The South East Spain region covers the autonomous community of Murcia and the Valencian Community, and this combined area of around 33,500 km² is regarded as home territory for approximately 6.5 million inhabitants. Murcia’s Mar Menor is the largest saltwater lagoon in Europe, separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a sandbar that’s 22 kilometres in length, while the coastline in Valencia is characterized by wetland and marshland areas such as L’Albufera and salt evaporation ponds like those at Santa Pola.
Golf is administered in this region by the Federación de Golf de la Región de Murcia and the Federación de Golf de la Comunitat Valenciana. Sixteen golf facilities are affiliated to the Murcia federation, including the 54-hole set-up at Real La Manga Club in Cartagena. Twice as many clubs are attached to the Valencian federation, the largest of which is Meliã Villaitan Golf Club, where there are two Nicklaus Design 18-courses open for visitor play just outside Benidorm.
The best course in the region is undoubtedly the 18-hole links layout at Parador El Saler. Designed by Javier Arana and unveiled in the late 1960s, it’s widely regarded as the architect’s crowning glory, the ninth of only ten courses that he ever built during a thirty-year design career. It features very highly in our Continental Europe rankings and only just missed out on a place in our recently revised World 100 so this is by far and away the place to play if you ever find yourself in or around the city of Valencia.
In the Murcia area, Cabell Robinson's design at Las Colinas Golf & Country Club leads the way from two of the three 18-hole layouts at Real La Manga Club. Opened for play in 2010, Las Colinas features prominently in both our Spanish and Continental Europe Top 100 charts.