The Costa Calida - Spain's warm coast
In the southeastern part of the Iberian peninsular around 40 kms east of the city of Murcia lies the spectacular Costa Calida ( the Warm Coast ).
With an enviable climate and fine beaches, the Costa Calida is one of Spain’s top destinations and increasingly popular with holidaymakers.
Top 10 Things To Do On The Costa Calida
- Visit the Mar Menor inland lagoon.
- Spend a day exploring the historic city of Cartagena.
- Visit the City of Murcia and walk along the River Segura.
- Enjoy a walk along thr shores of the Mar Menor from Las Alcazares to the marina of Lo Pagan.
- Go shopping in Murcia city.
- Dine out al fresco by the small port of Cape Palos.
- Enjoy sailing and windsurfing in the Mar Menor.
- Play golf on one of the many championship courses along the coast.
- Explore the amazing beaches at Aguilas, Bolnuevo, Las Alcazares, La Manga and Puerto Mazarron.
- Have a fun family day out in a waterpark at Aguilas, Cartagena and Murcia city (Terra Natura).
The Costa Calida stretches for some 250 kms, enough to satisfy any serious coastal traveller whether your preference is rugged coastlines or unspoiled sandy beaches, crystal waters or romantic coves, you will not go home unhappy.
5 interesting facts about the Costa Calida
- The province of Murcia produces more lemons than any other area in Spain
- The main industries in the area are tourism, agriculture, fishing, and mining.
- The Costa Calida boasts over 320 days of sunshine each year.
- The plains of the Costa Calida are extremely fertile with rice being the staple diet in the area
- La Manga is home to the stunning 5 star La Manga Golf Resort which offers 3 superb golf courses set on 1500 acres of lush countryside. Many top sports clubs use the resort as a base for winter training including the England football team.
Top Costa Calida Cities, Towns & Resorts
- La Manga de Mar Menor
- Las Alcazares
- San Pedro de Pinatar
- San Javier
- Santiago de la Ribera
- El Mojon
- Los Urrutias
- La Azohia
- Los Bellones
La Manga de Mar Menor
Special interest has to be the La Manga de Mar Menor, which due to a geographical accident of nature has made a coastal strip of land which, bar a few connecting channels, is completely closed off the Mediterranean sea.
This huge saltwater lagoon protected from the Mediterranean sea on the outside which has created a perfect environment for bathing, swimming, boating and other water sports activities.
Cabo de Palos
The small coastal village of Cabo de Palos is located just a short drive from La Manga de Mar Menor and has a small harbour for fishing boats and classy yachts.
The village offers a laid back atmosphere, stunning rocky coves and a nice selection of charming bars and restaurants.
An important landmark is a lighthouse which dates back to 1865, it enjoys a prominent position on the rocky headland and is well worth a visit for the magnificent views over the Mar Menor and the La Manga strip.
Cabo de Palos forms part of a protected marine reserve so if underwater exploration is your thing then this is most definitely the place for you.
The coastal town of Los Alcazares offers visitors a more laid back experience. There are enough bars and restaurants plus a long promenade that runs for miles along the shores of the Mar Menor lagoon.
The beaches offer good quality sand and the calm warm waters are ideal for bathing, especially for the kids. There are plenty of water sports activities on offer and some nice beach bars to hang out in the evening.
Los Alcazares has a few festivals well worth visiting including the colourful Semana de la Huerta y El Mar, which fills the air with the delightful scent of local tapas, colourful costumes of folk dancers plus a chance to buy some regional artisan arts and crafts.
The town also hosts one of the best mediaeval markets in the region. The market celebrates its Berber fiestas which commemorate the raids by Berber Pirates during the 16th and 17th centuries.
San Pedro de Pinatar
San Pedro de Pinatar is located a short drive from San Javier airport and boasts over 15 kilometres of sandy beaches. The town was built on fishing and salt production as more recently tourism.
The town enjoys a privileged location on the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean coastline attracting water sports lovers.
Worth visiting are the natural mud baths at Banos de Lobo. The therapeutic values of the mud have been known for centuries and are used by the locals for both medical and as a beauty treatment.
