Towns & Villages in Costa Calida

costa_calida_mapSituated in the region of Murcia, located in the south east of the Iberian peninsula between Andalucia, Castilla La Mancha and Valencia, in the purest of Spanish Mediterranean quarters, lies the region of Murcia, with 253 km of stunning Mediterranean coastline known as the Costa Calida. With 315 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 21 degrees celsius.

The Costa Calida offers a distinctly traditional Spanish feel and is a far cry from the high rise density development found on some other Spanish coastlines.

The Costa Calida (the warm coast), the ideal climate. Dry and warm not only because of its geographical latitude (similar to Tunisia) but also because it is protected from the cold winds by the beautiful mountain range (San Juan). The region enjoys an enviable climate, over 300 days of sunshine a year with an average temperature of 21 degrees celsius, one can sit in the sunshine in December and January.

Here you can discover the splendid rocky coastline of the Costa Calida. You will not find large commercialised beaches but numerous picturesque bays of golden sand and fine shingle with beautiful crystal clear sea water, which you can often enjoy having almost to yourself.

The Costa Calida is not only an area of great local history and tradition but also offers every modern facility for a comfortable lifestyle. Located in the province are eighteen hospitals, three universities and four international schools.

The offer of leisure while in contact with nature, is one of the great attractions offered by the region of Murcia.

The Costa Calida is not only a paradise for lovers of watersports and the traditional sun-and-sea holidaymakers, but, here the visitor can also find places of special ecological interest like the San Pedro del Pinatar salt lagoons – which border on the province of Alicante – or the Calblanque nature reserve, nestling on the mediterranean coastline close to La Manga and the seaside town of Cabo de Palos.

The interior also offers nature conservation areas including the nature park of Sierra Espuna and the El Valle Nature Reserve.

This stunningly beautiful area is easily accessable to two international airports. Alicante and Murcia (San Javier), all reached via an excellent road system which remains uncrowded all year round.

Why have we drawn your attention to the Costa de Almeria and the Costa Calida? We believe that this area is one of Spains “best kept secrets” and priority should be given to this wonderful area and its perfect climate, making it an ideal choice for a holiday home or permanent residence.

The following Towns and Villages are in the Spanish Province of Murcia

AGUILAS.

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Aguilas promenade

On the border of the province of Murcia, Aquilas is a coastal town with many unspoilt secluded beaches, situated in one of the least developed coastal areas of southern Spain. At the western end of the Golfo de Mazarron, the town is bordered inland by fields of tomatoes and numerous villages.

Increasingly popular with northern Europeans, Aquilas is made up of 2 bays separated by a rocky headland. There are 28km of numerous different beaches in the area, catering for all types of aquatic sports or just good old fashioned relaxation. The University of the Sea is also located in Aquilas.

The carnival of Aquilas is a renowned fiesta where the entire town comes out onto the streets and some fantastic costumes are on display. Aguilas has a population of 25,700.

The relative isolation of the town is part of the reason for the low key development in Aguilas, it is 70km from Murcia, 95km fromSan Javier airport and 180 km from Alicante airport. Lorca is 25km away. The nearest golf courses are in the neighbouring province of Almeria.

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ALHAMA DE MURCIA.

alhama-de-murciaThe town of Alhama de Murcia is huddled round a hill topped by a ruined, angular tower. It is surrounded by the green agricultural land of the Guadalentin valley. The thermal waters at Alhama Alhama de Murcia led the Romans to build baths there and remains of these baths can be seen today. Also worth visiting is the Church of San Lazaro, a baroque style church built in the 18th century.

Neaby are the natural parks in the valley of Leyva and the peak of Morron, which is 1584m high and popular with climbers. here are also old snow wells in the area.

Just east of Alhama de Murcia, located next to the N340 motorway is the village of Librilla with a population of 3,700. The town has numerous hotels, restaurants and a camping area in the nearby Sierra.

Alhama de Murcia is located a few kilometres off the N340 motorway, 30km from Murcia. San Javier airport is 35km, Alicante airport is 95km, and Almeria airport is 180km.

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CARAVACA DE LA CRUZ.

