San Pedro del Pinatar Murcia
Guide to San Pedro del Pinatar Murcia, a coastal resort on the Mar Menor.
Resorts of Murcia - San Pedro del Pinatar
San Pedro del Pinatar Murcia: Located on the N-332 coastal road a little north of the Mar Menor you will find the delightful Costa Calida resort of San Pedro del Pinatar, an interesting and charming town which is a popular destination for visitors of all nationalities particularly the Spanish themselves. San Pedro del Pinatar has a resident population of around 21,234 people (2006), though of course this rises significantly during the busy summer months, the municipal district of San Pedro del Pinatar covers an area of 21.7km2. San Pedro del Pinatar weather is usually warm and sunny with very little rainfall.
The town itself has a decent selection of bars, restaurants and shops and a weekly street market which is held on Mondays. San Pedro del Pinatar also has an excellent marina which is popular with water-sports enthusiasts, with such activities as sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, snorkeling and jet skiing on offer.
For those who prefer golf, San Pedro del Pinatar Murcia is an excellent location, as it is surrounded by golf courses both new and established - the three courses of the Orihuela Costa are just a 15 minute drive away, also close by are the courses of La Manga, Roda, La Torre Golf Resort and the Mar Menor Golf Resort.
Formerly called 'El Pinatar', the documented history of San Pedro del Pinatar (which loosely translates as St Peter of the Pine Woods), goes back to the beginning of the seventeenth century when a hermitage was erected in honour the apostle San Pedro (Saint Peter), as St Peter was a fisherman and the town was mostly inhabited by fishermen, the town’s people decided to rename it after the Saint. There are thought to have been settlements in the area as long ago as the Palaeolithic Era, and it was later a stopping-off point for Phoenician traders in about 2,600BC, as this coastline was a notable trading route during those times. There are also remnants of ancient Roman villas in the area around the town, and it is probable that it was one of the bases the Romans would have used during their conquest of Cartagena during the Punic Wars, the Romans would certainly have made use of the plentiful salt in the region, as salt was an important commodity in these times. The decline and collapse of the Roman Empire saw the region controlled first by Visigoths and subsequently by the Moors who turned 'El Pinatar' into a significant fishing town, and developed unique Arabic fishing methods, still in use today. One of these methods used ‘encañizadas’ (cane fish traps) which were expertly placed in the main channels of the Mar Menor.
Throughout the centuries San Pedro del Pinatar Murcia has relied mostly on fishing, agriculture and the production of salt for its economic survival - the Mar Menor waters having the highest salt content of anywhere in Europe. The Salinas (salt lagoons or saltpans) of San Pedro del Pinatar now make up the Parque Regional de Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro a protected Natural Park and a very important area for migrating birds (particularly flamingos), in fact it is the most significant area of wetlands in the region of Murcia and apart from flamingos it is possible to see a wide variety of birdlife including herons, egrets, grebe, plovers, storks, owls and eaglets.
San Pedro del Pinatar has some places of interest which are worth visiting including the Museo de la Cofradía with its exhibition of nautical artefacts, the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, the Casa del Reloj (former home of the renowned politician Emilio Castelar, president of the First Republic), the Wetlands Centre, the Punta de Algos and the Fish Market.
San Pedro del Pinatar is situated just four kilometres north of San Javier airport and is easily accessed from the N332 and from the AP-7 motorway junction 774. It is around 49 kilometres from the provincial capital Murcia.