Taxi from Murcia airport and frequent buses in and around resort and even train service to larger town of Cartagena will give you plenty of opportunity to travel around.
The mar menor is like a very large bath as the water temp is much higher than the med, check it out on google, you can even do the street view thing.
It's ideal for the normal City sightseeing type day of parking up and just wandering around the streets on foot taking in the atmosphere and architecture of the area.
We visited the Cathedral which was stunning, Gothic, maybe 500 years old ? Words cannot really do justice to the beauty of it. As you can imagine it was unbearably hot being August, but there are pavement cafes that give shade and ice cold drinks including two just outside the Cathedral.
We then made our way to some botanical gardens which were not so spectacular, but gave us a pleasant walk along the river to get there. We went shopping in the small boutiques and department stores, but of course these shut at 2pm; then had a long lunch, there are plenty of places around to eat, prices the same as UK. It was a good place to spend 5 or 6 hours to break up a week of flop and drop on the coast and an attempt to find and enjoy some Spanish culture.
I'm sure with a decent street map and guide book, there is more to see, but we had limited time.
The roads from the la manga del mar end of the Costa Calida are excellent, journey took approx 45 mins. It's a toll road but the tolls are cheap at 2 X 3.25 Euros each way and for once we didn't have a problem findng somewhere to park.
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