SAN PEDRO DEL PINATAR
Written by John K on May 18, 2016
SAN PEDRO DEL PINATAR
San Pedro del Pinatar is at the touristic heart of the Costa Cálida. Situated between the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean Sea, this small seaside town is famous for its fishing background, therapeutic mud baths, salt flats and vast stretches of sand.
THE SALINAS AND ARENALES
The Regional Park of Las Salinas y Arenales of San Pedro is one of those perfect natural paradises for those who want to escape the masses and tourist resorts. In this protected site for water birds and migratory birds, you can see flamingos, walk along the hiking trails enjoy a refreshing dip in the Med and see one of the most spectacular sunsets of the whole coast.
ESSENCE OF THE SEA
The whole essence of San Pedro’s fishing tradition is reflected in its fish market. It is best to go early in the day to see the boats arrive after their day’s work, as they are escorted by seabirds. Once the ships have arrived in port, we suggest you mix with the locals and get ready for the show as they auction off the catch of the day. You will be able to sample this freshly caught fish in the local restaurants as part of a local rice dish (Caldero) or in the form of salted sea bass or bream. Don’t forget to try some Mar Menor prawns as well.
TREAT YOURSELF TO A MUD BATH
The biggest outdoor mud therapy sight in Europe can be found here in San Pedro. To come here and not cover yourself from head to toe with its famous therapeutic mud would be a crime! You can choose to do it yourself on the seafront or in the thalassotherapy centres of the coastline. And if you want to take a little piece of paradise back home with you, don’t forget you can buy the mud in the thalassotherapy centres.
Few walks are as beautiful as that of La Mota which runs between the Mar Menor and the salt ponds of Lo Pagan. Amongst the windmills and the multitude of people with mud covered bodies exposed to the sun, you will pass through a desert of sand dunes until you finally reach the point at which the two seas meet. The walk along the promenade is another which won’t need any planning, because the spectacular colours of the sunset, the panoramic views of the Mar Menor and the gentle sea breeze will draw you in anyway. Along the promenade you will find hotels, bars, restaurants and shops of all types.
If you like water sports, you won’t find anywhere else with more choice. The calm and tranquil waters of both the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean are ideal for sailing (including catamarans), kayaking, windsurfing, jet skis and diving.Whatever level you are at, it’s time to sail close to the wind and enjoy yourself! The Mar Menor Nautical Centre makes all this very easy for you with its many different centres and associated teaching schools.
HOUSES AND PALACES
Visiting the Palace of the Baron of Benefayó is a wise decision as much for its neo-Moorish façade, as for the treasures which it guards inside. It’s in this building that you will also find the Municipal Museum of San Pedro, with exhibitions dedicated to the fossils, ethnography and the archaeology of both land and sea. But without doubt, the most impressive part of the visit is being able to admire the collection of antique toys and the old film footage. La Casa del Reloj (the Clock House), is another late 19th Century villa that’s worth mentioning. It was built as a place of recreation for the powerful Servet family and was the final resting place of Emilio Castelar, President of the First Spanish Republic. Today, it makes up part of a complex dedicated to the restoration of the same name.
FLAVOURS OF THE SEA
Here in San Pedro you will be able to discover the true tastes of the sea. Mullet roe, ling, cod, smoked herring and the local dried tuna. Why not take this opportunity to try these creations that are still produced by following ancient Roman techniques?
FLEUR DE SEL
Don’t forget to buy the fleur de sel of San Pedro. Extracted from the protected areas of the Salinas, it is salt in its purest form, collected from very traditional techniques and under special weather conditions. Its taste is both distinctive and exquisite, it doesn’t solidify and also dissolves easier in your mouth. And if you want to go one step further, pick up some of the flavoured versions. Along with the more traditional herbs and spices, you will also find more original flavours with sweet tastes such as tuna roe, tomato, and olives. Go on, surprise yourself!
THE STAR OF THE SEA
The festival of the Our Lady of Mount Carmels hows the bond between the Pinatarenses (the local people) and the sea, as well as their devotion shown towards her as the protector of fishermen and sailors. Known since medieval times as ‘Estrella del Mar‘(Star of the Sea), a procession is held on the waters of the Mar Menor as a form of pilgrimage in which carnations are dropped into the sea in memory of the seamen who didn’t make it back to port. This hundred-year-old festival has been declared of regional touristic interest along with the Easter festivities in San Pedro, in which the procession of Good Friday stands out.