La Manga, a renowned touristic hotspot for decades, has been a Mecca for lovers of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and hustle and bustle. Despite the huge number of visitors that descend here every year, this paradise still has many spots to explore, surprises to offer and secluded places to discover. Only here can you choose to swim in two seas, or watch the sun set and or rise over either of these waters.
WATER SPORT PARARDISE
Note to water sport fans - you are now in heaven! There are two seas, great weather all year round and an abundance of schools, many of which belong to the Estación Nautica del Mar Menor (The Mar Menor Nautical Centre). Making it so easy for beginners and experts alike to enjoy sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, canoeing, diving and many other water sports.
Admiring the landscape from the beach is impressive enough, but to hop on a boat and sail round Mar Menor and the Mediterranean is by far the best way to enjoy La Manga. You'll see several volcanic islands in protected areas that are each so important for the environment. Special microenvironments have been developed here specifically so that the flora and fauna exclusive to these latitudes can thrive - such as the Spanish tooth carp, and certain seabirds whose nesting grounds are here. You can either rent a boat without the need of a captain, or sign up for one of the tourist boat routes that will also take you round Mar Menor. But don't forget your binoculars!
A day's escape to the nearby fishing village of Cabo de Palos is one of the most valuable experiences for tourists to this area. You could eat a Caldero (a fish and rice dish) on the waterfront, go for a stroll in this peaceful environment away from all the crowds or go diving in the Marine Reserve which has one of the best seabeds of the whole coast. But the one thing Cabo de Palos is especially known for is its Sunday Market, where you will find anything and everything!
WE LIKE TO PARTY
Zoco and Plaza Bohemia are two key areas in La Manga, famous for the amount of trendy restaurants, bars, shops and pubs crammed into such small spaces. If you're looking for terraces with great atmospheres, full of people, music and alcohol, then look no further. Additionally, there are several bars and beach huts on the shores of the Mar Menor where you can also enjoy a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
'A MUST SEE'
Calblanque Regional Park is one of those places in the region that you have to visit no matter what. Vast golden beaches, hidden bays, crystal-clear waters and nature's natural beauty, make people quickly forget everything to do with the typical tourist resorts crammed full of people. Hiking overlooking the Mediterranean, getting carried away kitesurfing or spending your evening on horseback along shores of the beach are just some of the most popular activities that this area has to offer.
IN THE LAP OF LUXURY
Very near to the Calblanque Regional Park and its beautiful unspoiled scenery, is one of the best sports clubs in the world: La Manga Club. With luxury accommodation in both hotels and private apartments, restaurants for all tastes, every kind of sports facilities, some of the best golf courses in Europe and every other service imaginable to make you feel right at home. You shouldn't leave without trying one of the health and beauty treatments here or a soothing massage from one of the expert masseuses.
Just where La Manga comes to an end, we find Veneziola. Originally designed as a small residential-like Venice, the isolation of the beaches here makes them highly recommended for those seeking a quiet swim in natural surroundings, away from all the crowds. Here you will also find El puente de la risa - a small bridge that's so steep that it'll make you feel like you're flying across it! It's not unusual to see cars crossing it again and again and again, especially with kids on board.
LIFE'S A BEACH - HUT
In La Manga, one of the most common things to do is to visit the chiringuitos (beach huts). There's nothing quite like enjoying a good plate of rice or fried fish, relaxing beside the beach in between dips in the sea, or watching the sun set lying in a hammock or on a beanbag. All this, whilst enjoying a lovely chilled out atmosphere with the best music. The Caldero will be served with bream and an alioli dressing, whilst fried, salted and skinned fish are all typical of this area.
AN UNFORGETTABLE PLACE
Found next to the calm waters of the Mar Menor, the Tomás Maestre Port is one the most exclusive and increasingly fashionable areas of La Manga. It is an important sporting, commercial and leisure area and with its exotic and international cuisine it's a perfect place to have dinner whilst overlooking an unforgettable sunset.
ON FOOT OR BY BIKE
We recommend that you take the trail that goes from Cala Reona to Calblanque, a scenic route that passes by palm trees and aromatic plants, such as lavender and thyme, as well as numerous clearly marked old mine shafts. You'll know you've reached the end of the trail once you see the perfectly unspoiled beaches of Calblanque, with no tourism or buildings in sight here, the only skyscrapers you'll see are the mountains.
