The municipality is one of the youngest in the Murcia Region, but contains one of the most important subaquatic archaeological sites in Spain, the Phoenician Bajo de la Campana shipwreck, which has lain beneath the waters of the municipality for more than 2500 years.
Today, tourism is one of the principal activities in San Javier, 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.
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, as well as a full programme of events and activities within the municipality.
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.