Mar Menor (Little Sea) is a unique area located on the east coast of Spain, within the region of Murcia, just above the city of Cartagena. Few regions have the good fortune to have both a saltwater lake and a Mediterranean shore. The region of Murcia has both and the salt water lake with an area of 170sq.km is known as Mar Menor, the largest salt water lake in Europe. Mar Menor is part of the Costa Calida.

The area dates back to prehistoric times but most remains found date from the Roman and Arabic periods. The Romans valued the area highly and developed a valuable salt industry. It was about 1000 years ago that the lake took on the appearance it has today. The Romans called it Belich and referred to it as a port of refuge. It was much deeper in those times so could cope with even the largest of vessels. Over the last hundred years or so, the area has developed into a tourist haven.

As well as the natural importance of the area the mud and clay are said to have therapeutic properties, known for centuries.The average annual temperature here is 17ºC and the average during the summer is above 21ºC. The winters are very mild, very rarely falling below 10ºC. Rain is also rare here. With over 3000 hours of sunshine a year and the mild climate, the water here can reach 30º in August.

The coast of the Mar Menor is flanked by small towns, in the past homes to fishermen and today, tourist enclaves. San Pedro del Pinatar in the north covers 21.7sq.km and has 15,200 inhabitants. This can swell to 60,000 in the summer months. Below this is San Javier with over 20,000 residents.

The area offers several golf courses, municipal parks and the famous resort of La Manga. La Manga has more than 40km of beaches and the unique possibility of choosing between two seas with very different water temperatures, one with waves and one practically calm all year long. The number of hotels at La Manga make up 50% of the total hotels in the region.

With so much water here there is no wonder that the area is a haven for watersports. The possibilities here are endless from sailing to diving, windsurfing and jetskiing.

Available all year round, at very reasonable rates. For availability and more info contact Doug; 01670-355707

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All enquiries to Doug Sharp +44 (0)1670 355707 or dougsharp1@hotmail.co.uk

Contact dougsharp1@hotmail.co.uk or caroline@webnet2000.net

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