The Mar Menor means ‘minor (or smaller) sea’. It isn’t a sea at all, it’s a lagoon, located on the northern stretch of the Murcian coast, just below the border with Alicante. The lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a spit of land 22km long with several breaks where it opens onto the Med. The spit is between 100m and 1200m wide, so in places the two ‘seas’ lap at beaches the both sides of the road! The road runs most of the length starting at the southern end and a ferry links the northern point of the spit to Santiago de la Ribera on the mainland side. Roughly triangular in shape it covers 170km2 with 5 small islands within the lagoon and a total of 70km of coastline.
Generally, the water within the lagoon is several degrees warmer than the Med, making it a popular place for swimming and water sports all year. At the northern point by San Pedro del Pinatar are the famous mud baths and salt flats. The salt flats and shallow lakes are noted for their importance to nature and protected by national park status. This area records some of the mildest winter temperatures in Spain.
Sadly in 2016 the beaches of the Mar Menor lost their Blue Flags, but it hasn’t slowed the rising popularity of the area or the beaches, and the local authorities are working hard to ‘clean up’ the quality of the water and regain their European Blue Flags.
The most popular resorts are (from north to south) San Pedro de Pinatar and Lo Pagan, Santiago de la Ribera, Los Narejos and Los Alcazares, Los Urrutias, Estrella del Mar, Los Nietos, Mar de Cristal and Playa Honda.
The world famous La Manga Club Golf Resort is Located to the south of the Mar Menor next to the Calblanque National Park. More information on all to follow so watch this space…!
Calblanque National Park
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