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MurciaCosta CálidaSpainMurcia SpainCosta CálidaI


C O N T E N T SIntroduction1Travel Routes along the CoastThe Mar Menor 2El Mojón, Regional Park ofLas Salinas and San Pedrodel Pinatar 2Lo Pagán and «therapeuticmud baths» 3From Santiago de la Ribera toPlaya Honda 4La Manga del Mar Menor 5The Mediterranean 6From Cabo de Palos to theRegional Park of Calblanque 6Cabezo de la Fuente,Los Belones, and Sierra Minera 8Cartagena 9From El Portús to Isla Plana 11Mazarrón and Águilas 12City of Murcia 14Leisure Activities and Events 18Useful Information 24AtlanticOceanPortugalLissabonLisbonCeutaIrelandDublinCantabrianSeaMadridSPAINMelillaMurciaCosta CálidaUnitedKingdomLondonFranceParisMediterranean SeaIntroductionThe Costa Cálida extends along 250 kilometers (155 miles) fromthe beach of Carolina in Águilas a few kilometers from theprovince of Almería, to the beach of El Mojón on the boundarywith Alicante. This stretch of Murcian coastline, blessed with315 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of17 degrees Centigrade (63 °F), is shared by two seas: the MarMenor, the largest natural pool in the world and a paradise forall types of water sports, and the Mediterranean with itsspacious beaches of fine sand and varied landscapes.Without leaving this coast, it is possible to learn to sail, skin divein one of the best areas in the country and explore a sunkenship, wander through a lovely nature park, calm aches and painswith a soothing mud bath, or escape to an unspoiled cove toenjoy a tranquil afternoon swim.Not only are there sun and sand on the Costa Cálida, Cartagenaboasts archaeological treasures besides, including the recentlydiscovered Roman theater, handsome Modernist (Art Nouveau)buildings, and interesting museums; a reflection of theimportance and prosperity of this harbor city steeped in3,000 years of history. Festivals also take on an important roleon the Murcian coast. Color, light, music, and tradition becomeintertwined, giving a unique ambience to all the festivities,including the romerías (pilgrimages to a shrine) of the Virgin inthe Mar Menor, Carnival, Carthaginians and Romans, La UniónMining Song Festival, or the solemn celebrations of Holy Week.In addition, there is the exquisite Mediterranean cuisine thatcombines fish and seafood with garden produce, as well as thefriendly hospitable people who will help make visitors feel athome.Front cover:Nares Beach. MazarrónBack cover:Malecón (promenade)Gardens. MurciaPublished by:© TurespañaSecretaría de Estadode TurismoText:Victoria ViudesTranslation:Alister L. Ross NIPO: 704-09-271-5Fotographs:Turespaña ArchivesDesing:P&L MARÍNPrinted by:EGRAF, S.A.D.L. M. 22915-2009Printed in SpainCabo de PalosMinisterio de Industria,Turismo y Comercio64.th Edition1


Travel routes along the coastThe Mar MenorSoutheast in the Region ofMurcia, you come upon theMar Menor, “the world'slargest pool”, as the beautifulOlympic swimmer andHollywood star EstherWilliams once proclaimed;a shallow lagoon 170 squarekilometers (66 square miles)in size with warm waters,gentle winds, and a moderninfrastructure with hotel andsports facilities, making it oneof the best places in Europe tolearn and practice all kinds ofwater sports.First the Phoenicians and laterArab kings made this “LittleSea” their summer retreat.Today the Mar Menor attractsvisitors in search of a warminviting spot to spend apleasurable and relaxingholiday any time of the year.El Mojón, Regional Parkof Las Salinas andSan Pedro del PinatarThe Costa Cálida begins atEl Mojón, an old fishingvillage with a superbMediterranean beachaño 2003surrounded by reed beds, andis bounded on the north bythe province of Alicante.A short distance from ElMojón, you encounter theRegional Park of Las Salinas yArenales de San Pedro delPinatar, the most importantwetlands in the region ofMurcia. Flocks of pinkflamingos stop over here eachyear on their journey to northAfrica at the end of thesummer.Approximately 900 hectares(over 2,000 acres), the parkhas a privately-owned zonefor industrial use withrestricted access. Thesesaltworks, once exploited bythe Romans, are a complexnetwork of ponds or pools forsalt extraction and a refugefor a large number of birds.The area open to the public,encompassing pine trees,dunes and sandy beaches withtransparent waters, such as LaLlana beach, can be visited onfoot or by bicycle.A visit to the encañizadas, atraditional fishing method inthis area formerly used by theArabs, is a must. Located nearthe spot known as Puntas deAlgas, it is one of the threepoints of exchange of waterbetween the Mar Menor andthe Mediterranean Sea.San Pedro del PinatarAccesses:From San Pedro del Pinatar, itis possible to reach the parkby the road to El Mojón, theone leading to the port of SanPedro del Pinatar, or eitherfrom Lo Pagán by a road thatgoes to the end of the townand continues to Molino deSan Quintín.From Las Salinas, the road bythe port takes you to SanPedro del Pinatar, where avisit to the Casa del Reloj, nowa restaurant located on theSan Sebastián farm, is wellworthwhile.Lo Pagán and "therapeuticmud baths"A journey through the MarMenor proper commences inLo Pagán, a town two23


