Archena is twice blessed by the waters of the River Segura and hot thermal springs
The municipality of Archena is located in a central area of the Region of Murcia at the head of the Ricote Valley and falling within the Comarca of the Vega Media del Segura which follows the course of the River Segura.
It borders with the municipalities of Villanueva del Río Segura, Ulea, Ceutí, Lorquí and Molina de Segura, covering an area of 1,651 hectares, and its population was 18,559 in 2015.
The presence of the River Segura is the defining factor which dictates its landscape, running for a distance of seven kilometres through the heart of the municipality, and Archena has been a lush oasis on the banks of the river for centuries, the availability of water facilitating vegetative growth and supporting agricultural activity. With an average temperature of 18ºC the municipality has long been a focal point for stone fruit production.
Archena is also famed for its other water source; the Balneario de Archena which offers hot thermal waters to modern-day visitors as it has done throughout its history. Archaeological remains show that the native Iberian tribes, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs who successively occupied the Murcia Region all knew about and used, the hot thermal waters of Archena.
Occupations by these varied civilisations left their indelible mark on Archena, through from the lush palm trees, figs, irrigation systems and pomegranates brought by the Moors to the structures built by the Romans, although much of what we see today was shaped after the Christian Reconquist of Murcia when Archena became the property of the Christian Order of San Juan.
The town itself is full of buildings testifying to the success of the town during the last three centuries; the Iglesia Parroquial San Juan Bautista, la Casa Grande, now the town hall, and the Palacete de Villarías and the area surrounding the town is relatively flat, facilitating irrigated agriculture, the landscape broken only by the Sierra de la Serreta.
The link with thermal waters and healing is very much a part of the identity of Archena, and this is even reflected in the fiestas of the municipality; fiestas patronales are held in honour of Corpus Christi and the Virgen de la Salud (the Virgen of Health), beginning with a Romería in which the image of the Virgen begins her journey from the Balneario.
Semana Santa in Archena has been awarded “Regional Tourist Interest” status and the municipality also celebrates its Fiestas del Polvorín, commemorating a massive explosion at a munitions store in 1963 which shook the ground for 30 kilometres around the town.
Where is Archena?
Archena is 24 kilometres from the capital city of Murcia in a central-east position within the Region of Murcia.