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Take a Day Trip to Cartagena

By Vikki Ashton

No holiday to La Manga would be complete without a trip to nearby Cartagena. Less than 30 minutes drive from the resort it’s well worth a visit, with plenty of attractions to keep you busy.

Popular with cruise-goers, the port is a short hop from the bustling main street of the Old Town, lined with cafes, shops and attractions. The impressive architecture gives it a real sense of grandeur, with an eclectic mix of old and new.

Without doubt the main attraction in Cartagena is The Teatro Romano which has been painstakingly excavated to reveal the splendid architecture we see today. When the remains were first discovered, the Old Town had become one of the most depressed areas of Cartagena, so the recovery of the Roman building has become an engine of regeneration for this sector of the city.

A visit to the Teatro Romano begins at the museum where you can learn about the ancient history of the city, and the centuries following Roman rule when neighbourhoods were built over the ruins. The museum takes you under the city streets, emerging right among the ruins where you can explore the ancient site, along with the attached remains of the Church of Santa Maria la Vieja.

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From the Teatro Romano follow the hillside up to reach Parque Torres, where you will find the fortress of Conception Castle. Journey through history to discover its medieval past and browse the unusual mix of old and new. The highlight is the panoramic views of the city and its natural harbour, making the trip to the castle worthwhile even if you are not interested in history.

The waterfront is an interesting place to wander around, and you’ll also find the city’s Naval Museum which is housed in a building built in the 18th century as the Prisoners & Slaves Barracks. The museum has comprehensive displays of the logistics of marine life, from the construction of vessels through to nautical sciences and navigation. There are also areas dedicated to military health, and the impressive display of the Isaac Peral submarine. Well worth a visit for anyone interested in submarine history.

Another highly recommended museum for history buffs is the Roman Forum Museum Molinete. The museum hosts an impressive display of artifacts from Ancient Rome including chariot tracks, marble pavement and the Sanctuary of Isis where mystical cults practised.

For those not interested in history, you can browse the many shops, enjoy a delicious Asiatico coffee containing local speciality ‘Liquer 43’, take a boat trip around the harbour or try a hop-on-hop-off bus tour.

There is something for everyone in Cartagena and a day trip from the resort is highly recommended.


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