The Roman Aqueduct runs from Almuñécar to the north of Torrecuevas, between the Rio Verde and Rio Seco. It is believed to have been built in the first century AD, coinciding with the construction of the main Roman monuments in the city.
The Phoenicians occupied this land from the 8th century BC and named it Sexi. They were expert fishermen and lived well off of the land and sea. Later, in Roman times, the city was known as Sexi Firmum Iulium. The main local industry seems to have been the production of garum, a fermented fish sauce. Given the need for drinking water, as well as water for the fish salting industry, the Romans created an aqueduct using their expertise in engineering. This would help bring the water into the town. There have been a total of 5 pieces of the aqueduct discovered, within 7 km of town. Listing from nearest to town out they are Aqueduct IV (with Roman Baths), A III, A II, A I, and Aqueduct Torrecuevas.
Roman Aqueduct IV and Roman Baths, also called the Carrera, is just outside the historic center of town at Plaza Mayor. This was the last part of the aqueduct discovered in the late 90’s, during excavations in the Plaza Mayor, next to the Carrera de la Concepción. This was completely buried by the sediment of the Rio Verde. During the archaeological dig, they also discovered hot springs, which likely filled the Roman Baths.
It is currently fenced off, but you have unobstructed views from every side around the upper sidewalk. This is just one of the well-preserved pieces of history, closest to town.
Roman Aqueduct III
The next section of the aqueduct is visible in the Rio Seco, which can be reached from the central square along a road that heads NW. Just south of the bridge that carries the main road over the Rio Seco, it is possible to drive into the river bed, which is dry most of the year and accessible with a normal car.
Three major aqueduct bridges are visible along the Rio Seco, but they are poorly visible behind the trees in the plantations that flank the road. The aqueducts are labelled A I, A II and A III from north to south.
The most spectacular section is Aqueduct III, it is not too far from the town center. You may view it from the Rio Seco or access it just past the Santa Cruz Resort. This is known as Rio Seco Aqueduct III and consists of two main levels with nine arches. It measures 72 meters in length and there is also a playground in front of this structure.
Roman Aqueduct II & I Rio Seco
Heading further out-of-town along the Rio Seco, you will find Aqueduct II. It has nine arches with maintenance shafts on both ends. The three central arches have small subsidiary arches between the four supporting piers. Since the main piers are continuous, they do not define a separate tier. Yet a bit further along the Rio Seco is Aqueduct I, with six arches.
These aqueducts are more difficult to view, as they are surrounded by privately owned land. You can see parts from the Rio Seco, but the other sections are easier to access via the paved roads.
Roman Aqueduct Torrecuevas
Furthest from the town center is a large part of the aqueduct, which is in Torrecuevas. It is one level high, measuring 130 meters long, and has 17 arches. The dry river bed of Rio Verde is nearby and a run off section runs through the center of the aqueduct. There is also a large playground with padded flooring, so a perfect place to let the kids run around. You will also find exercise equipment here, which is great if you want to work out.
You may enjoy a nice walk out to Torrecuevas and return via the city bus (Line 5) or take the bus in both directions. The bus stop is directly in front the Roman Aqueduct.
Looking for more things to do Almuñécar?
If this wasn’t enough for you or you want more adventurous activities, please review our full list of Things To Do in Almuñécar, including 1/2 day and full day trips from Almuñécar.