Cala Cortina is about the only noteworthy beach located within Cartagena Bay. Although the city is a popular coastal holiday destination, the majority of its bay is taken up by the container and cruise ship ports and marinas. However, to the east and west of Cartagena are some superb beach resorts such as La Manga and Puerto de Mazarrón. These offer great beach facilities, nearby bars and restaurants, and excellent water sports and activities, especially for practising scuba diving. For those that don't want to make the longer journey, Cala Cortina promises a great day out.
When driving the 20 minutes from the city centre to Cala Cortina along the N-343, don't be put off by the rather industrial scenery as the views soon improve once passed the shipping port. The beach consists of two swimming coves purposely built for residents and visiting holidaymakers in the 1980's. The first cove is the largest and busier of the two with the most facilities. A short walk along the coastal path takes you to the smaller cove. This is a more protected sandy cove that is favoured by families with young children. Although man made, Cala Cortina has received the coveted Blue Flag Award for its cleanliness and facilities on several occasions.
Cala Cortina Facilities
During the low season the beach is a lot quieter with no lifeguards on duty. Come the summer months though, things liven up, lifeguards keep an eye on bathers and young ones enjoy fun and games in the playground. There are both showers and toilets, wooden walkways, and backing the larger cove, Mares Bravas Restaurant. This place, set in a traditional villa has really stood the test of time, serving drinks and delicious meals since the 1960's. Whether you're a large family tucking into a huge pan of paella, or just fancy a tapa or two, the menu choice is excellent. Fresh fish and seafood is a popular choice, and they serve all sorts of drinks. Diners can choose to enjoy a meal in air conditioned comfort in the dining room, or al fresco on the restaurant's terrace.