A travel guide to the best attractions in Cartagena, Southern Spain: the perfect Cartagena Itinerary Cartagena is one of the most amazing places to visit …
The Perfect Place To Visit For Those Who Love Authentic Experiences In Southern Spain
Located in the south-east of Spain between Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha, and Valencia, Murcia is an agricultural hotbed producing a vast amount of fruits and vegetables.
The coastline of Murcia called the “Costa Calida” is particularly popular with tourists during the summer and has the distinction of having an inland sea. History in Murcia is all around you with the Carthaginian and Roman ruins in Cartagena of particular importance.
Murcia’s capital, which goes by the same name as the province, is a buzzing university town with some of the best tapas you will find in Spain.
Most Famous Attractions in Murcia
When visiting Murcia, please spend some time at the beach and be sure to visit Cartagena’s ancient port city for its spectacular Roman ruins.
Murcia city is worth visiting to see the Catedral de Santa María and to have tapas in the Old Town. Don’t miss a trip to Lorca, which, despite having suffered an earthquake in 2011, is still one of Spain’s prettiest towns.
- Mar Menor – The Mar Menor is a massive inland sea ideally suited to water sports and shallow enough for young children to swim.
- Lorca – The Baroque city of Lorca has one of the prettiest Old Towns in all of Spain.
- Cartagena – The Roman ruins at Cartagena are some of the best-preserved you will find in Europe. – Check our Cartagena itinerary here
- Visit Murcia Cathedral – Constructed in 1394 on the site of what was once a great Mosque, the gothic-inspired holy place is as spectacular inside as it is out.
- Costa Cálida – Find a hidden cove and spend the day at the beach with a picnic.
- Terra Natura – Terra Natura is a zoo combined with a water park, making it an ideal choice for families.
Best Accommodation in Murcia
When it comes to accommodation in Murcia, visitors have a wide range of options, from backpacking hostels to five-star golf resorts. The Costa Calida has everything from family-run pensions to massive hotel complexes offering all-inclusive packages as a summer destination for northern Europeans.
Whether it is the beach, Lorca, or the city of Murcia, you are sure to find a place to stay that will match your budget.
The cost of accommodation can quickly eat up your bankroll, which is why many backpackers and young people choose to stay at hostels if you travel on a budget. Most hostels in Murcia offer shared dormitory-style rooms or private rooms with shared bathrooms and common areas.
Prices for a bed in a Murcia hostel start from around 15€ per night but can be more in summer and on holidays.- Check hostels in Murcia province here
Often family-run, mid-range three-star hotels are located in historic buildings if you are basing yourself in Murcia city or Lorca. Mid-range hotels on the Mar Menor and Costa Calida tend to be newer and are often part of a hotel chain.
Prices for mid-range hotels in Murcia start from around 45€ per night, but they can be more expensive if it’s on the beach or offers balconies with a sea view. – Check hotels here
Murcia’s Costa Calida has been catering to families for years and offers a superb choice for family holiday accommodation. For many people, a holiday apartment is the way to go as it allows you the freedom to cook your own meals or try a different restaurant each night.
Other people love the idea of all-inclusive hotel deals where all the food and drinks are already covered in the price. Some hotels even offer special children’s programs that allow parents some time alone. – Check family resorts here
The Costa Calida is hugely popular with golfers and offers some fantastic resorts like La Manga Club Hotel Príncipe Felipe ***** and La Torre Golf & Spa Resort *****. Prices to stay at these upmarket properties start at around 120€ per night, depending on the time of year.
Top-end properties in Murcia city and Lorca are relatively inexpensive compared to other places in Spain and can be tempting if you are looking to be pampered. – Check hotels here
How to get to Murcia
Región de Murcia International Airport (RMU) is now open and has replaced Murcia–San Javier Airport as the region’s main air transport gateway. The airport is located some 23 kilometers from Murcia city and 53 kilometers from La Manga. The airport is served by mainly British and Norwegian low-cost carriers and Spanish budget airline Vueling. Another option for people holidaying on the Costa Calida is to fly into Alicante Airport in the neighboring province. – Check flights here
Thanks to Spain’s high-speed rail network, traveling around the country by train is a pleasure. Traveling by train around Murcia, however, is not the best solution unless you are looking to go from the capital to Cartagena or Alicante. Renfe operates one train per day between Murcia and Madrid that takes around 3h 30m and costs between 27€ and 35€ for a one-way ticket. – Book tickets here
If you do not have a car while visiting Murcia, the bus is your next best friend. Buses depart the Estación de Autobuses de Murcia on Calle Sierra Pila, for all cities and towns in Murcia. Traveling further afield, ALSA operates three daily buses between Murcia and Madrid with an average journey of 4h 35m. – Buy tickets here
Having a car is the optimum way to see all Murcia and gives you the freedom to come and go as you please. Car hire can be quite expensive during the peak summer months, but you will find some fantastic deals, especially when you rent from Murcia and Alicante airports in the offseason. – Check car rental deals here
Murcia Travel Guide: Booking Resources
In order to make travel planning as easy as possible, we gathered below a selection of our favorite companies. We love them for being reliable and offering the best deals in Southern Spain. All of the recommended companies have top-notch customer service and have been tested by us first-hand.
- Skycanner – Find the best flight deals to Southern Spain
- Omio – THE company to book train or bus tickets online. It’s also a great way to check schedules and stay flexible.
