The capital of the region with a population of 168,000, Cartegena was founded, as its name suggests, by the Carthargenians in 227 BC and it became Hannibal’s capital city on the Iberian Peninsula. Today it is a modern, industrial city although relics of the its past are still highly visible. The narrow streets of the old town were built around the ruined 13th century cathedral. There are several sites of historical interest including the remains of the Roman road, an old Roman theatre and the Literna (an ancient lighthouse of Moorish origins). Cartagena’s ancient seaport and naval dockyard is where the first submarine was built in 1900 and where submarines are still built today. The port consists of a deep bay with a natural harbour, hence the town’s historical importance. Cartagena has a large shopping centre, plenty of supermarkets and other amenities you would expect to find in a large town including a hospital, schools and sports facilities. The town is the major service centre for the Costa Calida urbanizations that continue to develop around it. Cartegena is 30 minutes drive from Murcia via the N301 San Javier airport is 15km from Cartagena. The excellent golf courses at La Manga, which has 3 18-hole courses of international standard, are 20km away.