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  • The Salt Lakes of the Mar Menor, Near Murcia
     
    The coastline of Costa Calida within the region of Murcia has many places of outstanding beauty, history and rich and varied wildlife. One of which is the Mar Menor, Europe's largest salt water lake, covering an area of 170km2 and with a depth no more than 7 metres, its a unique location and the most significant marshland area of Murcia. In this captivating Mediterranean coastal spot you can see terrain formations such as salt works, dunes, salt marshes, reed beds and large unspoiled sandy beaches. They were declared a regional nature reserve in 1985 and are some of the most important wetland areas in Europe due to a rich and varied wildlife and are incredibly important for bird species of which there are many. Flamingos and other migratory birds including owls, stalks, herons, eaglets and seagulls, flock here at the end of every summer using this as their stopping place between Europe and Africa, but there are many others you can observe.

    The Mar Menor is formed by a narrow strip of land known as La Manga. In recent years there has been a massive development on this strip of land and it is now covered with high-rise apartment blocks, hotels and the La Manga Club which is a famous golf and sports resort. The use of the Mar Menor stretches way back into history, the Phoenicians and Greeks knew of it and would have no doubt stopped off their whilst trading along this part of the coast. The Romans built settlements along the coast and were the first to understand the importance of the huge salt deposits to be found in this part of Spain, they began the salt extraction industry which still remains important to this day. The Romans called it Belich and built Spas to make use of the healing powers of the salt water. There were further settlements in the 8th - 13th Centuries during the Arab occupation of Spain and the Moors were well aware of the healing properties of the salt water and founded some resorts such as Los Alcazares as places of relaxation and recuperation, the Moors also put in place some excellent irrigation systems which enabled the heartland of the Mar Menor to become an important agricultural area. The Arabs also introduced some unique fishing methods which resulted in the successful fishing industry of the Mar Menor.

    The Mar Menor is a salt water lake area that is exciting to explore and relaxing so there is really something for everyone. Its renowned for having a water temperature some 5 warmer than the surrounding Mediterranean Sea and many go to swim there all year round. Many others go for the healing mud baths located at Lo Pagan which have become famous worldwide for their healing properties. There has been a popular development on the Mar Menor of a water sports centre and it is one of the best locations in Europe for windsurfing.

    A trip to this beautiful country wouldn't be complete without a visit to the gorgeous resort city of Mar Menor, located on the east coast (Costa Blanca) of Spain in the Murcia region. The landscape of the Mar Menor area is truly breathtaking and a visit to this amazing salt water lake and surrounding area on the Mediterranean coast with cliffs and small beaches on a sun filled day or on a quiet evening with the sun setting will be one you will always remember.

    www.costablancamagazine.tv [http://www.costablancamagazine.tv]
     
     

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