serena Golf is just a 10-minute drive away. Set in beautiful surroundings, this golf course features gentle hills and undulating fairways, with sculptured flower-shaped bunkers between lakes, greens and palm trees. A large Club House provides all the amenities and services you could possibly need.
History and culture
Some of the rich history of Los Alcázares can be explored with a visit to the Balneario La Encarnación Hotel. This fascinating hotel, built in 1902, has held on to its early twentieth-century charisma. Once upon a time, it was feted by Royals and the rich and famous, who visited to use the hot springs and salt waters of the Mar Menor for their therapeutic and healing properties.
Echoes of the past have been beautifully preserved, and a visit is a must if only to have a drink on the scenic terrace overlooking the sea.
Exploring further afield
An added bonus to visiting or living in Los Alcázares is the easy access by public transport to some of the region’s most fascinating cities. For example, Murcia and Cartagena are both less than an hour away.
It’s easy to lose a day or two strolling around the streets of the historic old town of Murcia, exploring iconic architecture, boutique shops, and eateries. The city is renowned for its cuisine; you can feast on excellent seafood and locally grown fresh vegetables. Whatever you order, you’re in for a treat and for those with a sweet tooth, you’ll want to try the heavenly desserts and pastries.
Cartagena is one of Spain’s hidden gems that has managed to avoid becoming a tourist trap. The Roman Theatre of Cartagena wasn’t discovered until 1988 and is now one of the top tourist attractions in the city. If you’re looking for other things to do, the architecture of this small city really is spectacular, and it’s worth taking the time to stroll around and soak up the grandeur and style of the buildings.
If you prefer to browse around a traditional indoor market, the vibrant Mercado de Santa Florentina – within easy walking distance of the city centre – is a must-see.
Getting around the area
The nearest airport to Los Alcázares is the Región de Murcia International Airport (locally known as Murcia-Corvera), only 30 minutes by car. Alicante airport is also less than an hour’s drive away.
Once at the airport, the usual airport transfer options are available, including car hire, taxis, and buses.
Three main train stations serve Los Alcázares:
- Balsicas-Mar Menor train station (22 minutes by car).
- Torre-Pacheco train station (23 minutes by car).
- Cartagena train station (24 minutes by car).
The main bus station for Los Alcázares is located on Calle José Selgas 41 30710. For further information on routes and bus times, you can visit the Busbud website.
Property for sale in Los Alcázares
At Micasamo, we have a selection of modern design, new build villas and apartments available in Los Alcázares and the surrounding areas.
Most of our properties are just a short walk from Los Alcázares town centre and its stunning beaches and enjoy a private or communal pool. In addition, all amenities, including restaurants, bars, pharmacies, supermarkets, etc., are within easy walking distance.
We also have a range of impressive properties for sale in the highly popular Santa Rosalia Lake and Life Resort. This gated community is located between Los Alcázares and Torre Pacheco and is just a short drive from the Mar Menor beaches and only 3 km from the Mar Menor Golf Resort.
Here’s a quick recap:
Here’s a quick summary of why we think living or owning a second home in the vibrant and lively town of Los Alcázares – on the shores of the Mar Menor – is a must-have experience.
- The Murcia region offers the warmest mainland climate in Spain, with over 320 days a year of sunshine.
- It’s all about outdoor, healthy living, whatever that means to you. So whether it’s a daily walk along the beach, strolling along the beautiful promenade at sunrise or sunset, long lunches on sunny terraces, or indulging in a range of water sports – it’s all right on your doorstep.
- It’s a golfers’ paradise! World-class golf courses and facilities are less than a 20-minute drive away, including the ever-popular La Manga Club Resort.
- There are many fabulous places to eat, drink, and socialize, with excellent dining experiences (and views to die for), all at very reasonable prices.
- A wealth of Spanish history and culture to explore on your doorstep.
- Good transport links make it easily accessible for travelling around Spain and further afield.
- It’s an excellent time to buy property in Spain. The Murcia region is gaining popularity as one of Spain’s most affordable regions and is a safe bet for property investment.
- A varied range of properties available to meet all tastes and budgets, including bungalows on golf courses, modern beach apartments, and luxury villas.
How the Micasamo team can help
Whether you’re looking to purchase a property for personal use or rental income, the team at Micasamo is here to guide you every step of the way to help you find the perfect property for your needs.
We provide an end-to-end service, including; free consultation with financial advisors, legal advisors and residency specialists, relocation advice, property consultancy to establish your right-fit property, VIP property viewing trips, ongoing first-class after-sales services, property management, and much more.
We have a great selection of well-priced properties on new developments, luxury villas with private pools, modern apartments with golf, sea, and mountain views, and stunning townhouses in gated communities.
For those interested in purchasing a property for rental income, call us to learn more about our new management and rental services, designed to ensure peace of mind for absent homeowners and guarantee tenants are happy and content in their homes.
If the idea of investing in property in Los Alcázares has whet your appetite, why not start browsing our complete selection of properties and dreaming about your new life in the sun…