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Travel Guide To Murcia

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The city of Murcia is positioned on the Segura River in the south east of Spain, and has a population of almost 440,000 people. The city and region is well noted for its long hot summers, arid climate resulting in very little rain, and offers almost 300 days of sunshine a year! The city has its roots in the Moorish culture, and was officially founded in the 9th century AD, but also has its roots in the Roman Empire. Murcia city is located in a fertile plain of the Segura and as such is an important agricultural producer and exporter, particularly lettuce, lemons, oranges and tomatoes. Known as the Huerta of Murcia, it is a rich area filled with orchard and vineyards. As with all dry, fertile plain areas, the region is well known for its production of sparkling wines. The areas of Jumilla, Bullas and Ricote are the main vineyard regions of the region, producing some fine red wine.

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The city is well connected by road (through the development of the coastal motorway), rail and the local airport is the Murcia-San Javier Airport, which is near the towns of Santiago de la Ribera and San Javier, nearly 50km to the south east of Murcia City.

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The Costa Cálida (Warm Coast)
The Murcia Region is characterised by the almost 250km of Mediterranean Coastline known as Costa Cálida, and located to the south of Murcia City. The beaches are splendid, and the waters are warm, a major plus for tourists all year round. It is easily accessible along the AP-7. If you travel along this route, you will be astounded by the change in scenery and emphasis from the fishing villages to the food producing areas.

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Mar Menor (translated as ‘Little Sea’) is located to the north of the coast and includes the largest lagoon in Europe. The famous tourism region of La Manga (a 22km slice of land) is what keeps Mar Manor from the sea.

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Some of the major coastal towns along the Costa Cálida are Mazarron and Cartagena. The most popular beaches in the region are Cavanna, Puerto de Mazarron and La Puntica.

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Things to Do and See in Murcia City & Region

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Murcia City This city offers plenty of fine tourist attractions including:

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– The Cathedral of Cartagena Diocese which was completed in the 15th century over a 70 year period. It is constructed in the Gothic style, with the first two storeys built in the Renaissance style and the other in Baroque.

– The Plaza Cardenal Belluga is the location where the Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace are. The Palace dates from the 18th century.

– Murcia City Hall is located in the 18th century constructed part of the city called the Glorieta.

-If you take a walking tour of the old town segement of the city, you will be in the Plateria and Traperia districts. Markets were common in this part of the city, and one of the most impressive sights to see here is the Casino, which was constructed before 1850, and a major social club in the area. The inside of the Casino is an example of the wonderful Moorish style.

– The El Valle Regional park offers a good location for walking and relaxing.

– Romea Theatre & Monteagudo Castle are other locations worth a visit.

– Salzillo Museum to learn about the history of the area.

Cartagena Is the 2nd largest city in the Region and is now one of the main headquarters for the Spanish Navy. The Museum in the city is very impressive and well worth a visit. It tells the story of the civilizations that make up the history of the city from the Romans, Moors to the Christians. The City is home to many relics of the Roman empire, and the Roman Theatre in the city that has been marvellously restored.

The Port of Cartagena has been much improved and the local National Marine Museum is well worth visiting.

La Manga & Resort The most popular tourist area and resort in the Murcia Region is La Manga Resort. It has developed a great reputation as a sport and leisure resort, and a popular place for professional football teams from the UK to gain warm weather training in, and to enjoy a team building winter break. The use of the resort is a testimony to its top class facilities.

La Manga town is located on a 15 mile strip of land which divides the Mar Menor lagoon from the Mediterranea Sea. There are plenty of top class hotels and restaurants located here. The beautiful waters of Mar Menor is warm enough to swim in all year round, and is perfect for watersports.

Puerto de Mazarron and Águilas Probably the most two important resorts after La Manga. The beaches and bay waters are welcoming. Águilas was once a fishing port used by the Romans. A 15th century castle here is well worth looking at.

Caravaca de la Cruz & Lorca These locations both have wonderful religious connotations, and a history to match. Lorca offers some of the most wonderful Easter celebrations in Spain. North of Lorca is Caravaca de la Cruz. 2010 will see the latest Annus Sanctus (Sacred Year) and there will be many pilgrimages made here. The Church of Salvador is one of the very best examples of Renaissance architecture in Murcia.

Festivals in Murcia
The Holy Week Procession – Perhaps the most famous in all of Spain, this Easter festival chronicles the events that led to the Crucifixion of Christ. In the Festival, the wonderful sculptures by esteemed artist Francisco Salzillo are borrowed from their respective museums and used in the Holy Week Procession to trace the steps of the final moments before Jesus’s crucifixion.

The Easter Week Celebrations at Lorca are well worth a visit.

Jumilla, which is one of the major wine producing regions has its own wine fiesta called ‘Vendimia’ – full of revelry and sampling of wine!

At Calasparra in the North West of the Region, there is a major bull running festival that takes place in September.

Every September in Cartagena, there is a local fiesta celebrating the culture of the region – residents dress up in attire from the Roman and Carthage era.

Have we tempted you to take a vacation in Malaga? Well, the best way to explore the city and region is to avail of a top quality car rental. For the very best deals in car hire, visit our Car Hire Murcia Airport page.

John writes for – an independent car hire reservation website where you can book low cost car hire at over 5,000 locations worldwide.

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