Cartagena is a city with more than 2,500 years of history. It has always been a major port, due to its unique position on the Mediterranean coast and you will see high on the hilltops, several forts and castles. The city has a large recreational marina as well as a naval port and an industrial port. These all contribute to the wealth and variety of the city and its beautiful buildings which are currently undergoing a facelift. Cartagena has many archaeologic sites. Ruins have been uncovered on many occasions when restoration has begun on old historical buildings. Throughout the old centre you can find museums with remains of Roman buildings. The sense of self-importance of the locals appeared during the establishment of Autonomous Communities in Spain. Some Cartageneros were not happy to be in the same region as inland Murcia and for the name of the region to take that same name. A large section of the city centre has been pedestrianised to allow for a more relaxed atmosphere for shopping within it. There are many department stores, cafes, restaurants and bars around the centre and two large hypermarkets on the outskirts of the city. There are plenty of parks and squares to rest in, surrounded by good restaurants and bars and you will almost certainly find life here very slow and easy going. Most of the sights can be found in one central area, all within easy walking distance. You will find the very helpful tourist office close to the bus station at the end of Calle San Diego. They will supply you with a good street map to make your visit easier. The coast offers a wide range of activities from sailing to windsurfing and good diving. The countryside is perfect for hiking, horseriding, cycling and exploring the beautiful local villages. From Cartagena you can easily explore the ancient city of Murcia, the coastal resorts of Mazarrón, Cala Cortina and Cabo de Palos or a little further north, the world famous resort of Mar Menor.