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La Manga

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An idyllic beach

Translated by Eleanor Bateman — 27 days ago

Original text by Eliette Fritsch

This is the beach in the south-east of Spain where I went every weekend and which I will never forget. Whether it was day or night, the sand brushed my feet and the sky reflected in the near-turquoise water. La Manga, which around fifty years ago was only a sliver of land along the coast, has become a tourist hub over time. Its main road, which is jam-packed at peak times, is surrounded on both sides by hotels, apartments and supermarkets. Once you get past these obstacles, you finally arrive in a magical place, but there are two choices: either go to Mar Menor, or Mar Mayor, that is to say the Mediterranean sea. The first option is for those seeking calm and tranquillity. Being a partly enclosed area, the waves do not crash against the coast, but the water proves to be particularly salty and warm in the height of summer. As the sun is hidden by buildings, it is an ideal spot for a morning siesta.

An idyllic beach

However, the other side seemed ideal to me and all the memories I have of it will stay with me. One Thursday evening, as a result of my keen thirst for adventure, I decided to take the last bus to go out in Cabo Palos, where all the young Spanish people go over summer, and then to sleep on the beach. It turned out that since I didn't have a partner and, seeing that Spanish attitudes are different on this matter, I wasn't able to sleep at my friend's house. However, I luckily had one friend who wanted to come for a few hours. Is there anything closer to paradise than lying on the sand at 5am watching shooting stars in great company? The dawn broke and the sun rose bit by bit. I admired the sun rising over the sea, unfortunately covered by a light layer of cloud, but gorgeous all the same. Those who were feeling brave came to walk or run along the water, or to walk their dog. This had to be the best moment of the day, with the morning freshness and the feeling of serenity.

An idyllic beach

The heat started to intensify and I began to look for a place where I could finally sleep. Shady corners are rare in this part of La Manga, which is why I went to the other beach. In the afternoon the heatwave is at its strongest and it is essential to protect yourself from the sun in order to avoid turning into a "guiri". Between 3pm and 6pm, the beach, normally filled with holiday-makers on sun loungers under parasols, is totally empty and most people go to eat and nap.

An idyllic beach

Later on, you can make the most of the beach by playing a game of volleyball, football or "palas", meaning beach racquetball, or simply sunbathe with your friends. Equally, the shallow waves tempt you to go into the sea and lose yourself. The blue water also allows you to refresh yourself and discover some fish. Then, the heat drops again slowly and becomes more bearable.

An idyllic beach

You can see the joie de vivre that takes hold of both tourists and locals. This place proves to be an incredibly ideal place to spend the holidays, to relax, go out or enjoy with friends.

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