Spain is a great destination weather-wise and in warmer years hitting the beach as early as March is sometimes a possibility.

While parts of Spain in the north might be hit by snow, deluges of rain and strong winds, other areas, mainly in the southern half of the peninsula, can be basked in glorious sunshine and unnaturally high temperatures – which typically influences busier-than-usual activity on the beaches. By the time summer holidays start, many of Spain’s beaches look pretty full.

The Region of Murcia, where Cartagena is located, offers a lot of beautiful Mediterranean sandy beaches which stretch for several kilometers, intimate craggy coves, beaches within the natural protected park of Calblanque, diving beaches on the fringe of the Islas Menores marine park, and much more.

Cala Cortina

Cala Cortina is the nearest beach to the urban center of Cartagena. It’s a stunning little horseshoe-shaped cove that gets busy with the locals at the height of the summer, despite the fact that it is fairly isolated and out of the way. The sandy beach is surrounded by rocks, which makes it a great area for snorkelling. To gain access to it you have to pass through a tunnel located at the Puerto de Santa Lucía. There are a good number of services including an excellent bar and restaurant that prepares some of the best fresh seafood dishes in the area.

Playa de La Azohía

This is also an urban beach and is busy during the summer months, but the little village of La Azohía on the Costa Cálida has retained its enchantment as a tiny fishing village sitting in an area of beautiful natural surroundings. The beach itself is only 800 meters long and 8 meters wide, yet it is an idyllic setting, and when contemplating its palm tree zones you could easily be transported to somewhere in the Caribbean instead. And just like in tropical climates, the water here in La Azohía is also crystal-clear and warm. This beach also provides visitors with numerous services.

Cala Las Mulas
The best words to describe this beach, which is accessed after a fairly lengthy walk through the Natural Park of Calblanque, or by sea, are ‘wild’ and ‘uncultivated’. Black rocks surround the 200 meters fine sandy beach and the vegetation is similar to that which you’d see in a desert. This is a great location for diving or snorkelling because of the rocky areas, and this is one of the beaches that doesn’t get overpopulated in the summer.

Playa de Paraíso
The Playa de Paraíso, or Paradise Beach in English, is a beautiful stretch of golden, fine sandy beach, with clean water that only gets deep after about 100 meters. It is located on the Mar Menor, an area of warm salty water known for its healing properties. Mar Menor is Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon that covers an area of nearly 170 square meters. Located close to the salt lakes, this beach and the water around it is said to help those suffering from arthritic joints, inflammation and poor skin. This beach is an excellent choice if you want to have fun because it offers a whole host of varied services including plenty of water-sports activities and places to eat and drink.

Playa de Calblanque

Calblanque is one of the most favored beaches around. It is located a few kilometers south of the built-up resorts of the Mar Menor, and in comparison the two areas couldn’t be more different. Calblanque is part of the Regional Park of Calblanque and is a protected area. The number of visitors is limited, so you either have to get there early, or late. You can head down to the beach by bike or on foot, if you like walking. Once you arrive you will see that this is one of the most natural and unspoilt parts of the coast and well worth the walking. The beach is surrounded by hills and impressive rock formations, which is great for exploring, and the sea is often a popular choice for scuba divers and snorkelers. If you are looking for a haven of peace, tranquillity and beautiful surroundings, Calblanque is definitely the place to go.

A friend of mine told me about her experiences here at the UPCT: nice weather, delicious food, new friends and places I’ve never been to. That’s why I’ve chosen Cartagena.

Linas Taraskevicius, Vilnius (Lithuania)