Murcia is home to heavenly beaches, but also to places of tremendous historical and geographic interest. If you’re staying at your property at La Manga Club for a few days, besides relaxing in our exclusive leisure resort’s facilities, you’ll have the luxury of being able to get to know some of the marvellous places in a region that boasts a diversity of landscapes, a wonderful climate, and tremendous cultural wealth. If – after you’ve enjoyed the soft sands, crystalline waters, spectacular sunsets and the many comforts the villas and apartments at our golf resort can offer you – you still want to learn more about the hidden secrets of the area, don’t miss a day trip to the Encañizadas of the Mar Menor. Learn their history and why they are considered a cultural and environmental jewel, and launch yourself on an exploration of all the splendors of the Murcian coast.
More than a millennium ago, the natural enclave at the end of La Manga – where the road ends and the waters of the Mediterranean and the Mar Menor meet – saw the development of an artisanal method of fishing that is unique in the world: encañizada. Today, of all the labyrinths of nets and reeds that once existed, only those that you can see from the southernmost tip of the Salinas de San Pedro or the north of the Manga del Mar Menor remain. If you want to visit them from the La Manga Club properties you’ll have to travel some 40km, less than an hour by car, until you arrive at the circular route of the Sendero de las Encañizadas where, on foot or bike, you can enjoy two and a half hours of contemplation of the Regional Park of las Salinas de San Pedro and the beauty of its many different landscapes.
A cultural and environmental jewel just next to your home at La Manga Club
To prepare yourself before you head off to one of the most charming enclaves in the Region of Murcia, here’s a bit of history about the encañizadas of the Mar Menor. It begins in the Middle Ages when the Moors, after having carefully studied the natural environment in which they lived and the migration patterns of the species that came to the Mar Menor to reproduce, took advantage of the landscape’s geography and invented a form of fishing that was not only original, but also sustainable. They built, next to the canals that connect the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean, labyrinths of nets and reeds hammered into the muddy sea floor in such a way that when migrating fish returned to colder waters, they were directed into large cages where they became trapped.
For the fishermen, it was an ideal method of working because as the fish were trapped and kept alive until their sale, without suffering or fighting to escape, they retained all their fat, guaranteeing their quality and flavour.
In antiquity there were five straits and encañizadas: Harco, Torre, Ventorrillo, El Estacio and Marchamalo. Today, the only active encañizada is that of La Torre, situated between Las Salinas and Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, an environmentally protected area where the family-owned business Pescados Albaladejo continues to use this traditional method of fishing. Currently, in fact, the Mar Menor is the only place in Spain where this ancestral, ecological and selective fishing remains alive, and whose high season is the autumn when the changing water temperature of the Mediterranean and the Mar Menor provoke the movement of the fish in search of colder waters.
In the encañizadas they fish for doradas, magres, sea bass and sole, but one of the most popular prey is the mullet of the Mar Menor, a very tasty fish used to prepare the traditional Murcian stew that you must try while on your excursion. Yours won’t just be a fascinating voyage into the past through the ancient art of fishing, but also a gastronomic experience in which you can try the seafood dishes typical of the area.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for a different kind of plan to take the best advantage of your days in your villa or apartment in La Manga Club, don’t miss this opportunity to get to know these incredible areas where nature, fishing and culinary culture meet.