Caravaca-de-la-CruzCaravaca de La Cruz is considered to be one of the five holy cities in the world, and a key destination for pilgrims and travellers alike who are looking for an inspiring, different and above all enjoyable place to go.

Caravaca de la Cruz is a town located on the border of Murcia and Granada. The Iberians, Romans and Muslims all passed through this town, which has developed around its Castle, built in the 15th century and commissioned by the Knights Templar. However, Caravaca is essentially the holy town, the town of the cross that carries its name.

According to legend, in 1232 the Moorish King Abu Zeid was converted to Christianity when he saw how two angels brought a cross down from heaven to a priest held prisoner in the castle in order for him to give mass. This legend led to the construction, as from 1617 and on the site of the fortress itself, of the main monument of this town in the north-east of Murcia, the Chapel of La Vera Cruz. The most important feature of this building is its luxurious façade, made from red marble excavated in Cehegín and which offers a complete exaltation to the Holy Cross.

Caravaca de la Cruz, Holy Town. In 1998 the Pope awarded Caravaca de la Cruz the Jubilee Year, making this town the fifth in the world, together with four other cities (Santiago de Compostela, Santo Toribio de Liébana, Roma and Jerusalem), to be allowed to celebrate the Perpetual Jubilee. This means that the Holy See allows the town to celebrate the Holy Year every seven years in perpetuum at the Chapel of La Vera Cruz, the next Jubilee Year at Caravaca de la Cruz being the year 2017.

However this Chapel, which also has an interesting Holy Art and History Museum, is not the only religious monument in Caravaca. There are interesting 16th century churches, such as: La Soledad, today converted into an Archaeological Museum; El Salvador, considered to be the most representative work of the Murcian Renaissance; La Purísima; and the Convent of the Carmelites. In terms of civil government, it is worth highlighting the Town Hall building, which dates from the 18th century.

Despite its small size, another very important monument in Caravaca is the Temple of the Holy Cross, where the relic is bathed each year on 3 May during the celebration of the popular Festivities of The Holy Cross.

Another popular “fiesta” is los Caballos del Vino (Wine horses), in commemoration of a tradition that took place in the 13th century. On that date, the Christian besieged in the fortress by the Arabs managed to break the siege and search for water. When they failed to find any water, they returned to the fortress with the wineskins on their horses filled with wine. The commemoration consists in decoratively harnessed horses galloping up the steep slopes to the Castle.

Together with the Moor and Christian processions, these are the main events in the festive calendar of Caravaca. The Uribe Palace (16th century) holds the Festivals Museum where you will be able to live them in first person.

Caravaca is also in a privileged position in terms of rural tourism, with a wide range of activities from hill walking to horse riding, giving the visitor the opportunity to come into closer contact with nature.

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CARTAGENA.

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Cartagena

The city of Cartagena is situated in the south east region of the autonomous community of the region of Murcia, occupying an area of 558.3 km². The capital of the region with a population of 195,000, Cartagena was founded as its name suggests, by the Carthagenians in 223BC who called it Quart Hadas (New City), and it became Hannibal’s capital city on the Iberian Peninsula. Although the city declined in importance in the middle ages, its prestige increased in the 18th century when it became a major naval base.

Today it is a modern, industrial city although relics of its past are still highly visible. The narrow streets of the old town were built around the ruined 13th century cathedral. There are several sites of historical interest including the remains of the Roman road, an old Roman theatre and the Literna (an ancient lighthouse of Moorish origins).

You can get an overview of the city from the park which surrounds the ruins of the Castillo de la Concepcion, the castle of Cartagena. On the quayside below is a prototype submarine designed by Isaac Peral in 1888. The city hall, marks the end of the Calle Mayor, a street overlooked by balconies and lined with handsome buildings. Excavations in the city include a Roman street and the Muralla Bizantina (Byzantine Wall), built between 589 and 590.

