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12 Best Things to Do in La Manga

12 Best Things to Do in La Manga

There are endless things to do in La Manga, Spain to help you enjoy a wonderful trip.

La Manga is a coastal paradise, splitting the Mediterranean Sea and the Mar Menor Lagoon. The thin strip, which is 21km (13 miles) long, averages a width of a mere 100 meters (330ft). What lies within (and on either side) makes it a destination for Spaniards and international travelers alike.

Completely different from the beaches in Malaga or the towns in Costa Brava. La Manga is laid back, but bustling. The beaches are stunning and the waters are calm. It is a paradise for beach lovers.

Days here can be spent on La Manga’s many beaches, each with its own golden sands and tranquil waters. They create a supreme base for on-water adventures from kayaking to windsurfing. The gems below the surface, however, have created one of Europe’s best diving destinations.

Come nightfall, markets open up, bars turn their lights down slightly and the clubs prepare to bring you into the early hours.

How to Get to La Manga

With La Manga’s location along a thin strip of land, you won’t be shocked that getting here requires several steps. The nearest airport, Corvera Airport Murcia (RMU) is around 60km (37 miles) away and is the main port of arrival for those coming from overseas.

Those arriving here can choose to rent a car (our recommendation) and enjoy a 45-minute drive to La Manga. Travelers can also take a taxi (around €55 for four passengers).

La Manga has a bus station which receives regular arrivals from Cartagena and Murcia. ALSA and Bilman Bus are two options to take from either city.

You can take a train into the Murcia region. However, the nearest train station to La Manga is around 33km (20 miles) away in Cartagena. From there, you can rent a car, take a cab, or jump on a bus.

Getting Around La Manga

The best and most convenient way to get around La Manga is with a rental car. We recommend doing this as far in advance as possible as the airport is smaller than other international airports in Spain. At 21km long (13 miles) and with some great nearby day trips, a car will go a long way.

You check out our tips for driving in Spain if it’s your first time. It will help settle any nerves you may have about driving in a different country. Or simply check out the best prices for rental cars on Discover Cars.

If you prefer to forgo the hire car, you can make use of the local bus network. This runs the entire length of the strip, beginning in the south at Cabo de Palos and running as far north as Veneziola.

The main route sticks to the busier southern end of La Manga, with services every 30 minutes. Every 2 hours, a bus completes the entire journey from Cabo de Palos to Veneciola.

Bicycle hire is another common way to get around La Manga. Travelers looking to complete shorter journeys and beach hop with find plenty of places to hire along the Strip.

small island in the distance at the beach with flat foaming waves hitting the shore.

There are so many amazing beaches in La Manga which is why most people come here for a relaxed beach holiday.

Where to Stay in La Manga

La Manga is built around tourism and there is a seemingly endless array of accommodation. In fact, much of the La Manga Strip consists of hotels, villas, resorts, and apartments.

We recommend staying towards the southern end of the Strip, either around Alcazaba Zoco or Cape Palos. This puts you in great proximity to some of the best things to do in La Manga, plus public transport and also to complete any nearby day trips.

Here are some of our hotel picks for any budget.

The Konk Hostel, in La Manga’s southern end, is great for those traveling on a budget. But don’t expect a stingy hostel. A quick walk from the beach, this hostel offers modern amenities paired with a great social scene so you can meet fellow travelers. Konk Hostel also runs yoga classes and offers bike rentals.

Another great budget option is the SubUp Hostel. Just 300m (330 yards) from the ivory sands of Amoladeras Beach, guests will find cozy accommodations paired with a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and even complimentary bikes to get around. The best part is its rooftop terrace, a great hangout spot as the sun goes down. Book a stay at SubUp Hostel here.

Travelers wanting some more creature comforts should look toward the mid-range Poseidon La Manga Hotel & Spa. Steps from the beach, your upscale rooms offer far-reaching views. The spa center is perfect after a day of adventures, many of which can be arranged through the hotel. Book a stay at Poseidon here.

Looking out over the Mediterranean Sea, Hotel Servigroup Galua has amazing views. Enjoy a buffet breakfast to kick start each day, before wandering down to the pool, or the beach itself. The onsite wellness center boasts a fitness area, sauna, hot tub, and Turkish bath. While the bar is the perfect spot to toast to another great day. Book a stay at Servigroup Galua here.

For a splash of luxury, one can’t pass up a stay at Grand Hyatt La Manga Club. The focal point of a sprawling, beautiful complex, guests will sit in the lap of opulence as they kick back on their private balcony or choose between one of three golf courses. Upscale dining provides culinary excellence, and the pool gives La Manga’s beaches a run for their money. Book a stay at the Grand Hyatt here.

