Guide to the Costa Calida, located in the Murcia region of south-eastern Spain.
Spanish Regions - Costa Calida - Murcia
Costa Calida: A coastal area in the Murcia region of Spain, the Costa Calida (“Warm Coast”) covers about two hundred and fifty kilometres of coastline, lapped by the Mediterranean Sea and the Mar Menor. Stretching from San Pedro del Pinatar in the north to Aguilas in the south, the Costa Calida is sandwiched between the better known Costa Blanca to the north and the Costa Almeria to the south.
With some of the most arid conditions in the whole of Spain, the Costa Calida is a great place for a holiday in the sun, and with many excellent coastal resorts, especially those on and around the Mar Menor (“Lesser Sea”), it attracts plenty of holidaymakers, both Spanish and International.
Apart from the fine weather conditions, the region is also attractive for its historic cities, Murcia and Cartagena, both with interesting and chequered pasts, its wonderful sandy beaches (again the Mar Menor is the best), and its many golf courses, mostly surrounding the city of Murcia.
The Mar Menor, which is in the north of the Costa Calida, is the largest salt lagoon in Europe, with an area of 170 square kilometres, it is almost completely separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the unique La Manga (“The Sleeve”), a narrow spit of land, in parts less than one hundred metres wide. Dotted with some pretty coastal resorts, the Mar Menor is also a renowned area for water sports, especially windsurfing and kitesurfing, the weather conditions being ideal for these sports.
The Mar Menor is also very shallow, and in places like Lo Pagan and San Pedro del Pinatar, so gently shelving that you would get tired walking, before being out of your depth. This makes the beaches very safe for families with young children. The maximum depth of the Mar Menor is about 21 feet. The added attraction is that due to its shallow nature, the water is warmer than the surrounding Mediterranean, with temperatures about 5 degrees higher.
Among the most popular locations on the Mar Menor, is Lo Pagan, which apart fro having one of the finest beaches, also has an area of mud baths (free to enter), with mud that is said to have healing and beneficial effects for a number of ailments and conditions.
The biggest and oldest of the Costa Calida towns is Cartagena, a historic place with some three thousand years of history. This was Hannibal’s capital city, and at the centre of the Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome. The city has many Roman and some Carthaginian remains, and is well worth a visit.
Another interesting town is further to the south, and is called Mazarron, it has a recently restored castle and again some very interesting history. Its coastal limb is called Puerto de Mazarron, and is another of the Costa Calida’s popular seaside resorts.
In the far south of the Costa Calida region is Aguilas, another town with a long history, being at one time a Roman fishing settlement, it was later important for mining and was the location of a port for exporting huge quantities or iron ore. To the north of Aguilas, the town of Lorca is an area of ‘Historical and Artistic Interest’, it too was known to the Romans, and also saw much conflict between Moors and Christians.