Road Trip Adventures 1
White Coast of Murcia
This is the first in a new series of Adventure Ideas posts on great family road trips in Europe, brought to you with support from Avis Car Hire. If you’re looking for ideas for a mini road trip, how about this five stop itinerary exploring the salty White Coast of Murcia in South East Spain?
Flamingos and flamenco in Murcia
Where can you soak in a salt spa, flirt with a flamingo, click with Flamenco and roam with the Romans? In the Spanish region of Murcia in South East Spain. You can pick up a hire car at San Javier, an airport on the shore of the Mediterranean lagoon Mar Menor (the Minor Sea), which gives you an immediate taste of what’s to come at the first stop of this mini road trip…..
1 Torrevieja: the salt city
It’s a fairly short blast North on the motorway to Torrevieja, a city surrounded by huge salt lakes. A century ago it was all about the saline, and you can sprinkle your stay with quirky treats including a visit to a little museum that explores the history of the stuff in the Salinas de Torrevieja, or a spa experience in one of the lagoons. While salt underpins the past of this Spanish city, tourism and fishing provide its present day livelihood. You’ll find both at the marina where you can have a bite to eat in one of the harbourside restaurants. And you can be sure you won’t have any trouble getting someone to pass you the salt! Salt is also one of the staples of…
2 San Pedro: the flamingo flats
The Natural Park San Pedro del Pinatar (Saint Peter of the Pine Woods) sits between the Med and the lagoon Mar Menor. Salt is ever present in the flats that form the most important wetlands of the region. But it’ll likely be the flamingos that’ll catch your eye if you arrive in late summer as they pause to bask in the Spanish sunshine before flying on. The pink parade may even line your route as you leave, and head on to….
3 La Manga: the sandy spit
Not unlike a flamingo’s bent leg, La Manga is a sandbar stretching for 22km. This seaside spit separates the Mar Menor (a huge salt lake) from the Mediterranean Sea. You won’t be surprised to learn that there’s no shortage of dunes here, and the seafood is good too. Try it in the paella, or sample the vegetarian paella that’s a specialty of the region, and then hop back in the car to head for…
4 La Union: the flamenco capital
La Union; the flamenco centre of the universe. The Cante de las Minas Festival is famous across Spain and you can catch the competitions for music and dance in early August each year in the old Public Market. There’s also exhibitions, wine tastings and guitar lessons if you’re especially keen. Well, when in Spain, do as the locals do. But it’s not all about being Spanish on The White Coast. Not if you head onto…
5 Cartagena: the Roman ruins
Spanish Roman ruins? Yes, Cartagena is famous for them. Its heyday was in the Roman Empire; check out the incredible Roman Theatre of Cartagena and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Archeologically speaking these are new ruins, only really discovered and uncovered in 1990’s. But the Romans are only part of the city’s rich cultural heritage. Cartegena may be a fine Roman heritage site, but it’s also a fairytale place of cobbled streets, unique cafes and impressive churches. Take a stroll through its picturesque streets or swap your car for a horse drawn carriage to take in the sights and sounds. What better way to end a mini road trip?
Have you been to Murcia Cartagena? Got an idea or suggestion for a place to eat or visit, something interesting to see or do? Why not share it with us as a comment.
Disclosure Note: This post was brought to you thanks to the support of Avis Car Hire.