Villananitos Beach. Lo Pagánkilometers (1 1/4 miles) fromSan Pedro del Pinatar with thelargest area of open-air mudbaths in all of Europe. Thesemud baths, known as LasCharcas de las Salinas, arerecommended for all types ofskin and rheumatic ailments.A good idea is to combinethese mud baths withsaltwater baths since MarMenor waters have excellenttherapeutic properties due tothe high content of mineralsalts and iodine. Hotels andother establishments offerspecialized treatments.In addition, Lo Pagán hasvarious tranquil beaches, idealfor boating and swimming,including Villananitos, LaPuntica, and the area of LosMolinos. The Lonja de Pescado(fish exchange), located at theesplanade of the port, can bevisited during the earlymorning hours from Mondaythrough Saturday. Nighttimediversion can be found in thearea known as La Curva.From Santiago de la Riberato Playa HondaFrom Lo Pagán, taking theroad that skirts the MarMenor, you arrive at Santiagode la Ribera, site of the AirForce Academy. Its mainnucleus, the municipality ofSan Javier, organizes aninteresting Festival of Theater,Music and Dance everysummer.Leaving Santiago de la Ribera,the N-332 near the airportleads to Los Narejos, anenclave of the Centro de AltoRendimiento Infanta Cristina,where many top athletes trainand reside. Close by you haveLos Alcázares, chosen by Arabkings for a residential retreat.Near the village, you can visitthe torre Rame, a Moorishtower remodeled in the 16thcentury. La Encarnación Hotel,with its turn-of-20 th centuryambience, is a pleasant spot toundergo treatment with thewaters of the Mar Menorsubmerged in ancient marblebaths.Typical in this area are thehealth spas built of wood andpainted in various colors withlong walkways leading to thesea and cabanas which servedas bathhouses on the beachnot too long ago.Near the water’s edge, youcan find residentialdevelopments and fishingvillages, including LosUrrutias, Los Nietos, IslasMenores, Playa Honda andMar de Cristal, popularvacation destinations of theinhabitants in the region.Los AlcázaresSan Javier. Santiago de la RiberaLa Manga del Mar MenorThe Mar Menor is separatedfrom the Mediterranean by anarrow strip of land only22 kilometers (14 miles) widecalled La Manga del MarMenor. Its sandy beach andcrystal-clear waters have madeit one of the highest regardedtourist resorts on theMediterranean, a paradisebetween seas for all types ofwater sports and activitiesthat can be practiced at itsnumerous clubs and sportsschools.La Manga offers swimmersthe possibility of choosingbetween the two seas: onone side, the warm placidwaters of the Mar Menor,Cala del Pino, El Galán orEl Pedruchillo; on the other,the open waters of theMediterranean with beacheswhich include Punta delEstacio, Ensenada del Esparto,and Galúa.45


La Manga del Mar MenorRounding out the touristfacilities are golf courses, acasino, Tomás Maestre marina,with more than one thousandmoorings, magnificent hotels,recreational centers, all typesof restaurants, and a livelynightlife during the summerin the area of Plaza Bohemiaand the Zoco.If you proceed to the end ofLa Manga, passing TomásMaestre bridge, you come toVeneziola, an area of canalsand channels connecting thetwo seas. Here you can gazeupon the reed beds, wherethe waters from the two seasmix together naturally, and inthe distance, the salt flats, aunique landscape on theMediterranean.The MediterraneanFrom Cabo de Palos to thetown of Águilas, the Murciancoast becomes a succession ofcliffs and abrupt terrain ofgreat beauty, solitary coveswith turquoise watersaccessible only by sea or bytrails through unspoiledmountains studded withpalmettos and terebinthetrees. This stretch of coastline isideal for skin diving, sailing,cave diving, hiking andclimbing.From Cabo de Palos to theRegional Park of CalblanqueLocated only a few minutesfrom La Manga is Cabo dePalos, a charming seafaringvillage with an unmistakablemid-19th century lighthouseperched atop a hill that affordsa wonderful panoramic viewof La Manga. This coastalenclave is also known for itsdelicious fish and caldero, (asoupy rice dish) served atrestaurants around the port;the Sunday market whereanything can be found (fruit,handicrafts, salted fish, leatherarticles, records, etc.); and forbeing one of the best sites inSpain for skin diving.Cabo de Palos has two bathingareas: Playa de Levante, anendless beach connected to LaManga, ideal for long walksduring quiet months, and Calasde Poniente, steep and rockycoves with crystal-clear watersand spectacular underwaterscenery.Very nearby at the exit point toMurcia is Cala Reona, apopular cove to visit during thesummer. From this cove,Cabo de Palosfollowing