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, and in warmer years hitting the beach as early as March is sometimes a possibility – although such sunbathers and swimmers are most likely tourists from colder climates.
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 – which typically influences 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 its beaches are not as stunning. In fact, if you’re looking for plenty of nature, hidden coves and a certain magic in the air, the beaches on the following list might be just what you are looking for.
The region is probably not the first place that you would think of when deciding to spend a day at the beach, but that’s 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 favored by families who visit the tourist resort of Águilas. For the majority of the year parking is not a problem, as 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 mainly fine and golden, although there are a few areas where the ground is made up of loose stones. The Poniente beach, which allows you to enter the water gradually, sits between the Casica Verde beach and the La Colonia breakwater.
Percheles – Mazarrón
Percheles Beach is a much quieter and peaceful location with plenty going for it despite its lack of services compared to the other beaches. It is one of the few virgin expanses left in the area and is surrounded by palm trees, sand dunes, rocks and grassy vegetation. 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 located within an urban area, which means that houses and apartments are found just behind the beach leading to the town. The beach is pretty crowded in the summer and 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, despite the fact that it is fairly isolated and out of the way. The sandy beach is surrounded by rocks, which makes it a great area for snorkeling, and, to gain access to it, you have to pass through a tunnel located 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 that prepares some of the best fresh seafood dishes in the area.
La Azohía – Cartagena
This is also an urban beach and is busy during the summer months, but the little village of La Azohía on the Costa Cálida has retained its enchantment as a tiny fishing village sitting in an area of beautiful natural surroundings. The beach itself is only 800m long and 8m wide, yet it is an idyllic setting, and 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 it is sometimes referred to, is an extraordinary beach on so many levels. It has been designated as a Protected Area of Natural Landscape, and from the sand you can see the city of Águilas, which sits 5km south, and its castle. The surrounding rocks and dunes provide a natural barrier from the wind, which means that this beach is often much more pleasant than many others on a not-so-nice and 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 coast.
Playa de Paraíso – Cartagena
The Playa de Paraíso, or Paradise Beach in English, is a beautiful stretch of golden, fine sandy beach, with clean water that only gets deep after about 100m. It is located on the Mar Menor, an area of warm salty water known for its healing properties. Located close to the salt lakes, this beach and the water around it is also said to help those suffering from arthritic joints, inflammation and poor skin. This beach is excellent for families and offers a whole host of varied services including plenty of watersports activities and places to eat and drink.
Las Mulas – Cartagena
The best words to describe this beach, which is accessed after a fairly lengthy walk through the Natural Park of Calblanque, or by sea, are ‘wild’ and ‘uncultivated’. Black rocks surround the 200m fine sandy beach and the vegetation is similar to that which you’d see in a desert. This is a great location for diving or snorkelling because of the rocky areas, and this is one of the beaches that doesn’t get overpopulated in the summer.
Cala de los Cocederos del Hornillo – Águilas
This spectacular little cove shaped like a shell is only 150m long with 25m of fine, golden sand. The water is bright turquoise in colour and very shallow. Cala de los Cocederos is very isolated and out of the way, yet while the beach isn’t overcrowded by any stretch of the mind, people will take the trouble to drive down the dusty lane to the car park situated just 50m from the sand. The area is very sheltered from the wind and the waves, making it very peaceful and calm to come here for a few hours. 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, some of which are much larger, but Cala de los Cocederos just has that extra something special. Despite the fact that it is isolated, there is a bar nearby and a few other services.
Calblanque – Cartagena
Anyone that knows this area of Murcia will have heard of this practically virgin beach. They will also know that it is one of the most favoured beaches around. It is located a few kilometres south of the built-up resorts of the Mar Menor, and 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, so you either have to get there early, or late, or head down to the beach by bike or on foot, which is quite a trek but great if you like walking. However, once you arrive you will see that this is one of the most natural and unspoilt parts of the coast and well worth the trek down. The beach is surrounded by hills and impressive rock formations, great for exploring, and the sea is often a popular choice for scuba divers and snorkellers. If you are looking for a haven of peace, tranquillity and beautiful surroundings, Calblanque is definitely the place to go.