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Cabo de Palos


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Cabo de Palos

Translated by Amy Stamford — 3 years ago

Original text by Maika Cano Martínez

A general overview of Cabo de Palos

Cabo de Palos is located in Murcia, just next to La Manga (which I have spoken about in another post) and belongs to the municipal of Cartagena. It is a coastal town, in South East Spain and is on the Mediterranean Sea.

Cabo de Palos

Firstly, I will tell you that it is very close to the Mar Menor, but you cannot access it from the town, only the Meditarranean sea. But because of its close proximity to the Mar Menor, it has the name 'Cabo Polas', since 'palus' is Mar Menor in Latin.

The town has a lot of history, one of the greatest naval battles in Spanish history took place off its shores. 70 miles from Cabo de Palos was the "Battle of Cabo de Palos", the largest naval battle that came out of the Spanish Civil War.

This area of Murcia was once a fishing village thanks to its rich waters. However, in recent decades, there has been a property boom in Cabo de Palos, La Manga, and its surrounding areas so it has since become a tourist area. It is best known for its coves, the famous 'caldero' dish (a typical meal from this area which I will talk about later) and its magical diving spots.

The Marine Reserve of Cabo de Palos and the Hormigas Islands aims to protect and preserve its seabeds and marine biology. The area is full of biodiversity including a number of coral and seagrass meadows. I had the privelege and pleasure of going diving in two of its coves to go and see these specific marine species but honestly, what I remember most were its magnificent corals and coves. It was a shame I didn't have an underwater camera so I could remember the beautiful water-scape

Cabo de Palos Coves

The best thing about Cabo de Palos, apart from its delicious rice dish, are its coves. The most famous beaches here are Cala Reona, Cala Tunisia, Cala Flores, Cala Mayor, Cala Galera and Cala del Muerto.

I don't need to go to the Caribbean or Australia for beautiful beaches and coves, the ones that Cabo de Palos offers are magnificent. Some are smaller than others, some are more touristy than others, and some are easier to access than others, but what they all share is gorgeous panoramic outlooks, clean seabeds and wide biodiversity.

So far, I've been to Cala Reona, Cala Mayor and Cala del Muerto.

Cala Reona is one of the bigger beaches in Cabo de Palos, it is located in a quiet spot between two mountains, and is extremely pretty. You can go there to sunbathe, swim, dive or even go up the mountain there, walking or cycling. Because of its big beach bar, a lot of young people go there, especially on weekends. Unfortunately, sometimes it is so crowded it loses its charm. Take care in the sea there, it isn't like the water of the Mar Menor, water isn't too clear when you first go into the sea and there is stones on the seabed. If you go to the far right of the beach, you will see a very small and pretty cove, away from most of the people.

Cabo de Palos

I was lucky enough to go diving in Cala Mayor and Cala del Muerto. It goes without saying that you need professional diving equipment if you're going to dive quite far down. I bought a diving pack from Decathlon for about 10 euros and is quite good if you're only going to spend a few days diving in the summer. I recommend you to take 'escalpines' (Rubber shoes used to walk in the sea), as the terrain is very rocky and there are sea urchins which you have to be careful not to step on. You will see what you have been missing and you won't be able to wait to do it again.

Cabo de Palos

Diving in Cabo de Palos is something that I loved doing last summer, and don't understand how I had never done it before. Now I'm in Washington D. C and do not know when I will go back to to Murcia. I really recommend it, it is worth spending 10 euros and driving there.

Food

The typical cuisine of Cabo de Palos, is obviously, fish, which is what most of their dishes is made of. In fact, you can find seafood everywhere you go there and there is a wide variety to choose from.

And fish is the key ingredient in the special 'caldero' you can get here, although it is mostly rice, fish is what gives it its special touch. It is my favourite meal in the world, I prefer it to paella. If you are not from Murcia or the surrounding area, you probably won't know what it is, or you might think it is a type of paella. So I will explain to you what it is... you have to try it, you will not regret it.