a trail on footbetween the cliffs of theAtalayón hill marked byparallel yellow and whitebands, you can reach theRegional Park of Calblanque. Iftravelling by car or bicycle, theroad between Cabo de Palosand Cartagena and then a fewkilometers later a dirt road onthe left in good condition willtake you to the park.Calblanque is one of the areason the Murcian coast that stillpreserves all of its naturalbeauty intact; a section ofcoast left in its virgin state witharid mountains, dunes, longbeaches and an intensely bluesea, an ideal place to hide fromthe crowds, even in August.This nature haven can bevisited on foot, by bicycle, oron horseback and is home tointeresting vegetation (juniper,palmetto, terebinthe trees)and birds (flamingo, heron,and stork) which inhabit theSalinas de Rasal.6


Cabezo de la Fuente, LosBelones, and Sierra MineraFrom Cabo de Palos, the roadto Cartagena heads eastthrough Los Belones. Fromhere, take the road to LosCorralones and make a shortdetour to visit Cabezo de laFuente, an exceptionalobservation point 342 meters(1,120 feet) high to admire thebest panoramic view of theMar Menor. The climb takesapproximately 45 minutes andis not very difficult, butcomfortable shoes arerecommended and mid-dayheat should be avoided. Fromthis privileged observationpoint, visitors can see the fiveislands of the Mar Menor:Barón, Redondela, Sujeto,Ciervo and Perdiguera; thelatter is a destination fortravelers wishing to enjoy arelaxing swim, delicioussardines and an unforgettable"caldero" rice. Boats make thecrossing to Perdiguera fromvarious points on the coast.Former public market in La UniónDescending in the direction ofAtamaría, you can visit LaManga Club, a moderncomplex beneath palm treeswith three golf courses, tenniscourts, a gym, and a widerange of accommodations,including a five-star hotel.At the exit of this plush resort,a road amidst pine trees andlandscapes of great beautytakes you to Portman, theRoman Portus Magnus.From Portman it is possible tomake a side trip north to LaUnión, a town developed as aresult of intensive miningactivities where Carthaginiansand Romans once mined tonsof iron and other ores andshipped them all over theempire from Portman. Symbolof an era, today the SierraMinera of La Unión is only adistant memory with its oldabandoned mines and scarredlandscapes.Mines in PortmanIn the 19th century, silver feverproduced and attracted newfoundwealth to La Unión, thesame as the California goldrush. The prosperity during thisperiod is reflected in a numberof handsome Modernist (ArtNouveau) buildings in thecenter of the town, such as theCasa del Piñón on the CalleMayor, and a public market, anauthentic treasure. Memoriesof mining days are also vivid atthe museum with itsinteresting collection of oldtools, and the Mining SongFestival in August, featuringthe best singers in the countryfor more than forty years.CartagenaOur visit to the city commencesat the harbor, considered bythe English Admiral Nelson tobe the safest on theMediterranean. Muralla delMar (1), built by order ofCharles III above the harbor, isa wall surrounding the oldquarter of the city. At the endof the city, you can admire theoriginal prototype of thesubmarine (2) invented byIsaac Peral and launched fromCádiz on September 8th, 1888.Leaving the harbor behind, nosooner do you enter the citythan you see the Ayuntamiento(3), a Modernist Town HallAyuntamiento (Town Hall)in Cartagenacapriciously adorned and witha majestic marble staircase. TheCalle del Cañón takes you tothe Cuesta de la Baronesa andfrom there to the OldCathedral (4), the oldest churchin the city (the exact date ofconstruction is unknown, butappears to be around mid-12thcentury), and the RomanTheater (5) (first century B.C.),considered, along with Mérida,one of the most importantRoman theaters in Spain.Discovered in 1987, today thetheater is still undergoingexcavation. Walking furtherdown, you encounter the CalleMayor, main thoroughfare ofthe city where the Moderniststyle is apparent at every step;Casa Cervantes (6) andLlagostera (7) with its curioustile facade, Gran Bar, theCasino (8), a place to meet andchat in the city.89


Muralla del Mar in CartagenaParallel to Calle Mayor on Calledel Aire, the Church of SantaMaría de Gracia (9) houses thefour saints, patron saints of thecity, a work by the well-knownMurcian sculptor FranciscoSalzillo. Further along in thePlaza of San Sebastián, theGran Hotel (10), now occupiedby a bank, is a symbol of theModernist style. Otherinteresting Modernist buildingsscattered throughout the cityare the Train Station, CasaMaestre (11), Casa Dorda (12),Hotel Zapata (13), and PalacioAguirre (14).Concepción (17), a Punic,Roman, Visigoth, Moorish andCastilian fortress. On thehillside, two representativeconstructions can be found:the old Naval Hospital, futuresite of the PolytechnicUniversity, and the bullringwith a Roman amphitheaterunderneath.Also meriting a visit inCartagena