The Mar Menor is a coastal lagoon located in the SE of Spain (37 º 38'-37 º 50 'N and 0 º 41'-0 º 52' W), bounded on the north by the province of Alicante and south to Cape Palos. Its basin is bounded in the mountains of Columbares, Carrascoy, Escalona, Cartagena and Algarrobo and is separated from the Mediterranean Sea to La Manga. Length and width varying between 100 and 1200 meters. The area is 135 km², its maximum depth 7 meters and its average depth 4 meters, which make it ideal for the enjoyment of water sports.
Mar Menor was formed by accumulation of sand transported by ocean torrents. In the past La Manga was used as factory fishing, this is evidenced by the remains found in the pools of "Estacio".
In the seabed of La Manga numerous shipwrecks of Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans have been found, carrying silver ingots and amphorae with all sorts of goods.The arrival of the Arabs involved the creation of "Encañizadas", a fishing method still being used today. The fishing of Mújel and other species typical of the Mar Menor is carried out through cuttings. After the expulsion of the Moors, La Manga was sieged by boats that hit the North African coast. To fend off the attacks, the Emperor Charles and his son Philip II ordered the construction of three towers in La Manga. Large tracts of forest with trees like pines, oaks and yews were progressively decimated since the Middle Ages. In the eighteenth century, the exploitation of wood and scrubland in La Manga rose, which increased the deforestation by wind.
The salinity of the lagoon varies from 42-47 g / l, compared to 36-37 g / l of the Mediterranean Sea which promotes floatation, and the water temperature is of 12 º C in winter to 30 º C in summer, although the banks may be at more extreme temperatures ..
The depth and the absence of waves makes the Mar Menor an ideal place to practice all water sports like scuba diving, sailing, canoeing, swimming, water-skiing, jet-skiing, flysurfing, windsurfing, catamaranning. The creation of the Marine Station of the Mar Menor has affected the improvement of the quality of sports facilities that offer a wide range of possibilities for all levels, from initiation to professional training.
Throughout La Manga there are eleven sailing schools where you can practice some water sports. In La Manga, there are also four marinas with all necessary services to meet the demands of the vessels and their crews. The calm waters of the Mar Menor is a unique place to get started in watersports. The high temperature of the water and little depth make learning much easier and safer than on the open sea. However, through the "Canal del Estacio", any boat can leave the Mar Menor and enjoy a pleasant day visiting the island Grosa, the Farallon or Hormigas Islands.
The mild climate ensures warm water. Prevailing winds, which are so popular with sailing enthusiasts, always assure the existence of calm water. The actress Esther Williams, on a visit to the Mar Menor lagoon, described it as "the largest pool in the world."
Has expanded greatly in the area during recent years. The presence of underwater archaeological sites and shipwrecks have made La Manga and Cabo de Palos one of the favorite places for diving. There are remains of sunken ships like El Sirio, el Nord-América o el Minerva, offering the possibility to enjoy the beauty of the underwater area in all its splendor. The wide variety of plant and animal species can be readily appreciated by an impressive water showing visibility during all seasons.
Besides water sports, La Manga offers great possibilities for the practice of other sports. The nearby Sierra de Cartagena, near the Natural Park Calblanque is an ideal place for trekking and mountain bikes. There is also a resort next to a golf course and other sports centers specializing in risk as mountaineering, hang gliding or skydiving. Several centers in the area offer horse riding along the mountain trails or lonely sandy beaches.
Visit the links below for more information about La Manga in Costa Cálida: