to Cartagena, then bus.
La Manga, Tel: 968 14 61 36 .
The elongated, high-rise holiday resort of La Manga, built on a long, thin, sandy strip, separates the Mediterranean and the Mar Menor, literally “the Smaller Sea”.
Really a large lagoon, the sheltered Mar Menor can be 5°C (9°F) warmer than the Mediterranean in summer. Its high mineral concentrations first drew rest-cure tourists in the early 20th century. They stayed at the older resorts of Santiago de la Ribera and Los Alcázares, which still have pretty wooden jetties.
From either La Manga or Santiago de la Ribera you can make a ferry trip to the Isla Perdiguera, one of the five islands in the Mar Menor.
The old saltpans at Lo Pagán, near San Pedro del Pinatar, are now a nature reserve called Calblanque. Its dunes and beaches are wild and unspoilt.
Volcanic islands of Mar Menor seen from rocky shoreline of saltwater lagoon