are the MunicipalArchaeological Museum,National Museum ofUnderwater Archaeology,Maritime Museum, and theMunicipal Hall of theByzantine Wall on Calle de laSoledad, with interestingremains of the wall theByzantines built around thecity in 589 and 590, nearly twometers thick. When leaving bythe road bordering the portheading towards Murcia, youcome upon Santa Lucía, fishingdistrict par-excellence.1. Muralla del Mar2. Isaac Peral's submarine3. Ayuntamiento (Town Hall)4. Old Cathedral5. Roman Theatre6. Casa Cervantes7. Casa Llagostera8. Casino9. Church of Santa Maríade Gracia10. Gran Hotel11. Casa Maestre12. Casa Dorda13. Casa Zapata14. Palacio Aguirre15. Roman column16. Palacio Pedreño17. Castillo de la ConcepciónTourist InformationPost OfficeHospitalParkingRailway StationBus StationNear the ancient medievalgateway to the city, Puertas deMurcia, Calle Morería Baja hasthe remains of a Romancolumn (15). Palacio Pedreño(16), at the intersection ofCarmen and Sagasta streets, isa palace with a splendidmarble staircase and aballroom. To complete ourtour, a flight of steps leads upto Torres Park and the 11thcentury Castillo de la11From El Portús to Isla PlanaThe Cartagena-Mazarrón roadtakes you to El Portús, a small,tranquil tourist town withnudist camping facilities. FromEl Portús, it is possible to makean excursion through a stretchof steep craggy coast thatleads to secluded coves. Thetrail is marked by yellow andwhite bars that start at the


each and continue some 12kilometers (71/2 miles). Fromthis trail, it is also possible tobegin the climb to Sierra de laMuela, which affords excellentviews of the coastline and theareas of Cabo Tiñoso withsome of the most spectacularunderwater scenery on thecoast of Murcia, and steepcliffs, along with a wide varietyof fauna and flora.In the direction of La Azohía, aturnoff to the left leads toCampillo de Adentro whereyou can reach the militarybattery of Castillitos by takinga military road, now open tothe public. The battery,abandoned several years ago,preserves among other things,two of the largest coastalcanons in the country. Theviews are also impressive.Descending a few kilometers inthe direction of Mazarrón, youencounter La Azohía, a fishingvillage where tuna is stillcaptured using an ancientTorres Park in Cartagenafishing method. There is also apristine beach lined with palmtrees. Upon leaving the town,a side road branching off tothe left leads to Isla Plana, apeaceful vacation spot withclear waters and rockybeaches.Mazarrón and ÁguilasLeaving Isla Plana and skirtingthe coast, you reach Puerto deMazarrón, a seaside resorttown with excellent hotelfacilities and a lively nightlife.A visit to the fishing port isrecommended, as well as to LaLonja where a typical fishauction can be observed.Opposite Bolnuevo beach (itsbeachside leantos are a goodspot to have lunch or enjoy arefreshment break) is CiudadEncantada, one of the mostunusual landscapes in the areawhere time and wind haveeroded the sandstone intobizarre shapes.Along 35 kilometers (22 miles)of coast, Mazarrón unveilslovely spots, such as thebeaches of La Reya, Bahía,Nares and El Castelar, inaddition to unspoiled coves,including Cala Amarilla,Percheles, and Puntas deCalnegre, in the direction ofÁguilas, one of the few areasin a virgin state remaining onthe Mediterranean.The little town of Mazarrón,three kilometers (almost twomiles) from the coast, containssome notable buildings,including the Ayuntamiento(Town Hall) and the oldAteneo Cultural, bothModernist in style. Alsomeriting our attention is the14th century Church of SanAndrés with lovely Mudéjarcoffer-work, as well as theruins of Vélez Castle.A little inland, leaving the roadthat continues to Murcia, youtravel across colorfullandscapes now dotted withabandoned mines.The coastal road takes yousouthwest to Águilas, an oldRoman fishing port. Hornillowharf, where iron was onceloaded for shipping, still standsas a reminder that this was a19th century mining town.MazarrónIn the center of Águilas, it isworthwhile to visit the lovelygardens brimming with ficusplants in the Plaza de España,the 19th centuryAyuntamiento (Town Hall),and the Parish Church of SanJosé which houses a lovelystatue of the patron saint. Inthe high part of the oldquarter stands the castlefortressof San Juan deÁguilas, built in 1579 as adefensive bulwark. At the footof the castle is the harbor anda typical black and whitestriped lighthouse, inoperation since the middle ofthe 19th century.This sea-faring town boastsextensive solitary beaches withcrystalline waters (La Higuerica,La Carolina, Calabardina, etc.)and is also one of the best areasfor skin diving.Calabardina. Águilas13


