Nature, sport, culture, history
The zone of Santiago de la Rivera and its surroundings has a desirable environment. There are wonderful places which can be enjoyed all year long thanks to the weather. The perfect mix of beach and landscapes.
There are several routes where you can hike all over the seashore of the Mar Menor. Furthermore, there are other interesting spots such as the Parque Regional de Calblanque or the Monte de las Cenizas. In this park you can enjoy the mount as well as spectacular, almost unspoilt beaches. You can also visit the Salinas del Rasall, always surrounde by the smell and the sound of the sea.
Some of the most beautiful places are:
- San Pedro del Pinatar, a marine heart with salt lakes and sandy areas.
- La Manga del Mar Menor, with the Europe’s biggest salt water lake.
- Cartagena and its amazing seafloors.
- Orihuela Costa and its blue flag beaches.
San Pedro del Pinatar is a very special place. Located in front of the peaceful waters of the Mar Menor, San Pedro del Pinatar is one of the main tourist destinations of Murcia’s coast. It is a traditional marine and farming core and currently, a town prepared to satisfy tourists.
It has 14 kilometres of coast with several varied beaches, both in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Mar Menor. There are also interesting cultural spots, like the molino de Quintín, one of its architectural symbols.
Furthermore, it also has something unique and special: salt lakes and sandy areas. The salt lakes and sandy areas of San Pedro del Pinatar is a Protected Nature Reserve of Murcia, 5 kilometres away from Santiago de la Ribera. It is a wetland located between the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean Sea. Many birds build their nests there, such as flamingos. A zone that combines, in a sustainable way, the salt mining, the fishing and the tourism.
The place will also allow you to enjoy the therapeutic properties of its muds, specially suitable to treat bone and skin diseases.
The trail “Las Encañizadas” of this zone is highly recommendable. Throughout 12 kilometres you will be able to observe the birds from the observatories, swim on the beach, visit a salt mine and end with an appetiser on the port.
The Manga del Mar Menor is one of Murcia’s most popular zones, 40 kilometres away from Santiago de la Ribera. It is an extended cordon between Cabo de Palos and the Punta del Mojón. It separates the Mar Menor from the Mediterranean Sea. It has very special ecological and natural characteristics that make it a truly unique location. The Mar Menor is Europe’s largest salt water lake. It is considered a Specially Protected Reserve by the United Nations.
Because of its own placement between the two seas, the Manga del Mar Menor is also an ideal place to practice sports related to the art of navigation. There are some sailing and waterskiing schools with regular courses, plus windsurf and catamarans. Those who prefer the strong swell to practise windsurf will also enjoy in this part of the Mediterranean Sea. Besides, all the coast offers a series of optimal and perfectly delimited zones to scuba dive, such as Cabo de Palos and rocky depths next to the Isla Grosa.
In this zone there is also the Estación Náutica del Mar Menor, which offers many nautical, sportive and tourist facilities. The exceptional weather conditions of the place are perfect for the constant practice of sea-related activities.
Cartagena, almost 30 kilometres away from Santiago de la Rivera, is a port city open to the Mediterranean Sea through a bay.
Cartagena’s natural port is delimited by Escombreras Island and the hill of Torrosa. On its entrance, there are several castles and coastal batteries, built between the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Natural Reserve of Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila is a place located in the eastern part of the region, in the south of the Mar Menor. It has 17 different types of habitats. This place was declared Nature Reserve by the Law 4/1992 of Order and Protection of the Land of Murcia, and is also considered Place of Communal Interest.
Furthermore, in the west of Cartagena, there is the Cabezo de Roldán, a steep mountain chain of high ecological, geomorphical and cultural interest. The Natural Reserve of Sierra de la Muela, Cabo Tiñoso and Roldán has been designated ZEPA Reserve of Special Protection because of the peregrine falcons and eagle owls that live there, and it is a LIC Place of Communal Importance of the Red Natura 2000.
The Mount Roldán, given its closeness to Cartagena and its appealing landscape is very frequented by those who hike, cycle, mountain climb and do many other entertaining activities.
On the other hand, Cartagena also holds the Natural Reserve Islas e Islotes del Litoral Mediterráneo. It is formed by 18 islands and islets of the regional coast. It has four types of communal habitats. The importance of some islands of this space has caused its designation as ZEPA Reserve of Special Protection, because of the settlements of marine species that live there. It is also a LIC Place of Communal Importance of the Red Natura 2000.
Its seafloors are very well conserved, which is why it is a very famous location to scuba dive. It holds a very rich and varied flora and fauna. The most highlighted places are the marine reserves of Cabo del Palos and Islas Hormigas or the marine reserve of Cabo Tiñoso with several coral settlements.
15 kilometres away from Santiago de la Ribera is the coast of Orihuela. 16 kilometres with 11 beaches and coves of fine sand. Its beaches are very well preserved and they have a blue flag that proves it. In fact, it has the biggest number of distinctions per kilometre of coast of Spain.
Between its most popular fine sand beaches there are: Punta Prima, La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Campoamor, Playa Flamenca and Mil Palmeras.
The coastal part of Orihuela takes up a great area in which there is a quiet atmosphere and many green space. Among them, we must highlight the beautiful pine forest of the Dehesa de Campoamor.
Furthermore, on its beaches, coves and sports ports you can practice nautical sports in any time of the year, thanks to the great weather of the zone, that guarantees a average temperature around 20 Celsius degrees and more than 300 sunny days per year.
Orihuela Costa has a varied offer of plans such as going to Zenia Boulevard, Alicante’s biggest shopping centre. Inside it there are many shops, as well as the Casino Mediterráneo Orihuela Costa. The building shapes a unique an dmodern space given the design of the facade.
You can also go karting, do paintball or drive quads. There is a company, Go-Karts Orihuela Costa, that offers this services so that you can enjoy and live them.