This beautiful part of Southern Spain comprises of a number of different areas including La Manga, Los Narejos, Los Alcazares and San Pedro del Pinitar. There are some fabulous beaches in the area, many of which have been awarded the Blue Flag from the EU.
Los Narejos is situated practically on the beach, which is part of the seven kilometers of amazing coastline that is on the western shore of the saltwater lagoon, known as the Mar Menor. This lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a strip of land known as La Manga Strip. Because of this geographical phenomena, the sea can be amazingly warm and of course the conditions are ideal for water sports. The climate is generally better than most places in Spain, although it still has its fair share of rain and storms. The many beautiful beaches around Los Narejos are well maintained and have easy access for handicapped people. There are numerous showers and toilets and plenty of parking close by with pretty promenades linking the beaches.
This area of the Mar Menor is traditionally very Spanish and many of the houses are only used for holidays and fiestas, with July and August being the busiest time. Being Spanish means that gastronomy features high on the list of things to do! Many of the restaurants serve ‘Caldero’, which is similar to paella, but it is very highly flavoured, with fish as one of the main ingredients. The rice is cooked with the stock from fish heads and it is eaten with lashings of ‘alioli’, (garlic mayonnaise). In true Spanish style, meals are washed down with large quantities of red wine, much of it supplied by the local bodegas. As you can imagine, fish features highly on the menus in Los Narejos, especially the gilthead, mullet and of course the prawns from the Mar Menor are amazing.
Other dishes to be sampled are ‘michirones’ and ‘zarangollo’, which are prepared with vegetables from the fertile land in the area. You may come across ‘tocino del cielo’, which is a really local dish made of pastry that many restaurants regard as ‘the’ star dish of the area.
The Patron Saint of Los Narejos is the Virgen de la Purisma and celebrations take place in her honour during the first week of December. Other fiestas in the area include the International Week of ‘La Huerta’, which take place during the second half of August. This has been acknowledged as a regional tourist attraction because of all the local folklore, customs, culture and gastronomy. On 12th August, the ‘caldero’ is the highlight of the fiesta and everyone gathers on the beach to prepare this local dish on little bonfires made of driftwood. This event is very popular and huge crowds gather to make the day a memorable one for all the family.