Murcia, a charming and underrated area of Spain. If you’re looking for a concealed treasure, someplace from the overcrowded tourist-y aspects of Spain, this could be the destination available.
Over 5 times I’d a whistle-stop trip of Murcia where i discovered that it is a diverse area for sunlight and coastline holidays, food and wine, culture and shopping, and plenty of stunning scenery.
It was a really very early flight from Birmingham to Alicante but fortunately with Birmingham Overseas being truly a regional airport it truly ended up beingn’t a long time a journey. Whenever we arrived in Spain we made the one hour journey down seriously to the Mar Menor coastline of Murcia.
There we examined white flamingoes in the Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar, a protected wetlands area with sodium flats. It absolutely was pretty quiet at this time of the year but I can imagine it’s super popular within the summer months. There’s even an area in which site visitors can take a mud shower inside mineral rich ponds!
For lunch we tested the Miramar restaurant at Cabo de Palos, a harbour area that does not actually host any accommodations as such so it features a charming local vibe. Our meal ended up being delicious and perhaps my favourite for the trip.
We attempted old-fashioned Murcian salad, a mixture of tomatoes, tuna, olives, egg and coconut oil. We additionally ate grilled cheese, seafood, fresh bread and another regional speciality including slow prepared fish and rice. It was rich, creamy, fresh and unlike anything else I’d tried before.
After this kind of epic 3 hour lunch we took a walk along the cliffs once the sun set on the horizon making for a few instead special Instagram moments.
We happened to be here on a rather blustery time therefore I ended up being covered up within my ‘England weather’ clothes of wooly cap and scarf once we battled the high winds for round the cliffs. However it had been totally beneficial. By the end of our walk we discovered a striking eighteenth century lighthouse looking rather majestic against the red and purple sunset sky.
That evening we drove to Cartegena to keep the Hotel NH Cartegena, prepared for our walking tour the very next day.
We were up bright and early for a guided hiking trip around Cartegena, a historically significant city by having a natural harbour. It is often home to Phoenicians, Romans, Moors and Byzantine civilisations throughout the last 2000 years.
The Roman Theatre was fascinating. It was only discovered since recently as 1988 therefore took until 2008 until it was fully exposed being an attraction.
We additionally visited the Roman baths as well as watched as archeologists proceeded their excavation work.
After Having A short walk enjoying some of the Baroque architecture we hopped back in the automobile and headed down the coastline towards beach-side resort of Águilas.
We checked into Hotel Puerto Juan Montiel, one of only three accommodations in this town, before venturing out to join our tapas tour.
The tapas tour took united states to three different tapas restaurant within the city where we sampled a variety of delicacies from octopus tentacle to tuna tartare, homemade potato crisps to pork lollipops, Russian salad to croquettes.
It was epic as you would expect, completing having rather stunning view on the town and towards the hills that flank this area of the coast.
Whilst the sun ended up being establishing we went for the next quick drive round the coastline to see the iron connection built by the British within the nineteenth century.
Plus we found an amazing viewpoint and some darling ‘calas’, we bet they might be lovely for summertime sunning.
The sunlight ended up being out first thing in the morning therefore I popped right down to the beach outside of the hotel for the mild walk across the sand and stones. I enjoy mornings by the sea, one thing extremely healing about that quietness.
I completed my time on hotel having a fast session within the spa on the top flooring, soaking in the hot spa whilst gazing away on hills.
Next we drove on city of Murcia (there’s the city and region of the same title) where we embarked on an different epic tapas meal at one of the better stops in town, Los Angeles Tapa.
We opted for a bar side spot so we could have pleasure in many people watching whilst sampling plate upon full bowl of delicious food. This was some instead high-end fare once we attempted low-temperature egg, Russian salad on pretzels, and some of the most extremely succulent pork medallions I’ve ever really tried. All washed down with delicious wines.
Even as we were losing daylight we dragged ourselves away from the food and tripped for a walking tour of this old quarter of Murcia. The town features some glorious Baroque architecture amongst its numerous squares. Think quintessential European city with restaurants flowing out on to plazas as locals catch up over coffee, wine and tapas. It has a casual vibe that has been very welcoming.
As we were visiting the ‘Casino’ which is not really a casino in a gambling feeling but more of a people club with insanely gorgeous interior decorating, we had been called out become showcased on real time Spanish tv.
A reporter and cameraman appeared and for five full minutes we were broadcast out across the regional Information. It was so surreal.
