Islas Menores and Mar de Cristal on the inland shore of the Mar Menor
The town of Islas Menores, within which is the residential area known as Mar de Cristal, lies almost at the very southern end of the saltwater lagoon of the Mar Menor, and from the attractive sandy beaches there are spectacular views across the water to the strip of La Manga.
The small village has grown substantially over recent years as more and more holiday homes and second properties have been built, many of them in the five-storey apartment blocks which can be seen on approaching it. These modern complexes boast communal swimming pools to complement the saltwater bathing opportunities, in contrast to most of the older properties which line the beach front.
Like the other towns in this area the population swells appreciably during July and August, but nonetheless there are a fair number of year-round residents, and shops and basic facilities are all in place. The calm water after which Mar de Cristal (“glassy water”) is named attracts bathers even in winter, and the attractiveness of the setting is far from diminished by the lack of visitors outside peak season!
However, those taking up permanent residence in Islas Menores and Mar de Cristal will inevitably avail themselves of the far more substantial facilities in the city of Cartagena and the nearby towns of Los Alcázares andSan Javier.
Where is Islas Menores?
Easy access by road to Islas Menores and Mar de Cristal is provided from the exits at kilometres 8 and 9 on the RM-12 dual carriageway to La Manga, from both of which the town is clearly signposted. See map for further details. The airport of San Javier is no more than 15 minutes away by road, and both Corvera and Alicante are within comfortable driving distance.