I have decided to add a section to show our favourite local restaurants and places to visit etc.
We have some favourite eating places when we come over:-
Punta Marina shopping complex
This is the local shopping centre just down the road and apart from restaurants and a supermarket it boasts a few shops, such as Millar electric (like Curries) a chemist, a card shop (also has an internet service) plus a couple of other shops. There are 5-6 restaurants on the upper floor, including a fish and chip restaurant called the Captains table, a Chinese Wok Buffet, a couple of Italian restaurants, a bar called the princes bar, where there is often entertainment on, and on the ground floor there is a MacDonald's, but our favourites are:-
There is a Shopping and Bar complex just down the main road (south) at Playa Flamenca and right at the 1st roundabout. (Just past Burger King)(Not the 1st complex, but the bigger one further along.) T
here are lots of Bars and restaurants here and it is a fun place to visit and spend the evening. Our favourite is a restaurant called "Loghorn" which is a Hungarian restaurant and the menu of the day 9.99 Euro is pretty good value. There are plenty of bars here that have food and entertainment on, karaoke or singers or DJ's.
Playa Flamenca Market
There is a market on every Saturday Morning, from about 09:00 - 14:00 its a good market to have a walk around and a browse, even if you do not buy anything. Jules loves the clothes stalls that have 1, 2 &3 Euro clothes sprawn all all over the table, somthimes you can find a hidden gem for just 1 euro.
here is a link that has more info. playa-flamenca-street-market
Punta Prima on the Main Road
Quite a few restaurants here, we have tried the Austrian restaurant which gives 3 courses for about 9 Euros, food was OK, but service can be slow. There is an Italian restaurant which serves excellent food, but is not the cheapest. Next to the Italian restaurant there is a small restaurant that serves half a chicken with chips for 8-9 Euros, this is quite tasty.
Also there is a large "Wok Buffet" restaurant on the apartment side of the road (near the blue pedestrian bridge) that friends have tried and recommended. There are several bars along here as well and sometimes have entertainment on at night.
Nautilus Bar Restaurant
If you go straight down the road, across the roundabout, from Punta Marina, and down to the beach front, there is a beach front restaurant called Nautilus that is in a great location, serves reasonable food, and sometimes has entertainment. (note: has new owners now, looks great but prices have increase, still a great place to impress.
On the Punta Prima beach promenade is a large very nice (quite posh) restaurant (I think its called the Punta Prima). wonderful looking place but the prices are a bit steep for me.
Central Cafe and Irish Bar
There is a cafe on the next community (go across the gardens past the pools and out of the south gate) across the road there is another community, there is a fence with a gate, go through the gate and along the road and you will find a small complex with a cafe, an Irish bar and an Italian Restaurant.
Abbey Tavern (also see my Aug 09 blog)
This is a great place, about a 10 minutes walk, past the central cafe, across the park area and up the road opposite the park (look for the tower that looks like a castle) The are a cluster of shops and bars here (good hardware shop) and on the other side of the road is the Abbey tavern. This is a great place for a drink, and it has entertainment on at night. There is a restaurant, but we tend to eat in the wonderful garden area, our favourite is the fish &chips (8 euros and a huge fish) plus the oven baked chicken is good value as well.
It has a website so take a look at it here http://theabbeytavern.com/indexEng.html
Places to visit
There is a small Island off the coast called Tabarca, which has good snorkeling and beaches and makes a nice day out. (be aware that prices are expensive on the island, so if that is a concern take plenty of food and drink with you).
A ferry to Tabarca Island is available from the port in Torrevieja, it is a glass bottom submarine boat, takes about 75 minutes, costs about 22 Euro's. (I think there is only two ferries a day) for more information go to this website.)
This is a large inland sea a few kilometers south of the apartment. (you will need to drive to it) It is shallow, usually very warm and extremely safe for children. There are lots of resorts on the Mar Menor, and on the far side is La Manga which is a thin outcrop of land with the Mar Menor on one side and the Med. on the other. You get to the Mar Menor by driving down the N332, then onto the AP7, and it starts at:-
This is a nice resort (hard to park in summer months) but has a long walkway/promenade out into the sea which is great for a walk. There are salt lakes on the left hand side that people bathe in and cover themselves in mud. (supposed to do you good)
Santiago de la Ribera
Again nice resort, just along the coast from Lo Pagan, reasonable beaches and you can catch a ferry across the Mar Menor to La Manga, which is a nice trip. Look at the section "Local Area Pictures" to see some pictures of our trip across on the ferry.
Great place for swim, or to eat out. It has a great looking old hotel on front, plus the Pier restaurant looks OK as well. I believe you can get a bus from Punta Prima to here. It is just past the San javier, Murcia airport.
Islas Menores and Mar de Christal
These resorts are further down, just before the La Manga, and are well worth a visit.
Well worth a visit, it has a road going straight up the middle of the isthmus, beaches on both sides. (Mar Menor on one side, Mediterranean on the other) There are some nice shops on this road. Right at the end is an incredible bridge, Jules didn't want to go over it in the car, but I just had to. It is Steep!!
This town has a nice port area to look around, and some interesting buildings. It is a really easy trip by car, just head down the AP7, and keep going and turn onto the A30 towards Cartagena (nice dual carriageway) and you end up right into the town. I always park near the port area as I find it easier. (Note: there is also a bus to Cartagena. but I haven't been on it as I always hire a car) An update from our latest trip is that close to the port area is a park with a Roman castle/fort in it. it is situated high up (lots of steps and slopes) but there is a lift for part of the way. I found this really interesting, with great views over the port and the town of Cartagena. There were lots of birds (plenty of trees) and peacocks wandering around. A good viewing area with pictures to show you what you are looking at. Unfortunately as this was a Sunday in January the castle itself wasn't open, and I am planning to go again when it is open. The other unfortunate thing was that our camera battery died and we couldn't take any photo's.
Pictures of the local Shops and restaurants. Click on pictures to enlarge