Picture this: you’re standing on a pearl-white beach, sunlight caressing your skin, a gentle sea breeze rustling your hair. In the distance, sailboats dance on azure waters. That’s the magic of the Costa Calida, a place where the mild climate and an average of 320 sunny days per year guarantee an eternal summer sensation.
The Costa Calida stretches across the southeast of Spain, in the region of Murcia. This idyllic coast, literally translating to the ‘Warm Coast,’ spans from El Mojón in the north, near the border of Alicante province, to Águilas in the south, bordering Andalusia. The coastline is a blend of breathtaking cliffs and vast sandy beaches, embraced on one side by the glistening Mediterranean Sea and on the other by the unique lagoon of Mar Menor.
The Costa Calida is essentially the tourist name for the Murcia region. Compared to other Costas, it’s a relatively undiscovered slice of Spain due to its rugged coastline and absence of large resorts like Almeria or Benidorm. Nevertheless, its popularity has been rapidly growing in recent years. Tourists are increasingly seeking serene and authentic destinations, and the Costa Calida perfectly fits the bill. More and more people are also investing in second homes here.
From the historic Cartagena to the vibrant La Manga and the tranquil Mar Menor, this is a place where you can truly unwind and relish life. In this blog, you’ll discover the 7 most captivating spots on the Costa Calida:
Step into the footsteps of Romans in Cartagena, the gem of the Costa Calida. As the largest port city in the region, nestled between five hills and the Mediterranean Sea, Cartagena offers an irresistible fusion of history, culture, and contemporary allure. Explore the old town with its ancient city walls, shop along Calle Mayor, visit the bustling Plaza Bolivar, and make sure not to miss the San Pedro Claver Cathedral and the Teatro Romana (an ancient amphitheater). Delight in local gastronomy on a sunny terrace and wrap up your day with a stroll along the harbor, where luxury yachts and old fishing boats coexist. The city is surrounded by five hills, each crowned with a castle that provides breathtaking views of the city and sea.
2. **La Manga**
La Manga, a dazzling peninsula stretching over 21 kilometers along the Costa Calida. So narrow that you can gaze from one side to the other. La Manga is an ultimate haven for sun, sea, and sand lovers. Here, you can revel in two seas – the tranquil Mar Menor on one side, the expansive Mediterranean Sea on the other. Start your day at Playa Barco Perdido, a haven for sunbathers and watersports enthusiasts, where you can ride the waves of the Mediterranean. Then, head to the iconic Avenida Gran Vía de La Manga, surrounded by boutiques, bars, and restaurants. Treat yourself to fresh seafood at Restaurant Escuela de Pieter, renowned for its exquisite paella. Visiting the Tomás Maestre marina is a must, offering stunning views of luxury yachts while sipping local wine. End your day at Trips Summer Club, a lively nightclub with live music and DJs, where you can dance until the sunrise.
3. **Playa de Calblanque**
This secluded and unspoiled beach is nestled within the Calblanque Natural Park, just a short drive east of Cartagena. Surrounded by rugged hills and pine forests, it’s a haven for nature lovers and tranquility seekers. Playa de Calblanque is a vast golden sandy beach, separated from the hinterland by magnificent sand dunes and salt pans. The beach is perfect for a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean Sea and sunbathing on the soft, pleasant sand.
This is not a touristy beach with typical amenities like sunbeds, umbrellas, or beach bars. However, this is precisely what makes Calblanque Beach pristine and authentic. Note: In July, August, and September, cars are not allowed into the natural park. During this time, you can reach the beach only by shuttle bus.
4. **Puerto de Mazarrón**
Puerto de Mazarrón is an enchanting coastal village on the southeastern edge of the Costa Calida. Nestled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra de la Almenara, the village boasts both sea and mountain landscapes.
The village has a rich history dating back to the Phoenicians and Romans, who once managed the flourishing fishing industry of the region. Explore the underwater archaeology museum, where you can admire the remains of a 2700-year-old Phoenician ship, a rare piece of ancient maritime history. Other attractions include the town hall, the 16th-century San Andrés church, and Castillo de los Vélez, a 15th-century fortress. Active holidaymakers can indulge in endless hiking and cycling. Puerto de Mazarrón is also cherished by divers who come here for encounters with dolphins and sperm whales. But you can also simply relax here. Popular beaches include Playa de la Isla and Playa del Rihuete. You’ll find plenty of charming small-scale all-inclusive resorts
Águilas is the southernmost town on the Costa Calida. The city is situated at the foothills of the Sierra de Almenara. One of the essential highlights is Castillo de San Juan de las Águilas. This 18th-century fortress, perched atop a hill above the city, offers fantastic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding mountains. You can explore the castle’s interior as well.
Just south of the town, you’ll find Cala de la Cocedores, an idyllic cove with a sandy beach surrounded by impressive rock formations and crystal-clear water. A perfect spot to spend a day at the beach and go snorkeling.
Complete your visit to Águilas with a stroll through the historic center, where you can discover the neoclassical San José church and the charming Plaza de España (a stunning square with an adjacent Gaudi garden), surrounded by stately 19th-century buildings. Are you a fan of hiking? A delightful hiking trail begins at the Cabo Cope tower.
6. **Los Alcázares**
Los Alcázares is situated on the western shore of the Mar Menor. This coastal town is known for its serene ambiance and delightful beaches. The former fishing village has evolved into a popular tourist destination without losing its authentic charm.
An absolute must-see in Los Alcázares is the promenade, a seven-kilometer-long path tracing the entire coastline of the town. Here, you can enjoy a leisurely walk, jog, or bike ride while relishing breathtaking views of the Mar Menor and the surrounding nature.
Don’t forget to visit the historic Balneario de la Encarnación, a 19th-century spa that’s considered one of Los Alcázares’ symbols. With its magnificent modernist architecture and direct sea views, it’s the perfect place to admire the region’s history and beauty.
For watersport enthusiasts, Los Alcázares offers countless opportunities. Thanks to the warm, shallow waters of the Mar Menor, the town is a popular destination for sailing, windsurfing, and kite surfing.
7. **Santiago de la Ribera**
Santiago de la Ribera is a charming coastal town on the northern shore of the Mar Menor. One of its major attractions is undoubtedly the beautiful four-kilometer-long promenade that stretches the entire length of the town. Follow the path along the coast, admire the vistas over the calm waters of the Mar Menor, and explore the numerous bars and restaurants where you can savor local delicacies like ‘caldero,’ a traditional fish-based rice dish.
If you’re interested in culture and history, a visit to the Church of Santiago Apóstol is a must. This 19th-century building is the spiritual heart of the town and becomes the center of activities during the festivities honoring the patron saint, Santiago Apóstol, in July. Additionally, Santiago de la Ribera is a favored destination for watersports lovers. Whether you want to sail, windsurf, kayak, or dive, the tranquil waters of the Mar Menor provide ideal conditions for both beginners and experienced water enthusiasts.
Ready to explore the charm of the Costa Calida? Immerse yourself in its unique beauty and lifestyle. If you’re curious about our stunning new-build villas and apartments on the Costa Calida, don’t hesitate to reach out for a personal chat. We’re here to answer all your questions and guide you on this exciting journey to find your dream home.
Discover more about our Costa Calida properties here and personal chat here. We can’t wait to share the magic of this breathtaking region with you!
Warm sunny regards,
The Team at RO Spain Real Estate Alicante