The Costa Calida (literally translated ‘warm coast’) is located in the south of the Costa Blanca. That is in the north of the Costa de Almeria, in the Murcia region. Its main city is Cartagena, which also happens to have the region’s busiest harbour.
On Spain’s Warm Coast
The coastline of the Costa Cálida can be divided into 2 parts: on the one hand the long stretch of the sand beach on the east side, whereas rock and stone formations can be found on the south side. The beaches on Mar Menor are all sandy beaches, with no tides, large waves or currents. One interesting fact: the beach runs so slowly that the first 50 meters from the beach the depth is only 1-1.5 meters, which is also suitable for children, elderly and disabled people for which there are also equipment’s to easily enjoy the water. Apart from this, are the beaches being guarded by lifeguards in high season to increase your safety.
What is unique about Costa Cálida
Costa Cálida is in Spanish terms a special phenomenon: You can choose between going for a swim in the azure blue or the Mediterranean Sea, or the crystal-clear waters of Mar Menor. This stretches about 170 km² with a coast of 70 km in total. Here, the water temperature is always 4 or 5 degrees warmer than in the Mediterranean one, due to it being closed in with land and its maximum depth of 7 metres. Therefore, is Mar Menor perfect for lots of different kinds of water sports.
Cartagena was founded in the 3rd century BC by Hasdrubal the Fair. During founding times, 5 fortresses were built on the surrounding hilltops. Four of these have been renovated, one left in its original state. One of Spain’s oldest structures, an amphitheater, was discovered here in 1987. The city’s central point is the great Plaza Espana, a park within a large roundabout. In the city of Murcia you’ll find the Trapeia, an ancient street leading to the cathedral that took almost 500 years to build. The university of Murcia is an historic cloister with marble pillars. Near Murcia is the Santuario de la Fuensanta, a holy site ringed by lemon trees. To find unspoiled beaches and bays you have to go towards Mazzarón, which is a harbour city with a burgeoning economy based on mineral-rich mountains. Many bays there have pebble beaches, this ensures the crystal clear water which is ideal for snorkelers and divers. Altogether, there are 90 shipwrecks to be found along the coast of Costa Cálida, most of which lie at the foot of Cartagena.
Since this region of Spain is not overrun by tourists, the prices are lower than along other coasts. And this is not only the case for second-hand properties, but also cafes and restaurants in this area. Furthermore, the entire coastal region has a ban on high-rises (except for La Manga, which is the thin strip of land that separates Mar Menor from the Mediterranean Sea). But also, other aspects are special. For example, the 13 golf resorts in Murcia, which certainly are a paradise for every golfer!
- Temperature: The average winter temperature is around 16ºC. Spring and autumn temperatures are around 20ºC. During summertime the average rises to about 31ºC.
- Time difference: There is a time difference of one hour compared to the UK (GMT+2h).
- Language: The formal language is Spanish, however, you can use English and/or German almost everywhere and sometimes even Dutch. To enter Spain you need a valid passport or ID.
- Wintering: The most popular area in Spain to winter is the Costa Blanca. But south of the Costa Blanca is the Costa Cálida. The Costa Cálida has 2 types of climates, namely the steppe climate and Mediterranean climate and therefore has a unique and versatile nature. From beautiful bays to tourist beaches, it is a versatile coast of almost 250 kilometers. The interior is sloping, from barren plains to wooded valleys. Add to that the cheap life on the Costa Cálida and you have the perfect location to spend the winter here. The Costa Cálida has its own culture, real Spanish restaurants and nice shops, in short too much to mention. During your stay, a visit to the Sierra Nevada is definitely worth it.
- Shopping and Parties: In every village the basic needs are covered; there is always a supermarket, bar, restaurant and pharmacy nearby. There are more than 100 such festivities in the Murcia region during one year. So it is clear that Spaniards love to party. There are numerous small parties all year round, but the highlight of this is in the summer. A tradition at Spanish festivities is that they always end with a fireworks show. The largest regional festival is the Carthagineses y Romanos festival in Cartagena, which takes place during the last 2 weeks of September each year. During these 2 weeks, the name of the city is renamed Carthage. Every evening thousands of Cartagens in Roman costumes pass through the city.
- Cities: There are 3 major shopping centers in San Javier, Cartagena and La Zenia. Larger shopping cities in the region are Cartagena, San Javier and Mazarrón. Each village has its own weekly (sometimes even daily) markets, where numerous stalls sell a wide range of items. Think of vegetables, fruit, clothing, food, toys and much more.
- Border formalitities: A valid passport or ID
- Webcam: Playa de la Zenia