Murcia is located at the South-East corner of the Iberian Peninsula, between the regions of, Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and Valencia. Murcia the capital of the region is located inland. Murcia borders the province of Albacete in the North, the province of Alicante in the East, the provinces of Granada, Albacete and Almería in the West, and the Mediterranean in the South-East.
Often described as one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the country. Murcia owes much of its heritage to the Moors (Arabs), who founded it in 825AD; naming the city of Mursiya. Set in what is known as the “breadbasket of Europe” in a fertile plain watered by the River Segura.
A city is rich in cultural achievements, full of magnificent architectural pearls, such as the baroque-rococo cathedral.
Murcia is just 30 minutes drive from the coastal towns of the Costa Blanca & Costa Calida, making for an ideal day trip.
Murcia straddles the river and is a prime example of good city planning with many gardens and plazas. Murcia is a fine modern city with excellent shops and many interesting places to visit, including plenty of historical monuments and museums.
Enjoy tapas on the terraces of Plaza San Juan and Plaza de las Flores or simply sit in one of the many small cafes and watch the world go by.
Murcia is famous today for its excellent fruit and vegetables as the summers are hot and the winters mild. This coupled with the irrigation provided by the rivers Segura, Murdo and Sangonera make for ideal citrus fruit growing conditions. The region exports many tons of oranges and lemons.
Murcia is a university city with large numbers of national and foreign students attending. The student population here does much to add a youthful vibe, and a number of lively bars and restaurants can be found in the vicinity of the university compound. As with many Spanish towns and cities Murcia does come alive at night. As is customary for Spanish families to go for a walk after their evening meal, perhaps to have an ice ream, or a drink, so there is something for all ages.
Cathedral – The most important monument is the cathedral, which is characterised by the variety of architectural styles that overlapped during its construction. The cathedral in Murcia was built in 1394 over the foundation of Murcia`s central mosque, and it was finally consecrated in 1467. The cathedra museum displays grand gothic altarpieces, the third largest monstrance in Spain and a frieze from a Roman sarcophagus.
Museo de Tradiciones y Artes Populares – This folk museum stands next to a large water wheel, a copy of the original 15th century wooden wheel. There are three galleries which display agricultual and domestic items, some of which are 300 years old.
Mar Menor – This large, sheltered lagoon is 5 C warmest in summer than the Mediterranean. Its high mineral concentrations drew rest-cure tourists in the early 20th century. These tourists stayed at the older resorts of Santiago de la Ribera and los Alcazares, which still have pretty wooden jetties protruding from their beaches today.
Art galleries; 20 located in Murcia
Museums; 57 museums to visit.
How to get there
The Region of Murcia enjoys excellent links with the rest of Spain through a full communications network.
BY AIR ; Direct flights are available from Birmingham, East Midlands, Manchester, Southampton, Gatwick, Kent, Leeds, Bradford, Luton and Stanstead
The Alicante (´El Altet`) Airport, is 68 km away from Murcia. It will take you 45 minutes to get to Murcia. Murcia can also be reached by taxi or by regular bus service.
ROADS: Murcia is linked to the rest of Spain by a full road network. To the south it is connected to Andalucia by the A92 and E15 motorways, leading to Granada and Almería respectively. Albacete and Madrid can be reached via the A3-301 motorway. The connection with the Mediterranean seaboard through Alicante and Valencia can be made by an inland route using the E15 motorway, or by the N-332 trunk road which follows the coast starting from Cartagena. You can also travel from Cartagena to Alicante by a new linking motorway, which branches into the main A-7 motorway to Catalonia near Elche. Alternatively, daily bus services connect Murcia with other important Spanish cities such us Alicante, Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastián, Vitoria, Pamplona and Logroño amongst others), and there are also a number of international services.
Railways: Access by train from any part of Spain can be obtained through Madrid, with a daily train service, or from any part of Europe, via Barcelona. All trains arrive and depart from the “El Carmen” railway station, located in the city of Murcia. There is also a local train service (FEVE) which links Cartagena with Los Nietos, on the Mar Menor coast.
By Sea; The port of Cartagena, situated at the hub of the principal Mediterranean commercial and passenger sea routes, receives visitors on pleasure cruises throughout the year. It is fully equipped with every amenity for a pleasant halt in their voyage. For this reason, the Region of Murcia has become an essential stop-off point on Mediterranean routes.
There are many different festivals and celebrations throughout the region.
Three Cultures International Festival
Held annually in May. This festival features an extensive programme of concerts and cultural activities that centre on Christianity, Judaism and Islam, with a focus on tolerance and the mixing of cultures. A wide range of dance and music, as well as exhibitions and conferences take up the festival theme. There are also traditional Arabic dances, flamenco folkloric music, masses, Jewish song evening music for Sufi poets, choral and medieval music, book reading jazz exhibitions and American gospel, pan-cultural cooking demonstrations and a whole host of other events to inspire and unite the public.
The Easter celebrations in Cartagena are renowned throughout Spain for their processions and stunning embroidered costumes. The processions are organised by four principal cofradías (fraternities) and numerous sub-groups, some dating back as early as the 16th century, each with its own history and traditions.
Lorca’s Easter festivities are marked by their colourful horse parades, while Murcia is most famous for its religious images by the sculptor Salzillo.
‘Cante de las Minas’ Flamenco Festival
Every August, the nearby mining town of La Unión plays host to the world’s most important flamenco song festival, known as the Festival del Cante de las Minas (Song of the Mines Festival). The town’s historic, modernist market building brings together some of Spain’s best-known flamenco singers as well as young artists.
There are colourful processions in most towns and villages in anticipation of the arrival of Lent, although the grandest and most famous takes place in Aguilas in the south of the region.
Carthaginians and Romans Festival
During the second half of September, the citizens of Cartagena dress in their tunics and togas to re-enact events which took place between 223 BC, when the city was founded by General Asdrubal, and 209 BC, when the city fell to the Romans. During the festivities, all the local people head for the streets dressed in typical costumes.They represent famous personalities, the different social groups, the Carthaginian troops and the Roman legions who played a part in the city’s history.
Eating Dining Shopping
Shopping District; Calle Traperia is the main pedestrian shopping street
Restaurants; Generally open from 1-4pm and 8-11pm
Cafes/Bars; Try around the University town as well as Los Claveles
The centre of the modern city is the 18th century square, La Glorieta. The pedestrianized Calle de la Traperia linking the cathedral and the former market place (now the Plaza Santo Domingo), is the city’s main street.
Murcia is characterized by its old history of commerce and agriculture. The Iberian tribes established commercial relations with Phonecians and Greeks. Later on it became first a Carthainean colony, then a Roman colony. The Moors established effective and modern agricultural production, which is still today an important economic factor.
The impressive city walls are a fine example today as are the 20 (former) mosques within them. Murcia was re-conquered by native Spaniards in 1243 and went on to prosper, enriched by the silk and agricultural industry. It is good fortune that funded much of the splendour seen today, from the magnificent baroque cathedral, to urban palaces and churches.
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number (police / fire / ambulance): 112
24 hour medical service (Malaga): 952 250550
Airport Information: 968 172000
LATBUS (Bus station): 968 250088
National Transport Line (for all travel info): 902 240202
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