Cartagena’s ancient seaport and naval dockyard is where the first submarine was built in1900 and where submarines are still built today. The port consists of a deep bay with a natural harbour, hence the town’s historical importance. Thanks to its strategic location, the Port of Cartagena throughout all of its history has been a good reference for the marine traffic of the Mediterranean, consolidated as one of the most important industrial ports in Europe.

teatro romano

The town is the major service centre for the Costa Calida urbanizations that continue to develop around it. Cartagena is 30 minutes drive from Murcia via the N301, San Javier airport is 15km from Cartagena. The excellent golf courses at La Manga, which has 3-18 hole courses of international standard, are 20km away.

The Teatro Romano which is in the process of being excavated and is considered one of the most important Roman remains in Spain

The Annual average temperature is a mild 20º centigrade with the temperature in the winter very seldom falling below 12º.

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CEHEGÍN.

cehegin-468The municipality of Cehegín is located in the heart of the north-western district. Prehistoric, Iberian, Roman, Visigoth, Arab and Christian settlers left their legacy in these landscapes with ever-changing nature, a legacy everyone enjoys today.

Evidence of the former glories of this town can be seen in the remains of the city of Begastri, occupied by both Romans and Visigoths, and an episcopal see up until the Moorish invasion. In fact, the whole of this territory is layer upon layer of all the various cultures that established themselves here, the first settlers going back to 2400 BC. Reconquered by Alphonse VI with 1,000 horsemen and 11,000 infantrymen, Cehegín is one vast hilltop monument.

Its famous mediaeval quarter (a Historical and Artistic Ensemble) owes its layout to the Arab settlements in the upper part of the town, and is a monumental gallery of stately homes, churches, convents, palaces and public buildings, some of indisputable value, such as the Church of la Magdalena, the Palacio Fajardo (an example of Murcian Baroque) or the Peña Jaspe.

Aside from the indisputable value of its historical and cultural ensemble, Cehegín has a number of delightful surroundings: the fertile valley viewed from the Plaza de la Constitución, the site known as Hoya de Don Gil, or the Argos Reservoir, even the town itself huddled around the hill, are all well worth a look.

Cehegín celebrates a number of Fiestas throughout the year, including the Fiestas of San Sebastian in January, Carnival, Semana Santa, the Feria of San Roque which includes bullrunning, and its Fiestas patronales in September. It also hosts an atmospheric monthly artesan market, El Mesoncico

Cehegín also maximises its natural resources with its Parque Ecológico and monthly free guided walks to show off the beauty spots of the municipality

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LA UNION & PORTMAN.

la-union This little town east of Cartagena is named as such due to an amalgamation of 4 separate villages which formed a union in 1859. It has a history of mining, there is a Museum of Mining in the town and in August, a popular fiesta is held when mining choirs from all over Spain gather for a Mining Festival. The interior of the Old Market is worth seeing with its huge vaulted and intricately decorated ceilings.

La Union has a population of 15,000. The town is 7km from Cartagena and 13km from San Javier airport. Murcia is a 30 minute drive away. La Union is a few kilometres from the coast and the golf course at La Manga is less than a 10 minute drive

A couple of kilometres south of La Union, perched on the coast, is the village of Portman. The road from La Union to Portman winds its way through an unattractive landscape of abandoned mines. At the sweeping Portman Bay, evidence of the environmental damage caused by mining residue is plain to see. The damage is of such extent, with the bay almost completely blocked by the residue, that local fishermen have to use a channel to the east of the bay.

Portman has a population of 1,100. It is 4km from La Union and 15km from Cartagena.

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LORCA.

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lorca-plazaespana

The largest town in Spain by area, Lorca stretches across an entire valley and its municipal district reaches the coast. The attraction of Lorca lies in its history and archaeology, present in the character of its streets, its living crafts (textiles, woodwork, ceramics) its different offerings for festivals and cultural events. Lorca was officially declared an “historical and artistic” treasure in 1964.

A hilltop castle presides over the town, this is the Sun Fortress of Lorca which is a former frontier town dating back to the 13th century when Spain was dominated by the Moors and Lorca was a defensive town whose primary function was the defence of the Arabic possessions. The castle has recently been restored to part of its former glory and represents a significant economic resource for the people of Lorca.

The town has numerous historical buildings including churches, Roman villas, palaces and also artistic treasures. Lorca is well known for its enthustiastic and lavish fiestas.Lorca is well connected with a coach station, a rail station and the main N340 motorway which runs next to the town.