If you're going with family or friends, as a couple or alone... We have beaches of all types, from small and hidden coves to long stretches of fine sand, and to top it off, they are spread out over two seas. Don't worry, we have the beach you are looking for!
The beaches of Calblanque, known for their long stretches of golden sand, secluded coves, crystal-clear waters and untouched nature, will make you forget anything to do with tourist resorts and mass-tourism. Enjoying a horseback ride near the shore, hiking along the Mediterranean or kite surfing are some of the most popular activities of this area, which is also the starting point for various footpaths.
Calnegre Beach, in Lorca, is one of the most privileged corners of the Spanish coast with its blue waters and fine sand, not forgetting and its sustainability. You will find this heaven on earth in the village of Ramonete, appearing like an oasis between cliffs, fossil dunes and vegetation, typical of the Mediterranean world.
Those who would like to enjoy the beach without clothes, can find a number of alcove areas of extreme beauty, hidden away from on-lookers. If you're a nature lover or if you'd simply like to be free for a day, we recommend you visit beaches such as Portús, in Cartagena; Cueva Lobos in Mazarrón or La Llana in San Pedro; all perfect places for nudism.
Cala Cortina is an urban beach in Cartagena. To access to it, you only have to pass through a tunnel and... there you go! A wonderful Mediterranean cove will appear before you with a play area for kids, a boardwalk, hammocks and umbrellas. Besides enjoying a refreshing swim, you can go out for tapas or go fishing and diving.
Where the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean join, lies the beach of La Llana that is different than all the others. Protected by the Regional Park of Las Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, this mile-long and precious beach remains in its primitive wild form and looks on to the Mediterranean. Ideal for nature lovers.
BEACHES FOR EVERYONE
Waters that are transparent, calm, lukewarm and shallow... Mar Menor's waters are ideal for swimming with younger members of the family. As well as for water sport lovers and for the elderly, since many of the waters are located near coastal footpaths, they are easily accessible and are ideal for all sorts of activities.
The most unique thing about the beach Amarilla de Águilas is the colour of the sand from which it takes its name. Another unique quality is the transparency of its waters and also its position, facing south and protected from easterly winds by the Island of Fraile, separated by a narrow channel with a width of a little more than 50 m and 1.5 metres deep. The surrounding area has a wealth of archaeological remains and is a meeting point for all types of recreational watercraft during the summer months.
AMONGST THE PALM TREES
The beach of Percheles is hidden within the coastline of Mazarrón and surrounded by a fantastic area of hills and mountains. Isolated, with fine, grey sand, it's perfect to relax in the shade of the palm trees. It's one of the most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean, particularly when the sea is calm. The sunrise here is a real spectacle.
Miles and miles of completely untouched coast await you in the Regional Park of Cabo Cope. Only after a long walk along footpaths and impressive cliffs, will you get to these idyllic and secluded coves with transparent waters which are full of life. Intimate and unchanged, this coastline is one of the best kept secrets of the region and a real gift to whoever discovers it.
La Manga possesses something that you won't be able to find anywhere else: 44 km of beaches distributed between two seas, the Menor and the Mediterranean. Even though each beach is different, they all share common features, such as the thinnest sand and crystal-clear waters. These never ending beaches, without waves and the most peaceful waters you can imagine, are ideal for water sports at all levels, such as sailing, diving and kite surfing.
It is at the southernmost point of the region, bordering Andalusia. Águilas will captivate you with its beaches, history and Mediterranean charm. You don't need to go far if you wish to wander.
AN IMPRESSIVE CASTLE
The majestic form of San Juan de las Águilas Castle over the Mediterranean has become a symbol of the town. We recommend you visit the fortress and complete the soiree by having dinner or a drink at Zoco del Mar, while enjoying a beautiful panoramic view of the town and its surrounding areas.
If you feel like spending some wonderful days and letting yourself go at one of Spain's most stunning carnivals, this is your chance to enjoy. This celebration, declared to be of International Tourist Interest, invades the town's streets for two weeks, filling them with fantasy, music, dancing and fancy dress costumes. Its most outstanding events are the famous Don Carnal and Doña Cuaresma Battle, the cuerva contest, the paper dress contest and the evening and day parades.