City of MurciaThe street called La Trapería isthe perfect starting point for avisit to the capital city ofMurcia. It is a virtual showcaseof the city with a varied arrayof banks, snack bars andcoffee houses, ice creamparlors, traditional shops, andthe Casino (1), a 19th centurytreasure (the elegantballroom, library, and ifpossible the ladies restroomshould be visited). IntersectingLa Trapería, you find anotherhistorical street in the citycalled Calle de la Platería. LaTrapería comes to an end atthe Cathedral (2) where thefirst stone was laid in 1394 byBishop Fernando de Pedrosaover the foundation of anArab mosque, though theCathedral itself was notfinished until the 18thcentury. Especially noteworthyis the ornate Baroque façadeof the cathedral made oflimestone and marble facingthe Plaza de Belluga (a nicespot to stop for refreshment),as well as lovely chapels,including Capilla de los Vélez(15th century) or Junterones(16th century), and the tallesttower in Spain (92 meters/over300 feet) with 18 ramps and200 steps that can be climbedfor an excellent view of thecity and the surroundings.Cathedral of Murcia1. Casino2. Cathedral3. University4. Teatro Romea5. Palacio de San Esteban6. Church of San Miguel7. Ramón Gaya Museum8. Palacio Almudí9. Convent of Verónicas10. Salzillo Museum11. Malecón12. Ayuntamiento (Town Hall)13. Palacio Episcopal14. Palacio de los Fontes15. Palacio del Condede FloridablancaTourist InformationParkingRed CrossHospitalBus StationPolicePost Office14


Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) in MurciaFrom the Plaza de SantoDomingo, via the Calle de laMerced, you arrive at theUniversity (3), a 16th centuryconvent which preserves ahandsome cloister formed bytwo stories of marble columns.Behind the old arch of SantoDomingo is the Plaza JuliánRomea containing the TeatroRomea (4), an Isabelline-styletheater that presides over anesplanade brimming withcafés, particularly inviting onsunny mornings.On the other side of theGran Vía, the main street inthe busy commercial area,you encounter theRenaissance Palacio de SanEsteban (5), seat of theregional government, as wellas the church of the samename. Nearby is the Churchof San Miguel (6) whichpreserves a striking Baroquealtarpiece.Strolling along the Gran Vía,you come upon the Plaza deSanta Catalina where you canvisit the Ramón Gaya Museum(7), a famous universalMurcian painter. Adjacent toit is the Plaza de las Flores,one of the liveliest spots in thecity for “tapas” (appetizers),to buy flowers, or to savor theexquisite meat pies fromBonache. Next to it is thePlaza de San Pedro.Heading towards the SeguraRiver, you come upon theformer Mudéjar PalacioAlmudí (8) (commoditiesexchange), with its impressiveroom of Doric columns,transformed into an art centerby Town Hall authorities. Nextto the palace, you find theonly distinct remains of theMoorish walls that encircledthe city long ago, as well asthe art museum in theConvent of Verónicas (9), (avisit to the Plaza de lasVerónicas is a must). Close byis the Salzillo Museum (10)housed in the Church ofNuestro Padre Jesús. Themuseum boasts an adjacentchapel, beautifully decoratedby the Italian artist Sistori,with several of the bestprocessional woodensculptures by Murcia’scelebrated native son,Francisco Salzillo. In thechurch, a magnificent nativityscene with more than 500figures by the sculptor is ondisplay, as well as severalother sculptures and sketches.After exiting the museum andproceeding towards the river,you come to the Malecón (11),a wide jetty extending inlandseveral kilometers. It wasoriginally built by the Arabs tocontain the river when itflooded. Next to it, a beautifullush garden; a pleasant placeto walk especially on a hotsummer day.A stretch of land borderingthe river separates theMalecón from Plaza de LaGlorieta, the most popularand dearly loved spot inMurcia where theAyuntamiento (12) (TownChurch of Santo Domingo in MurciaHall) stands. Close by is aseries of singular buildings,comprising the interestingBaroque Palacio Episcopal(13), and the 18th centuryPalacio de los Fontes (14).Calle de Correos takes you toPalacio del Conde deFloridablanca (15), a formerpalace transformed into afirst-class hotel. Next to it isthe popular Arch of San Juanwhich runs into the Plaza ofthe same name, an ideal spotto patronize one of thetaverns and bars and try someof the excellent local cuisine.In the outskirts of the cities,we recommend visiting theSanctuary of La Fuensantawhere the patron saint isvenerated in the heart of themountain; Monteagudo, afavorite place of King Alfonsothe Wise, housing a pricelessMuslim palatial complex; theMonastery of Los Jerónimos,“The Murcian El Escorial”,exhibiting all the grandeur ofthe Spanish empire amidst thelemon trees; Alcantarilla andLa Ñora where ancient Romanwaterwheels are displayed;and the 9th century Castillodel Valle, a castle evoking allthe Caliphal splendor.1617