Cabo de Palos

This dish is made with rice, peppers, and fish. Actually, in the dish, there isn't actual pieces of fish, but it is made with a broth which is prepared with leftover fish, but the fish is served as an accompaniment for those who want it (not for me). However, it isn't a soup, it is not served in a bowl with a spoon, but the name might make you think this. "Caldero", which doesn't come from 'caldo' (soup in Spanish) but from the dish in which it is made, which is a large cooking pot. Finally, you add one of the ingredients that I love the most: alioli. They say not to put too much of it in incase the flavour of the dish is ruined, and so that you digest it better.

I think it's a dish that everyone has to know how to make, and although I have talked about it whilst I have been away on my Erasmus stay, and now I am living in Washington D. C., what better than to take people to try it personally. So when my Asian friends came to Murcia, I obviously took them to try the dish, so that they would see one of the many different ways to eat rice. They loved it and I was proud to teach my Murcian dish to the world.

You can find the dish in most restaurants in Cabo de Palos, but also in other restaurants at the Mar Menor and in Murcia.

Other interesting places to visit

  • One of the most interesting buildings in Cabo de Palos is the lighthouse, but it has a very important story to it so I have written another article just about that.
  • The port of Cabo de Palos is not very big, I don't have a boat so I am not that interested by it but the walk around it is nice.
  • I recommend to buy your food from Mercadona, but in August and first thing in the morning, the queues are ridiculous, I thought it was an exaggeration, but when I went I struggled even moving through the aisles there were that many people there.
  • They have a frozen yoghurt place called Smooy, right next to the other restaurants, but it is a shame that they aren't located on the beach. It is a big mistake really because people want an ice cream or dinner whilst looking at the beautiful views the beach has to offer just a few metres away.
  • By the way, Cabo Palos has a summer cinema, it has a few rooms and with your ticket, you can go to see two films on the same night. I went once, but I wouldn't go again unless it was by car, because it is quite far from La Manga and Cabo de Palos (it is a 15/20 minute walk, but it isn't appropriate if you are leaving the cinema late).

Cabo de Palos

Restaurants

For those of you agree with me on this, you have to go to the 'Paseo de la Barra', where you will find several restaurants overlooking the sea, as well as a newsagents and souvenir shop. The two best restaurants on this strip are "La Tana" and "El Pez Rojo". I have already talked about "La Tana" in another post, which in my opinion does the best 'caldero'. The "El Pez Rojo", which isn't famous for its 'caldero' but rather for its variety of seafood. It has lots of tables and a terrace which is a little higher up than the other restaurants in the area so it has a nice view.

If you want to eat the 'caldero' but you don't want to go to "La Tana", another famous restaurant in Cabo de Palo is "The Mosqui". It is said to be the first restaurant that made the 'caldero' and until a few years ago, it was known for making the best one. It's slogan is "De la mar, el mero y del Mosqui el caldero" which means "From the sea comes the grouper and from Mosqui comes the caldero. " The restaurant is shaped as a ship, but it doesn't overlook the sea. They also serve other specialities from the area. If you want more information, you can check out their website.

Parties in Cabo de Palos

As for parties, we have two different types; first is the local party of Cabo de Palos, and the other is where to go out and party in Cabo de Palos.

The parties in this area are in August, between August 7th and 15th. What stands out most in this holiday season is the sea procession parties, where the patron saint of Cabo de Palos, "The Virgen del Mar", comes out of the sea. It isn't very popular among the younger generations or if you are not very religious, but sometimes it is more important to just respect the beauty of something like this, rather than be concerned with what it means, at least in my opinion.

If you want to go out to bars and clubs, you're in luck because Cabo de Palos has one of the most popular nightclubs in the area during the summer. People from Cabo de Palos and La Manga get together here, and young people from Cartagena and even Murcia. Before it was fashionable it was called the "Zeta" but two years on, it is now called 'Mamaluna'.

