Beautiful sunny weather all year round with little rain and an average temperature of 18°C, golden sandy Blue Flag beaches, mesmerizing blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, modern hotels, many restaurants, and a wide range of activities… All of that makes Roquetas de Mar the most popular holiday resort on Costa de Almeria that attracts thousands of people every year. For many years, Roquetas was a traditional fishing village, which during the last about 50 years evolved into a modern holiday resort. Stay with us and discover the best things to do in Roquetas de Mar near Almeria, Spain.
Even though the Roquetas de Mar area was inhabited since prehistoric times, the origins of the modern town date back to the 18th century. Since Roman times Turaniana, as the town was called back then, was an important place for the production of salted fish. In their heyday, saltworks produced around 250,000 tonnes of salt per year! During the Muslim period, defensive towers were built to protect the town from the pirates. The municipality of Roquetas de Mar was created in the 18th century when the village separated from the town of Enix.
But it was only in the middle of the 20th century that the population of Roquetas de Mar significantly increased. While Spain experienced a demographic increase of 33%, the population of Roquetas grew by 610%, mainly due to a massive wave of immigration and a high birth rate. Also during the 60s, the first tourists began to arrive in town. Currently, Roquetas de Mar welcomes about 100k visitors each year.
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Roquetas de Mar, Spain FAQ
Roquetas de Mar is best known for being one of the most popular holiday resorts on Costa de Almeria. Also, although the region is one of the driest in Europe thanks to access to groundwater and plenty of sunshine it became well-known for being a major hub of greenhouse agriculture in Europe. In 1969 only 45 hectares of land were used for farming, but today it’s more than 40,000 – no wonder it’s often called a sea of plastic! Check out satellite photos and you’ll understand why.
For strictly holiday purposes – yes. You’ll like days filled with sun and no rain, as well as great beaches. For a one-day trip, it’s not necessarily the best place, unless you’re in a close neighborhood, as there are not many things to discover. We think there are better places in the area, like Almeria, Guadix, Tabernas Desert, or Parque Natural del Cabo de Gata-Nijar.
Roquetas de Mar is located on the sunny Costa de Almeria in Spain.
Yes, most of Roquetas de Mar beaches are sandy.
Roquetas de Mar market takes place every Thursday from 9AM to 2PM on Avenida Unión Europea.
Things to do in Roquetas de Mar, Spain
Santa Ana Castle
Santa Ana Castle (es. Castillo de Santa Ana or Castillo de Las Roquetas) was built during the 16th and 17th centuries in order to defend the town and salt industry from pirates. It began as one tower, and over the years was transformed into the shape we can see today. In the 1804 earthquake destroyed most of the structure, only one of the towers remained. In 1997 Roquetas de Mar Town Hall ordered a major reconstruction of the castle to reinstate its position as a historical monument. This restoration was completed in 2003. Santa Ana Castle we see today is mostly a replica of the original.
Currently, Santa Ana serves as a small museum and art gallery with rotating exhibitions. Around the castle, you’ll find a small garden and a lighthouse built in the mid-19th century which remained in operation until 1945 and now houses various exhibits. From castle towers, you can admire views over the beaches and the Mediterranean Sea. Visiting Santa Ana Castle is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Roquetas de Mar, so don’t miss it.
Entrance to Santa Ana Castle is free (May 2023). For current prices and opening hours please visit almeriadecosta.com website.
Roquetas de Mar Bullring
Roquetas de Mar Bullring (es. Plaza de Toros) was built in 1888 and inaugurated on July 19 2002. The building houses a small museum with 5 rooms dedicated to bullfighting history and culture, as well as hosts concerts during summer months. The arena itself has a capacity of about 8000 people, and some of the biggest toreadors’ names have already passed through its doors. Even if bullfighting isn’t something that really interests you, Roquetas de Mar Bullring and its museum are worth stopping by for a moment. There are also cool bull sculptures in front of the building! Entrance to the museum is free (May 2023).
