I took a catamaran cruise in the area known as La Manga del Menor, (the sleeve of the little sea),which is situated in the south-east part of the Costa Blanca, or to more precise, situated on the Costa Calida.
I can see the distant La Manga rocky outcrops from my apartment in Cabo Roig, near Torrevieja, Costa Blanca. The strip is 22 km long, averaging 100 metres wide, and separates the Mediterranean Sea from the lagoon called Mar Menor (minor sea, or little sea). One of the high outcrops reminds me of the Sugar Loaf mountain, north-west of Abergavenny, South Wales.
The coach tour operator only has coach tours to La Manga market, or the catamaran cruise, on every Sunday throughout August. When we arrived at La Manga, mainly consisting of high-rise apartments, we dropped eleven people off at the market then proceeded approximately two miles to arrive at the port.
There were ominous black clouds when we arrived, and soon we faced a Spanish deluge. The streets in Spain seldom have drains, and quickly the streets were like rivers
All of us sought shelter in the nearest bar for a snack, for our catamaran didn't set off until 1 p.m. When it had finished raining 'cats and dogs' (llover a canteros – literally, 'to rain a large pitcher') it was time to make out way to the port to catch our boat, called Olé.
There was a great atmosphere on board, assisted by the catchy music and yes, the sun!
I took my snorkel gear to dive in the water, which only reaches 8 metres at its deepest spot, maintaining an average water temperature of 18 degrees. Unfortunately, the constant traffic of boats to the island we anchored off, had disturbed the sandy bottom, and the visibility was nil. I contented myself in swimming in the warm water.
La Manga has beautiful beaches of white sand, marinas, and loads of water sport schools. There is a great selection of bars, cafés, restaurants, where you can watch life going by as you sit and drink a glass of vino, a coffee, or whatever you fancy. There is an impressive marina called the Tomas Maestre Marina. and you can take a boat trip across the Mar Menor or into the Mediterranean. Access is via a narrow channel.
Tomas Maestre Marina
Mar Menor is a favourite for locals living in Murcia, which is 71 kilometres away, (44 miles). Three golf championships are held on La Manga golf courses. The nearest airport is Murcia-San-Javiar. It is located on the north shoreline of the Mar Menor, approximately 38.5 kilometres away (24 miles).