If you are staying at La Manga Club and you are willing to know something about the history of this part of Spain, we recommend you Cartagena. The city is only 20 minutes far from the resort by car.
About the city
Carthaginian general Hasdrubal founded Cartagena in 227 BC. During the centuries, the city gained an impressive cultural heritance, thanks to all the different cultures leaving their sign.
Since always, the history of Cartagena has been linked with its harbour: the Roman conquer, the Arabians, and the fleet of Reconquista passed through it.
Living the ancient times
Cultural association Cartagena Puerto de Culturas organizes different types of tour for tourist that goes from the most classical guide tour to little plays. Please check the official website Cartagena Port of Cultures in English.
An official guide, in a 3hrs tour, will show you the roman Cartagena (10€) or the most important places of the city in terms of military defence (10€).
If you’d like to live the ancient times, the roman architect Vitruvius, will bring you in the Roman Theatre (12€, 1h30) while Scipio the African will tell you about day life in the Roman Empire, showing you the Punic Wall, the Forum and the House of Fortune (15€, 2h30).
From roman to medieval age: a jester is at Conception Castle to tell you stories and secrets of King Alfonso X’s court (10€, 1h30). In the same castle you can see also the medieval tournament (18€, 1h30).
As the sea is so important for Cartagena, a boat trip couldn’t miss. Barbarossa is ready to reveal pirates’ code during this trip to the Christmas Fort (15€, 2h30).
Also in the Museum – Refuge of Civil War, some actors will show a different point of view of the war (10€, 1h30).
For the kids
Children can have a really good time in Cartagena, too. They can explore the Roman Forum like little scouts (5€, 1h30) or they can learn about the city and its history with several activities (like dancing) in the Conception Castle (4€, 1h30).
On the boat to the Christmas Fort they can play scavenger hunt and learn how to be pirates (8€, 2h45). While in the Refuge of Civil War, kids will use the Morse Code to communicate as real spies (3,50€, 1h30).
Please check the official website Cartagena Port of Cultures in English.
Festivals and local fairs
Cartagena host many festivals too. One of the most important is La Mar de Músicas, an international music festival that take place in the harbour (July). Other festivals of interests are, for sure, the Cartagena Jazz Festival (October-December) and the International Cinema Festival (December).
Every year in November, then, the old par of the city becomes a real medieval hamlet, with a market, artisan studios and shows.
But the master piece of Cartagena’s festivals is the traditional Fiesta de Cartagineses y Romanos. At the beginning of September, the city re-experiences the battle between Carthaginians and Romans. For an entire week plays, shows, battles and an encampment make the city go back in time.