Leisure activitiesand eventsMuseumsAs a general rule, museums andart galleries are open to thepublic from Tuesday to Saturdayin the morning and afternoon,on Sundays and Public Holidaysduring the morning only, andare closed on Mondays. Forfuller information kindlycontact your nearest TouristInformation Office.Museo Arqueológico Municipalde CartagenaRamón y Cajal, 45 TheMunicipal Museum ofArcheology is constructed overthe early Christian basilica ofSan Antón and preserves aninteresting collection of objectsfrom the Bronze Age. Of specialinterest is the 6th century tombof Byzantine generalComenciolo.Muralla Bizantina de CartagenaCalle Nueva Soledad.Cartagena. Vestiges of the wallthe Byzantines erected aroundthe city can be viewed.Museo Nacional deArqueología Marítima deCartagenaDique de Navidad. Cartagena.The National Museum ofUnderwater Archaeologydisplays a collection ofamphoras used on the IberianPeninsula during ancient times.Museo Naval de CartagenaCalle Menéndez y Pelayo, 6Cartagena. The MaritimeMuseum possesses an excellentcollection of maritime art andobjects. Deserving particularattention are the ship modelsfrom the 13th century and aroom devoted to Isaac Peraland his first submarine.Museo Minero de La UniónPlaza del Liceo. The MiningMuseum of La Unión provides adidactic presentation of theevolution of mineral extractiontechniques in 19th centuryMurcian mines.Colección Municipal del Mar deSan Pedro del PinatarEdificio Cofradía del Mar. CalleLorenzo Morales. San Pedro delPinatar. A permanent collectionof objects related with the sea,articles of adornment, toys, andmaps is exhibited.Isaac Peral’s submarineSportsNautical TourismThe Estación Náutica MarMenor, the Consorcio Náuticode Mazarrón and ConsorcioÁguilas Villa Náutica offervisitors the opportunity toenjoy a unique experience:nautical tourism. The mainingredients have already beenprovided by nature: the sea,an average annualtemperature of 17ºC (63ºF)and more than three hundreddays of sunshine a year. Man’scontribution has been toequip the various nauticalresorts to provide visitors withthe possibility of practicingsailing, canoeing, diving, etc.For the visitors’ convenience,these resorts offer travelpackages that include lodging,practicing the sport of choiceand "Sports Vacation"insurance. In addition, it ispossible to purchase daytickets at very reasonableprices that include equipmentrental, liability insurance andthe use of the services at eachof the schools.Centro de Alto RendimientoDeportivo Infanta CristinaLocated on the shores of theMar Menor, the CAR SportsCenter provides instruction inCave Divingsailing, canoeing, underwatersports, water skiing, rowing,etc., although its mainpurpose is training topathletes. Carretera delAeropuerto. Los Alcázares.Scuba Diving andCave DivingA wide variety of underwatersettings and the good visibilityof its transparent waters makethe Murcian coast one of theforemost places in the countryfor scuba diving. The bestareas are located on Cabo dePalos (Carthaginian CaboTiñoso) where a huge varietyof flora and fauna exists, aswell as interesting shipwrecksthat have sunk along theseshores. Along the entire coast,clubs organize expeditions,give instruction, and rentequipment.1819


Club de Golf de La MangaUnderwater caves are locatedbetween Cartagena and LaAzohía with large underwatervaults and galleries. Maps ofthe caves should be used sincesome are several kilometerslong with maze-like galleries.Hiking: The old roads used byminers and fishermen alongthe coast between Cabo dePalos and Portman, betweenCartagena and the bay ofMazarrón, or in Calnegre Parkand Cabo Cope, providesplendid countryside forhiking or walking.Mountain Biking: The trailsand roads between Cabo dePalos and Cartagena are ingood condition and afford animpressive landscape throughthe mountains once devotedto mining. Salinas de SanPedro is also recommendedfor a pleasureable ride.Horseriding: From the MarMenor, it is possible toarrange rides through themountains along the coast orthrough the vast plains of theCampo de Cartagena andlovely farmland and winterpastures. Cuadras El Puntal:Carretera del campo de golf,km. 1.200. Los Belones. CentroHípico Rancho de la Fuente:Avenida de la Fuente. LosBelones.Golf: La Manga Club has three18-hole golf courses setamong swaying palm trees, aswell as all types of sportsfacilities.Torre Pacheco, near the MarMenor, has a smaller club witha 9-hole course.Molina de Segura, Club deGolf Altorreal, 18-holes.Fishing: Saltwater fishing ispopular all along theMediterranean coast.Especially recommended arethe areas of Águilas andMazarrón because of thedepth and transparency of thewaters.Balnearios(Health Spas)Archena Health SpaOn the shores of the Segurariver, amidst orange and lemontrees and other lush tropicalplants, is the health spa ofArchena, an ideal spot for ahealthy and restful vacation.Specializing in respiratory,dermatological, and rheumaticailments, its thermal waterssurface at a temperature of 52 °Centigrade (125 °F.) and have ahigh mineral content. Medicalstaff on the premises. Facilitiesinclude an outdoor thermalpool, tennis and paddle tenniscourts, bicycle excursions, a golfcourse 15 km. away, casino,nightclub, and library.Fortuna Health SpaThe