Lorca is 120km from Alicante airport, 150km from Almeria airport and 60km from Murcia’s airport at San Javier. The nearest golf courses are in the neighbouring province of Almeria, including Valle del Este and Desert Spring, about half an hour away.

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LOS ALCAZARES.

los-alcazares The town is the largest development on the Mar Menor, originally a typical Spanish town, a week long outdoor fiesta with fireworks, music and shows takes place each October in celebration of Los Alcazares’ municipal independence which was granted in 1983. The town has a permanent population of 5,500 which increases dramatically during the summer. It has a large marina and boasts a mile long promenade next to the beautiful beaches of Mar Menor. Los Alcazares has many shops, restaurants and bars as well as a new shopping mall and a cinema.

Playa Espejo Los Alcázares offers seven kilometres of coast line with the town centre practically situated on the shores of the Mar Menor. The coastline is divided into the following beaches from north to south, and some of these with the blue flag awarded by E.U: Las Salinas beach Los Narejos beach Las Palmeras beach Espejo beach Manzanares beach Carrion beach La Concha beach. All these beaches are connected by means of a magnificent promenaded. These are fully equipped with showers, fountains, ways and paths for the handicapped, and also cater for games and sports.

Cartegena is 15km to the southwest and Murcia is a half hour drive away. Torrepacheco Golf Club is 10km away and there are four other golf courses within easy reach.

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MAR MENOR & LA MANGA.

La Manga The Mar Menor (the minor sea) is separated from the Mediterranean by a strip of sand 22km long, which forms a barrier and has created a shallow warm water lagoon. There are over 44km of beaches with protected bays and coves on the sides of Mar Menor. The water is no more than 7m at its deepest point, this and the absence of tides make the Mar Menor an excellent location for all types of water sports as well as an ideal place for children. Long wide expanse of pure golden sand front the Mediterranean. Mar Menor’s waters warm up early in the Spring and stay at a fairly consistent temperature throughout the year, on average the waters are 2 degrees warmer than the Mediterranean.

Traditionally a holiday resort, the Mar Menor coasts are becoming popular as a residential area. Apartments and villas are in high demand on La Manga, the strip of sand that separates the lagoon from the sea. The 30km peninsula, often likened to a miniature Miami beach, is currently roughly 80% developed.

Mud Bathing

The Mar Menor offers the visitor the largest open-air mud therapy area in Europe. The concentration of salt and iodine in the water of the lagoon is reputed to be beneficial to sufferers of rheumatism and skin complaints. The “black mud” from the Mar Menor, although creating a strange sight when first seen smothered over the bodies of some of the visitors, is used to relieve the pain and the symptoms of these conditions.

The mud is located at several Mar Menor places. The best known area is “Las Charcas de las Salinas” in Lo Pagán (North Mar Menor). Other areas are El Ciervo island and Los Alemanes beach. Several Hotels and Specialized Residences offer, also, specialized treatments.

The mud is easily absorbed. It increases body’s ability to absorb minerals and stimulates the healing of bone injuries. It is recommended for skin problems, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, throat infections and rehabilitation.

The Mar Menor apart from being the biggest open air health spa in the world, is also considered as one of the best areas for regatta and certain water sports which can be practiced all year round. The area is ideal for water sports. There are numerous sport-centres which have facilities to allow top sports-persons the opportunity to prepare for their tournaments and competitions, in a fantastic environment. It also offers countless possibilities for wind-surfers and every kind of sailing. There is very little movement and hardly any waves. There are several diving, sailing and canoe training schools where one can learn the technique of the sports and lots of opportunity to practice newly acquired skills.

La Manga
La Manga (the sleeve) aptly describes this piece of land that divides the Mar Menor (little sea) from the Mediterranean. The strip as it is known locally has plenty of hotels, restaurants and bars, boating, marinas, sailing schools, boat trips etc. to help you enjoy your stay. Starting just after the little town of Cabo de Palos with a nice marina, the calm safe waters of the Mar Menor to the west and the Mediterranean to the east of the sleeve, you get the best of both worlds

La Manga Club
The luxurious resort of La Manga is spread over 1400 acres of breathtaking countryside and surrounded by the foothills of the Murcian Mountains with views over the saltwater lagoon of the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean in the distance. Renowned as one of Europe’s finest international sports resorts and with a history spanning more than 30 years, La Manga is worthy of its fine reputation.

