The Mar Menor

Weather: San Javier Airport;      Los Alcázares;     Winds      Map      Ports and Marinas

The Mar Menor is a beautiful coastal lagoon in the south eastern region of Spain.  The name means `little sea`, and it is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a narrow strip of land known as ‘the La Manga Strip’.  Yachts enter the Mar Menor from the Mediterranean at Tomas Maestre Marina, through a 4m dredged channel crossed by a 7m high swing bridge (Puente del Estacio) that opens for 15 minutes every 2 hours from 0800 to 2200.

The Punta Del Estacio Swing Bridge at Thomas Maestre Marina, La Manga

(Sometimes, June, July and August opening times may change to uneven hours – always check on ‘Murcia Today’ for the latest times!).  The Mar Menor is around 60 km long with a maximum depth of 7 metres, and covers a surface area of around 170 square km.  Due to its high salinity, buoyancy is enhanced, making it a very popular place to learn various water sports.  The Water temperatures are generally warm most of the year and the area is a relaxing and quiet place for a holiday and safe for water sports.  The northern end of the Mar Menor has a wetland area that was given Ramsar Convention status in 1994.  The Mar Menor is located at the southern tip of the Costa Blanca and the nearest city is Cartagena, to the south.  Slightly further north is the tourist resort of Torrevieja, which offers the visitor water parks, restaurants and bars and a lively night life.  There are great opportunities to learn to sail as well as kayaking lessons on offer in Mar Menor.  The beaches in the area are flat and sandy, with shallow, smooth water, offering perfect conditions for wind surfing as well as the exciting sport of kite surfing.  Jet ski hire is available and there is a scuba diving centre providing various levels of instruction, from introductory try-dives to advanced courses.  There are several underwater archaeological sites in the area as well as the remains of sunken ships such as the Minerva and Sirio, for divers to investigate.  There is also a good variety of marine life as well as good visibility here.  Water temperature in winter is 12C and in the summer months rises to 30C, making for very pleasant conditions for water sports.  At La Manga there are 11 sailing schools which provide instruction as well as boat hire, as well as 4 marinas providing services for crews and vessels.  At the nearby salt flats at San Pedro del Pinatar, flocks of flamingos and many other migratory birds visit and the surrounding area is a good place for cycling and there are areas where you can cover yourself with theraputic mud – for free!.  For the natural aspects and geology of the Mar Menor you can read this Report: EUROSION Mar Menor and more about Europe’s Lagoons at http://lagoons.web.ua.pt/.

Browse this website for up to date information on SAMM Social Events in and around the Mar Menor area.  We also give information on the various sailing activities, competitions and events taking place throughout the year – you can also visit ‘Murcia Today‘ for more Murcia information – all in English.  Here we include News relating to SAMM Group activities and how to get involved, as well as detailed information on all the ports in the Iberian peninsula.  There is also an extensive list of Links relating to places of interest, nature, airport information, culture and history, and it lists many websites with information for those people wishing to relocate to the area.  The 2 nearest airports to Mar Menor are Alicante airport and Murcia San Javier airport.  Murcia San Javier is slightly closer, although Alicante airport is around 1 hour’s drive away and the future, now completed but not operational, Corvera Airport is 40 k m away towards Murcia City.  Alicante and Murcia airports have services from most of the major UK airports up until the possible changeover to Corvera Airport, possibly sometime in 2016.  Accommodation is plentiful and varied in Mar Menor with many homes to rent and good hotels from 2* to 4*.  There are some elegant boutique hotels in the area, as well as large private villas with pools, to rent.  In addition, self catering studios and apartments and houses are readily available through the many individual and company websites, dealing with accommodation in the beautiful Mar Menor area.  If you already live here and need information useful for expats or want to find out about forthcoming events go to http://costacalida.angloinfo.com/ or http://costablanca.angloinfo.com/ depending on which Costa you live or are visiting.  If you want local Murcia News in English, go to “murcia today.com