The coastline of the Region of Murcia, delimited between the provinces of Alicante and Almería, receives the name of Costa Cálida. In the central part of the Costa Cálida we find the Mar Menor, a saltwater lagoon that forms the creation of the famous area of The sleeve, and next to which is the Cabo de Palos.
This area concentrates one of the largest influx of tourism in the Region of Murcia, due to its guaranteed sunny days, its beaches and its coves, perfect for diving.
We start the route traveling along the RM-12, the highway that gives access to the area. You must take exits 9 and 10 to visit the beach of Calblanque, which is actually a natural park with several coves. The most outstanding thing is that they are beaches without any urbanization that surrounds it, which gives it a plus for those who do not like crowds. Of course, you have to take everything because there is no hospitality service either. To go in high season, you have to leave the car in a parking lot next to the highway and some buses take the traveler to the beach.
A little further on, between Calblanque and Cabo de Palos, we find Cala Reona, a cove of 200 meters of sand and black stone, which stands out for its seclusion and above all, for the opportunities it offers to lovers of small-scale diving.
We continue our route to Cabo de Palos, a fishing town dominated by its 19th century lighthouse, It stands on what appears to have been a temple dedicated to the Phoenician god Baal Hammon.
Cabo de Palos is full of small coves with crystal clear waters, but it also has essentials beaches like Levante, of fine sand and warm and shallow waters.
In general the whole area is the nerve center of diving in the Region of Murcia. In the port of Cabo de Palos there are numerous companies dedicated to the sector, where they offer guided tours, diving baptisms and courses at different levels.
But the town, which belongs to the municipality of Cartagena, has other attractions: the Paseo de la Barra is full of restaurants, bars and terraces, where it is inexcusable not to try the star dish of the gastronomy of the Region of Murcia: the cauldron.
It is a rice that gets its name from the container in which the fishermen of the area prepared it as soon as they returned from fishing, supported by three sticks stuck in the sand on the beach. The rice is cooked with a local fish (mullet or sea bream), but it is served separately. The rice, in addition, is usually accompanied by aioli sauce. La Tana, El Mosqui, El Pez Rojo, Miramar or Bocana de Palos are some of the restaurants where to eat it.
We left Cabo de Palos and we entered in La Manga, a narrow strip of land that divides the Mar Menor from the Mediterranean Sea, and whose southern area belongs to Cartagena, while the north is part of the municipality of San Javier.
An example of the tourist urban development of the 60s and 70s, La Manga continues to be one of the favorite destinations of thousands of vacationers due to its geographical peculiarity, for offering two different seas and its bathing beaches and for one very complete leisure and night life.
The sunsets looking at the Mar Menor and the sunrises looking at the Mediterranean they are real challenges for the visitor who is reluctant to take out the camera to immortalize the holidays.