There are few things comparable to a sunrise in Cabo Cope. We suggest you visit in the early morning the watchtower which was once built as a defence tower against attacks from Berber pirates, and wander through one of the last Mediterranean wild paradises. You won't be able to resist the temptation of having a swim in these lonely beaches' crystal clear waters.
FROM THE TOP
Again a wonderful view, this time from the Hornillo viewpoint. You will enjoy a unique panoramic view of the 19thC Mineral Pier and, in front of it, the Fraile Island: this island is well-known for the extraordinary seabeds of its Parque de Ecobuceo and for housing the remains of a Roman salting factory where the old Roman garum sauce used to be made. Next to the beach, you will find the Rincón del Casuco, one of the town's most charming places. It has an impressive staircase with thousands of artisanal tiles in the style of Gaudí; if you follow the coloured bricks, you will get to a terrace where you will have an unforgettable time.
THE BARRIO DE LOS PESCADORES
If you want to get into one of the most emblematic areas of Águilas, consider to join the Ruta por el Barrio de los Pescadores -Route through the Fishermen's Neighbourhood- The route starts in the Plaza del Doctor Fortún and goes around the Molino de Sagrera, a mill for cereals of the 18th century which has been restored and from which you'll be able to enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the Levant bay. You'll also find other viewpoints, such as La Calica, where you'll contemplate absolutely everything. Don't forget to visit the Centro Multimedia de Interpretación y Difusión Turística -Multimedia Centre of Interpreting and Tourist Dissemination- of Águilas and to go to one of the restaurants of the area, where the seaworthy environment of past times is preserved.
A DELIGHTFUL BEACH
Just a few minutes away from Águilas town centre is the Playa de las Delicias beach, an urban beach which has become a reference for both tourists and locals. It has the Blue Flag since 1992 and, in addition, it has the 'Q for Quality' Flag for several years now. In this bay, dominated by the Pico de la Aguilica, are the fishing port, a marina yacht club and the Infanta Doña Elena Auditorium and Conference Hall.
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COVE
La Carolina cove, within the Cuatro Calas protected landscape and bordering Andalucía, is for many people one of the most beautiful coves in Costa Cálida. Due to the fact that it has several facilities such as a restaurant, a chiringuito and a car park, it is usually busy during the summer. If you are looking for tranquillity, we strongly recommend you go against the flow and visit it during the low season. For beaches can also be enjoyed during the winter in our region.
JUST FOR ENERGETIC PERSONS
Águilas is the perfect place to enjoy the Mediterranean to the full. You can either dive and admire its seabeds or play with the wind and get off on windsurfing, sailing or catamaran sailing. Several active tourism companies and sailing schools make things easy for you. If you don't feel like getting wet, we suggest you follow the track going from Águilas to Calarreona, which coincides with GR-92 and goes along the sea. You will find some surprises on your way, such as three bunkers and a pillbox, that will remind you of less civilised periods and are appealing, striking elements for tourists. Some esparto grass processing stations are signposted on the way too. It coincides in this area with Costa Cálida's Ruta de los Carabineros route.
Must-see places in Águilas are the Archaeological Museum, the Roman Baths, the Football Museum, the Casino and San José Church. The Auditorium and Conference Hall has become a tourist reference because of its original, beautiful design and its quality exhibitions and cultural activities -mostly related to theatre and music-. The Plaza de España square, also known as La Glorieta, is the town's hub of activity, where eight streets converge since the urban planning by King Charles III. Enjoy its gardens with sculptures and hundred-year rubber plants, its art nouveau buildings, and the Town Hall's Neomudejar facade. At the centre of the square is a fountain called La Pava de la Balsa. Another way of getting to know the most interesting spots of Águilas is getting in a train coach in order to enjoy the Ruta del Ferrocarril -Railway Route- which is held on the third Sunday of each month. The route includes the Paseo Marítimo -Seafront-, the Sendero del Hornillo -Path of the Hornillo-, and the Museo del Ferrocarril -Railway Museum-.
ARE YOU A FOODIE?