Heading south from the city of Cartagena is the popular seaside town of Puerto de Mazarron with it's excellent beaches and an infectious lively nightlife.
The town is an important fishing village vital to the local economy, a trip to see the daily catches being auctioned off is well worth a visit.
The bay where the town is located is enclosed by the Sierras Moreras and Almenara mountain ranges which provides Mazarron with a “microclimate”.
Mazarron has a few historic buildings and several churches worth visiting.
Drive southwest from Mazarron along a very picturesque and beautiful coastline you will come across the pretty town of Aguilas an old old Roman fishing port.
Places well worth a visit here include the Plaza Espana with its lovely gardens, the church of San Jose, the ornate town Hall, the old harbour and the 16th-century castle.
The small village of Los Bellones is located between the world-renowned La Manga Golf Resort, Cartagena and Cabo de Palos.
Los Bellones is located slightly inland located in an ideal position close to the numerous beaches and the La Manga de Mar Menor strip.
The City of Murcia
The capital city of the Costa Calida is Murcia which is often described as one of the most beautiful and historic in the country.
There is a great selection of historic buildings and sites including s impressive city walls, churches which were previously mosques, and the Cathedral arguably the most prized building in the city. The first foundation stone was laid in 1388 by Bishop Pedrosa and took four centuries to complete.
The different styles and cultures within the Cathedral are very impressive including 23 different chapels.
Other buildings of note that are a must-visit include the Bishop’s Palace located near the Cathedral that dates back to1748.
Another place worth visiting is the Convent Church of Santa Ana which provides a historical menage from the 18th and 15th centuries.
Other sites that are worth visiting are the Church of San Miguel and the Almudi dating back to 1602. Murcia city offers so much to its visitors and you can always unwind and join in one of the many fiestas that are celebrated with vigor and as a matter of life and death for many a local !.
Murcia is also an important university city so there is a youthful air and many lively a bar in areas around the campus.
Cartagena is the main port in Murcia and was founded by the Carthaginian s in 221 BC originally named Carthago Nova. Its importance has remained throughout the centuries up to this very day.
You may suffer from historic overload in Murcia as there seems to be a monumental building on every corner, most are in pristine condition after long and costly restorations.
Although Cartagena is not noted as the main tourist destination in Spain, the city is one of the oldest in the world with over 3.000 years of history and is full of historic sites well worth visiting at any time of the year.
The city went into some decline during the mid 20th century but has undergone a major redevelopment in the past 20 years.
With its deepwater port area Cartagena was the home of the Spanish navy for many years, however, as they moved out the archaeologists moved in transforming the many historic sites into stunning places to visit.
The cities undeniable historic symbol is the Roman Theatre Museum a true wonder of the Roman occupation, the site includes the Pascual Riquelme Palace and the Santa María la Vieja Cathedral, interestingly the Carthago Nova Theatre was not discovered until 1990.
Golf on the Costa Calida
It is fast becoming a popular area for golfers as well including the impressive La Manga Golf Resort which boasts 3 championship courses and with over 300 days of sunshine a year the interest in golf in this area is only likely to increase in the coming years.
There are a number of popular golf courses in the area including La Torre Golf, La Roda Golf, Lo Romero Golf, Vista Bella Golf and Hacienda del Alamo.
Tours & Excursions - Book in Advance
Recommended hotels on the Costa Calida
Located in the coastal town of Los Alcazares try the 4 starred Hotel 525 for a luxury stay on the Costa Calida. The hotel offers a whole range of luxury amenities including a golf course, spa centre, Turkish steam bath , rooftop terrace, gymnasium, honeymoon suites are available. Reviewer Rating: 9.1
Head down to the picturesque resort of Mazarron and you will find the value for money 2 starred Hotel La Cumbre, a perfect family destination in a quite area of Mazarron and close to the marina. Guests enjoy a sun deck, pools, kids pool, comfy rooms and Spanish inspired meals. The hotel provides packed lunches if you plan day trips to explore the Costa Calida. Reviewer Rating: 8.2
Try the 1 starred Hotel Alaska located in San Pedro de Pinatar, a short drive from San Javier airport. This popular hotel is close to the beach, nice clean rooms, good breakfast. Reviewer Rating: 9.1