The first signs of a civilization in the region of the MAR MENOR do not come as originally thought from the Paleolithic, even though lots of information has been collected from this time. Archaeological findings of Roman and Arabic settlements during this epoch are much more conclusive.
The findings from the romans give as a pretty clear picture what might have happened. They took advantage of having such an easy access to the MEDITERRANEAN SEA and made a successful business by developing a new industry – cured/ smoked fish and meat and their distribution.
In addition the MAR MENOR and the MEDITERRANEAN SEA formed practically an integrated whole. The Romans renamed it into “Belich”. Not only was it used for distributing the merchandise but it became also a harbor for ships of all sizes could retreat to, because at that time the lagoon was substantially deeper than today.
Middle Age and Modern Age
With the arrival of the Arabs a new system of fishing called “ecañizada”, which is still being used nowadays, was invented in the MAR MENOR. This way of fishing is still being used to catch mullets and other typical fishes from this region.
From historians and because of historical documents, it is known to us that at the time of Alfons X (13th century) and Felipe II (16th century), the landscapes of the region of MAR MENOR had an abundance of flora and fauna. An example is the name of the island “ISLA DEL CIERVO” (translates into an island of deer goats) – in honor of the deer goats resident at that time there, still plentiful.
As Alfons X conquered the region of Murcia in the 13th century, the region was mostly inhabited from shepherds and fisherman due to a lot of assaults of pirates as well as Berber who came from the north of Africa. In order to fight off this scourge, Alfons X issued in 1266 a decree which obliged the neighbors from MURCIA to come to aid the fishermen and shepherds. In case of an assault of the Moors the people being attacked were supposed to send smoke signals from the defensive towers, in order to signal that there was an attack.
Starting e.g. from LA TORRE DE RAME in LOS ALCAZARES and continuously further until the smoke signals would reach the towers of the CHURCH TO CATALINA SANTA in MURCIA. The incentives granted by Alfons X brought some of the noble men and knights to settle down in this region. They formed smaller scattered settlements which were designated after these nobles and knights. Those settlements form nowadays the inside of MAR MENOR, as for example TORRE PACHECO, ROLDAN, LO PAGAN etc.
After the reconquer of Granada, the attacks of the Turks did not take a downturn in the MEDITERRANEAN AREA, on the contrary. Therefore, King Carlos V and his son Phillip II ordered the construction of another three towers in LA MANGA and one in CABO DE PALOS.
With the arrival of the 19th century, two municipalities started to develop themselves into the most known once in the region. On the one hand SAN JAVIER, on the other hand SAN PEDRO DEL PINATARboth already well-known in the past. Today it is safe to say that LOS ALCAZARES and LOS NAREJOS even excel them with regard to their infrastructure, accessibility and quality of beaches.