The area of La Manga del Mar Menor lies right at the most southern part of the Costa Blanca. Depending on which map you look at, La Manga is situated on the Costa Calida to be precise.
The area of the Mar Menor ( little sea ) is almost totally separated from the Mediteranean Sea due to the “La Manga del Mar Menor” which means “the sleeve of the little sea”. This very small strip of land is around 13 miles long and makes up the lagoon of Mar Menor which making it a size of 160 sq. km., a very interesting natural attraction.
It is fascinating to see this kind of sea which looks like a little lake when you stand on the La Manga strip and look inwards. The entire Mar Menor is at its deepest spot is only 8 meters deep and maintains a water temperature of 17 Celsius on the average.
The Mar Menor area is one of the favourite summer vacation spots for locals living in Murcia. To most foreigners and especially golfers, it should be known for its three championship La Manga golf courses. This is why the term La Manga is often used synonymously for great golfing in fantastic locations.
La Manga del Mar Menor area Southern Costa Blanca / Costa Calida
From a simple travellers point of view, you have various choices on how to get to the area. The closest airport is the small but international airport of Murcia San Javier. With daily flights from the UK and other European countries it brings you right to the heart of the Mar Menor area.
The other and much more frequented airport to choose would be Alicante airport. It took me about 1 hour dirving down from Alicante (where I live) to the La Manga area.
With a rather bad local bus system servicing the area from the Murcia airport and the fact that the Alicante airport is about 85 km away, you should either get a good hotel shuttle or hire a car. Exploring the entire area and even if it is just for a few days, I would definitely recommend to hire a car in Murcia.
Impressive Bridge of Puente Levadizo del Estacio, granting access to the Mar Menor
The actual entrance of the Manga strip starts at the lighthouse called Cabo de Palos. From here you drive up the whole strip, which made me feel a bit like being on the Torrevieja or Benidorm beaches. However, there are lots of sandy beaches having spots for relax on both sides of the road.
Close to the end of the La Manga, which ends at the village of Veneziola, you will find the beautiful yacht club called “Tomas Maestre” right at the other lighthouse at the Punta del Cocedo. I went there and had a nice cup of coffee at one of the many restaurants looking out over the Mar Menor. I bet this make you jealous?
Around the entire Mar Menor area you will find lots of beaches and villages to explore. From famous beach spots like the Playa Honda close to La Manga to the Playa de los Nietos or the Playa de Palo close to San Javier.
To sum it up:
The area around the Mar Menor and especially the La Manga strip is definitely worth a visit. If you plan your holiday there you are on the safe side for all sorts of activities and relax. In case you are staying around the area of Torrevieja, Alicante or Murcia , I would definitely advise you to take at least a one day trip to see this impressive natural lagoon for yourself.