La Manga club is best known for its sporting facilities which include a comprehensive tennis centre featuring 28 courts with a choice of clay, artificial and hard court surfaces and the La Manga Football centre which is one of the best equipped in Europe with many professional teams using it for their official pre-season training. The new spa and wellness centre has proved to be a popular addition and includes 13 treatment rooms, gymnasium, fitness studio, Jacuzzis, saunas, steam rooms and a 25 metre indoor pool.

La Manga boasts a golf club of international standard, with three 18 hole courses. Right on the tip of the Iberian peninsula, La Manga is 20km from San Javier airport and less than 20 minutes drive from Cartagena.

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MAZARRON.

mazarron-beach

A rural fishing village Mazarron is divided into Mazarron town and by the coast Puerto Mazarron. Mazarron is becoming more developed. It has an attractive centre with a pleasant plaza but is still a peaceful place, even in the height of summer. The inland town has a population of 17,800.

The port itself is fast becoming a popular destination, drawing a number of expatriates to the vicinity. The seafront remains picturesque, it is not overcrowded by buildings as most of them are set back from the the shore and the development that has taken place is low key.

Outside Mazarron, tracks lead from the main road to more than 35km of unspoilt beaches and coves. Very little building work has been allowed in the area and the tracks can be difficult to access in a vehicle, meaning that the beaches have remained untainted. There is a naturist beach in the area.

The area lacks the space for developments on the scale of those on the Costa Blanca, although Mazarron will continue to expand over the next few years.

The most popular beaches are Cabo Thioso and Punta Cainegre. La Manga golf club is 40km away. The town is 15km from Cartagena and 40km from the capital Murcia. San Javier airport is 40km away.

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MULA.

mula-1Situated in its fertile valley some 30 miles from Murcia the town of Mula offers the visitor aged palaces and monuments displaying the wealth that the Marquis de los Vélez invested in safeguarding his position against the local populace when he erected his imposing castle, a magnificent 16th-century construction dominating the plain below and which gives the impression of having simply emerged from the very rocky outcrop on which it perches.

The town itself has a great deal of charm spreading out as it does from around the Plaza Mayor, in which the church of San Miguel is of note.

Among the steep and winding lanes of the old quarter, in the upper part of the town is the church of Santo Domingo, with its renaissance façade and Baroque interior, and also one of the region’s finest examples of monastic architecture , the Real Monasterio de la Encarnación.

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MURCIA.

A chain of mountains surrounds the plain which Murcia sits upon, a city of Arab origin whose existence is closely linked to the fertile lands around the river Segura. From among its streets of guilds emerges the tower of the Cathedral, one of the symbols of the city.

Although the lands of Murcia have been populated for more than 2,000 years, the foundation of Murcia capital did not come until 831, when the emir of Córdoba Abd-al-Rahman II ordered a walled city to be built on the banks of the river Segura and made it into the capital of the caliph’s province.

It was then when Arab Mursiya began to gain importance, until in the 13th century it became part of the Kingdom of Castile.

Visit the ancient zone

murcia1The old city sits next to the Segura, with historic streets which have retained the names of the guilds which once occupied them, such as the shopping streets of Platería, Trapería and Vidrieros (Silversmiths, Rags and Glass makers).

The square of Cardinal Belluga houses two of Murcia capital’s architectural gems, the Episcopal Palace (18th century), with a rococo façade and a churrigueresque courtyard, and the Cathedral. This temple, which was begun at the end of the 14th century, stands out because of the superimposition of styles.

Drawing attention, for example, is its singular and richly-sculptured baroque façade, and, along with it, the tremendous tower measuring 92 metres in height. Outstanding on the inside, meanwhile, is the Vélez Chapel, a magnificent example of the florid Gothic style.

The baroque style is well-represented in Murcia through religious buildings such as the church of la Merced, originally from the 16th century and rebuilt in the 18th century), the convent church of Santa Ana, the church of Santo Domingo, San Nicolás or San Miguel.

