The Region

Murcia City The region of Murcia and Alicante

The autonomous Spanish region of Murcia is located between the regions of Andalucía and Valencia in South Eastern Spain. Murcia has a population of 1.3 million people, with around a third of these people living in or around the city of Murcia itself. Thanks to the region’s eternal spring-like weather, the average temperature is 19° and has around 320 days of sunshine per year. 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.

Mar Menor beach Extensive activities on the Mar Menor

There is an 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. 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.

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. 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.