A stunning alternative to the La Manga Club is Ona Mar Menor Golf & Spa. Days on the course and on the beach are matched by the relaxation of the hotel’s spa treatments. Mediterranean cuisine is whipped up at the onsite Nomad restaurant and your private balcony provides beautiful resort views. Book a stay at Ona Mar Menor here.

cliffside view with steep cliffs on the right and the sea to the left far below in la manga spain.

La Manga and the whole Cartagena coastal region is rugged and beautiful and well worth exploring.

15 Things to Do in La Manga

These are some of the absolute best things to do in La Manga, Spain. Whether you want adventure, leisure, or to find the best local beach spots, there is a little bit of something for everyone in La Manga attractions.

1. Wander Plaza Bohemia

The La Manga Strip is over 20 kilometers long. So it certainly helps to hone in on one area to get your shopping fix in and even enjoy a night on the town.

At the height of summer, this is the place to be in La Manga. That is when you aren’t lazing on the beach on either side of the Strip. The revitalized Plaza Bohemia has great shopping, with worldwide brands. But it’s the arts and crafts market that runs every night through summer that provides the area with a great atmosphere.

Market browsing as the sun goes down inevitably turns into dinner. Dinner turns into drinks and you’ll be happy to know those chic cocktail bars and happening clubs lie just around the corner.

2. Scuba Dive

The Mediterranean Sea’s crystal clear waters provide the perfect scene for a scuba dive here in La Manga. Whether you’re looking to get your PADI, or you already have your certificate, the rewards beneath the surface are quickly apparent.

The water beyond the lagoon just off the coast of Cabo de Palos offers some of the most biodiverse diving in Europe. With great clarity, you can explore to incredible depth as you appreciate sheer 40m cliff walls, take in the colorful corals, and count the endless exotic fish.

Barracudas, morays, swordfish, and octopus join in for the ride as you check out some of the 50-plus ships that have sunk in the surrounding waters. Many from the 1st and 2nd World Wars.

Scuba Murcia is one of the most professional outfitters in the area. They have top-quality equipment, experienced dive instructors, and both PADI and TDI courses available.

coastline in the distance with dry arid mountains in the foreground.

There is a lot to love about this region of Murcia, but the coastline has to be my personal favorite.

3. Go for a Kayak

We don’t blame you if you prefer to keep your head above water. The lagoon on La Manga’s western side makes for the perfect kayak spot for all abilities.

Mar Menor is Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon and the calm waters create a relaxing playground.

Whether solo or with a partner, you can enjoy a unique perspective of La Manga’s beautiful scenery. The serenity of the lagoon, aided by the calm presence of anchored yachts and small fish skirting around soothes the tiring arms and helps to explore even further.

If you want to take your adventure up a notch, grab a set of snorkeling gear and see more of what lies beneath the surface.

You can rent kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling gear from Adventure Divers & Adventure Center.

4. Relax at Isla del Ciervo Beach

It’s been a busy start to your La Manga experience. Soon you’ll want to see what all the fuss is about the area’s gorgeous beaches. You can do just that with a day of relaxing at Isla del Ciervo Beach.

You may spot this beloved beach from your kayak as it’s found within the lagoon’s boundaries. However, this cozy isle is separate from the streets of La Manga, providing oodles of natural beauty.

Much of its serenity lies in its remoteness. Not so much in distance, but accessibility. One can only arrive here by boat, or time the low tide when you can cross on two feet.

Either way, the northern end provides golden sands and turquoise waters. While the southern offers rejuvenating mud with skin-healing qualities.

trail through a green grassy area.

There are several trails and viewpoints to enjoy around La Manga.

5. Visit Cabo de Palos

One of the gems of the Murcia region, Cabo de Palos, links to Mar Menor and is a place that can quickly steal your heart. The beloved destination among Spaniards is a happening place in the summer. Far removed from its beginnings as a sleepy fishing village.

However, as much as Cabo de Palos has found its way onto the map, its beaches remain wild. At the end of palm-lined streets and lux villas lies a rugged coast with hidden and quaint coves waiting to be explored. Our favorite? Cala Reona, which borders Calblanque Natural Park.

Beyond the beaches is a gastronomic town still linked to its seafaring ways. The dining here is delightful and its boat-filled harbor is a haven for those who love fresh catch.

You can’t go too far wrong at Restaurante Miramar or the more casual but equally delicious El Mosqui.

6. Enjoy the sunset by the Estacio Lighthouse

A soaring black and white tower, with a 6th-order light beam, marks the end of the channel connecting Mar Menor to the glistening Mediterranean Sea. The lighthouse is the modern iteration of a long line of defense towers that have stood in this place since as far back as the 1500s.