Roquetas de Mar Old Town Streets
The center of Roquetas de Mar is located about 20min on foot from Santa Ana Castle and the beaches. We won’t lie – you won’t find many spectacular things there as it’s fairly new. Just take a quick stroll, see what is all about, maybe visit a restaurant or cafe, and go back to the beach area.
On the town’s main square, Plaza de la Constitución, you’ll find Our Lady of the Rosary Church (es. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario). The original building was completed in the middle of the 18th century, but over the years it has been damaged and rebuilt several times up to the form we can see today.
Roquetas de Mar Beaches
In Roquetas de Mar you’ll find almost 9km of beautiful beaches on which you’ll be able to take advantage of the Andalusian sun and Mediterranean sea breeze. All beaches are long and wide, full of room for hundreds of beachgoers hungry for the sun’s rays. Around most of the beaches, you’ll also find many restaurants, cafes, or shops, as well as beach amenities like showers, or beach chairs.
Playa la Romanilla and Playa de La Bajadilla are located closest to the Roquetas de Mar center, on both sides of the Santa Ana Castle. A little further, about 4km from the castle, you’ll find Playa Serena which was awarded the Blue Flag for its cleanliness and safety. Other popular sandy beaches are Playa de las Salinas located near abandoned Salinas de San Rafael and Playa de Aguadulce. Hitting the beach is definitely one of the best things to do in Roquetas de Mar so don’t hesitate, choose your favorite and just enjoy yourself.
Punta Entinas-Sabinar Nature Preserve
If you want to take a break from sunbathing, Punta Entinas-Sabinar Nature Preserve might be a great one-day trip destination, especially if you’re a nature lover. In this tranquil 15km long waterfront area you’ll find walking and cycling routes leading you through dunes and ponds with many opportunities for birdwatching many beautiful species. Punta Entinas-Sabinar Nature Preserve is located only about 10km from Roquetas de Mar center.
MarioPark – Roquetas de Mar water park
Another great thing to do in Roquetas de Mar is to visit MarioPark. It’s a family-friendly water park featuring many slides and pools, as well as a jacuzzi, snack bar, and picnic area. All of that will easily keep you and your family occupied for the whole day. Mariopark is open only throughout the summer season, from mid-June to the beginning of September. For current prices and opening hours visit mariopark.com. MarioPark is located about 4km from Roquetas de Mar center.
Aquarium Costa de Almeria
Aquarium Costa de Almería is a place where you can learn more about local sea life in 7 themed rooms. There you can admire various saltwater and freshwater species through the windows of large tanks, stroke a manta ray, and even swim with sharks or watch them through a special cage. Aquarium Costa de Almeria is located about 4km from Roquetas de Mar center and is open the whole year. For current prices and opening hours visit aquariumcostadealmeria.com.
Golf in Roquetas de Mar
Another great thing to do in Roquetas de Mar is to take advantage of one of its golf courses. So if you’re a golf enthusiast or just want to try something new choose one of three places nearby – Club De Golf Playa Serena (about 5km from the town center), La Envia Golf (about 10km from the town center), or Club de Golf Almerimar (25km from town center).
Interesting fact: Playa Serena Golf Club is the flattest golf course in the country and one of the best-rated golf courses in Andalusia.
Roquetas de Mar market
Roquetas de Mar Market is a weekly event that takes place every Thursday from 9AM to 2P on Avenida Unión Europea, close to Playa de las Salinas. It’s one of the largest open-air street markets in the province of Almeria, with around 300 stalls full of fruits, vegetables, clothes, and various household items.
Also, every first Sunday of the month a popular antiquities and second-hand market takes place near Roquetas de Mar bullring.
Gran Plaza Shopping Mall
Here is one more thing to do in Roquetas de Mar – shopping in Gran Plaza Shopping Mall (es. Parque Comercial Gran Plaza). There you’ll find a great selection of shops including some popular brands like Primark, Calzedonia, H&M, or Zara. You can also take advantage of the cinema if you don’t mind Spanish dubbing. If you’re lucky you should be able to spot a movie in the original version but unfortunately it’s rare across Spain.