waters containing sodiumbicarbonate and sodiumchloride at the health spa ofFortuna surface at atemperature of 53 ° Centigrade(127 °F.) and are especiallyrecommended for thetreatment of asthma,rheumatic ailments, colds andallergies, as well asArchena Health Spagynecological problems. Theancient baths were used by theArabs and Romans but todayoffer modern facilities, a threestarhotel directly connected tothe spring, an outdoorswimming pool with thermalwater, ideal for cold wintermornings, and medical staff onthe premises all year round.FestivalsCarnivalÁguilas: February. Spectacularparades and nightlycelebrations held outdoorsalong with a National Contestof “Salsa” Music. Declared ofinterest to the tourist at anational level.Cartagena: February. The entirecity dresses in costume andtakes to the streets. Livelyevening celebrations. Declaredof interest to the tourist at aregional level.Holy WeekCartagena: The most popularprocessions are: Los Marrajosbrotherhood on Good Fridayand Los Californios on HolyWednesday, as well as theprocession of the Encuentro inthe early morning hours onMaundy Thursday and GoodFriday. Declared of interest tothe tourist on a national level.Murcia: Holy Week in Murcia isnoted for its baroque-2021


inspiration, penitent garb andcustoms, including giving candyto acquaintances who come towatch the processions. Do notmiss the parades held on EasterMonday and Holy Wednesdaywith the popular procession ofthe “coloraos”, and themorning of Good Friday withprocessional figures by Murciansculptor Francisco Salzilloexhibited in all their splendor.Lorca: Spectacularbiblical/passion-inspiredprocessions where passagesfrom the Old Testament arereenacted. Floats, chariots andtriumphal vehicles paradedown the main streets.Mar Menor: Donning penitentgarb, everyone along the MarMenor takes to the streets withtheir colorful processions.Spring Festival in Murcia(week after Easter)Bando de la Huerta: Mostimportant day of SpringFestival. Thousands of Murciansand visitors dress in typicalcostume and take to the streetsfor the day. Activities includeflowers for the patroness, theVirgin of La Fuensanta,“barracas” set up to savor theHoly Week in Lorcaexquisite cuisine, and duringthe afternoon, a big paradewith dance groups andmovable “barracas” todispense wine and food tospectators.Entierro de la Sardina: OnSaturday, a colorful climax tothe celebrations includes acurious parade with giants andbig-headed figures and a scoreof floats honoring the gods ofOlympus. Millions of toys aregiven away also. The Sardine isburned near the river. Thenight continues with a displayof fireworks and dancing.Festival of the Virgin elCarmenSan Pedro del Pinatar: July.Boats tied together with ropescruise the waters of the MarMenor carrying the figure ofthe Virgin el Carmen.Spectacular local flavor.Mining of Song FestivalLa Unión: August. In theModernist-style market,prestigious singers, musiciansand dancers get together eachyear at this Festival to competefor the coveted “MiningLamp”. The festival has beendeclared of interest to thetourist at a national level.International Weekof the “Huerta”Los Alcázares: August.Showcase for the handicrafts,cuisine and customs of thefertile Murcian plain. AFolklore Festival heldsimultaneously featuresnational and internationalgroups.Festival of Theater, Musicand DanceSan Javier: August. A variety ofgroups assemble with the mostattractive productions of theseason.Carthaginians and RomansCartagena: September. Fifteendays of confrontation betweenRomans and Carthaginiansinclude encampments,parliaments, parades, battlesand speeches.CuisineThe Murcian coast is proud ofits caldero, a soupy rice cookedin an iron cauldron accordingto seafarer's recipes withdifferent types of fish and bellpeppers, as well as other ricedishes. The fish is excellent bythe sea, baked under a moundof coarse salt, especially mullet,dorado and sea bass, andbaked in the oven with whitewine and slices of fresh tomato,lemon and bacon; grilled(typical of the area ofMazarrón); or marinated; fried,even better when"chanquetes" (a small fisheaten whole) are used; cured,“Paella huertana”especially the exquisitemojama; or baked wrapped inalgae, Aguileño-style. Theseafood is exceptional(especially the prawns from theMar Menor); exotic, such as thepastel cierva from the area ofthe Mar Menor, a pie filledwith meat, pigeon, rabbit orfowl and eggs. For dessert, aslice of melon, if possible fromTorre Pacheco, figs, a piece oftocino de cielo (a sweet madeof eggs and syrup), grapes fromCartagena, or goat cheese. Totop off a meal, perhaps anasiático, a delicious coffeeconcoction with cinnamon,condensed milk, liqueur andcoffee beans from the area ofCartagena.HandicraftsCentro de Artesanía deCartagena (Calle CapitanesRipoll) exhibits a wide-range ofhandicrafts produced in thearea priced the same as in theworkshops. It is possible todiscover how clay, glass, cloth,and esparto-grass arehandcrafted.2223


