Wonderfully calm, warm waters; year-round sunshine; affordable property; easy access from the UK: just some of the reasons property buyers love the Mar Menor. This sunkissed region lies in the south of Spain, between Alicante and Cartagena, and consists of a beautiful sea, separated from the Mediterranean by a narrow strip of land known as La Manga. Around the ‘Mar’, you’ll find plenty of popular tourist villages, with some fantastic homes for sale. Here are some of our favourites.
Los Alcázares is a former fishing village sitting right on the Mar Menor, with several of its own beaches, including Los Narejos, Las Salinas and the protected natural habitat of La Hita. Although the population has a high number of overseas inhabitants, the village maintains many colourful local traditions, such as the Incursiones Berberiscas, which re-enact the invasions of the so-called Barbary Pirates. For anyone looking to keep active, this is a great location: you have many bike and walking paths and over thirty golf courses within an hour’s drive, including La Serena just on your doorstep. The urbanisations surrounding the town and on the golf resorts offer swish modern apartments and villas, while the central old town has a more Spanish feel. Los Narejos has more of a year-round population, mainly living in duplexes and townhouses.
Santiago de la Ribera
Santiago de la Ribera offers the tranquility of small-town living, focused around its promenade and sandy beaches facing onto the Mar Menor, with all the conveniences of being close to a larger town, in this case San Javier. Another plus for families with children is being a fifteen-minute drive from King’s College, which follows the British curriculum. Towards the Avenida Mar Menor and, in the opposite direction, La Ribera, you’ll find plenty of spacious, detached homes in a traditional Spanish style, with townhouses more predominant towards Playa el Castillico.
San Pedro del Pinatar/Los Cuarteros
At the very northern end of the Mar Menor, San Pedro del Pinatar benefits from easy access to both the beaches of the Mar Menor and the watersporting Mediterranean beaches of la Torre, Llana and El Mojón. With just 25 minutes to the very Spanish city of Cartagena by car, it’s an ideal place for anyone looking to enjoy the beachside lifestyle but who also wants to perhaps find employment or just enjoys the bustle of the city.
Los Nietos and its neighbour Mar de Cristal are small villages with quite a Spanish feel, despite a long-term British presence. They’re located towards the south of La Manga, and, unusually, Los Nietos benefits from its own train station, with just a 26-minute journey to Cartagena, approximately the same as by car. For boating fans, there’s a yacht club and marina, as well as a sailing school, and you’ve got plenty of beaches within easy reach. The village celebrates two fiestas, of which the largest is August 2nd, and fishermen also offer free BBQ fish for a few days in July to celebrate Los Nietos’ heritage as a fishing port.
Possibly the most famous part of this region, La Manga del Mar Menor is the narrow strip of land that separates the inland sea from the Mediterranean. It has beautiful sandy beaches and bars, restaurants and cafés aplenty. Although parts of it are designated as protected areas, much of La Manga is heavily developed – it’s ideal for anyone looking to be at the heart of a bustling community, especially in summer, and to have the unique position of having sea a few steps away in both directions, but perhaps not if you’re looking for a small, traditional village. Properties here are a mixture of high-rise apartments and dense villas.
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