It is also worth seeing some of the city’s more significant 19th-century buildings. The City Hall, the Romea Theatre and the Casino. This last building has a Neoclassic façade and a beautiful Arab-influenced interior courtyard. The districts of San Pedro, Santa Catalina and the area surrounding plaza de las Flores provide some of the most picturesque corners of Murcia capital. A tour can end at the beautiful Paseo del Malecón walk, the city’s link with the land.

Murcia has a wide range of museums and exhibitions to offer. Outstanding in the Cathedral Museum is a spectacular processional monstrance from Toledo, while the Salzillo Museum contains a delightful collection of processional carvings by one of the most emblematic sculptors of the 18th century. In the Provincial Archaeological Museum we can admire vestiges of the different cultures to have passed over these lands, among them the Treasure of Finca Pinta, composed of Muslim and Christian coins. The Provincial Fine Arts Museum houses works by Giordano and Madrazo, among others.

Festivals, gastronomy and surrounding area

Murcia capital celebrates three festivals which have been declared to be of National Tourist Interest. One of them is Holy Week, during which the procession of the “salzillos” on Good Friday morning stands out. The Burial of the Sardine, part of the Carnival festivities, is prominent because of the spectacular nature of its parade of floats.

But perhaps one of the most deep-rooted traditions in Murcia is the Bando de la Huerta, which has been held each Easter Tuesday for more than a century and a half. This celebration extols the virtues of the region’s gastronomy and folklore, with processions, regional costume, tastings of traditional produce and readings of verses in “panocho” (the language of the fields).

Murcia’s gastronomy is based on the excellent fruit, vegetables and garden produce provided by its fertile fields. These raw materials are used to make stews and typical dishes such as ratatouille (with pepper, onion and tomato), chickpea and Swiss chard stew or “zarangollo” (courgette, egg and onion). As an accompaniment, you can choose from any of Murcia’s Designation of Origin standard wines:Bullas, Yecla and Jumilla.

One of Murcia’s main tourist attractions is its coastline, known as the Costa Cálida. Its 250 kilometres of coastline is shared between Mar Menor and the Mediterranean, offering any number of beaches where it is possible to do a wide range of water sports: sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, water skiing, diving, etc. Águilas and Mazarrón have some of the country’s best sea beds, whose transparency and visibility allow us to view the marine life in a zone where it is also common to come across remains of sunken ships. Cartagena is another centre of tourist interest where, as well as enjoying the coastline and its historic legacy, we can visit the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

Meanwile, the province inland offers historic towns such as Caravaca de la Cruz or Lorca. This town captivates attention because of its abundant examples of baroque architecture, seen in parish churches, convents, emblazoned houses and palaces. The Collegiate Church of San Patricio and the Castle of Lorca are National Monuments. Only a few kilometres from this town is the Parador de Puerto Lumbreras, halfway between the east coast and Andalusia, an exceptional place from which to approach the region.

The province of Murcia has a wealth of landscapes and environments protected through its regional parks. Beaches of golden sand, dunes and unspoilt coves along the coast are the settings we will find in Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila, and Cabo Cope and Puntas de Calnegre. Inland hills and valleys, meanwhile, are the chief features of the regional parks of Sierra de Carche, Sierra de la Pila, Sierra de Espuña, and Carrascoy and El Valle. All are places to do environment-friendly sports and learn more about the nature of Murcia.

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PLIEGO.

PliegoThe Mula valley also embraces the town of Pliego, which lies between the Espuña and Ricote ranges. The river flows past the town and there are natural springs irrigating the wide plain, which affords the visitor the pleasant surprise of the blend of pinewood and fruit tree aromas.

Pliego was an important centre during the Argar period and has important archeological remains, such as that of Almolaya at the foot of Sierra Espuña. It also has Roman remains and was further developed during the Muslim era, which also gave rise to the village of La Mota with its 12th-century fortress still conserving 3 towers and the battlements of part of the town wall.

