Holidays to Murcia are like a peek behind the curtain at Spain’s natural side. This part of the country’s still relatively new to the tourism game, so you’ll find beauty spots and unspoiled beaches by the bucketload.
The Murcia region, located midway along Spain’s Mediterranean coast, is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. It doesn’t get the same attention as the Costa del Sol or the Costa Blanca, but that’s where the real charm lies. Everything’s a little slower-paced. The beaches are quieter, the tavernas are more traditional, and even the most touristy bits are less crowded.
The coastline here, the Costa Calida, is studded with more beaches than you can shake a stick at. They range from huge half-moon sweeps of sand, to tucked-away coves that feel as though they’re reserved just for you. Follow the trails inland, and you’ll see the countryside resembles a landscape painting – think tree-clad slopes, craggy hills, and windmill-fronted salt marshes.
Step back in time
If history’s your bag, then Murcia’s definitely a must-visit. It’s home to one of the biggest castles in Spain, the Fortress of the Sun in Lorca, which towers above the surrounding countryside. The ancient port of Cartagena is peppered with time-worn relics, like a Roman theatre and a military fortress. And even smaller settlements – like Mula, Moratella and Jumilla – have strongholds that have survived for centuries.
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The clue is in the name for La Manga – this narrow stretch of land is Spanish for sleeve. It hangs off Murcia’s shoreline, separating the Mediterranean Sea from the country’s biggest lagoon, the Mar Menor. And it packs a lot in to its 21-kilometre-long stretch. The whole place is fringed with beaches, diving schools and restaurant-lined promenades.
Puerto De Mazarron
Puerto de Mazarron is nestled into the mountain scenery along Spain’s Costa Calida – AKA the warm coast. It’s best known for its beaches, with a shoreline that unravels for more than 20 miles. But it’s got plenty of other strings to its bow, including an inland town, a Medieval castle and hiking trails.
Mar Menor – Europe’s largest saltwater lake – is a 15-minute drive from Atamaria. The best bit – Mar Menor is surrounded on all fronts by beach. The lagoon’s warm waters also make it a top pick for watersports, diving in particular, and its high salt content has resulted in a number of health spas setting up around its shore.