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Famous for its long sandy beaches, championship golf courses and idyllic sailing conditions, La Manga bags a prize spot on Murcia's Mediterranean Coast. Aside from famous footballers, golf pros and celebrities, a La Manga holiday attracts a mix of families, couples and friends looking for an active getaway.
Officially called La Manga del Mar Menor (The Sandbar of the Minor Sea), this narrow sandbank stretches for 21km (13 miles) – from the peninsula of Cabo Palos all the way around to Las Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar – and separates the Mediterranean Sea from the Mar Menor, the largest saltwater lagoon in Europe.
While sports fans will know La Manga for its top-class tennis clinics, golf courses and football-training facilities – England's football stars have been known to train here in the off-season – it also has stacks of natural appeal with wild beaches, salt flats and even flocks of flamingos.
And, as the Mar Menor lagoon contains high levels of magnesium, calcium and sodium, La Manga is popular with travellers big on wellbeing too. Bag yourself a free ‘spa treatment’ at Playa de la Puntica, where you’ll find similarly minded locals and visitors bathing in the lagoon's health-boosting clay.
Of course, a holiday to La Manga wouldn’t be complete without watersports. The shallow, protected waters of the Mar Menor lagoon makes it a great spot for learning windsurfing and canoeing, while the Mediterranean side has perfect conditions for jet-skiing, kitesurfing and sailing.
After dark, La Manga comes alive with friendly beach bars and waterfront restaurants that run along the main strip between Zoco and Plaza Bohemia. Party people, meanwhile, should head over to Cape Palos on the southern peninsula for clubs and late-night bars with open-air terraces and international DJs.
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