Murcia is welcoming and friendly, pleasantly modern whilst maintaining its traditions and Moorish influence. Its wonderful old town core is fully pedestrianised. Shop-lined lanes lead into one enticing cafe-lined square after another, each with its own architectural gem, whether it’s the imposing 15th century cathedral, the Bishop’s Palace, the Casino (19th century gentlemen’s club), the Romea theatre or the impressively ornate Church of San Juan de Dios.The city offers numerous cultural events, excellent shopping facilities and a lively nightlife.
Murcia’s spectacular Holy Week celebrations are followed by the extraordinary Spring Festival with its highlights Bando de la Huerta (the Tuesday after Easter, locals put on splendid traditional costumes and spend the whole day in the streets eating and drinking!) and Entierro de la Sardina (a Rio style carnival parade that closes the festival with the ritual burning of an enormous effigy of a sardine for good luck). And then in September, after the usual holiday escape from the heat to the beaches, the city fills again for the Feria de Septiembre with various folk festivals, the transfer of the city’s patron Fuensanta from the cathedral to its sanctuary, the never missing food stalls, a big kermis and bull fights.
Things to do in the Murcia Region
Murcia is a historic region with a rich cultural heritage. Cartagena is one of the most strategic ports in Spain and it boasts a Roman amphitheatre. Murcia city has some beautiful buildings and all the local towns have traditional weekly markets and lively fiestas.
Whether you are looking for a large out of town shopping centre or a traditional market, the region has it within easy reach. Since 2007, Murcia region has had the largest shopping centre in coastal Spain.
Recently opened is a new water and safari park in Murcia and there are also pony/horse riding centres in the area. On the resorts, there are a wide range of swimming pools, sports facilities and children’s play areas. On Condado de Alhama resort there will also be an indoor play area and creche in the Oasis town centre.
The Costa Calida is well known for its water-sports and the Mar Menor is perfect for sailing, windsurfing, kite-surfing and kayaking, whatever your level and age. The Mediterranean itself also offers idyllic venues for sailing and windsurfing and the diving in the region is some of the best in Spain.
Other Outdoor Pursuits
Walking, mountain biking and rock climbing are all popular activities in the local area. The Sierra Espuna is particularly renownd for biking and climbing and the 5,000 foot mountains provide a beautiful backdrop. The El Valle and Carroscoy Nature reserve provide a wealth of paths and tracks.
Going Out and Live Music
All the resorts have restaurants and bars and there is also live music on the resorts. In addition the local area has a wide selection of restaurants and bars and Cartagena and Murcia offer good nightlife. Cartagena has a month long music festival in July and San Javier as an International Jazz Festival every year.