For the next end we drove about 50 % an hour or so out to Archena to remain at Balneario de Archena, a spa hotel situated above Roman thermal baths. We quickly turned into our swimmers and received a guided tour regarding the thermal complex which included a sneak peek at some Roman ruins beneath the 19th century complex. My favourite component was the natural sauna space, it is heated by the thermal waters without any intervention!
We had been quick promptly so we didn’t have long to take pleasure from the present day spa circuit area which was next door to the hotel complete with its various vapor rooms, floatation pool, igloo, rapids and hot tubs. But we made many of it, staying before lights were switched off on us!
We began the afternoon bright and very early having mud therapy down within the basement of hotel. The whole flooring was integrated the nineteenth century detailed with tiled spaces and corridor. The air smells moderately sulphuric together with water is entirely through the normal thermal waters.
I happened to be led as a small tiled cubicle, told to strip down seriously to my swim bottoms and lay half naked on a bed of hot mud. The mud specialist takes big lumps of mud and packs them around my shoulders, sides, foot and hands. She then covered me personally up like a cocoon and left me personally to bake for 20 minutes.
Whenever my time was up I became unwrapped, told to stand in corner associated with the cubicle and hosed down, half naked using the curtain open. Shyness was not a choice!
After breakfast at the hotel we hopped back into the vehicle and took a drive through the Ricote Valley, one thing our guide called ‘Little Palestine’. A wonderful landscape of dramatic hills, lush valley plus river meandering through scenery.
We stopped within the little village of Ojos, a picture perfect destination which had a quiet and serene atmosphere.
Finally we found Blanca, a little town by having a great viewpoint bridge searching over the lush valley.
We headed back through valley and on to Bullas, another local city and house up to a wine region. First we examined the Wine Museum and learned all about the wine provenance for the area, after which we headed out to a regional vineyard, Bodega Balcona, for a short talk about their wine and some sampling.
The atmosphere had been hot, the colours of the vineyard had been vibrant with autumn colours. It certainly ended up being some of those special moments of leisure once we sipped on delicious burgandy or merlot wine. I specially liked the Casa del a Cruz variety.
After a quick late lunch take a look at Entretempos we drove on to Caravaca de la Cruz, the fifth holist city in Catholicism plus one of my fave prevents.
We immediately met with your neighborhood guide and strolled up to the church regarding hill, Basilica-Shrine of La Vera Cruz, to take the sunset and see this many religious of places.
I found it many calming and another of the loveliest of churches I’ve checked out in European countries. I don’t think you have to be associated with the faith to appreciate the environment, architecture and importance of a religious place such as this.
We took another walk around the old section of this town which, once again, was charming and relaxing to be in. We had been offered a further guided tour associated with Wine Horses Museum which celebrates the initial horse event town celebrates annually and brings the complete community together.
Finally to round of the full-on day we relaxed our way via an epic meal at El Arco restaurant including program after length of delicious Spanish meals.
We invested the night time at guest household, Hospederia Almunia, that we must say had such inviting staff and felt like a home from your home. A pleasant base where to explore this essential town.
Our final time in Murcia didn’t have a set itinerary as such so we had been in a position to take it slow. We started the afternoon by having a mild walk to a different an element of the old town experience the morning view once the mist lifted throughout the city.
Our final end had been back Murcia city again for the next walk around the old quarter during daylight hours.
We wound up in a local grocery store, eyeing up rows upon rows of fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat.
In the same way we were making I spotted a small club into the corner for the market. There were a few stools with residents consuming tapas, consuming alcohol and wine, and chucking their dirty napkins on to the floor.
We asked our guide about the bar and as quickly as she explained your locals had been having their market purchases prepared up during the club in front of them … well, we had to test it down!
We hotfooted it up towards the seafood countertop and I accidentally ordered probably the most expensive prawns on their stall (oops!). With bags of prawns, octopus and sardines we nabbed top spot at the club to put our order for beer (wine for me personally) and viewed as he cooked up our seafood.
It had been fantastically fresh and casual to consume in this way. My prawns were, thankfully, the sweetest I’ve ever tasted. The atmosphere was jovial. And we left feeling we completed our trip for a high having truly authentic Spanish experience.
Murcia actually diverse region with scenery and tradition to rival the greater amount of popular tourist destinations of Spain. I might cheerfully return, employ a car, and explore the place in more detail.
If you would like log off the tourist trail Murcia is an perfect Spanish experience for you personally. It’s just 2 hours from the UK and there is one thing for all, nevertheless you most readily useful always travel.
If you prefer this post have a look at my weekly vlog from trip right here: