It's a tiny strip of land on the Costa Calida, barely noticeable on satellite images of Southern Spain. Its name means "sleeve," and the narrow land that comprises La Manga certainly looks like one. Resembling an oversized sandbar, it is 21 km long and only 300 meters wide on average. The "sleeve" forms a small bay that distinguishes Mar Menor from the rest of the Mediterranean Sea. This makes it an unusual attraction, perfect for a unique Spanish holiday. Though it's technically part of the Mediterranean, Mar Menor has character all its own. It is often referred to as a lake. One taste of the water though, and its true nature is revealed. Its high salinity makes floating a breeze. Combined with Mar Menor's famous "Black Mud," it is believed to possess therapeutic qualities. The enclosed shape and 70 km coastline also make it a natural water sports area. It's year-round warmth and 315 days of sunshine make it an ideal place for professional athletes to practice.
La Manga is primarily a resort area, though it is inhabited by locals year-round too. It has been favored as a home-away-from-home since ancient Phoenicians began establishing summer residences there. Today it is a getaway for both Spaniards and foreigners alike.
One of the best ways to get personal with the natural beauty of La Manga del Mar Menor is by cycling. Bicycles (both street and mountain varieties) are a common sight on the strip. Avid cyclists may be able to take in the entire strip in a day's time. If travelers find it impractical to bring their own bikes, they can rent from various locations. Bicycles can be hired for as little as one day, or for a week at a time. Tourists are limited only by their enthusiasm and energy levels. Cyclists can choose to ride the roads or take in the more technical trails in the area. Excellent trails surround the La Manga Club Resort, the major tourist attraction of the area.
For the casual biker, guided bike tours are offered regularly. Those who are less inclined to engage in trail riding can get a good workout while seeing the sights. Plus, taking part in a guided tour means that visitors have the support of an expert biker. Additionally, they will be able to learn about the area at the same time. Helmets, locks and maps are typically included in the rental cost. This applies to both individual rentals and group cycling tours.
Another alternative to cycling is seeing the area by quad. This may be especially appealing to those who prefer motorsports over manpower. It also offers visitors a way to enjoy an off-road adventure without the effort of pedaling. Quads can be rented almost any place that bicycles are available.
Visitors who are booking an all-inclusive Spanish holiday are encouraged to reserve bikes and quads ahead of time. Spots on guided tours should also be booked ahead of time. This helps ensure travelers do not miss out on the opportunity to see La Manga by bicycle. The "Little Sea" of Mar Menor is a paradise for bikers of all ages and skill levels.