Roquetas de Mar Nightlife
Here we can’t say much from experience, but from what we’ve heard Roquetas de Mar isn’t famous for a vivid nightlife. You’ll find some bars or clubs open until late at night, but it’s rather a tranquil town with quiet restaurants and tapas bars. For party people, we’d recommend looking for some fun in Aguadulce, located about 10km away, especially near the port.
How to get to Roquetas de Mar, Spain?
Roquetas de Mar is located about 20km from Almeria. The most convenient way to get to town is by car, bus, or taxi.
Where to park in Roquetas de Mar?
If you’re traveling by car you can choose from many parking lots in town. For exploring Roquetas de Mar town center we recommend leaving a car in this free parking lot right next to the bullring. To explore the beachfront area you can leave your car in this free parking lot near Santa Ana Castle (but it has little spots), or on this bigger one, a little further near port.
Airports near Roquetas de Mar
The closest airports to Roquetas de Mar are located in Almeria (40km away), Granada (160km away) and in Malaga (200km away). All airports offer bus connections to Roquetas de Mar. To learn more about connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Roquetas de Mar by bus
You can also reach Roquetas de Mar by bus. For example, a trip from Almeria will take about 40min (€4-7), and 20min from Aguadulce (€2-4). To learn more about bus connections that might interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Roquetas de Mar by taxi
The most expensive option, but also the fastest one if you care about time. For example, a trip from Almeria will take only about 20min (€22-27), and 10min from Aguadulce (€9-11). To learn more about taxi connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
To Roquetas de Mar by train
Unfortunately, there is no train station in Roquetas de Mar. Closest one is located in Almeria, about 40km away, and from there you can take a bus or taxi to Roquetas de Mar.
Roquetas de Mar Campings
Things to do in Roquetas de Mar Near Almeria, Spain – Summing up
Roquetas de Mar is a great holiday spot for those who are looking for sun and warmth, that’s for sure. If you’re a traveler or digital nomad already living in the area and you’ve already seen other amazing places in the area like Almeria, Guadix, Cabo de Gata-Níjar National Park, or the Tabernas Desert and still have time for more – you can make a short trip to Roquetas as well. In other cases, we would recommend skipping it as there are many more interesting places near Almeria.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Roquetas de Mar?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Roquetas de Mar:
Where to sleep in Roquetas de Mar?
Sunset Apartment Aguadulce With Pool
The apartment is very comfortable and equipped with everything that you need for daily life. It faces south so it’s warm and bright. But what deserves the most attention is the huge terrace - perfect for relaxing, sunbathing, or admiring views. The Internet was very good. There is a private parking spot in the underground garage. Cons: the place is located high on the hill so a car is needed. Also, all the closest shops are quite far away.
Hotel Best Sabinal
Hotel Best Sabinal is a beachfront hotel located in the resort town of Roquetas de Mar. With direct access to the sandy shores of Playa Serena, guests can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and water sports just steps away from the hotel. The hotel offers comfortable and well-equipped rooms, some with stunning sea views, and a range of amenities including a swimming pool, restaurants, bars, and entertainment options for both adults and children.
Atico Almeria is a stunning penthouse located in the coastal town of Roquetas de Mar. It's situated right by the beach and offers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding area. The apartment features modern and stylish decor, and it is fully equipped with all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay. Guests can also enjoy the spacious terrace.
Alua Golf Trinidad
Alua Golf Trinidad is a modern beachfront hotel situated in Roquetas de Mar. The hotel offers comfortable and spacious rooms with amenities such as air conditioning, private balconies, and TVs. Guests can enjoy direct access to the sandy beach, relax by the outdoor swimming pools, or indulge in a variety of sports and activities including golf, tennis, and water sports.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com