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The city’s history begins in 825 AD when Abd ar-Rahman II arrived and took control. The Moors proceeded to establish an irrigation network that made the area prosperous.
In 1031, the Caliphate of Cordoba fell and from that time, different powers took control of Murcia.
In 1172, the Almohades gained possession. From 1223 until 1243, Murcia managed to remain the capital of an independent realm.
Then, under King Alfonso X, the Castilians conquered the city and a mix of immigrants resettled it, bringing much diversity and firmly establishing Christianity. During this time, many of the mosques were destroyed.
In 1296, the Kingdom of Aragon gained control of Murcia and its environs; then in 1304, with the Treaty of Torrellas, it became part of Castile.
Murcia’s silk industry boomed in the 18th century and the city prospered. Many of Murcia’s churches and famous monuments were constructed during this time.
Then a period of hardship followed. Napoleonic troops plundered the city in 1810, followed by a massive earthquake in 1829, as a result of which about 6,000 people died. As if matters could not have gotten worse, the plague and cholera arrived.
After 1838, Murcia became the capital of the province of Murcia and capital of the autonomous commonwealth. Today, it has a flourishing tourism and services industry.
If you want to leave civilisation behind for a while and bask in your own private paradise, then weekend in Murcia, one of Spain’s least touristy regions, is the place to be.
Dappled in sunshine for 3,000 hours per year, its coastline is named ‘La Costa Cálida’ (Hot Coast). Inland, Lorca is renowned for Easter week celebrations, while the capital is a charming university town with a majestic cathedral.
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This cathedral rose in 1394 on the site where a mosque had formerly been. It was constructed in Gothic style, but a Baroque façade gave it a makeover in 1748. Be sure to see the extravagant 15th-century Capilla de los Vélez, also Gothic. For amazing panoramic views of Murcia, ascend the 92-meter-tall tower. It was started in 1519, but wasn’t completed until the 18th century.
This renovated Muslim palace has a significant collection of Islamic art inside of a closed-door convent with valuables that have been amassed over centuries. If you phone in advance, you can reserve a guided tour in English.
This dazzling casino was a gentlemen’s club when it opened it 1847. Its façade was completed in 1901 and it leads to the Arab-style vestibule and patio. When you reach the spectacular ballroom, push a euro coin into the slot to see all 320 lamps of the candelabra shine while “Radetsky March” plays from the speakers.
You will find this museum in the villa of a renowned 16th-century Murcia family. Here you may view records of the region’s history, particularly its art and ethnography. There is also an orchard that has survived since Muslim times. The Caravija aqueduct waters it.
This museum honours Francisco Salzillo, a local sculptor. Go and admire his amazing Easter and Nativity figures, which are carried in holiday processions. All 550 of them are carved in wood.
This museum is guaranteed to keep the children educationally entertained with its small size and its hands-on activities. There are plenty of buttons and knobs for kids to play with, as well as fish tanks and even a little planetarium.
This museum is a renovated water mill used for temporary exhibitions. Check out the huge grindstones and working models.
Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday
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Located near central Murcia, this water park has a wide variety of rides and attractions for both children and adults. Try the Prison and Grave Islands and River Lento. The crazier rides include the Black Hole, Adventure River, Kamikaze and Speed Hole. There is also a wet play area exclusively for children.
Unlike a zoo, this new style of wildlife park allows visitors to have contact with the animals. The park is separated into two areas: Iberia and Africa. There are hundreds of animal specimens representing more than 50 species from the savannahs and the Spanish peninsula, and three of those species are in serious danger of extinction. In addition to the animals, there are also more than 50 species of local flora. To round out the experience, enjoy a variety of shows and adventure activities.
You probably would not expect to experience the Wild West in Spain, but you can find it at this theme park. This unique park recreates western life as in western films. You will see the sets used by some of the most famous westerns. You will also find many species of animals, a swimming area, a museum, and a parrot show. There are even actors recreating western scenes.
Practically every water sport you can think of can be enjoyed in Murcia, from dinghy sailing to windsurfing lessons and kayak expeditions, all offered by the Aqua Adicta company on the Mar Menor from mid-March to mid-November. The activities last for two hours.
If you are an adrenaline junkie or have an adventurous spirit, then you will adore Rainbow Overland’s adventure tours. Thrill yourself on an off-road excursion on a choice of different vehicles like motorbikes or 4x4s. Any of the available options is a great way to see the stunning landscape, which includes valleys, forests, high mountains, and wet and dry riverbeds.