- Discover Cars – Has the best-discounted rates on car rentals in Andalucia
- GetYourGuide – Find the best tours in Southern Spain. They offer great value and we found their prices to be some of the most competitive ones in the market.
- Booking.com – To book the perfect hotel for your Southern Spain trip. We particularly love their review section.
- VRBO – From stunning beach-front villas or gorgeous city apartments, Homeaway has the best offers when it comes to vacation rentals.
- Airbnb– Explore Andalucia like a local and stay with local homeowners. It’s a great way to connect.
- Hostelworld – If you travel to Spain on a budget, Hostelworld has the largest selection of hostels in Andalucia.
- Adrenaline Hunter – If you are an adventurous kind of traveler, Adrenaline Hunter will be your favorite resource ever. From kitesurfing to kayaking, it’s basically heaven for outdoor lovers.
- SafetyWing – Never travel without travel insurance. A stupid accident can quickly turn into a financial nightmare. With SafetyWing you can travel worry-free.
- Transferwise – Withdraw money without hidden fees and avoid exchange charges + get a free Mastercard debit card to spend money abroad
When to go to Murcia
The province of Murcia has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Inland temperatures can be rather oppressive during July and August but are perfect for people looking for a beach holiday.
Rain in Murcia is quite rare with March/April and October/November the four wettest months. Winters in Murcia can be cold at night with plenty of sunshine during the day. In the city it never snows, but the white stuff can be seen on the higher mountain elevations.
Top cultural events of international interest are Easter week in Murcia and Lorca and the Romans and Carthaginians fiesta in Cartagena during the last week of September.
What to eat in Murcia
Murcia is known throughout Spain for the quality of its Mediterranean vegetables that include tomatoes, peppers, artichokes, aubergines, and Zucchini. Murcia is also well known for its seafood, much of which comes from the Mar Menor.
Typical food of Murcia, you should try includes the following dishes:
- Arroz Caldero: Named after the pan in which it is cooked, Arroz Caldero is a simple dish of rice and fish.
- Zarangollo: Popular in the countryside, Zarangollo is a simple dish of scrambled eggs with Zucchini and onion.
- Pastel de Carne: Found throughout Spain during the Middle Ages, Murcia is now one of the only places where you will find this unique meat pie made from puff pastry.
- Garrucha Prawns: These smallish red prawns are among the most exquisite kinds of seafood you will find in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Chipirones con Habas: This is a simple dish of baby squid cooked with beans that people often share when eating out.
What to do in Murcia for Outdoor lovers?
Murcia is a dream destination for those who enjoy the great outdoors. With both mountains and sea, the province of Murcia is full of exciting places to explore and have fun.
Areas of particular interest include Salinas and Arenales of San Pedro del Pinatar, a vital wetland for flamingos and the Segura River canyon at Almadenes.
- Cycling and Hiking in the Sierra Espuña Regional Park: The Sierra Espuña Regional Park is a land of mountains and valleys full of exciting places to go mountain biking and hiking. While there lookout for Golden eagles, wild boar, and Barbary horned sheep.
- Walking along Murcia’s Greenways: Throughout Murcia, visitors will find many hiking and cycling routes that used to be railway lines. The best Greenway in Murcia is the old railway line in the northwest of the province, which connects Murcia with Caravaca de la Cruz.
- Sea Kayaking: The Costa Calida coastline is littered with hidden coves that can only be accessed by boat or sea kayak, making it a special place to go and explore. As well as kayaking, consider learning to sail on the Mar Menor, the biggest salt lagoon in Europe.
- Canoeing and rafting on the Segura River: While paddling down the Segura River can be done just about anywhere, start your adventure in the town of Calasparra. Here in the river’s upper reaches, it winds its way through steep canyons and has a section of rapids that will get the adrenalin pumping.
- Visit Calblanque Natural Park and enjoy the view: Located in Murcia’s easternmost point, the Calblanque Natural Park is a place of natural beauty that the developers cannot touch. While there, walk or drive up to Monte de Cenizas, where you can see the coast of Africa on a clear day.
What to do in the surroundings of Murcia?
The main reason anyone would travel to Murcia would be a golfing break or a beach holiday. Having said that, the upper reaches of the Segura River are particularly beautiful and would appeal to people who like to be surrounded by nature.
With 250 kilometers of coastline, it’s not surprising that so many people choose Costa Calida for their holidays.
Called the “Warm Coast” this area of Spain has an average water temperature of five degrees higher than anywhere else. The reason for the warmer water is that it is protected from the colder Atlantic Ocean, whose waters pass through the Strait of Gibraltar.
Often overlooked by tourists, the capital of the province, which goes by the same name, has a beautiful old town. Tapa lovers will be in their element bar-hopping while enjoying some of the tastiest food around. – Check our Murcia guide here
You cannot visit Murcia and not visit Cartagena and its Roman ruins. While there, be sure and visit the Naval museum and take a boat tour around the harbor. – Read more about things to do in Cartagena
Known as the “Baroque City” because of its stylish buildings and monuments, Lorca is a city full of history dating back to Palaeolithic times.
Day trip to Alicante
Overlooked by the imposing Castle of Santa Barbara, Alicante is a vibrant city full of plenty of things to see and do.
Bodega Hijos de Juan Gil
Learn all about the art of winemaking by visiting the Bodega Hijos de Juan Gil in Jumilla. This region produces some of the most popular Spanish wines.
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