This little town east of Cartagena is names as such due to an amalgamation of 4 separate villages which formed a union in1859. It has a history of mining, there is a Museum of Mining in the town and in August, a popular fiesta is held when mining choirs from all over Spain gather for a Mining Festival. The interior of the Old Market is worth seeing with its huge vaulted and intricately decorated ceilings.
La Union has a population of 15,000. The town is 7km from Cartagena and 13km from San Javier airport. Murcia is a 30 minute drive away. La Union is a few kilometres from the coast and the golf course at La Manga is less than a 10 minute drive
A couple of kilometres south of La Union, perched on the coast, is the village of Portman. The road from La Union to Portman winds its way through an unattractive landscape of abandoned mines. At the sweeping Portman Bay, evidence of the environmental damage caused by mining residue is plain to see. The damage is of such extent, with the bay almost completely blocked by the residue, that local fishermen have to use a channel to the east of the bay.
Portman has a population of 1,100. It is 4km from La Union and 15km from Cartagena.