Murcia is one of Spain's least known regions, even among Spaniards themselves, and first-time
visitors are often surprised by the diversity of this small region and the friendliness
of its people, Murcianos.
The community of euroresidents living
in this region has grown in recent years, drawn by Murcia's attractive mountain
villages, the beautiful coastline, Costa Cálida, low prices
compared to more expensive Spanish resorts, one of the best climates in Spain
all year round.
However, despite its growing popularity, the region remains relatively
unspoilt compared to the more crowded Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca. Fruits and
market-garden products are important to the Murcian economy, and are exported
all over Europe. Murcia is also famous for its excellent tapas.
Where to visit and what to do in Murcia
- Walk: Murcia is the perfect city for strolling
around (and a terrible one to drive in, with very complicated one-way systems
and crowded carparks). Everything worth seeing is within walking distance. The
most famous commercial streets are Trapería, Platería and la Avda.
Alfonso X el Sabio. The Paseo del Malecón near the River
Segura is also a pleasant walk out of the city and then back again.
Cathedral: The cathedral proudly presides the Cardenal Belluga Square. It
is a masterpeice from the Spanish Barroque period. The Episcopal Palace (18th
century) is also located in the square. (See
photo of the Cathedral of Murcia and the Episcopal Palace).
- Casino del XIX: A Murcian institution in the Trapería - its ballroom is decorated
in the style of Luis 15th.
- Churches, Convents: Santa Ana church, San
Andrés church, San Miguel church. San Nicolás church; San Juan de Dios church
and museum, Las Agustinas monastery is just 5km away. Nuestra Sra. de la Fuensanta
sanctuary (great views of the city).
- Museums: the Cathedral museum,
the Science museum, the City museum, The Religious Art museum (Museo de la Sangre
- located in the Iglesia del Carmen), the Archeological museum, The Bellas Artes
Museum, Salzillo museum, the Bullfighting museum.
- The Murcian market-garden - very attractive scenery, Las Ruedas medievales de la Ñora are worth a visit
in the nearby village of Alcantarilla
- The Roman theatre (1826) still
Shopping: The most typical things to buy to eat in
Murcia are meat pies (including deer pie) from Bonache (in the pretty plaze de
las Flores - Flowers square). Shops in the Trapería and Platería
are also worth a look. The Verónicas market is good for famous Murcian
market-garden products, fish and seafood.
Murcia Cuisine: Rice dishes such as arroz
caldero, fish and seafood from the Mar Menor such as lobster are unique and
an absolutely essential gastronomic experience. There are many other Murcian dishes
that have become popular throughout Spain. The zarangollo, bean omelette, the michirones, the olla
gitana and the arroz
with habichuelas, rabbit, potatoes in garlic known as al
ajo cabañil. For desserts try the exellent paparajotes - lemon leaves fried
in crispy batter and dusted in sugar and cinammon -, leche frita (fried milk!),
Accommodation-Hotels. See Hotels
in La Manga
Cities in Murcia:
- Cartagena Located on the coast this city has a rich historical heritage and has been strategically
important for centuries. Its Roman history can be seen in the the amphitheatre,
the Augusteum, the Roman road, the Roman theatre, the Colonnade de la morería
baja...all in magnificant surroundings. Castles: The Castillo de la Concepción,
Castillos de Galeras, Atalaya, Moros and San Julián, City walls: Bizantina,
Púnica, Museums: the City Archeological museum, Carmen Conde, the Underwater
Archeological museum, the Naval museum. We recommend a stroll along the calle
Mayor (Mayor street) until you get to the seafront, passing on your way the grand
Consistorial palace. One option for an enjoyable visit to the city is to stay
in one of the hotels near La Manga. We also recommend a marvellous restaurant
Churrascos which is located within this area.
another Murcian city with historical significance. Visit: the Castillo
de Lorca, other buildings to see are the ancients houses - Casa del Corregidor,
Casa de los Guevara and la Casa Consistorial also San Patricio Collegiate church. Museums: the Archeological museum, Bordados de los dos pasos de la semana
santa: el blanco y el azul. A Parador is currently being built - there is another
one in Murcia on the border with Andalucia - the Parador
of Puerto Lumbreras.
Villages in Murcia
in natural resources, coastline and historical heritage. Visiting the whole province
is impossible given the area it covers. The best places to visit are the coast,
the eje Moratalla- Caravaca-Cehegín
- Alhama de Murcia, near
to the Espuña mountain range, the castle is worth a look. Eating: try the
El Chaleco restaurant El Chaleco (Tel. 968 630 197) for its wonderful Murcian
- Archena, famous for its spa baths - the Archena Spa with thermal
- Caravaca de la Cruz, one of the most interesting villages in
the province. Visit: the medieval neighbourhood, the castel, its churches,
the Sanctuary and the museums
- Cehegín, located in low lying land near
the Argos river, this village has beautiful views of the surrounding scenery. Visit: the churches, the townhall, the chapel, the convent and the sanctuary.
well worth a visit. This town is a cultural reference for people in Murcia and
beyond, with one of the most interesting art museums in southern Spain.
famous for its vineyards. Visit: the castle, the convent and the churches.
- Moratalla, located in the Moratalla mountain range and on the border
with Andalucia. See the calle Mayor, Benizar and Fortaleza castles, the sanctuary.
Stay in Cenaje hotel next to the reservoir.
- Totana, very close to the
Espuña natural park - outstanding scenery. Recommended places to see -
los Saladares del Guadalentín, El Cerro de la Cabra, Los Pozos de la nieve, El
purgatorio, Las Alquerías,
- Yecla, near to Jumilla it too has very good
wines. Famous for its low price furniture.
The coast and beaches
- La Manga and the Mar Menor. See La
Manga. La Manga (which means "sleeve" in Spanish) is a narrow
strip of land with two shores: the mediterranean and the so called "Mar Menor".
There is a lot of tourist activity although some unspoilt areas still exist at
the far end of the Manga. Ideal for water sports. See Hotels
in La Manga and photos
of La Manga and the Mar Menor.
- Águilas, on the border with
Almería, good seafood and fish, nearby quiet coastal areas
important fishing enclave, popular with tourists - visit the Moreras mountain
- San Pedro del Pinatar, near the Regional Park called Las Salinas
and Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar (salt marsh used by the Romans, flamingos,
herons, and other sea birds), the stew from this area is very popular (Casa del
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