Roquetas de Mar is a newcomer to the holiday scene, and until the early 1990s it was little more than a fishing area, which was typical of this coast, with its small port backed by a village of Moorish streets and little white houses. Now this has now been expanded to cater for holiday apartments, hotels and tourist facilities. Apart from the original village houses, the only obvious reminders of the past is the imposing landmark of the medieval Castilla de Santa Ana.
Roquetas de Mar lies very close to the southeast corner of Spain, 160km (100 miles) east of Malaga, with the nearest town being Almeria.
The resort is mostly flat and backed by rugged mountains of the Sierra de Gador, part of the Sierra Nevada range.
Due to this sheltered position rainfall is very scarce and this is one of the driest regions in Europe. Between May and October the daily average maximum temperatures never falls below 20ºC and rises above 30ºC in July-August. There is very little rain and almost guaranteed sunshine year-round. The winters are mild and mostly dry.
Next to the neat promenade, is the beach, which is 3km (2 mile) long, a beach of coarse silver sand that is never crowded. All water sports are available and there is a specially designated nudist section.
Roquetas de Mar has four golf courses within easy reach.
Bird watchers visit the salt marsh at Las Marinas, 5km (3 miles) to see flamingos, little egrets and avocets.
On the beachfront, on the way to the neighbouring resort of Aguadulce, is the Mario Park Parque Aquatico. This is a small water park with slides, pools and a wave machine. Older children will get a bigger buzz at Karting Roquetas. This is Andalucia's biggest go-kart circuit with carts for children as well as adults.
Most shops in Roquetas de Mar are geared towards the tourist trade, selling souvenirs, beachwear, etc. Gran Plaza is a large new modern shopping centre with 125 shops, a multi-screen cinema (with English-language screens), a bowling alley, amusement arcade, restaurants and cafes.
Nightlife is mostly low key and generally in hotels, with live music and local shows. The impressive recently opened Teatro Auditorio stages classical concerts, dance, ballet and English-language theatre productions, and concerts are also held in the bull ring (Plaza de la Constitución).
Roquetas de Mar has a good selection of restaurants to suit all tastes; choices include fish, pizza, Chinese and local fare. Dining on tapas, is a great way to start the evening.