San Javier is one of four municipalities whose identity is inextricably intertwined with that of Europe's largest inland saltwater lake, the Mar Menor.
73 kilometres of interior waterfronts and over 40 kilometres of beaches are enclosed by a 21-kilometre long sandspit, La Manga del Mar Menor creating unique bathing conditions with warm, shallow water.
Although the municipality is just 175 years old, it has an interesting history, the safety of these sheltered waters attracted mankind for thousands of years. The Phoenicians took advantage of its safe harbour and trading opportunities 2600 years ago. leaving behind the Bajo de la Campana shipwreck, and today tourists arrive via San Javier airport from across Europe to enjoy the leisure pursuits on offer.
Tourism is one of the municipality's principal activities, creating employment in the services sector, with hotels, bars and restaurants, property management, rentals and sales professionals all servicing the tourism and leisure sectors.
Warm thermal winds and shallow waters create ideal conditions for watersports, and San Javier offers excellent opportunities for both beginners and improvers who enjoy sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing and diving from the many specialist centres within San Javier.
Agriculture is also an important element of the local economy and in the outlying pedanías, a wide range of both greenhouse and salad crops are cultivated.
An established ex-pat community has grown up within San Javier, in areas such as Roda, taking advantage of the warm climate and busy cultural offering, which includes the San Javier Jazz Festival, the Carnival in Santiago de la Ribera and the many events run by social support groups and charities within the ex-pat community. The inauguration of two new high-tech hospitals in both The Mar Menor Los Arcos Hospital in San Javier and the Santa Lucia Hospital in Cartagena are an added attraction, ensuring quality healthcare for residents.
San Javier also has a rich cultural tradition with the annual Romería of San Blas in February, the marine Romería of the Virgen del Carmen in July and boasts one of the largest nativity Beléns in Spain during the Christmas celebrations, when even the Three Kings arrive in San Javier by boat.