The Costa Calida is a beautiful expanse of coastline situated between the Costa Blanca and the Costa Almeria. It’s a mix of rugged coastline, fishing ports and pristine white-sand beaches, languidly stretching out for about 250kms.
One of the main attractions in Costa Calida is the Mar Menor, which is a huge, natural salt-water lagoon. There are a few channels that link into the Mediterranean sea however it’s mostly closed off from the open water, sheltered by the La Manga stretch of land which ensures that the water is protected from any rough waters or currents. The shallow and calm water makes this a perfect destination for water-sport enthusiasts and families with younger children who want to play in the sea. The rest of the Costa Calida enjoys the beautiful water of the open Mediterranean, stretching out as far as the eye can see. Oh and we should mention that the Costa Calida translates to the ‘warm coast’, boasting over 3000 hours of sunshine per year. Just lovely!
One of the most popular resorts in Costa Calida is the La Manga Club resort. This resort is huge, with 3 beautiful golf courses, a 28 court tennis centre, a professional football centre, open-air swimming pools, a spa and more! It’s definitely designed for holiday makers seeking a luxurious break, with beautifully kept buildings, the rolling fairways of the golf greens and a private gated entrance just for guests. There is a private beach (in a small cove) within the resort and there are also lots of larger beaches at Mar Menor, about 10 minutes’ drive away. You can stay at one of the lovely resort hotels – the Hotel Principe Felip or the Las Lomas Village – which are 5* and 4* star respectively. There are plenty of restaurants within the resort to choose from and a good variety of bars and cafes too.
Outside of the La Manga Club resort there is a real sense of authentic Spain with most of the Costa Calida remaining untouched by excessive tourism. The Costa Calida is a hotspot for Spanish holidaymakers wanting to escape the heat of the cities, giving the towns a very authentic Spanish feel to them. The La Manga strip is the long, narrow strip of land that separates the coastline from the ocean and creates the beautiful, salt-water lagoon. There are lots of hotels, shops, bars and restaurants along La Manga, making it a great holiday destination. The strip is also fringed with gorgeous white-sand beaches – 15 in total. Great tip: the sea on the Mar Menor side is much warmer than on the Mediterranean facing side.
Lo Pagan sits on the northern shore of the Mar Menor; with a beautiful beach, promenade and marina, Lo Pagan has a very sea-sidey feel to it. There’s a funfair opposite the marina, a lovely beach and one of Costa Calida’s main attractions…mud baths! The mud is believed to have healing qualities and is very therapeutic and good for your skin: just immerse yourself, let the mud dry in the sun and then dip in the sea to wash it off. It’s a great experience that everyone in the family can enjoy.
San Pedro del Pinatar is located right next to Lo Pagan and is another great place in Costa Calida to visit or to stay. The town centre has a selection of shops, restaurants and bars and there is a big market on Monday mornings. This is also where the Salinas Regional Park is located, which has lots of trails running through it so that you can enjoy the salt flats, sand dunes and various flora and fauna that dwell there. If you want to know more about this beautiful landscape then pay a visit to the Information Centre, which has lots of interesting facts and information on display.
Santiago de la Ribera was once a small Costa Calida fishing village sat peacefully on the shores of the Mar Menor. It’s since grown into a bustling holiday destination and is popular with tourists from all over Europe. There are 2km of lovely sandy beaches that are framed by a beautiful promenade and palm trees. The shallow and calm water of the Mar Menor make the beaches perfect for families with young children.
Murcia City is a beautiful mix of history and culture, with galleries, museums and historical buildings aplenty for you to admire and enjoy. If you want to shopping and you’re missing the comforts of home, visit the Nueva Condomina shopping centre where there are favourites such as Primark, IKEA and more! Close to Mercia are the Terra Nature park and Aqua Natura theme park: Terra Natura Park has over 300 animals and 50 species of trees and plants and the Aqua Natura is a water park with pools and slides for all the family.
Places to stay
*Prices based on 2 adults sharing 24-31 August 2014. Prices correct when checked 07/07/2014