If you’re in the Murcia area and fancy a visit to the great city of Cartagena here’s a few things not to be missed.
1. Go geocaching with your smartphone. Geocaching is a great way to spend the day finding new places and investigating new areas. It’s a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. All you need is your smartphone or GPS gadget and a cache to find! Go and have a look at http://www.geocaching.com/ and search for caches from “marcusj” to find an interesting treasure hunt through the city and out to one of the fortresses.
2. Scare yourself in the lift. The Ascensor Panorámico certainly provides you with a great view of the city. If you’re afraid of heights close your eyes for the 30second trip to the top and access to the castle. It certainly beats the long walk up on a hot sunny day!
3. Shop till you drop on a Saturday evening and watch the Cartagena women pose. Cartagena is a great place for shopping and people watching. All the brand shops are here – Zara, Stradivarius, Mango – plus plenty of designer and unusual shops selling hand made items.
4. Eat ice cream. Two ice cream parlours on the main high street stand out – one is the traditional (and a bit scruffy looking) Italian place, Heladería Italiana that serves a wonderful selection of homemade ice creams. The other is a little smarter, Reina Sofia, and is excellent for a knickerbocker glory or other creamy delight. Unless you have a huge appetite you might be advised to share one!
5. Swim with the fishes at Cala Cortina. Probably the best beach near Cartagena. It’s a calm sandy beach with toilets, showers and a life guard service. It’s very isolated (near Escombreras) considering how close it is to Cartagena. There’s an excellent restaurant right down by the water, Mares Bravas. Some local dive clubs use this beach for try-dives as it has easy access for divers.