I was surprised for not finding La Manga del Mar Menor in Virtual Tourist.
Upon my arrival, I discovered why – it is mainly a vacation place for locals and… Portuguese.
However, many thousand people fill the immense stripe of apartment buildings and hotels, lining a very good beach.
Why not to mention it?
We spent a very good week there, swimming in a tepid sea, with crystalline waters. So pure that… it was a surprise. It’s common to see that purity in rocky coast, but not so common in a soft sandy beach.That was, for a week, Fernanda’s Paradise…
We spent a very good week there, swimming in a tepid open sea, with a few visits to the interior sea (almost a lake)
It is so shallow that it is absolutely safe for children, but almost useless for adults, since, even walking several hundred meters into the sea, I couldn’t find dept enough to wet my pants.
Of course, those who enjoy “boiling” in the water were in Paradise…
Cabo de Palos
The entrance to La Manga
I’ve been there, “pushed” by Virtual Tourist that didn’t know La Manga, but I must confess that great part of what I’m going to write respects to La Manga de Mar Menor, a long strip of sand that, starting here, in Cabo de Palos goes northeastward lined by two seas.
To oppose the shallow and wide sandy coast of La Manga, here we get a rocky coast with a few small coves.
Built in 1865, the lighthouse signals the cape, that is part of a marine reserve, together with Hormigas islands. Behind it there’s a good marina.
Well protected by the rocky cape, there’s a small marina.
The long coastline of La Manga has a few other places to park boats, but I think that only very small boats may enter them, so this must be the greatest marina in the area, well supported by the usual commerce around it.
At least one of the small beaches in Cabo de Palos, called Reona is easily reached by car, that may park in background.
It is, probably used by families from inland, that don’t like to venture in the confusion of the touristy length of La Manga.
We went there once, and… it was all.
The look inside was somewhat neglected, the food banal, and the service according to the ambiance.
No serious complaint, but no reason to return nor to recommend also.
Good sardinesIt is a small restaurant facing the beach. Don’t expect a great cuisine but a simple place for a light meal between baths. We had good sardines (almost like Portuguese) and squids with sangria at a reasonable price, and, looking around, we saw that almost all the people was eating the same.
Favorite Dish: Grilled sardines
Address: Km 8.5 In La Manga del Mar Menor
The funniest meal
How I laughed in this restaurant.
Located in the most commercial area of La Manga del Mar Menor, this restaurant was a stop for lunch in a very hot day.
It was good, with an efficient service and regular price.
The fun came from Fernanda – she doesn’t drink, despite the advice of the Sportive Medical doctor to include a little bit of red wine in the meals.
In La Manga, she discovered “tinto de verano”, a cooling drink that includes that little bit of red wine, and became her drink for the holidays.
The restaurant didn’t have “tinto de verano”, and I ordered sangria, that looks like and tastes almost like “her” drink. It was hot, I said, and she advanced with enthusiasm to the sangria (I had to order a second jar) to discover that the identical look and taste don’t correspond exactly to the same drink. Nothing serious, of course, but she was so surprised, scared and embarrassed that we both laughed with pleasure.
Favorite Dish: Pork with shrimps
Address: El Zoco, Manga del Mar Menor
La Tasquita (now A Contraluz)
Right facing the beach, this simple restaurant serves light meals, at a reasonable price.
We tasted there some well done shrimps and “calamares” and… it was all.
Directions: Facing the sea at Km 6.5
Mangalan hotel (now Poseidon)
The hotel is good, with large and clean rooms and good buffet. It was a family hotel, with children mixed with senior couples, missing… youth. Close to the beach but not being a resort, it has a Spa that we didn’t use, and the animation tries to give life to the nights, but, as far as we saw, without great success.
Directions: La Manga del Mar Menor, km 6.5
Note: The hotel changed its name, and it is now “adults only”
Maybe the best
The best hotel in La Manga, if location is important. It’s the only hotel with direct access to the open sea. In contrast with the general Spanish coast, here, the hotels are not allowed to place any kind of equipment in the beach, that is totally free to public use. A couple of hotels have access to the interior sea, so shallow that doesn’t allow a normal swim, and this is the only one that I found in the open side of the long street of La Manga.
I didn’t stay there but visited it, and confirmed that, for our kind of program (beach, beach, beach…) it would be the best solutions. The comments were worse than those about Mangalan (our choice), and the prices… the double.
The advertising announces lots of sun, in the Spanish coast, and we have it. However, we are used to find everywhere, structures to allow a careful management of the exposure, providing rented or inclusive shades by the sea.There’s no such thing in La Manga. If you want a shade, and you must, because the sun is really constant and strong, you need to buy a umbrella, and carry it all the time, to and from the beach.
Not expensive, but… uncomfortable!
What the hell will be in that lady’s mind?
She knows that I hate to stay under the sun for long, she knows that in this Mar Menor, we my enter the water for hundreds of meters, without the water reaching the waist.
Why was she so interested in this common picture?
Why is she shouting that focusing with tele objective from distance takes time?
Wouldn’t it be easier and nicer to say that she doesn’t like my weak tan?
What is that?
Somebody drowned? Spider-fish sting? Jellyfish?
It’s just a common beach seller with “that” special dress that half the women in La Manga are searching since their arrival, in all the few shops around, and that, by miracle, of course, came to them while bathing.
Even a couple of men approached to testify the miracle.