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Find information on Cartagena in our Travel Guide covering sights, foods and nightlife plus more...
Cartagena is an important naval port on the south eastern coast of Spain. It is a city with a long history, evidence of which is seen in the diversity of architectural styles and in the remains of ancient civilizations. Cartagena wide sheltered bay has a large harbour and there are several waterways running through the town. Cartagena old town has an elevated position above the harbour. The five small hills and their fortifications protected the population from marauders and invaders. One of the most popular tourist attractions is the castle on top of La Concepcion Hill. Although Cartagena has no town beach, there are a number of excellent beaches in the area including the Mar Menor with its salt water lagoon. The surrounding countryside offers many leisure pursuits including cycling and horse riding. The fine city of Murcia is only a few miles to the north-west and is well worth a visit. A Cartagena holiday offers a wide range of cultural activities as well as enjoyment of sand, sea and countryside.
Cartagena, with its fascinating history, has many fine buildings to explore. The climate here is ideal for sightseeing as the sea breezes prevent the summer temperatures from becoming uncomfortably hot. The annual average temperature is twenty degrees and the winter temperature is rarely lower than twelve degrees centigrade. There are many sporting facilities including golf and tennis.
Cartagena appeals to couples of all ages. The many tourist attractions make it ideal for a city break. Golfers have a choice of courses in the vicinity.
Although Cartagena is a year round holiday venue with an average temperature of twenty degrees, the summer months are the most popular time to visit with guaranteed sunshine and warm seas. Many visitors however, enjoy escaping from the dark dreary days of a typical British winter to Cartagena’s welcoming coast.
Cartagena is a city with many attractions for visiting tourists. Owing to its strategic position on the Mediterranean, it has been inhabited for over two thousand years and has a rich cultural heritage. In earlier times this attractive city was overlooked by the holiday industry as it was considered to be polluted by industry. However, much work has been done to overcome this image and Cartagena is now a popular destination.
The long history of the town can be seen in its many ancient ruins and monuments. Roman remains include the Theatre of Carthago Nova which has been recently restored. Other important remains include the first century amphitheatre and the thirteenth century Cathedral of St. Maria la Vieja which was sadly destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Cartagena has many fine Baroque and Neo-classical buildings as well as examples of art nouveau from the twentieth century. The many churches and museums give a deep insight into the history and culture of the town. There is an excellent tourist bus service which takes visitors to all the major attractions. A tourist catamaran service also tours the port with its many interesting features.
Cartagena accommodation is very wide ranging and suits every budget. Its restaurants serve a diverse cuisine catering for all tastes and it has an excellent shopping centre. Calle Mayor is the main commercial street and it is packed with bars, cafes, boutiques and shops of every description.
Although Cartagena does not have a town beach, there are many fine sandy beaches in the vicinity including the famous Manga del Mar Menor which is the best place in the area for water sports. There are also golf courses nearby as well as opportunities for horse riding and tennis.
A Cartagena holiday offers a relaxed atmosphere in a friendly and culturally rich city with many fine attractions both in and around the town.
Cartagena nightlife has something for everyone. As well as the many romantic venues in the streets of the old town, Cartagena has a multitude of lively bars and cafes with music and dance. There is also a modern casino where you can enjoy a holiday flutter.
Cartagena has a wide range of shops from department stores to specialist shops and designer boutiques. It has a fairly new shopping mall, Parque Mediterraneo, on the outskirts of the town. Here you will find all many of the multinational fashion chains and well known High Street stores. The old town has many quaint tourist shops where you can buy the usual gifts and souvenirs. Popular purchases include leather goods, pottery, embroidered linens and lace, as well as basket ware and jewellery.
Cartagena has a wide variety of restaurants catering for all tastes. As expected, fish dishes abound in Cartagena with small fried fish and shellfish being firm favourites. There are tapas bars and restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets. A good way to sample Spanish food is to order a plate of tapas which consists of a medley of bite-sized dishes. Tapas are also ideal for filling the sometimes long gap between lunch and dinner, which is served later in Spain than at home. Spanish wines are pleasing to both the palate and the pocket.
Children are always made welcome in Spanish restaurants