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Family Days Out

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Terra Natura, Murcia

The region’s biggest waterpark is a fun change from the beach. Simply designed for speed and smooth riding, Terra Natura’s giant slides and chutes are combined with vast, sparkling pools and long, calming lazy rivers. Cute splash-around play areas are inventive and colourful for under 5s. And cheerful, family-friendly chiringuitos add a beachy vibe, just in case you forget you’re in the warm, sunny south of Spain for a minute.

Natural habitats are the rule in the park’s eco-zoo and kids can track keepers, get involved at feeding times, learn about the wild residents and even stay after-hours for a Night Safari. Try to time your visit to catch one of the falconry displays, graceful birds of prey soaring in a blue summer sky is an awe-inspiring sight.

 

Where: Espinardo, 10 minutes north of Murcia city centre.

When: April to September, 10am to 7pm

 

Cost: Children £8 and Adults £13

Find out more about Terra Natura in Murcia

Dolphins, hiking and kayaking weekend, Mazarrón

At first glance, Mazarrón is a pretty Costa Cálida seaside resort trimmed with big, sandy beaches and yacht-stuffed harbours. But dig a bit deeper and you’ll find the roots here stretch right back to prehistory with later links to Phoenicians and ancient Romans. Wandering round the historic quarter’s a journey through centuries of Mediterranean architecture. And even the lively waterfront manages to squeeze some folklore and legend in between the cute cafés and seafood restaurants.

This is where to set sail for the weekend on a traditional schooner, spend days spotting dolphins, learning to sea kayak and hiking along the dramatic and lovely Murcia coastline. The friendly crew includes a marine biologist so kids can ask questions to their heart’s content and expect no nonsense answers.

 

Where: Cetáceos y Navegación, Mazarrón

 

When: May to September (dates and times vary)

Find out more about dolphin watching in Mazarron

Salinas de San Pedro Coastal Park

If you want to see elegant flamingo and exotic wading birds in their natural habitat, spend the day exploring the salt flats and waterways of Salinas de San Pedro. Stretching for just over 6km along the coast east of Cartagena, this is a nice bite-size adventure for kids and an excellent example of Murcia’s commitment to environmental and cultural sustainability.

In fact, it’s one of the few remaining places in Europe where you can witness Las Encañizadas, a highly skilled method of fishing which dates back to the middle ages and the area’s fascinating salt-mining heritage is another equally intriguing reason to visit.

 

Where: San Pedro del Pinatar

 

When: year round, dawn until dusk

Cost: free

Find out more about Salinas de San Pedro Coastal Park

Parque Rafael de la Cedra, Tentegorra

One of the Costa Cálida’s best loved adventure parks is a weekend favourite with local families and has been for almost 60 years. Don’t worry it definitely doesn’t look or act its age and everything from treetop walkways and aerial assault courses to stupendously long zip-lines are beautifully engineered and fantastic fun.

Huge swimming pools, water-chutes, slides and rides mean there’s no chance of missing the beach or sweltering in the summer heat. And the friendly, young team seem dedicated to redefining the meaning of enthusiasm – they’re wonderfully encouraging and helpful with younger children too.

Where: Tentegorra on the coast, 20 minutes drive west of Cartagena

 

When: June to September, seven days, from 11am

 

Cost: from £19 per person

 

Find out more about Parque Rafael de la Cedra in Murcia

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Fuerte de Navidad Cruise, Cartagena

For a fast and fascinating snapshot of Cartagena’s fortified and historic coastline, hop aboard the tourist boat which sets sails from the city’s waterfront several times a day in summer.

There’s quite an astonishing number of forts strewn along the coast in this area. Some are as recent as WWII and others date back to the middle ages when Cartagena was one of Spain’s great southern ports and a much coveted prize for ambitious invaders.

 

Where: Muelle de Alfonso XII, Cartagena

 

When: all year round (check online for times)

 

Cost: from £6.80 per person

 

Find out more about daily cruises from Cartagena in Murcia

Parque Minero, La Unión

Take a tour of the silver and lead mines which funded the Punic Wars waged by the ancient Romans against the Carthaginians. As Rome grew rich and prospered, tens of thousands of slave-miners lost their lives here, deep below the earth in deadly shafts. The darkest history doesn’t pull any punches in the telling and it’s added to by tales of more recent mining exploits and present day initiatives to restore this overwrought and strangely mesmerising landscape.

The park’s excellent exhibits and guided tours (in English on Tuesdays and Thursdays) make an involving day out. And there’s the added charm of a miniature train round the extensive mine complex, probably more appealing to kids than history’s dastardly deeds.

 

Where: La Unión, 20 minutes drive west of Cartagena

 

When and prices: Parque Minero group tours are individually booked, time and costs vary.

 

Find out more about Parque Minero in Murcia

Go-Karts Mar Menor

Mar Menor invites you to spend an unforgettable day with your family and friends. One of the best Go-Kart sites is at San Javier, almost next door to the airport on the way to Los Alcazares.

The track is more than 1,100meters long. Here you will find karts for two this is so dad, or mum can drive and the young children can experience the ride of a life time.

The karts go up then from smaller engines, 100cc 200cc, 300cc and 400cc these can reach a maximum of 108 K/mp. 

Usually you have around 6 – 8 laps depending on how busy the circuit is.

There is a bar and café with good food choice, viewing area and grandstand on the roof, ample free parking. The karts are all very well looked after and safety is a priority. Beginners and professional are all welcome.

 

Where:  Ctra. Stgo. de la Ribera - Aeropuerto (Junto Disc. Maná) 30720,Stgo. de la Ribera (San Javier) Murcia (Spain)

 

When: Winter Schedule De 10:30 h. a 19:00 h. Summer Schedule De 10:30 h. a 00:00 h

Cost: various from 10euros

Find out more about Go-Karts Mar Menor

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