The Portman Guns
When enjoying a holiday in La Manga why not combine a bit of hiking, history and spectacular views with a visit to the Portman Guns. Known as the Cañones de Cenizas in Spanish, the Portman Guns are one of the coastal defences built to protect the important Port of Cartagena from attack by sea, and their elevated position offers panoramic views for miles around.
Getting To The Portman Guns
To reach the guns you head out of La Manga on the RM-12 and when you reach the residential area of Los Belones you turn left on the RM-314 and continue passed the entrance to the famous La Manga Club following the signs for Portman. As the road continues up a rise, before you reach the crest turn right on RM-F42 signposted Llano del Beal and after about 50 metres there is a large car park on the left. From here you will need to walk back to the main road, turn right and at the crest of the hill there is a wooden gate on the left which is the entrance to the hiking trail that takes you to the Portman Guns.
Exploring The Portman Guns
There are no facilities at the gun battery and the hike takes around 40 minutes all uphill so, wear a good pair of trainers or hiking boots and take along water and sun protection, although much of the hiking trail is shaded by trees. At the gun battery there are several buildings and tunnels which were used to access the diesel motors that operated the guns which can still be explored, but bring along a torch and take care if you are visiting with young children.
After your 40 minute uphill hike you are rewarded with a bit of Costa Calida history in the form of two huge guns built by Vickers in the early 1920's that weigh a whopping 88 tones each, with a length of 18.6 metres and firing range of 35 kilometres. It's best to visit in spring or autumn when the weather is milder and the gun battery and viewing terraces not crowded. This makes for a lovely picnic while enjoying the views that reach across the lovely Calblanque National Park and all the way to Cabo de Palos jutting out into the Mediterranean.