The locality still holds something of the flavour of those times with steep narrow streets, climbing plants clambering over whitewashed walls and green-hued roofs and the lofty figures of date palms and fruit ripening in the sun. After the acquisition of the area by the Order of St James in the 14th century other monuments were built, such as the Casa de la Tercia, and the Baroque-style Ermita de la Virgen de los Remedios.

As a result of its intense historical tradition, its strategic location as a Mediterranean enclave and its transitional character as a border territory mid-way between the Meseta and Andalusia, the Murcia Region retains innumerable vestiges of the past, making it an ideal meeting-point where History and tradition have been instilled with new life and placed at the visitor’s disposal.

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PUERTO LUMBRERAS.

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railway-station

Puerto Lumbreras – the port of lights – is located in the far west of the province of Murcia, on the N340 motorway between Murcia and Almeria. It has a population of 10,600 inhabitants. The area is largely agricultural, with olives and almonds being the main crop.

Puerto Lumbreras is also a cattle raising area. The town is spread around the base of a hill, which is crowned by an old castle. There are some good walks to be taken in the countryside around the town.

A market is held every in the town on Fridays. There several hotel and restaurants in Puerto Lumbreras.

Puerto Lumbreras is 12 km from Lorca and 60km from Murcia. Almeria airport is 105km, Alicante airport is 135km and Murcia airport is 85km.

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SAN JAVIER.

san-javierThe town enjoys an excellent location next to the Mar Menor with the airport just outside the town. Its lovely church and narrow streets make it a pleasant town to wander through. With a population of 16,700, it is a medium sized town with a number of conurbations that continue to develop.

The town contains a variety of shops, banks, supermarkets, restaurants, bars, hotels, as well as a hospital.

San Javier airport is directly adjacent to the town. Murcia is a half hour drive. Torrepacheco Golf Club is less than 20 km away, Las Ramblas and Campoamor about the same.

The town is 37km from the capital of Murcia, 17km from Caragena and 9km from the beaches of Mar Menor. Torre Pacheco golf club is just outside the town and San Javier airport is 11km away.

Murcia International airport (MJV) is located 50 kilometres from the city itself near to the coastal town of San Javier. The airports original function was a military one, and indeed they do still have a presence. However it’s ever increasing popularity amongst passenger airlines meant a huge increase in tourists/foreign travellers.

Although in relative terms this is still a small airport many improvements have been made in recent years to the current terminals facilities. The increasing demand has forced plans for the expansion of the airport, although completion dates are still uncertain.There are 177 parking spaces available to the public free of charge. The car park is located near the main terminal building.

In recent years the facilities available at Murcia-San Javier have been improved. Full facilities are in place for cash withdrawal, post & currency change, & a café/restaurant is in operation.

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SAN PEDRO DEL PINATAR.

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san-pedro-beaches

The name of this town means “St Peter of the Pinewoods”, reflecting the surroundings of the area in the past. Today, San Pedro has a population of 15,200, Although this can swell to 60,000 in the summer months. Located on the dividing line of the Mar Menor, to the north, its famous mud baths in the salt flat area are said to heal skin complaints and rheumatism.

There is a nature reserve on the salt flats that is one of the prime areas of ecological importance in Murcia, serving as a resting place for migratory flamingoes on their way to Africa. This spectacular event can be witnesses each September, along with numerous other species of nesting and migratory birds.

The main attractions of San Pedro are concentrated around the beach and shore. Here you will find Lo Pagán, a lively tourist centre which has all kinds of holiday facilities, such as hotels, bars, restaurants and shops. Next to the long promenade facing the Mar Menor are extensive beaches such as La Puntica or Villananitos. This watery setting, combined with the facilities at its marina, mean you can do a great many sports, such as sailing, scuba diving or windsurfing.

In the Mar Menor, the beaches of Villananitos and La Curva (formerly known as La Puntica), offer low depth waters, like an incentive to take bath or practice any kind of water sport. La Puntica is a beach where water sports are possible, such as sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, there are even floating pitches on the water. It has a wide variety of services, such as open-air bars, showers and restaurants.

The beaches bathed by the Mediterranean are El Mojon and La Llana with 400 and 2,500 meters long respectively. El Mojon is a typical Spanish village near the Mar Menor, (the famous saltwater lagoon), and the San Pedro Nature Reserve (were you observe many species of flora and fauna).