How to get there: Murcia Airport, SanJavier, next to Mar Menor and 47kilometers from Murcia, has directconnections with several Spanish capitals,as well as charter flights from a variety ofEuropean cities. Rental cars are availableat the airport.By road, Costa Cálida is reached fromMurcia by Autovía Murcia-Cartagenawhich connects with Mar Menor, LaManga and Cabo de Palos. To get toÁguilas and Mazarrón, take the AutovíaAndalucía from Murcia or the N-332 fromCartagena. Daily bus service connectsMurcia with the Costa Cálida.RENFE (Spanish National Railways)provides a daily train service betweenMurcia and Cartagena,as well as to the rest of Spain,and a special coastal service during thesummer months.Murcia% 968 358 749 ) 968 358 748www.murciaciudad.comÁguilas% 968 493 285 ) 968 446 082www.aguilas.orgLos Alcázares% 968 171 361 ) 968 575 249www.ayto-losalcazares.esCalasparra% 968 745 325 ) 968 723 000www.calasparra.orgCaravaca de la Cruz% 968 702 424 ) 968 700 952www.caravaca.orgCartagena% 968 506 483 ) 968 526 912www.cartagena.esCentral Reservation Office:Calle Requena, 3. 28013 Madrid% 902 547 979 ) 902 525 432www.parador.esAena (Spanish Airports and AirNavigation) % 902 404 704www.aena.esADIF-RENFE % 902 240 202www.renfe.esInternational Information% 902 242 402 / 902 243 402USEFUL INFORMATIONLodging: A wide range of lodgings isavailable on the Murcian Coast, includinghotels, apartments and campgrounds. LaManga del Mar Menor has the largestnumber of accommodations available. It isadvisable to make reservations well inadvance, especially for the summer months.Climate: The Costa Cálida offers 3,000 hoursof sun per year and has an average annualtemperature of 17 degrees Centigrade(63 °F). During the months of July andAugust, temperatures can exceed 30degrees Centigrade (86 °F.) and precautionsagainst the sun should be taken.Telephone Code 34Tourist Information TURESPAÑAwww.spain.infoRegion of Murcia Tourist Information% 902 101 070www.murciaturistica.esTOURIST INFORMATION OFFICESPARADORSTRANSPORTCieza% 968 453 500 ) 968 453 500www.ayuntamiento.cieza.netLa Manga del Mar Menor% 968 146 136 ) 968 564 958www.marmenor.netLorca% 968 441 914 ) 968 466 157www.lorca.esMula % 968 661 501 ) 968 637 009Puerto de Mazarrón% 968 594 426 ) 968 594 426www.mazarron.esSan Javier% 968 571 704 ) 968 573 963www.turismosanjavier.comSan Pedro del Pinatar% 968 182 301 ) 968 183 706www.sanpedroturismo.comPuerto Lumbreras% 968 402 025 ) 968 402 836www.renfe.es – www.adif.esMurcia Bus Station% 968 292 211Highway Information% 900 123 505www.dgt.esEmergences % 112Medical Emergences % 061Civil Guard % 062National Police % 091USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERSCanada. Núñez de Balboa, 35 - 3º% 914 233 250 ) 914 233 251Japan. Serrano, 109% 915 907 600 ) 915 901 321Republic of Ireland. Claudio Coello, 73% 915 763 500 ) 914 351 677Russia. Velázquez, 155Municipal Police % 092Citizen Information % 010Post Office % 902 197 197www.correos.esSPANISH TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES ABROADCANADA. TorontoTourist Office of Spain2 Bloor Street West Suite 3402TORONTO, Ontario M4W 3E2% 1416/ 961 31 31) 1416/ 961 19 92www.spain.info/cae-mail: toronto@tourspain.esJAPAN. TokyoTourist Office of SpainDaini Toranomon Denki Bldg.6F3-1-10 Toranomon. Minato-KuTOKIO-105-0001% 813/ 34 32 61 42) 813/ 34 32 61 44www.spain.info/jpe-mail: tokio@tourspain.esREPUBLIC OF IRELAND. DublinSpanish Tourist Office1, 2, 3 Westmoreland StreetDublin 2% 353 1 653 0200) 353 1 653 0205e-mail: dublin@tourspain.esRUSSIA. MoscowSpanish Tourist OfficeTverskaya -16/2, 6ºMOSCOW 103009% 74 95 / 935 83 99) 74 95 / 935 83 96www.spain.info/rue-mail: moscu@tourspain.esSINGAPORE. SingaporeSPANISH TOURIST OFFICE541 Orchard Road Liat Tower # 09-04238881 SINGAPORE% 65 / 67 37 30 08) 65 / 67 37 31 73www.spain.infoe-mail: singapore@tourspain.esEMBASSIES IN MADRIDUNITED KINGDOM. LondonSpanish Tourist Office2nd floor, 79 New Cavendish StreetLondon W1A 6XB% 44207/ 317 20 10) 44207/ 317 20 48www.spain.info/uke-mail: londres@tourspain.esUNITED STATES OF AMERICAwww.spain.info/usLos AngelesTourist Office of Spain8383 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 960BEVERLY HILLS, CAL 90211% 1323/ 658 71 95) 1323/ 658 10 61e-mail: losangeles@tourspain.esChicagoTourist Office of SpainWater Tower Place, suite 915 East845, North Michigan AvenueCHICAGO, ILL 60/611% 1312/ 642 19 92) 1312/ 642 98 17e-mail: chicago@tourspain.esMiamiTourist Office of Spain1395 Brickell AvenueMIAMI, Florida 33131% 1305/ 358 19 92) 1305/ 358 82 23e-mail: miami@tourspain.esNew YorkTourist Office of Spain666 Fifth Avenue 35th floorNEW YORK, N.Y. 10103% 1212/ 265 88 22) 1212/ 265 88 64e-mail: nuevayork@tourspain.es% 915 622 264 ) 915 629 712United Kingdom.Fernando El Santo, 16% 913 190 200 ) 913 081 033United States of America.Serrano, 75% 915 872 200 ) 915 872 303


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