La Manga is located in the Spanish region of Murcia on the Costa Calida. The name La Manga (literally "the sleeve") actually describes the 28-kilometre spit of land which divides the Mediterranean from the Mar Menor sea inlet. But the name has now become synonymous with one of Europe's top tourist complexes - the award winning La Manga Club where you can enjoy some serious self-indulgence in a purpose-built 1,400 acre holidaymakers' paradise.
La Manga is the resort with everything. If you've got Euros to burn and you expect every possible luxury and leisure activity at your fingertips.well, you've come to the right place!
The resort lies in a fertile valley, sheltered by the Murcian hills and flanked by the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean and Mar Menor sea (a lagoon which provides a perfect natural playground for watersports enthusiasts).
The complex has no less than three world class golf courses, a tennis centre which is one of the finest in Europe, equestrian centres, a host of other sports and luxurious health and spa facilities. There's a casino, fine restaurants, hundreds of bars, beautifully manicured gardens and tropical-style swimming pools.
No wonder tour operators from all over the world chose La Manga as the European category winner in the prestigious World Travel Awards.
This is an upmarket resort where the vast majority of accommodation is provided within the hundreds of self-catering apartments and villas which dot the hillsides and line the beachfront. It's ideal for sports lovers and families, as long as you're not on too tight a budget. There are just too many temptations within easy reach to be able to get away with a low budget holiday.
Most of the self catering homes offer an extremely high standard of furnishings and facilities so expect to pay more here than you would in the more mass market resorts such as Benidorm and Torremolinos.
The resort is within reach of Murcia's San Javier Airport which is on the northern side of the Mar Menor. Alicante's international El Altet Airport is just 100 kilometres north.
Many visitors never venture beyond the resort which is completely self contained. But there is a wider La Manga which is worth exploring, especially if you want to see more of the "real Spain" (outside the boundaries of the beautifully fabricated wonderland of the holiday complex).
The Mar Menor is Europe's biggest salt water lagoon and attracts not only water sports fans but thousands of birds, including flamingoes which make a magnificent sight during the autumn migration.
The lagoon has 73 kilometres of coastline peppered with small villages where you can still savour some of Spain's traditional lifestyle, food and hospitality.
This area is famous for its curative waters, rich in iodine and salt, which have therapeutic properties believed to ease various ailments particularly infections and rheumatism.
The historic city of Murcia, the provincial capital, lies 70 kilometres north west of the resort. For a flavour of this region's culture and history, Murcia offers a wealth of museums, monuments, a beautiful cathedral and some interesting 19th century architecture.