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Murcia Travel Guide

Introduction to Murcia

The inland city of Murcia in south east Spain is one of the more overlooked cities when it comes to Spanish city breaks with many opting for Madrid or beach destinations such as Marbella and Barcelona. Despite this, Murcia has plenty to offer; a mashup of architectural styles, tree lined streets, bustling squares which play host to regular festivals and events, and a laid back charm surrounded by lush countryside, golf courses and National Parks.

So if you can't decide between a city break rich in historical sites or a countryside retreat exploring the outdoors and the natural side of Spain, consider Murcia - the perfect balance between the two.

Other things to do in Murcia

Murcia's architecture, gardens and the atmospheric squares with cafes and tapas bars are part of Murcia's charm. The city's museums tells the story behind the city – Museo de la Ciudad is the Museum of the City and the nearby Salzillo Museum takes a look into the Baroque works of Francisco Salzillo which are prevalent throughout Murcia. Murcia is surrounded by archaeological sites from the Iberian period, to find out more about these The Museo Arqueologico has collections displaying the archaeological discoveries from the region. The Real Casino de Murcia is one of the city's most impressive sites, from the outside there's a highly decorative facade, with the mix of artistic styles which is typical of Murcia's landmarks. Take a tour inside to admire the gold leaf walls, eye-catching chandeliers and opulent décor with its Arabic influence.

After you have made your way around Murcia's historic city centre there's plenty to discover in the surrounding region. Nearby Caravaca de la Cruz is a holy town which is the scene of constant pilgrimages. One of only five official Holy Cities in the world (as declared by the Vatican), Caravaca shares this honour with Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Santo Toribio de Liébano. Caravaca de la Cruz gets its name from a piece of wood in the shape of a cross with twin arms, which is reputed to have been part of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified and it is this that flocks of Christians come to visit.

Murcia is surrounded by valleys, natural parks and mountain ranges with dramatic contrasts between the arid landscapes and lush green forests. The Ricote Valley is to the north of Murcia and runs alongside the Segura River. The valley features many charming towns and villages with attractions such as the Archena Spa, Roman ruins and vineyards producing Ricote wine. The Sierra Espuña Regional Reserve to the south west is home to Roman baths, the Ravines of Gebas, caves and Moorish castles.

If you're heading to Murcia to play golf you can hire a car and make your way around the great selection of golf courses in the region. There's the championship course of La Manga which has a long history of hosting international tournaments, The El Valle and Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort which were both designed by Jack Nicklaus, and the challenging La Peraleja, designed by Severiano Ballesteros.

Eating and drinking in Murcia

Nicknamed 'huerta' - the orchard it should come as no surprise that much of the food and drink served in Murcia features locally grown produce from the surrounding countryside including olives, bomba rice, peaches, figs, almonds and vegetables. The Mediterranean vegetables are the base of many meals; roast pepper salad, stews, rice with vegetables, rabbit or snails, and lamb with a garlic and vinegar dressing are all recommended if you want to get a true taste of the local cuisine.

Murcia climate

Murcia's climate is rated as one of the best in the world by the World Health Organisation. It has a subtropical semi-arid climate which results in hot, dry summers and mild winters. July and August are the hottest months with average daily temperatures of 27°c, highs of 34°c and minimal rainfall. December to February are the coldest months with daily average temperatures of 11°c and an average temperature range of 5-17°c.

When to go to Murcia

With an average of 315 days of sunshine annually and only 11 days of rain evenly spread throughout September to May, Murcia provides an ideal year round holiday destination. May to June and September to October typically offer the most comfortable temperatures with averages of 22°c.

Flying to Murcia

A limited number of airlines fly to Murcia-San Javier Airport, this is a small airport in the town of San Javier, 27km from Murcia. A flight from the UK to Murcia-San Javier Airport will take around 2.5 hours. Depending on your departure airport you may find you need to fly to Alicante Airport, the main international airport serving the region of Murcia. Alicante Airport is 75km north of Murcia, you can reach Murcia by bus which will take around one hour, taxi or by hiring a car from Alicante Airport.

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