La Manga Strip - Spain

After lunch at Cabo de Palos, the weather was still looking gloomy so we decided to explore the Manga Strip in our hire car. The winds were howling around us as you can see in the photo above, the trees bending over in the 40mph gusts.

Costa Calida spain - Cabo de palos

As the aeroplane comes into land at Murcia airport you get an excellent overhead view of Mar Menor, the 170km square saltwater lagoon separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a 22km long stretch of sand, La Manga Strip. It’s a breathtaking shot so make sure you sit on the left of the plane looking towards the pilot on your way out.

La Manga Club Resort - view of the Strip

The strip has been heavily built up since the 1960’s resulting in a long line of high rise apartments and hotels running on both sides of the main road from top to tail. I am not a fan of built up resorts but it does look pretty impressive from the other side of Mar Menor or from up high as you can see the strip quite clearly ‘in the middle of the sea’.

La manga strip highrise apartments

The Manga Strip at the end of April was also desolate, the main season for holiday makers being July and August. So as we drove along the empty wide main roads with lots of traffic lights at regular intervals it felt like we were in a ghost town. Admittedly it was a bad weather day but all of the high rise buildings were closed down and locked up. The shops were shut and the few restaurants that were open were empty.

la manga strip park

I imagine this place is absolutely packed in the height of the season and speaking to the locals I understood the main road to be a nightmare during that period too.

La Manga Strip - door

We stopped off at a park to allow the girls to let off some steam and whilst they enjoyed the climbing frames I had a mooch down to the coast to see what I could find. I came across this building built on the beach; on the beach front it is a restaurant and swimming pool but on the road side I was impressed with this gorgeous door, I have a thing about doors.

la manga mimosa Spain

We got back in the car and drove right to the end as far as we could go, on the tip, the land looks quite desolate but there were hundreds of mimosa bushes in flower.

la manga strip bridge

There was also this really steep bridge to cross which was quite scary in our little car which took us to an area of low lying villas all beautifully cared for and we caught a group of windsurfers off the coast.

la manga strip high risebuildings

The weather calmed down a bit on our return journey so we stopped off on the Mar Menor side to take a look at the beach. A long sandy beach where the water was incredibly calm compared to the roaring Med just a few hundred feet over the other side.

la manga strip beach

The girls kicked off their shoes and waded in but a Spanish lady yelled at me she was making whipping movements on her arm and it was only when she showed me the hundreds of dead jellyfish lining the water did I realise the danger! How had I not spotted them I don’t know? Fortunately no one was stung and we learnt from this lovely lady that the local council dragged the waters frequently to remove the jellyfish but the rough seas had prevented them from working.

la manga strip jellyfish

I’ll leave you with one other image of La Manga Strip taken on our last day when the weather was warm and sunny and the jellyfish had gone back out to sea. This is on the Mediterranean side, if you look closely you can see buildings stretching out almost to the edge of the photo. It wasn’t the clearest day, it’s the best I could do.

la manga strip spain

Disclosure: This post is part of a collection of our recent trip to La Manga Club Resort with James Villa Holidays who kindly gave us a fabulous apartment for the week. Find more local information here

 

La Manga Club Resort

Cabo de Palos

Los Alcazares

San Pedro del Pinatar

Cartagena

cabo de palos marina fishermen

At the bottom of La Manga Strip there is a small stretch of land that juts out into the Mediterranean sea, this is Cabo de Palos. It was one of the first places we visited on our trip to La Manga Club Resort at Easter and also the last where we enjoyed a delicious paella della casa at Restaurante Miramar and you certainly do get a magical view of the sea along with excellent food.

cabo de palos sand beach

The first time we visited the weather was very grey and incredibly windy with gusts up to 40mph but we were too curious to stay inside so we jumped into our hire car and hit the road for about 15 minutes from our villa.

cabo de palos marina

There is a fabulous market at the beginning of the town on Sunday morning selling fruit, vegetables, clothes and shoes but we didn’t stop to see as our fridge was full from the superior welcome pack that James Villa Holidays had kindly given us. We turned into the village and parked up around the marina. Our walk led us towards the sea and along the row of cafes, bars, restaurants and souvenir shops in the ’embracing wind’. Our mission was to walk to the lighthouse on the tip but we soon realised we were taking the long way around.

Costa Calida spain - Cabo de palos

 

We crossed through the town to the other side of the mini peninsula and discovered a sandy beach stretching way into the distance as the Manga Strip disappeared on the horizon. I vowed to return on a clearer day for a better shot.

cabo de palos lighthouse

 

The walk to the lighthouse is a pleasant one, even if it’s a very windy day and we soon reached the building  after a short climb up.

cabo de palos view of La Manga strip

 

We were all disappointed that you can’t enter the lighthouse and climb to the top but even from the base there are spectacular views.

cabo de palos lighthouse

Love this close up of the front door with the cat :)

cabo de palos lighthouse

We walked back to the village and I must praise the girls for so much walking. As they started to get tired we found a small park and let them play for a while before moving on. It never ceases to amaze me that playing in a park will actually revive them. I was interested to see lots of property up for sale and checking online later there are some excellent bargains, Paul got quite excited during our stay out there choosing his ‘retirement home.’

cabo de palos marina

On our first visit we chose Restaurante El Faro for lunch, they have a wonderful menu but it was Sunday, our first day and we wanted tapas. We asked the waiter and left it to the kitchen to decide.

cabo de palos restaurante el faro

They brought out one dish at a time for us to share and it was great as the girls tried too deciding what they liked and what they didn’t. The 6th and final plate of calamari really was just too much but we all gave it our best shot. An excellent meal  in the closed porch whilst it rained outside.

cabo de palos restaurante El Faro

After lunch, as the weather was so bad, we decided to drive up La Manga Strip but I’ll tell you about that another time.

After a week of exploring the Costa Calida on our last day we decided to return to Cabo de Palos for our Last Supper.

cabo de palos restaurante miramar

This time we chose Restaurante Miramar on the corner of the marina. Our table was in the window as the sunset over the far side. It was hot and we had to ask the waiter to drop the sun blind outside, after such a bad week I didn’t dare shut the sun out completely!

family photo in Spain La Manga Club Resort

The menu was full of fresh fish which I love and other delicious dishes but Paul and I went for the paella de la casa and that was really, really good, so good the girls kept asking to taste more rather than eat their own choice of food!

And so our holiday started and ended in Cabo de Palos, I would definitely go back to this place and explore some more, lots of the shops, bars and restaurants were closed but I am told the place is buzzing in the summer, it must be a lot of fun.

Find out more on the Costa Calida and where we visited here

La Manga Strip

La Manga Club Resort

Los Alcazares and San Pedro del Pinatar

Cartagena

Time Traveller: The Travel Bloggers Linky

We’re on our 5th week now of the Time Traveller and I am really enjoying being transported all over the world with all the fabulous posts linking up, thank you. I have had a brand new badge made with code underneath by the lovely Stacey Corrin making it very easy to grab.

If you are new to Time Traveller it’s a Linky where you can share your travel posts, both old and new. If you have been somewhere recently, tell us about it and if you haven’t share an old post, a favourite from the archives. You could even write about places you visited before you started blogging, scan the photos, re write and relive the experience, tell us all about it.

The rules are very simple

  • Your post must be travel related.
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  • You can use posts from your archives or write something new.
  • This Linky is about sharing, please don’t dump a link and run. Read some posts, leave a comment on them. I aim to visit everyone who links up, be patient as I will fit my comments around my family and work.
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