Costa Cálida (Spanish for ‘warm coast’) lies south of Costa Blanca and north of Costa de Almeria, in the Murcia region. Its main city is Cartagena, also the site of the region’s busiest harbour.
Costa Cálida’s shorelines can be divided into two categories: the eastern side consists mainly of long stretches of beach. On the southern side is where you’ll find rock formations. The beaches of Mar Menor are sandy and have no tides, large waves, or currents. The ground lowers slowly away from the mainland, so slow that the first 50 m out from the beach are just 1-1.5 m deep. All the more reason why Mar Menor is great for kids and older or disabled holiday makers. During the busy high season, the beaches have lifeguards and there’s equipment available for visitors with mobility limitations to enjoy the lovely water.
Costa Cálida is, in Spanish terms, a special phenomenon: a place where swimmers can choose between the azure blue sea of the Mediterranean or the crystal clear waters of Mar Menor. Mar Menor stretches about 170 km² with a coast of a total 70 km. Here, the water temperature is always 4 or 5 degrees higher than in the Mediterranean, because it is being closed in with land and has a maximum depth of 7 m. Mar Menor is therefore perfect for a lot of water sports.
Cartagena was founded in the 3rd century BC by Hasdrubal the Fair. During founding times, 5 fortresses were built on the surrounding hilltops. Four of these have been renovated, one left in its original state. One of Spain’s oldest structures, an amphitheater, was discovered here in 1987.
The city’s central point is the great Plaza Espana, a park within a large roundabout. In the city of Murcia you’ll find the Trapeia, an ancient street leading to the cathedral that took almost 500 years to build. The university of Murcia is an historic cloister with marble pillars. Near Murcia is the Santuario de la Fuensanta, a holy site ringed by lemon trees.
To find unspoiled beaches and bays you have to go towards Mazzarón, which is a harbour city with a burgeoning economy based on mineral-rich mountains. Many bays there have pebble beaches, this ensures the crystal clear water which is ideal for snorkelers and divers. Altogether, there are 90 shipwrecks to be found along the coast of Costa Cálida, most of which lie at the foot of Cartagena.
Unique Costa Cálida
Costa Cálida has the largest market of used furniture in all of Europe. Since this region of Spain has not been overrun by tourists, the prices are also lower than you will find along the other coasts. In addition to the furniture prices, the rates in cafes and restaurants are also not as high as in the other coasts. What’s more, the entire coastal region has a ban on high-rises (with the exception of La Manga, the thin strip of land that separates Mar Menor from the Mediterranean). If you are a golfer, than you will find a paradise in the province of Murcia with its 13 golf resorts.
The Spanish residents have a pretty solid reputation for knowing how to party. There are numerous small festivals, all year round, but the climax comes in the summer. There is a tradition to end a Spanish festival with fireworks, and the largest regional festival is the Carthaginese y Romanos festival in Cartagena, which is held every year in the last two weeks of September. During these two weeks, the city will be transformed and renamed into Carthago. Every evening, thousands of Carthagers in Roman clothes parade through the city streets.
In every town, you will find the basics already available. There are always supermarkets, a bar, a restaurant, and a pharmacy nearby. There are 3 major shopping centers, in San Javier, Cartagena, and La Zenia. The largest shopping destinations in the region are Cartegena, San Javier, and Mazzarón.
Costa Cálida is one hour in advance compared to the UK.
The official language is Spanish. But you will find that it will be easy to communicate there with English and/or German. Border Control: A valid passport or identification.
The average temperature in winter is about 16°C. In spring and fall, it’s around 20°C, and in summer 31°C.