I loved my time in Murcia but I’ve found that many people know very little about this gorgeous area and are unaware of all the reasons they should visit. So here are just ten reasons why I think you should visit Murcia.
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1. Vineyards and Wine-Tasting
The Spanish sure know how to make a good wine or two! Murcia makes some incredible wines, and with vineyards aplenty in the Bullas area, you can enjoy some wine education along with sampling the best they have to offer. Plus, it’s incredibly affordable. The place we visited was just €10-15 for the wine tasting AND tapas.
2. Unique Spa Experience
Balneario Archena is a natural thermal spa area with mineral-rich waters. The Romans, being big fans of bathing, built their own baths here 2000 years ago. Today, the thermal spa and hotel is the 19th century with modern refurbishment. Book a mud massage for one of the most unique spa experiences of your life. Plus, it’s really reasonably priced!
3. Flamingos and Mud Baths
In the summertime go and check out the white flamingoes (who knew they came in anything other than pink?!) at San Pedro del Pinatar salt flats then head over to the mud baths nearby. Smother yourself in the mineral-rich mud from the pond then bake on the beach next door before finally rinsing off in the sea. Yep.
4. Great Shopping
Head to Murcia city for excellent shopping options (I am a huge fan of Spanish designers) and delicious tapas. Wander through the old quarter for everything from high designer boutiques, to local arts and crafts. It’s a hub for all your high street favourites including Mango and Zara, plus I did spot and Sephora or two.
5. Quiet Coastline Walks and Secret Beaches
You could hit up the major beaches (playas) or you could seek out the smaller coves (cala) for a more intimate and pretty beachside experience. If the weather isn’t sunbathing-worth such as when I went in November, pop on your best walking shoes for a coastline trek.
I enjoyed the walk along Cape Palos peninsular. There is also a lovely walk between Cala Cerrada and Calarreona.
6. Road Trip Through the Stunning Landscape
Hire a car to really get to see Murcia and enjoy the dramatic landscape and seek out small picturesque villages. I loved the Ricote Valley journey from Archena to Blanca full of dramatic rocky cliffs, lush lemon groves and a sparkling turquoise river.
7. Delicious Tapas
I’m sure every region of Spain considers itself famous for its tapas. However, as Murcia’s number one industry is agriculture it is pretty well placed for serving up some of the highest quality ingredients.
The latest craze, or so I’ve been told, is for what us Brits call ‘daytime drinking’. Ladies dress up for lunchtime tapas and wine as restaurants spill out onto the many plazas in the city.
Or make it super casual like we did and head to the market to pick up your seafood or meat of choice and ask for it to be cooked there at the tapas restaurant in the corner.
8. Pilgrimage to Fifth Holy City
Caravaca de la Cruz is the fifth holiest city after Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela, and Camano. Whether you are a religious person or not, you might find the city really quite lovely for its architecture and culture.
9. Fewer tourists!
Unlike its wider known neighbours, Murcia is not a tourist trap. It is however popular with the Spanish so give it a try for a full-on authentic experience.
10. Cultural Gem with Murcia City
Murcia city has a stunning city centre with pretty architecture including the baroque-style Santa María Cathedral and Plaza del Cardenal Belluga. There are plenty of great food options to try including great tapas. It’s a great city for your food and culture fix.