Águilas, with a varied, purely Mediterranean cuisine based on sea and huerta products, is like a lighthouse for palates adrift. The big contrast of flavours of its specialities, seasoned according to the influence of Arab cuisine, is widely appreciated by visitors. Fundamental products are red mullets, prawns, tomatoes, capers, and typical cold cuts such as onion black pudding, sausage and longaniza. The most typical dishes of this coastal area are Fish Broth, Pickle, Ajo Colorao, Octopus Salad, Arroz a Banda, and Ensaladica Cocida. Options for every taste.
Mazarrón is set in a wide bay which opens up into the Mediterranean Sea. Its coast used to be visited by Phoenician traders, fishermen of every era and by former miners, who used it to unwind after their hard day's work. It's one of the best places to holiday for sun and beach lovers!
OUT OF THIS WORLD CREATIONS
Like what you'd expect to see in a science fiction movie, the Bolnuevo Erosions are spectacular. These eroded rock formations, that have been carved and sculpted by wind and water, are really worth a visit. It's the perfect place to enjoy the sea and nature and it's sure to impress you. Discover at the same time our coastline and unspoilt landscapes, the perfect place to enjoy the sea and nature and it's sure to impress you.
PHOENICIANS, ROMANS AND PIRATES
To find out all about Mazarrón involve to approach in its history and that of the people who once populated their lands. Must-see are the Interpretation Centre of the Phoenician Boat, the Archaeological Museum - Roman Salting Factory and the Tower of the Horses which take us back to different times of the past.
Are you ready to see some whales at high sea? Mazarrón bay is one of the best places to spot dolphins, sperm whales and pilot whales all from the comfort of a tranquil, vintage schooner whilst always respecting the animals and their natural habitat. If you're looking to explore the underwater world, then you should know that Mazarrón is one of the region's divers' paradises! Its crystal-clear waters and the variety of species it boasts make these depths the perfect place for beginners, as well as experienced divers. The diving centres and schools in the area provide lessons for every level, so even if you've never done it before, you'll pick it up easily.
BY FOOT OR BY BIKE
If you are a hiking or cycling lover, Mazarrón and its surroundings offers exciting landscapes of great beauty with countryside and coastline contrasts: hiking trails, two MTB routes and the Vía Verde (the Greenway), all of them perfectly signposted. If you enjoy photography we suggest to visit the local Mining Reserves.
21st CENTURY BEACHES
Mazarrón offers a wide variety of urban beaches, most have been awarded 'Q for Quality' distinction, and natural coves making this destination a perfect place to enjoy the sunshine hours by the Mediterranean Sea. Pet owners having particularly dogs, will be able to enjoy the three Dog-Friendly Beaches that have been especially enabled to them, one being the first Spanish "Canine Beach" awarded with the "Q for Quality" brand.
ROMAN SALTING FACTORY
Another place you must visit is the Roman Salted Fish Factory, where part of the structures of this important industrial complex of the Roman period involved in the production of salted fish and fish sauces are preserved. ¡You will get to know the recipe for the famous 'Garum' fish sauce!
TREASURES OF THE SEA
Located at the fishing quay, "La Lonja" (fish market) is another must-see of Mazarrón. The traditional fish auction take place from Monday to Friday and is an interesting spectacle that shows the true spirit of Mediterranean life. The "Lonja" is so relevant to the local people lives, that in summer the facilities hosts the Mass in honour to the Virgen del Carmen and is preceded by the popular maritime procession.
The popular festivals of Mazarrón bring together tradition with the joyful spirit of the local people. One of the most important festivities is the "Romería" and Fiestas of the Miracle, in which the Virgen de La Purísima is carried by the residents in a procession from Mazarrón to Bolnuevo. According to legend, the Virgen appeared to the Berbers and saved population from the attempted invasion!
THE MEDITERRANEAN FLAVOUR
Mazarrón's gastronomy is a delight for even the most demanding of palates. Dishes made from sea and land products, amongst the ones renowned the clawed lobster rice dishes or the tomato recipes, which is the star crop of the area. The Mediterranean Sea offers many delight bites such as the grouper, sea bream and other salted fishes. ¡Don't miss our 'moraga de sardinas' (grilled sardines)!
Mazarrón possess a number of civil monuments of great tourist interest. The Mining history told through the Mining Reserves, the Old Alum Factory, its coastal landscape marked by the watch-towers Torre de Santa Isabel, Torre de los Caballos and Torre del Molinete and its lordly Casas Consistoriales, constitute altogether part of the great historical heritage that are well worth visiting.