Murcia province is located in the south-east of the Iberian Peninsula, between the regions of Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and Valencia. The region of Murcia occupies an area of 11,317 km2. Bordering the province of Albacete in the North, Alicante in the east, the provinces of Granada, Albacete and Almería in the west, and the Mediterranean.
The coast, features & beaches
Murcia has just over 170 km of coastline. Coves and small beaches alternate with rocky shores and sheer, craggy cliffs, and which includes numerous places of interest for nature lovers.
Many of these locations have been declared Protected Natural Areas, places where one can still find autonomous species of flora and fauna, such as the Sabina Mora tree or the Fartet, a tiny, unique species of fish.
One of the most popular destinations in Murcia is La Manga (the sleeve); a strip of land, which almost completely closes off the Mar Menor lagoon from the Mediterranean, forming an important part of the coastline. The internal shores of La Manga are gently sloping and provide safe bathing in the calm waters.
Towns & Villages of Murcia
The region of Murcia consists of a number of districts, which incorporate 45 towns that make up this autonomous community. All of the districts are in turn governed by Murcia, the regional capital.
The district of Cartagena contains the towns of: Cartagena, La Unión, Los Alcázares, San Pedro del Pinatar, San Javier, Torre Pacheco, Fuente Álamo and Mazarrón.
The district of Lorca is made up of: Lorca - the largest town in Spain in terms of surface area, Águilas and Puerto Lumbreras.
The Lower Guadalentín district includes: Totana, Alhama de Murcia and Librilla.
The district of the Middle Segura Valley is made up of: Murcia, Alcantarilla, Beniel, Fortuna, Abanilla and Santomera.
The Upper Segura Valley district contains: Abarán, Blanca, Calasparra, Cieza, Archena, Ojós, Ricote, Ulea, Villanueva del Segura, Alguazas, Ceutí, Lorquí, Molina de Segura and Las Torres de Cotillas.
The Mula River Valley is made up of the towns of: Albudeite, Campos del Río, Mula and Pliego, whilst the Northwest District contains: Moratalla, Caravaca, Cehegín, Calasparra and Bullas.
The Costa Calida
Two seas, one coastline depicts the Costa Calida, which meets with both the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean. Here you will find impressive cliffs, heavenly beaches of white sand, lively ports and wild coves with crystal clear water. This is the Costa Calida, a great place to holiday at any time of the year.
Leisure & Recreation
From the fishing town of Aguilas to the white dune beach of El Mojon in San Pedro del Pinatar, with kilometre after kilometre of beaches and deserted coves, just waiting for the arrival of the bather, the sailor, the diver or the fisherman.
Fans of water-sports will find this a great place for sailing, canoeing, swimming, water-skiing, jet-skiing, fly-surfing, windsurfing, catamaran sailing, and every other type of aquatic activity in its numerous clubs, ports and sailing schools.
The mainly quiet, well paved country roads offer cyclist and runners plenty of opportunity to explore. Much of the shoreline has paths and promenades, making this a paradise for walkers.
The Nautical Resort on the Mar Menor and similar facilities in Mazarron and Aguilas offer the opportunity to hire equipment and book sailing or windsurfing courses.
There are many delightful, picturesque fishing villages to visit. Try La Azohia or Cabo de Palos, where you can lose yourself for a few days. There are many fishing ports like the one in Mazarron, where you can spend a lively evening and enjoy its magnificent gastronomy after a day on the beach.
Unspoilt Nature & sympathetic development
Heavenly areas of natural beauty abound. The beaches of Calblanque and Calnegre will take your breath away.
La Manga del Mar Menor, is a paradise between two seas with long sandy beaches, a gently sloping seabed and crystalline waters, backed by an excellent infrastructure for tourism.
The plains of Murcia are incredibly fertile, and produce a vast array of fresh fruit and vegetables, which make up the base ingredients of the regions cuisine. Rice is also staple here, and finds it's way into many dishes.
The abundant and varied seafood from the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean, along with game and farmed meat from the mountains complete the picture.
Some typical dishes include: Arroz y Conejo (rice with rabbit), Arroz de Verduras (Rice and Vegetables), Arroz y Costillejas (rice and ribs), Arroz Marinero (seafood rice) and Paella Huertana, a vegetable paella.
Non-rice dishes specialities include Potaje, a rich stew dish; Menestra, a dish of sautéed vegetables; Habas con jamón" (ham and broad beans and Caldo Murciano, a local soup dish. The king prawns fished in the area are also particularly fine, and the Huevas de Mújol, a type of caviar, is also a high delicacy of the region.
The interior of the Murcia Region is perfect for those in search of relaxation, nature, sport and good food. The mountains here are home to wild animals, woodlands, and are crowned with castles, fortresses, hermitages and convents. The hillsides are forested with pines, oaks and junipers.
Quiet, sleepy towns, such as Moratalla, Mula, Bullas, Cehegín, Caravaca, Jumilla, Yecla, amongst others welcome visitors to experience each place's cuisine, wine, culture and heritage.
There are many architectural sites dotted about the region, and the cities contain many fine examples of Spanish and Moorish architecture down the ages.
There are many stories and legends about this evocative, landscape and it's people.
Visitors to Inland Murcia can sample the robust, flavoursome cuisine typified by hearty stews, migas and game, accompanied by a fine bottle of the local Denominación de Origen wine.
Inland leisure & recreation
The more adventurous can paddle down river by canoe, go potholing, climbing, hiking, horse riding and cycling.
All of the larger towns have excellent sports facilities to help you to keep fit.
Walkers and long distance runners will enjoy the wide-open spaces, clean air, and comprehensive network of footpaths.
Cyclists have many kilometres of quiet well-paved country roads to enjoy.
There are also opportunities to improve your culinary skills, learning to bake bread, make home-made cakes, distil essences and liqueurs, cut honeycombs or make cheese.
The Murcia province enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with cool sea breezes in summer and protection from the surrounding mountains against the cold North winds in winter. The area averages nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees.
In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area as one of the most equitable in the world - neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. On average it can boast 325 sunny days each year making it an ideal all year round destination.