The lands of Murcia, bordered by the dry, semi-desert plain of Almeria, whose northern countryside is encrusted with such towns and villages as Lorca, Totana and Alhama. Murcia, 70km from La Manga Club, is the capital of the region, surrounded by a splendidly fertile cultivated plain. The most important monument is the cathedral, other outstanding monuments include the Episcopal Palace, the Casino, several churches and other 19th century architecture. Among the different museums there is one in particular, dedicated to the works of the image maker Francisco Salzillo.
Other interesting museums are the Archeological Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of La Huerta. Before leaving Murcia a visit is recommended to the Shrine of Nuestra Senora de la Fuensanta.
Leaving Murcia on the N-301 as you reach the C-3319 leading to San Javier, Santiago de la Rivera on the banks of the so called Mar Menor, is the most important tourist centre in this area. COSTA CALIDA - "THE WARM COAST"
The Costa Calida, by which name this section of coastline is known, boast the attraction of Europe's largest saltwater lagoon, the Mar Menor, that abound with wildlife particularly at the Northern end of the lagoon which is home of thousands of flamingos during their Autumn migration. The Costa Calida area is also blessed with approximately 3.000 hours of sunshine a year.
The 73km of coastline of the Mar Menor are the location of tranquil villages, and the waters, which are rich in salt and iodine, which make this area the best for helping to cure some infections and rheumatic disorders. Some of the most important villages are San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Alcazares, Los Narejos, Islas Menores, Mar de Cristal and Playa Honda.
La Manga, the most important tourist centre in the region, stretches between the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean. It consists of a narrow, sandy spit of land with 22km of double beaches and between 100 and 800m in width.
Cartagena, an ancient port which is the second most important city in the region and the centre of the Mediterranean Maritime Department. It is located just 20km from the resort, and predates to the Roman period and boasts the ruins of a Roman theatre, archaeological museums plus a number of interesting examples of military and modernist exhibits and architecture. Places of interest within Cartagena include the Church of Santa Maria La Vieja, the Torre Ciega, Torres Park and the Castle de la Concepcion. One of the prettiest areas in the city is its port, where you can find the Modernist Town Hall, several monuments, such as the one dedicated to the Heroes of Cavite and Santiago de Cuba and the First submarine in the world ever to be launched,the latter being the work of Isaac Pearl in 1888. Before leaving Cartagena do not forget to visit the Archeological Museums.
The next stop after Cartagena is Mazarron, whose magnificent bay can be admired from the main road. The town meets the sea at the tourist centre where there are more than 35km of beaches. Its most important monument is the Castle of Los Velez.
Local villages and markets near the resort include Cabo de Palos which is 10km from the resort. This is home to a very popular Sunday market, ceramic shops and some pleasant seafood restaurants around the harbour. Los Belones is the nearest village to the resort, here there is a small fruit market every Tuesday and the Bodega de Los Belones wine cellar which offers wine tasting and an extensive range of local and national wines.
Heading towards Cartagena, El Algar (10 km from the resort) also boasts an excellent wine cellar called La Cabana de Saura located on the road into the village and has a market every Friday.