Why you Need to Visit Murcia, Spain

By: Matthew J James

The autonomous Spanish region of Murcia is situated between the better known regions of AndalucÃ?a and Valencia in South Eastern Spain. Murcia is approximately 882 square Km, and has a population of 1.3 million people, with about a third of these people living in and around the city of Murcia itself. The climate is warm, with an average winter temperature of 11 degrees and around 34 degrees in summer, and boasts more than 300 sunny days a year. A recent World Health Organisation study pronounced Murcia the cleanest province in Spain.

Murcia is easily reached thanks to its two international airports, Alicante which sees over 9m passengers per year, and Murcia / St Javier airport which sees 3m passengers per year. A third airport in Corvera is scheduled to open in 2009, to make the city of Murcia and surrounding areas even easier to reach. Railway links with Madrid and Valencia, as well as a good motorway network mean that Murcia is very accessible.

One of Murcia's main features is the Costa Calida (Warm Coast) on the Mediterranean. It runs from Aguilas near Almeria in the south, to El Mojon on the boundary with Alicante in the north east. There is a n extensive and varied range of activities available including sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing and jet skiing, and much more, ensuring that there are plenty of new activities to try and something for everyone. From picturesque small fishing towns to mountains, the Costa Calida has it all.

Located in the south east of Murcia is Mar Menor, which at 170 square Km is the largest saltwater lagoon in the world. With its gentle winds and warm water, it is the ideal place for learning water sports as the high salt content makes it a safe place to swim. The waters are also believed to be therapeutic which has brought about spa tourism. The marshes surrounding Mar Menor have become a conservation area, and see a huge number and species of birds. Mar Menor is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a 22km stretch of beach called La Manga del Mar Menor, which has become one of the most highly regarded resorts on the Mediterranean.

The region of Murcia is also rich with historical buildings and castles including those at Alamha, Mula and Lorca, whilst the port of Cartagena is a popular destination for cruise ships. San Javier is located just off the Mar Menor, and less than half an hour from both Murcia and Cartagena, making it very handy for the main airport and a number of golf courses.



Excellent golf facilities are another reason for the increasing visitor numbers. The most well known of these, is the La Manga resort, which includes a hotel, apartments and villas as well as world class golf courses designed by Robert Putnam and Arnold Palmer. The courses at Altorreal and Torrepacheco are also well liked.

The North and West of Murcia is mainly mountainous agricultural land, and the majority of Spain's fruit and vegetable crop is grown around the river Segura. Indeed tomatoes, lettuce, oranges and lemons grown in Murcia can often be found in the supermarkets of other European countries.

The city of Murcia was founded in 825 by the Egyptians, and the region has been under varying political control throughout the centuries, including a period of independence in the 13th century and became independent again in 1982. The 18th century was a highly prosperous time for the region, mainly because of the silk trade, and the majority of the churches and monuments date from around this time. Nowadays, Murcia is the 7th largest city in Spain by population.

Standing on the banks of the river Segura, Murcia has been described as one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. The Moorish architecture and influence is very evident. The impressive cathedral was started in 1388 and took four centuries to complete. There are many celebrations and fiestas which take place all year round, and there is always plenty to do. Excellent shopping and varied cuisine are just two of the ways you can get to know Murcia better. Traditional arts and crafts such as weaving and embroidery remain popular. As well as celebrating its past, Murcia looks to the future with its impressive university building, and large student population.

The people of Murcia are very friendly by nature, and are welcoming tourism and residents from overseas. This region is very agricultural and horticultural, and has not seen the economic boom and commercialisation experienced by other regions of Spain. The traditional Spanish values and way of life are still evident here. The rise in Murcia's popularity with tourists, as well as investments from regional government is improving infrastructure and facilities. Some new property developments have been permitted and Murcia is becoming a popular holiday home location. Strict planning regulations do not allow high rise buildings, and ensure that towns and cities are not over-developed.



Murcia is a very exciting part of Spain to visit or to live in, with plenty for everyone. Whether it's a beach holiday, a golfing weekend or your new home, Murcia can provide it all.

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