Spotlight on Cabo de Palos

Coastal charm and fresh seafood await Image: Shutterstock/ Damsea

CABO DE PALOS, situated on the Costa Calida, attracts visitors with its rugged charm and maritime heritage. Located near the historic city of Cartagena, this small village boasts a rich history intertwined with fishing and seafaring traditions.

The focal point of Cabo de Palos is its iconic lighthouse, perched dramatically on a rocky cliff. Built in the mid-19th century, the lighthouse not only guides ships safely along the Mediterranean but also offers stunning panoramic views of the coastline. The area around the lighthouse is popular for hiking, providing breathtaking vistas of the deep blue sea contrasting against the rugged cliffs.

For seafood fans, Cabo de Palos is a paradise. Its bustling fish market, where the catch of the day is auctioned off in the early hours of the morning, showcases the village’s deep-rooted connection to the sea. Visitors can enjoy freshly caught dishes at local restaurants, enjoying dishes prepared in traditional Murcian style.

Beyond its maritime appeal, Cabo de Palos offers pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and diving. The Marine Reserve of Cabo de Palos – Islas Hormigas, a protected area teeming with marine life, attracts divers from around the world.

Whether exploring its historic lighthouse, savouring seafood delights, or diving into its vibrant underwater world, Cabo de Palos promises a memorable Mediterranean experience steeped in natural beauty and coastal charm.

Diving Paradise

SCUBA diving in Cabo de Palos is one of the best diving destinations in Europe and attracts underwater fans from around the globe. Located on the Costa Calida, this picturesque coastal town is renowned for its exceptional diving opportunities. The highlight of diving in Cabo de Palos is the Marine Reserve of Cabo de Palos – Islas Hormigas, a protected area teeming with diverse marine life and vibrant coral formations.

Divers can explore submerged shipwrecks, including the famous Naranjito wreck, offering a glimpse into maritime history in the middle of schools of colourful fish and octopuses. The clarity of the Mediterranean waters enhances visibility, providing an unforgettable underwater experience.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, Cabo de Palos offers something for everyone. Dive centres in the village provide guided excursions and equipment rental, ensuring safe and enjoyable dives. After a day exploring the depths, divers can unwind in Cabo de Palos’ charming cafes and restaurants, enjoying fresh seafood and recounting underwater adventures.

Dive into Cabo de Palos Image: Shutterstock/ phmarcosborsatto

Shining a light

THE Cabo de Palos Lighthouse is set to receive a prestigious designation as a ‘Bien de Interés Cultural’ (BIC) – a cultural heritage site in Spain. Dating back to 1862, when it replaced an earlier Renaissance tower, this lighthouse holds significant historical, scientific, and technical value in Spain’s heritage.

Recently, the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage and Fine Arts initiated steps to designate it as a monument, as detailed in the Official State Gazette. The lighthouse has served as a Lighthouse Keepers’ School and a crucial maritime beacon, highlighting its multifaceted importance.

Despite its sturdy appearance, the lighthouse faces challenges from humidity, particularly affecting its optic area. However, ongoing efforts are in place to preserve this historical site.

The journey towards monument status began back in 2021, driven by Cartagena’s Municipal Group (MC) and supported unanimously by heritage advocates and the local community. This milestone secures overdue recognition and protection for the Cabo de Palos Lighthouse, ensuring its legacy lasts for future generations to appreciate.

Guiding history into the future Image: Shutterstock/ Aleksei Kazachok

Weekly Market

EVERY Sunday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm, Cabo de Palos hosts a bustling weekly market in the parking lot of Centro Comercial Las Dunas shopping centre. With over 250 stalls, the market offers a vibrant array of goods throughout the year.

Visitors can explore a diverse selection including fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, alongside clothing, footwear, bags, and accessories. Household items, flowers, plants, and artisanal products like cheeses, sausages, and sweets add to the market’s lively atmosphere. Whether you’re browsing for everyday essentials or unique finds, the Cabo de Palos market provides a delightful shopping experience against the backdrop of this charming coastal town.

Image: Shutterstock/ A.Freund

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!