The grey stone lighthouse of Cabo de Palos is 81 metres high and the construction of it was started in 1863 and it was first lit on the 31st January of 1865. It stands proudly on a rocky headland at the southernmost tip of La Manga, which is the thin strip of land that separates the Mar Menor from the Mediterranean Sea.
Until the 1960´s this tiny fishing village had no electricity, telephones or running water and it wasn´t until 1990 that it became part of the municipality of Cartagena, the large ancient port founded by the Carthaginians which lies further to the south east.
At this point the coastline changes from the long beaches of La Manga and, as it swings round the headland towards the southeast the beaches consist of smaller coves; Cala Tunez beside the lighthouse, Cala Fría, Cala Roja, La Galera, Las Escalerillas, La Botella, Las Melvas, Avellán and Medina y Flores.
Sometimes access is difficult, but well worth it as the water is clear and clean and if you are lucky you will find a cove all to yourselves.
In 1906 the lighthouse was witness to the tragic shipwreck of the Sirius with 822 passengers, many of whom perished in the deep waters off the headland. As the waters are deep and clear they are excellent for deep sea diving and the nearby Isla Hormigas are a marine reserve. If you relish the thought of a wonderful walk along the narrow coastal paths, which sometimes go rather near to the cliff edges – this is the place for you.
During Easter Week there is a special procession of the fisherman on Maundy Thursday, and what a lovely sight to see them proudly carrying the image of the Virgin.
Another procession, this time of fishing boats decorated with flowers in honour of the Virgin of Carmen takes place on her Saint´s Day, the 16th July.
Also to be enjoyed is the festival of Habanera Songs during the first week of August.