The Mar Menor is an extensive coastal lagoon measuring some 170 square kilometres. Consisting of warm salt waters, this lagoon was originally a bay that opened out to the Mediterranean, but is now separated from the sea by a narrow bank of sand some 24 kilometres long known as La Manga, a curious whim of nature that presents extensive beaches washed by the sea on both sides. Due to the excellent climate in the area this is an ideal spot for pursuing all kinds of water−sports throughout the year. The Mar Menor Sea Resort consists of a series of sailing, water−sports and tourist infrastructures grouped around the shores of the Mar Menor, offering visitors an entire range of activities and services at its more than 20 shoreline bases, enabling them to learn, perfect or simply enjoy sailing, water−skiing, scuba diving, motor−boating, canoeing, flysurfing, windsurfing and catamaran sailing. For scuba−diving lovers, these warm waters harbour sea−beds teeming with plant and animal life, such as the Marine Reserve of Cabo de Palos−Islas Hormigas. Scuba divers will also be captivated by the remains of a number of sunken ships. Visitors can also enjoy a number of previously designed routes, either by sea (in canoe, sailing boat or motor−boat), or on land (bicycle, on horseback or on foot), as well as under the water. They can also play golf at the nearby town of Los Belones, on the nearby courses at La Manga Club Resort in Los Belones, at the Mar Menor Golf Resort in Torre−Pacheco, at Roda Golf in San Javier or at La Serena in Los Alcázares. Alternatively, the could discover small deserted coves where they can bathe naked, visit the Regional Parks of Calblanque and Las Salinas de San Pedro, undergo mud−therapy treatment at the thalassotherapy centres of La Manga and Lo Pagán or at the well−known Mud−baths at Las Charcas de las Salinas, or discover the "winter beaches" of Santiago de la Ribera, which are perfectly equipped for visitors to enjoy the mild climate throughout the entire year.