Many of the best beaches in Murcia deserve a second look as a tourist destination, from secluded natural coves to popular beaches with hip bars and restaurants.
Spain is a fantastic destination weather-wise. In warmer years, hitting the beach as early as March is sometimes a possibility – although such sunbathers are usually tourists.
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. Those typically influence busier-than-usual activity on the beaches. By the time summer holidays start, many of Spain’s beaches look pretty full.
The Costa Blanca is a popular choice for the majority of visitors, but what about the neighboring areas? Just because you may not have heard of a town or resort, doesn’t mean Murcia’s beaches are not as stunning. In fact, if you’re looking for hidden coves, and a certain magic in the air, these beaches might be just what you need.
The region is probably not the first place that you would think of when deciding to spend a day at the beach. That’s just because you haven’t discovered the best beaches in Murcia.
Playa de Poniente – Águilas
This urban beach is one of the most popular in the region of Murcia. It has a great number of services and is particularly popular with families who visit the tourist resort of Águilas. For most of the year, parking is not a problem; there are lots of residential roads surrounding the beach to leave your car. However, July and August can be a problem, as it will seem that the whole of the country has arrived. The beach is just over 1km in length and some 40m wide in most parts. The sand is fine and golden, although there are a few areas with loose stones. The Poniente beach, which allows you to enter the water gradually, sits between the Casica Verde and the La Colonia breakwater.
Percheles – Mazarrón
Percheles Beach in Murcia is a much quieter and peaceful location with plenty going for it despite its lack of services. It’s one of the few virgin expanses left in the area, full of palm trees and sand dunes. There are no high-rise hotels lining the seafront or gaudy bars and restaurants. In fact, the only things that you can see around you are sea, sand, and blue sky. The golden sand is very fine and the sea is generally calm. Percheles Beach is actually a fan-shaped cove and measures just under 300m long and 84m wide. This is a great place to relax, unwind, and forget about your busy life elsewhere.
Playa de las Palmeras
This beach is located in the area of Los Alcázares. It’s approximately 1km long and 30m wide. It is within an urban area, which means there are houses just behind the beach. The beach is pretty full in the summer. Visitors have a wide selection of services, such as showers, sunbed hire, bars, and restaurants. The sand is very fine but it is grey in color and not golden.
Cala Cortina – Cartagena
This is a stunning little horseshoe-shaped cove that gets busy with the locals at the height of the summer. The sandy beach sits amidst rocks, which makes it a great area for snorkeling. To access the beach, you pass through a tunnel at the Puerto de Santa Lucía. There are a good number of services including a children’s play area and an excellent bar and restaurant with some of the best seafood dishes in Spain.
La Azohía – Cartagena
This is also one of Murcia’s urban beaches and is busy during the summer months. Yet the village of La Azohía on the Costa Cálida still has an enchanting fishing village quality. The beach itself is only 800m long and 8m wide, but it’s an idyllic setting. When contemplating its palm tree zones, you could easily be transported to somewhere in the Caribbean instead. And just like in tropical climes, the water here in La Azohía is also crystal-clear and warm. This beach also provides visitors with numerous services and is therefore popular with families with young children.
La Carolina – Águilas
The Playa de la Carolina, or de los Ingleses as some call it, is an extraordinary beach. It is actually a Protected Area of Natural Landscape, and from the sand you can see the city of Águilas and its castle. The surrounding rocks and dunes provide a natural barrier from the wind, which means that this beach is quite pleasant on a windy day. The water is very warm here and entering it during the summer is like taking a warm bath. There is a bar there and a restaurant, but very little else. Nevertheless, this is still one of the prettiest small beaches on this stretch of Murcia.
Playa de Paraíso – Cartagena
The Playa de Paraíso is a beautiful stretch of golden, fine sandy beach, with clean water that only gets deep after about 100m. It is on the Mar Menor, an area of warm salty water with healing properties. Close to the salt lakes, this beach and the water around apparently help those suffering from arthritic joints, inflammation, and poor skin. This beach is excellent for families and offers a host of services, including plenty of watersports activities and places to eat and drink.
Las Mulas – Cartagena
The best word to describe this beach, accessibly through the Natural Park of Calblanque, or by sea, is wild. Black rocks surround the 200m fine sandy beach and the vegetation is similar to that of a desert. This is a great location for diving or snorkeling because of the rocky areas. It’s also one of the beaches in Murcia that doesn’t get overly full in the summer.
Cala de los Cocederos del Hornillo – Águilas
This spectacular little cove is only 150m long with 25m of golden sand. The water is bright turquoise and very shallow. Cala de los Cocederos is quite remote. While the beach isn’t overcrowded, people take the trouble to drive down the dusty lane to the car park just 50m from the sand. The area is sheltered from the wind and the waves, making it peaceful and calm. What’s exciting about this place is that the surrounding rocks are all full of natural caves that used to be inhabited during the summer or used as shelter from the weather by fishermen. Nearby there are other coves and beaches in Murcia, some of which are much larger; Cala de los Cocederos just has that extra something special. Despite the fact that it is remote, there is a bar nearby and a few other services.
Calblanque – Cartagena
This beach is a few kilometers south of the built-up resorts of the Mar Menor. In comparison, the two areas couldn’t be more different. Calblanque is part of the Regional Park of Calblanque and is now a protected area after residents fought hard over the years to make it so. Nowadays, the number of visitors is limited; you either have to get there early, or late, or head down to the beach without a car. However, once you arrive you will see that this is one of the most unspoiled parts of the coast. The beach is surrounded by hills and impressive rock formations, great for exploring. The sea is also a popular choice for scuba divers and snorkellers. If you are looking for a haven of tranquillity, Calblanque is definitely the place to go.