It has clean safe beaches and a lovely promenade with walks leading to the reserve and marina near the salt lakes (there are a couple of restaurants on site to try) or in the opposite direction to the next village of Torre. It has a marina and a lovely square with a few locally run bars and restaurants.

San Pedro has a good shopping centre and a weekly street market takes place every Monday. The town enjoys an excellent location next to the Mar Menor with the airport just outside the town. Its lovely church and narrow streets make it a pleasant town to wander through. With a population of 16,700, it is a medium sized town with a number of conurbations that continue to develop.

The town has all the usual banks, supermarkets and shops, as well as a hospital.

San Javier airport is directly adjacent to the town. Murcia is a half hour drive. Torrepacheco Golf Club is less than 20 km away, Las Ramblas and Campoamor about the same.

San Pedro del Pinatar Salt Works Nature Reserve is a unique Mediterranean coastal spot. Within a relatively small space (700 Ha. -about 1.800 acres-) you can see terrain formations such as salt works, dunes, salt marshes, reed beds, large and wild sand beaches, pine trees growing in the sands and “encañizadas” (traditional fishing system in Mar Menor).

It aids the catching of the fish that swim through the small natural channels from Mediterranean Sea to the Mar Menor Sea; the fish are forced to pass through a complex labyrinth of reeds and wooden lattices.

The bird’s fauna is especially important. Flamingos are the kings of the area, because of their spectacular nature; they arrive at the Nature Reserve at the end of the summer to hibernate. There are two bird watching areas from which you can observe the flamingo’s and many other birds, such as herons, eaglets, owls, storks, storklets (himantopus , seagulls, charranes (sterna hirundo), chorlitos patinegros (charadrius alexandrinus) and avocetas (avosetta recurvirostra) among other species.

The existence of salt works in this Nature Reserve is as old as the human being’s presence. Fourteen Century documents mention them. The two windmills that remain were used to pump up the salty Mar Menor’s water to the salt ponds, they have been replaced by electrical pumps, but the windmills are still part of the landscape.

The Nature Reserve is a very fragile and delicate environmental system, therefore keep in mind to follow the established tracks and not walk on the dunes or vegetation, do not disturb the birds. Unleashed dogs, bonfires, camping, car parking (outside the established parking sites) and picnic (except in the established picnic area) are not permitted.

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TORRE PACHECO.

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torrepacheco_molino

A few kilometres inland from the Mar Menor, is the town of Torre Pacheco, with a population of 24,300 that is rapidly expanding. Not only is it a tourist centre but also an agricultural town whose importance has increased with a huge hydraulic scheme that pumps water into the surrounding area via the Tajo and Segura rivers.

Facilities include a public swimming pool, tennis club, leisure centre, a further education college, a secondary school, and a public library.

Torre Pacheco has excellent communication links, the Madrid-Cartagena railway line passes through Torre Pacheco and there is a train station in the town.

The town is 37km from the capital of Murcia, 17km from Caragena and 9km from the beaches of Mar Menor. Torre Pacheco golf club is just outside the town and San Javier airport is 11km away.

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TOTANA.

totana_plaza

totana_plaza

Located in the centre of the Murcia province, in the Guadalentin valley, Totana is a town of 20,400 people. Agriculture is the main economy of the town, grapes, almonds and squash are grown nearby and livestock is also important. Pottery is another economy activity in the area and Totana has over 50 pottery shops that export worldwide.

The town centre of Totana combines Moorish architectural styles with Renaissance and Baroque, this combination makes the centre interesting to explore. Nearby is the regional park of Sierra Espuna, its mountains covered in large pine forests. Within the park is the Sanctuary of Santa Eulalia of Merida, which has a lovely interior with huge arches, ornate decorations and intricate wall paintings.

Totana can easily be reached by road, being located just off the N340 that runs between Murcia and Almeria. There is a bus station and a railway station in the town.

Totana is 28km from Mazarron beach. Murcia is 25km, and Lorca 14km. Murcia airport is 40km, Alicante airport is 105km and Almeria airport is 165km.

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