La Manga del Mar Menor
La Manga is described by the tourist board as “A paradise between two seas”. It is the narrow strip of land that separates the ‘two seas’ of the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean for about 20 kilometres.
La Manga is famous for its clean air and the beautiful Mar Menor whose very salty water is good for rheumatism and skin complaints.
Most of La Manga has been taken over by developments for holiday apartments and hotels. The area is located 30 kilometres north of Cartagena on the Costa Calida in south-east Spain. The resorts are approximately 30-40 minutes drive from the airport of Murcia San Javier.
The choice of beaches is almost endless, from the wild dunes to the south, to the gently sloping safe beaches of the Mar Menor. Being shallow, the Mar Menor is often a little warmer than the Mediterranean.
Leisure & Recreation
La Manga has a fine sports harbour where you can hire all manner of water-sports equipment, including sailing dinghies. Lessons are available too.
Being completely flat, La Manga is very easy to get about for walkers and cyclists alike. Long distance runners will enjoy heading off along the paths at the southern end of the strip.
Day trips to Cartagena for its historical sites and to Murcia for cultural attractions and shopping.
Car hire is not necessary unless you plan to venture beyond the La Manga strip.
La Manga has many small boutiques and souvenir shops, as well as supermarkets and a wide choice of banks.
On Sunday mornings the Mercadillo de Cabo attracts many shoppers and visitors searching for a bargain. On sale are the fruits of the region, sit alongside a flea market of crafts and new and second hand goods.
All along the 20 kilometre strip there are many excellent restaurants serving both local cuisine and international fayre.
On the La Manga strip there are numerous establishments offering live music and entertainment; plus numerous lively discos, which are especially popular during the summer months.
The plains of Murcia are incredibly fertile, and produce a vast array of fresh fruit and vegetables, which make up the base ingredients of the regions cuisine. Rice is also staple here, and finds it's way into many dishes.
The abundant and varied seafood from the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean, along with game and farmed meat from the mountains complete the picture.
Some typical dishes include: Arroz y Conejo (rice with rabbit), Arroz de Verduras (Rice and Vegetables), Arroz y Costillejas (rice and ribs), Arroz Marinero (seafood rice) and Paella Huertana, a delicious vegetarian paella.
Non-rice dishes specialities include Potaje, a rich stew dish; Menestra, a dish of sautéed vegetables; Habas con jamón" (ham and broad beans and Caldo Murciano, a local soup dish. The king prawns fished in the area are also particularly fine, and the Huevas de Mújol, a type of caviar, is also a high delicacy of the region.
The fine wines from Jumilla and Yecla are known throughout Spain, and beyond, for their earthy, full bodied, rounded, fruity flavours.
La Manga enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with cool sea breezes in summer and protection from the surrounding mountains against the cold North winds in winter. The area averages nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees.
In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area as one of the most equitable in the world - neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. On average it can boast 325 sunny days each year making it an ideal all year round destination