This region lives up to its name with warm sunny summers and mild winters. The Costa Calida abounds in wildlife, yet boasts some sophisticated tourist resorts.
The Costa Calida lies in the south east of the Iberian peninsula with the Costa Blanca to the north and the Costa Almeria to the south. It is approximately 155 miles long and has at least 315 days of sunshine a year. In winter the minimum temperatures are around 12-14°C / maximum 20-22°C and in summer minimum temperatures are around 20-22°C / maximum 30-35°C.
The Mar Menor, Europe's largest salt-water lake, is on this coast. It covers over 170 sq km and is separated from the Mediterranean by a 13 mile peninsular. There are not many regions that have the unique situation of a lake and the sea close by.
Many people visit the lakes daily to apply mud to their bodies and then wash it off in the Mar Menor. It is believed that this process relieves aches and pains and is especially popular with those who suffer from arthritis and muscular problems. The lakes abound with wildlife and many thousands of flamingos stop there during their autumn migration. Some of the most important villages are San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Alcazares, Los Narejos, Islas Menores, Mar de Cristal and Playa Honda.
Murcia is the capital of the region. It is surrounded by a cultivated fertile plain. The most important monument is the cathedral, whilst other outstanding monuments include the Episcopal Palace, the Casino, several churches and 19thcentury architecture. Among the various museums, there is one dedicated to the works of the image-maker Francisco Salzillo.
La Manga, is the largest tourist centre in the region. It is a narrow, sandy spit of land that stretches between Mar Menor and the Mediterranean. There are 22km of beaches between 100 and 800 metres in width. It is cocooned by the pine-covered Murcian hills and surrounded by lemon groves and thousands of palm trees. La Manga covers an area the size of Monaco and features 3 golf courses, one of Europe 's finest tennis centres and many other excellent sporting and recreational facilities. At the heart of the resort lies the stunning Hyatt Regency Hotel complex, whilst small village-like clusters of villas and apartments populate the surrounding hillsides.
The Costa Calida is just 25 kilometres from Murcia (San Javier) Airport and 120 kilometres from Alicante with the provinces of Alicante and Valencia to the north and Almeria and Granada to the west.
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