One of Spain’s best-kept secrets is the Murcia region. It’s much less crowded than the popular cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, but just as beautiful! If you’re a fan of unspoilt scenery, crystal clear water and that Spanish sunshine, then keep reading. Here’s my guide to the best things to do in Spain.
Visit the Laguna Salada de Torrevieja
You heard me right – THERE IS A PINK LAKE! Honestly, it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. There are actually a few pink salt lakes dotted around the region, but this was the only one we found that you can walk right up to and swim in.
Go mud bathing at San Pedro Del Pinatar
The Murcia region of Spain is well known for its natural salt lakes and mud baths. Mar Menor is actually the biggest salt lake in Europe. One of the best and most popular spots of Mar Menor is definitely the mud baths at San Pedro Del Pinatar. Even though it’s known for being one of the more popular places, it was still relatively quiet on both occasions we went. (Although I imagine it would be a lot busier in the summer). There’s tons of free street parking nearby so it’s very easy to find a parking spot, then you just walk out on the jetty and start mudding. If you struggle to find it – just look for the windmill and then you’re there.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the health and beauty benefits of mud bathing. But local legend is that in order to get the maximum benefit of the mud, you need to do it 9 times during your stay. And each time, you need to do a 3km walk before washing it off in the same place you applied it. I think I’ll stick with just chilling in the sun!
On the other side of the jetty is Mar Menor itself, which is so incredibly warm – it’s unreal! We spent a good afternoon soaking up the Spanish sun, occasionally cooling off in the water, before sipping a well-deserved cocktail.
Cartagena is a major naval station located on the southeast coast of Spain. The marina is so impressive and a great place to play make-believe-boat-shopping. While we were there we actually saw one of the biggest (if not the biggest) super yachts in the world docked there, owned by Russian Billionaire Audrey Melnichenko. The yacht is said to be worth $450 million, so obviously I would’ve snapped it up but it’s only got 8 decks, and mine has to be at least 10…
My favourite part of Cartagena was the Roman Amphitheatre, which was built between 5 and 1 BC. Don’t make the same mistake we did by assuming the entrance would be at the theatre itself – it’s not. Still, we had a nice walk around the paths above the theatre before we actually found the main entrance itself. The entrance is in a very modern-looking building on the main street, across from the city hall. Entry is €6 per person, and you go into the museum through a series of corridors with artefacts and remains before you get to the main theatre itself. Once you get into the outdoor theatre it’s so breathtaking, especially from the stage!
Take a day trip to Valencia
Valencia is such a beautiful city, there’s no way I can do it justice in one paragraph. To read more about my time in Valencia, click here.
Drive to Alicante
We hadn’t originally planned to go to Alicante. However, on our final night in Spain, we discovered that my husband couldn’t find his passport. After turning the apartment upside down about three times we had to admit defeat. The closest British consulate was in Alicante which was only around an hour and a half from where we were staying. Unluckily, though, they were only open Monday to Friday, so we had another four days in Spain while we got the passport and flights sorted.
I guess there are worse places to be stranded though right!?
In a way, I’m quite glad we did end up going to Alicante because it’s so beautiful! We found an underground car park on one of the main streets just along from the British Consulate (€5 for about 5 hours isn’t bad!), so we were really close to everything. As it was quite a last-minute trip, I didn’t know much of what there was to do in Alicante. Of the things I did find there were two things I really wanted to do. I wanted to see the Explanada de Espana and go the Santa Barbara Castle – both of which we did and loved.
The Explanada was so beautiful, I kind of wish we had eaten in one of the many restaurants on the street, but I know they’d most likely end up being tourist traps so we ate in a vegan restaurant further into the centre.
The Santa Barbara Castle was gorgeous as well, you can either walk to the top or take the lift. I would have liked to have walked, however, I was not wearing the right clothing or shoes to be comfortable doing that. (Not to mention the chub rub would have been so real), so we took the lift. To find the entrance, just walk for about 10 minutes along the seafront (away from the marina). Then on the left, you’ll see an entrance to a long aluminium tunnel (there are signs). You don’t have to pay to get into the castle itself, but the lift is around €2.70 per person.
Once you get to the top you’re rewarded with stunning panoramic views over Alicante and the surrounding area. There’s also a small cafe up there if you need a drink after the long walk! If I do go again I’ll definitely take good shoes and walk up (or probably down from) the castle, as I’ve heard it goes through the old town which would’ve been great for photos!
Visit the Rincon Del Hornillo in Aguilas
I’d read about this art installation in Aguilas, so I figured it’d be nice to take a visit. The word I used to describe it to my husband was “Barcelonery” because it’s so similar to a lot of the architecture in Barcelona.
To find it, go past the Aguilas Plaza shopping centre, then follow the road around and it’s located on the far eastern side of Aguilas, tucked away in a little corner next to a small beach.
There’s also a tiny little bar build into the architecture, but unfortunately, it’s only open in the summer when it gets very busy!
Let me know if you’ve done any of the things on this list! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the places I’ve mentioned! Have you been to Spain?
What’s your favourite part of this beautiful region?