The 29m (95ft) Estacio Lighthouse is more than just a beacon for seafarers, but a beaming sight for all who visit. Through the day it welcomes those wandering the edges of the canal. The lighthouse’s spot on the end of the breakwater provides marvelous views back toward La Manga, the lagoon, and across to Isla Grosa.

However, it’s when the sun starts to fall that the real show begins. A candy-colored sky combines with the presence of the Estacio Lighthouse to create one of the best sunsets in La Manga.

7. Explore Veneziola

North of La Manga lies one of the region’s most peculiar destinations. Veneziola, reminiscent of its namesake Venice, the town harbors a small, but eloquent network of canals.

In the center lies a large islet that is enveloped by a circulating canal. After crossing a bridge, the road spreads like a “Y” leading you to various sections of sand from which to enjoy the views.

More than the canals, Veneziola is known for its iconic bridge, Puente de la Risa. Inspired again by Venice, the arched bridge rises at an incredibly steep angle. So much so that even a little speed could provide your vehicle with some air on its descent. Or, in a car with little clearance, you may simply get stuck.

main road with tall hotels in the background and palm trees in the foreground.

La Manga is a busy and built up part of Spain, but that means plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from.

8. See the History of Cartagena

Just half an hour away, Cartagena is an easy day trip from La Manga. After some time on the water and enjoying the scenery, mix things up a bit by exploring the historic heart of Murcia.

With over 3,000 years of recorded history, there is so much to discover in Cartagena. But so much also remains hidden. The best example includes the relatively recent discovery of the Roman Theatre of Cartagena. With the adjacent museum only opened 15 years ago, you can take a journey back to 5BC.

Spanish charm and culinary excellence are infused into Cartagena alongside its storied past. A day of exploring excavations, dining on tapas, and wandering old streets provides a memorable balance to your time in La Manga.

historical building made of stone with mountains in the background.

There is a lot to explore in nearby Cartagena. You may want to spend a few days there exploring and then finish your trip relaxing on the beaches of La Manga.

9. Sunbathe at Cala del Pino

An alcove in an area renowned for its long, golden beaches, Cala del Pino, is unique. Rather than Mediterranean views as far as the eye can see, this beach is a mere 150 meters long (492ft), looking out into the saltwater lagoon.

So why do we love it? Tucked away in La Manga, Cala del Pino is flanked by pine trees and a rising hillside. Its soft ivory sands lead to relaxing, calm waters, creating a scene of opulent relaxation.

It’s idyllic but great for travelers. The on-site chiringuito beach bar serves up zesty drinks and snacks. While the summertime lifeguards make it a safe place for the whole family to swim.

10. Discover the Calblanque Natural Park

Neighbor to the charming Cabo de Palos, Calblanque Natural Park, spans almost 2,000 hectares. Wild salt flats and marshes lead to ancient fossil dunes flanked by rugged cliffs.

The opulence of the Mediterranean is left behind for a protected area that is rugged, exciting, and harsh. There is much beauty in this. Here you’ll find nature trails and cycling paths guiding you to the park’s far reaches.

Removed from the coastal developments of La Manga, an unspoiled world presents a wide range of bird life. Flamingos call the park home, as well as egrets, falcons, and eagles. They’re joined by smaller predators such as foxes, while reptiles can be spotted soaking in the Spanish sun.

mountains in the background with the photo taken from a distance above the water in la manga spain.

Explore the islands and beaches around La Manga to get away from the crowds, especially if you are visiting during the summer months.

11. Trek to the summit of Monte Blanco

When you hear the word “trek”, your mind immediately jumps to towering peaks and long jaunts into the wild. Well, La Manga is a different type of destination. There are some great hikes along the coast and through the Natural Park. But to reach a summit here, head up to Monte Blanco.

This “mountain” is a mere 46 meters tall (150ft). So it barely scrapes over the Estacio Lighthouse.

With that said, you can climb up this diminutive volcanic outcrop for some excellent views. Come for sunrise and gaze east as the world fills once more with bright colors. Find the location of the peak here.

12. Book a Tee Time

There are five golf courses in La Manga, with the great game providing as much a reason to travel here as the beaches themselves. Those who love to play will quickly find themselves at home here.

With 300 days of sunshine a year and as one of the warmest places in Spain in winter, you’ll feel good about getting through a round without the threat of rain. The question then becomes, which course should I choose?

The Roda Golf Course is the highest rated and is a part of the namesake beach resort. The course is great for beginners while being challenging enough for advanced players teeing off from the back tees.

The most common destination for golfers, however, is La Manga Club. Home to three courses, one of which is rated in Europe’s top 100, there’s a round for all skill levels.