Playa Honda and Playa Paraíso are two adjoining beaches and residential areas at the southernmost end of the Mar Menor, the 135-square-kilometre saltwater lagoon which lies at the east of the Region of Murcia and the Costa Cálida and is enclosed by the 22-kilometre spit of La Manga.
The 73 kilometres of coastline around this remarkable geographical feature are littered with attractive beaches, and many are of the opinion that Playa Honda and Playa Paraíso are among the finest. However, they were developed later than many other stretches of the shore, and as a result they fall somewhere between the upmarket hustle and bustle of La Manga itself and the slightly more “old world” feel of the small towns on the western coast, such as Los Nietos and Los Urrutias. The most immediately visible development here is high-rise, but in fact there is a pleasant mix of apartment blocks with bungalows and townhouses.
The attractions of the beaches are numerous. The bathing conditions are ideal for families with young children, the water being warm, shallow and calm in all but the very worst weather, and there are various restaurants within easy walking distance of the fine golden sand. At the same time, for those unencumbered by small children, the beaches are within just a short drive from La Manga Club and the nightlife of La Manga, as well as the historic city of Cartagena.
Playa Honda is easily accessible from the RM-12 dual carriageway which leads to La Manga, and is popular with day trippers as well as those who have purchased residential and holiday accommodation here and in Playa Paraíso. Walkers and cyclists also pass through while making trips around the Mar Menor, and another attraction is the cleansing mud baths on the beach of Playa Paraíso: perhaps not the most visually attractive aspect of the area, but apparently great for the skin!
In short, for those who are attracted by the water sports, the climate and all that the Mar Menor has to offer, Playa Honda and Playa Paraíso are among the favourite destinations in the area. Facilites in winter may be somewhat thin on the ground, but the same is true throughout the Costa Cálida, and at least the beach bar is open twelve months a year!
Where is Playa Honda?
Playa Honda and Playa Paraíso are at the southern end of the Mar Menor, just a couple of kilometres away from La Manga (see map). Access is from the exit at kilometre 11 of the RM-12 dual carriageway to La Manga: the slip roads can catch people out, so pay close attention to the signposting!