We have stayed in villas in Europe, America and the Caribbean and this was by far the best - large and open and spacious and within sight and a few minutes' walking distance of the beach.
It had all the facilities we could have wanted including air-con in all the main rooms and TV from the UK. It was really well furnished and the separate apartment upstairs was just as lovely.
Outside, there is a wonderful pool along with loungers and a BBQ and a shower and changing facilities - really, this villa has everything you could wish for.
Isla Plana beach is close by as are the shops - newsagent and general store, supermarket, pharmacy, baker, deli - a couple of nice restaurants too.
We also spent some time in La Azohia, a ten minute drive, which has a nice beach with bars and pedalos. That was our favourite. Mazarron, another ten minute drive the other way, has a nice beach too, lots of restaurants - we ate out for apx 50 euros for a family of four - and various events on Saturday nights. It's easy to park in an underground car park right by the beach. There is a boat that offers trips in various directions - but do get there a good 30 minutes before it sails as it can fill up quickly.
We also went to Cartegena a few times - it's about a 30/40 minute drive over the mountains (perhaps don't do the drive at night!) Again, very easy to park on the seafront in an underground car park. There are some shops and places to eat and the most wonderful Roman Amphitheatre there - a must-see if you have any interest in history. The cruise ships dock here - quite a sight - but note that prices tend to be higher because of this in our opinion (we've seen this happen regularly in the Caribbean). As an example, a jug of sangria in Mazarron was five euros - seafront at Cartegena was 12 euros for the same jug. There are malls in and around Cartegena and we visited one - I do not recall the name - but plenty of shops there and my wife and daughter bought lots of stuff and it did not seem very expensive; the exchange rate, sterling-euro, is pretty good.
We also visited the waterpark at Murcia a couple of times - there is a great zoo with it and we paid about 100 euros for both the water park and the zoo and you can go back the next day on the same ticket. It was pushing up towards 40 on the days we visited so we mostly just spent time in the waterpark. There are several big slides, a lazy river etc.
All in all, on our two week holiday, we spent some time relaxing at the villa and by the pool, a few days on various beaches - Isla Plana, La Azohia, Mazarron - and a few days further afield, Cartegena and Murcia; a good mix. We ate out most evenings - mostly in Mazarron which has a good range, including an 'English' type Chinese buffet. There are lots of restaurants on the front and more a few streets back; it's worth exploring a little as we found several really good restaurants here.
We tend to alternate annual holidays between Europe and America but are going back to this lovely villa in May/June 2016.
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