MAR MENOR SHORES
PHYSICAL AND HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Surface area: 135 Km2
Population: 31.782. (INE, 2016) 67,9% sobre año 2000
Elevation: 24 metros sobre el nivel del mar.
Kilometers of coastline: 73 Km.
Mar Menor borders to the North with the municipality of Orihuela (province of Alicante); with La Manga del Mar Menor to the East; the municipality of Murcia to the Northwest; the municipality of Torre to the Southwest; and Cabo de Palos (Cartagena) to the South.
From North to South, the beaches of Mar Menor belong to the municipalities of San Pedro del Pinatar (towns of Lo Pagán and Los Cuarteros), San Javier (Santiago de la Ribera), Los Alcázares and Cartagena (El Carmoli, Los Urrutias, Los Nietos, Islas Menores, Mar de Cristal, Playa Paraíso). To the South there are five islands of volcanic origin: 3 are the so-called islas mayores (large islands): Perdiguera, Mayor or Barón and Ciervo; and are 2 smaller islands: Redonda or Rondella and Sujeto.
This is the largest salt-water lagoon in Europe, with 22 beaches on both territories; six of those beaches received the 2016 blue flag award. It also has protected areas of an important environmental value: Hita beach and the islands of Perdiguera, Barón and Grossa. Furthermore, five San Javier beaches received the “Q” quality award, granted by the Tourist Quality Institute (ICTE). This municipality is also home to the Spanish Air Force Academy and the San Javier airport.
Its twelve golf courses, mild weather and good communications, where the international airport stands out, make Mar Menor an excellent golf destination for tourists.
Mar Menor has ten marinas for nautical sports, with 3,853 moorings points.
San Javier has established itself as the first town in the Region of Murcia to obtain the “tourists municipality” distinction, one launched by the Region of Murcia Government as part of the regional tourism covenant developed jointly with the city halls.