Usually on a night out, people drink first in the streets around the club, especially near the supermarket 'Mercadona', but each time the police are getting more strict about drinking outside so you can't. I think this is fair on the locals because the morning after, there are bottles and rubbish all over the streets and at the entrance of Mercadona.

Mamaluna is on the top floor of a shopping centre which is just opposite Mercadona. Inside the centre there is a bank, a real estate agency, a perfume and cosmetics shop, a kebab take-away and a bakery.

There are two parts to the club, inside and outside. Outside, there is a terrace which is quite large and has some tables, chairs and two bars on either side of it. You can have a drink there or chat with friends because you can't hear the music from there, but you can't make too much noise because of the neighbours. And then there are two sections to the club inside. Techno and dance music is played in the first half, which isn't very popular unless you want to go to the bathroom which is that way. Then the other half which is better because they play the current and charts music, which is more fun to dance to.

There are some negative points to the club, but it only happens in the summer when its really busy. Firstly, entrance costs 10 euros, but it is usually cheaper if you get there before 2 am. You might think this is good, but the line is ridiculous. And sometimes, you might be waiting and they will just stop people coming in because it is too late... and you have to drink your drink before you enter. Secondly, the terrace is fine, but because me and my friends like to dance, we don't usually use it. Also, the room that plays the current music is usually so busy that you can't move or dance, and the people are sweaty there but unless you go outside, you will be too. So we always end up on the terrace. In the end, I always regret going, after having queuing and paying ten euros.

It is usually like this on Friday and Saturday nights during August, but on Friday it is normally less busy. If you're like me, it is best to go there with some drink and then decide later on whether you want to go or not, or go to Bongo, which is in La Manga (I have spoke about this in my La Manga blog post).

Another option is to go to Mamaluna during the week, which is usually pretty good. It is obviously not as lively and wild, but you can sit down with friends and laugh and have as much fun as you do when you're partying. They also serve food, and sometimes, it's better to have a quiet one rather than drink all night long.

Another good thing is that the bus that runs from La Manga stops at the stop in Cabo de Palos right in front of the gas station, a few meters from Mamaluna. In the summer evenings on Fridays and Saturdays, there is a continuous service line. While sometimes they are full and you have to wait for the next one, they are quite frequent so the next one will arrive sooner or later.

If you want more information about Mamaluna, you can visit their website.

Or you can add them on Facebook, as this is where they publish all the times and dates of upcoming events. In the summer, they also have a contest for Miss and Mr Mamaluna when they're throwing big parties. It is funny to see your friends' face on the nominations, because the club photographer has chosen them.

How to get to Cabo de Palos

The best way to get to Cabo de Palos is by bus or by car, but normally driving is better.

The best bus company to use when travelling to Cabo de Palos from La Manga is Lycar. The times depend on the time of the year that you're going, but in the summer they are more frequent. The stop for Cabo de Palos is before the one in La Manga, so make sure you don't go past it. To check the stops and hours, you can visit the Lycar website, or to go to the bus station in Murcia in San Andres (next to the city centre), but they also have their own website.

To get from Murcia to Cabo de Palos by car, the best and quickest thing to do is get onto the A-30 from Ronda Norte and head for Cartagena. Continue in this direction until you see the 180 exit where you merge onto the E-15 / AP-7 towards E-15 La Manga. Later on, take the MU-312 exit in the direction of El Algar/Cabo Palos/La Manga and then take the road for La Manga. When you reach a roundabout with a big eye in the middle of it (or a fish, I'm not sure), you will see a Burger King and a Mercadona on the right, here is when you have to turn right, because if you continue straight you will end up in in La Manga. You will see Mercadona which is in the area of Cabo de Palos, but to go to the port, you must continue on this road and turn left at the crossroads. If you continue straight on, you will arrive at Cabo Palos port, and that's the best place the park.

Cabo de Palos

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