We ventured to Lo Pagan Mar Menor, Spain for the weekend, so we could experience the healing powers of the natural Lo Pagan mud baths! Lo Pagan in the Murcia province, part of Costa Blanca Spain, is the place to go and it is easy access. It is about 3 1/2 hours from Almuñécar, 4 hours Northeast of Costa del Sol, 2 1/2 hours South of Valencia and 4 hours Southeast of Madrid.
First of all, let me tell you what we envisioned for our mud bath and then we will share the real deal with you. We all had visions of a big oooey gooey mud pit with nice clean smooth mud for our Mar Menor mud bath. We thought we would step into it and sink to our knees and have trouble trying to walk and move around. We would sit in the mud for a bit, get out and let it dry. As we allow it to dry, we would be benefiting from all of the minerals and “healing powers” of this special mud. Then walk over to the sea to rinse off and away we would go with healthy glowing skin.
The kids were thinking it was going to be like quick sand and just suck them up to the center of the earth. Of course there would be time to have a mud fight, throw it at each other and go crazy too. Leave it up to the kids to think that, as it’s got to be really exciting right? Well, once we arrived we found it to be a little bit different from what any of us were thinking. It wasn’t really a “mud bath”, but more of a warm “mud rub”.
Here’s How To Take A Mud Bath
Arrival – Lo Pagan mud baths (Mar Menor, Spain).
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Starting from the windmill go along the elevated walking and cycling promenade. To the left of the promenade is a small shallow and salty lagoon. To the right of the promenade is Mar Menor (Small Sea).
Entering into the Mud Baths–
Walk along the promenade and select one of many platforms to enter the “mud”. You may enter directly from the shore, but the silkier mud is out a little bit and you will need to walk further in the mud. Stop to view the others partaking in this activity and remember soon “you will look just like them!”.
Each platform has a few steps to ease you into the mud. As you step down you feel the cold chill of the salty water and with your final step you are in the ooshie gooshie mud. But wait! The mud is warm, very warm and the water is cool. That was a very weird and unexpected sensation, but makes sense as the mud / silt is black and absorbs the heat. The water is shallow (maybe knee-deep) and isn’t too warm.
Application of the mud
As you can see you are in the water and the mud is at the bottom. It is a good idea to bring some sort of container so you can scoop the mud and then apply. We were luck enough to find a previously used container at the edge of the platform and made that our own. We filled with mud and applied to each of us.
Note: The water doesn’t really smell, but the mud itself has that distinct sulfur, rotten egg smell. It wasn’t overpowering and you do get used to it. Let’s just say be prepared as it bakes on you.
As you can see Alan became the family expert at mud painting. My job was the family mud scooper, then I would quickly hop out, clean my hands for photos and then back in. I kept scooping and filling up the container until everyone was covered and cleaning my hands until we had photos. Then Alan applied the last container full to me.
Drying and baking on the mud –
This is actually a tricky process. I know you are thinking “How difficult is it to dry?”. Well let me tell you the responsibility you now have. You aren’t just someone covered in mud, you have become a tourist attraction!
You can’t just sit there basking in the sun for 20-30 minutes. No, you need to bring some value to the are of mud drying. It is your responsibility to make sure you proudly walk the promenade (the mud catwalk).You must pretend you are the incredible hulk or some other superhero. Don’t laugh too much, you will literally crack up!
Note: Make sure one person in your party keeps their hands mud free, so you can take loads of photos. That was me! I looked like I was wearing gloves, but couldn’t get a good photo of myself.
This part is pretty self-explanatory. Back into the water you go. This stuff doesn’t just wash away, you need to wipe and scrub.
We noticed many of the experienced people brought along a sponge. That was not something we thought to bring, so we had to get a little crafty. We first tried just using our hands to wipe it off and it got about 90% of it. Oh no, how were we going to get this off? Then Alan had a bright idea and took one for the team. He remained under water (head still out) and took off his shorts, so we could all have something to use as a wash cloth. LOL. The kids got a kick out of that. Sorry no photos as we were all in the water.
This part was a breeze. We just gathered our things and dried off. We walked back up the promenade to the beach to find a shower, as most beaches in Spain have showers galore. Well, most beaches other than this one! We could only find one wash area and it was mainly for your feet. To top it all off, it was only sea water. We did another rinse as best we could and then hopped into the car. On the way, in we spotted a shopping mall, so we returned there and went in to wash as best we could in the public bathrooms.
We had a blast and wished we lived closer, so we could go more often. After a little lunch we hopped in the car and began our 3 1/2 – 4 hour journey home. Remember that “odor” I told you about? Well, just because you rinse doesn’t mean it goes away. Let’s just say our car ride home was full of aroma!
Side Note from Alan:
Spain Info & Guides
- Lonely Planet Spain (Travel Guide)
- Rick Steves Spain 2018
- Fodor’s Essential Spain (Full-color Travel Guide)
- DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Spain
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There are also many organized tours for you to enjoy from being active on walking or biking tour, to enjoying a food or wine tour. There is so much to do and Viator has so many great offers for you.