The sleek and modern Novotel Hotel is in a perfect spot only a short walk from the centre. It boasts 126 beautiful, spacious guestrooms, including two junior suites. There is a fitness centre and swimming pool, and even pets are allowed to share in the luxury. If you forget your laptop at home, you can rent a computer from the hotel. Be sure to try the hotel restaurant; the Mediterranean and international cuisine is superb.
Nelva Hotel is a supremely elegant establishment. The design and décor are simultaneously simple, clean, and luxurious. The spacious guestrooms are equipped with new technology; plus there is a solarium, fitness facilities, and a lovely outdoor swimming pool.
The InterContinental Mar Menor Golf Resort and Spa Hotel is absolutely spectacular. You will be surrounded by soothing, comfortable luxury and an 18-hole golf course. That’s not all. You will also have a world-renowned spa, two swimming pools, and seven bars and restaurants at your fingertips. The resort is located close to Mar Menor, the biggest inland sea on the continent. There is plenty of beauty nearby to explore, including the ancient Roman ruins and cathedral squares.
The Silken 7 Coronas Hotel is located in the charming Old Town. Murcia’s business centre is very close by. The hotel’s interior was recently refurbished and now provides the latest in technology and comfort. It offers many amenities and even welcomes pets.
San Javier Airport of Murcia hasn’t got a train connection to the airport, but there is a bus that leaves thrice daily from the airport to Murcia. The departure times are: 17:45, 19:15, and 22:45. Going to the airport, the departure times are: 13:00, 15:15 (but only Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays), and 17:30. A bus ticket costs €7, and the trip takes around 45 minutes.
There are also plenty of taxis outside the arrivals hall, and all of them are metered and ready to transport you to Murcia for about €50. A small tip will be much appreciated, but it is definitely not expected.
There is a city bus service as well as an urban bus system operated by a company called LatBus. Plus, Tranvimur operates a tram service. If you need to get outside of the region, the train can transport you to various parts of the country from the local railway station, called Murcia del Carmen.
A local train network connects Murcia to Alicante, Lorca, and Aguilas.
Metered taxis are also plentiful within Murcia, but there might be surcharges for nighttime, holidays, and luggage.
Car hire in Murcia is most likely the best option if you desire to travel around, and it is not very expensive. With a car, you can see everything the region of Murcia has to offer.
Otherwise, if you do not need to travel far, most transportation can be done on foot. The major attractions, nightlife, and shopping are all within ambling distance of each other.
Meson El Corral de Jose Luis (Plaza de Santo Domingo) is an institution renowned for its traditional Murcian cuisine, especially the Menu del Día and delicious vegetarian tapas. The Iberian tenderloin flavoured with garlic, as well as the other meat dishes, are highly recommended. The dining room is spacious and rustic, making diners feel relaxed and comfortable.
If you are a seafood lover, then El Grumete (Plaza San Nicolas 3) should not be missed. It has a reputation for its extraordinary fresh seafood, especially its extremely popular mussels. Also try the arroz caldero, all for great prices.
To really savour the Murcian flavours, stop by the Hispano Hotel Restaurant (Calle Radio Murcia 3). The restaurant in the hotel prepares Murcian delicacies. The fish is fresh from the Mar Menor, the salads are made using seasonal ingredients, the bread is homemade and served alongside delicious stews, and the wine is produced locally. Local produce arranged on the tables and traditional pots on the walls create an atmosphere that feels authentic and cosy.
Although Monteagudo (Av. Constitucion 93) is a six-kilometre drive away from Murcia, it is well worth it. The traditional Spanish cuisine with a contemporary twist is exceptional, and the dishes are prepared with fresh, local produce and meat. You will love the meat or fish dishes, but try the grilled vegetables too, and notice that the wine list includes great local wines, which the waiter can help you select.
As long as you have received boosters for vaccinations included in the vaccination schedule, you should be fine. Children will need to receive those earlier in advance of the trip than adults.
The water is potable, but bottled water is still recommended, especially for babies.
Spain has a great network of health-care facilities, including emergency care. Before you leave home, it would be a good idea to ask your local Social Security centre for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
In the case of an emergency, dial 112 for rescue service from medical, police, or fire departments. For on-call pharmacies, dial 098. For an ambulance, dial 092.
Do not walk unaccompanied at night or in dimmed areas wearing expensive jewels or carrying loads of cash.
Make photocopies of all travel documents, keeping the copies on you and the originals in a safe in your hotel in Murcia. If you are assaulted, keep yourself tranquil and try not to resist.
Avoid driving after sundown, and avoid hitchhikers. Do not stop upon seeing a broken-down car of truck. Stop only at service stations. Also, using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless it is used with a hands-free kit. Drivers must have two reflective triangles and high-visibility vests on hand. Also, make sure you have enough provisions (such as water and some food), spare tyres, and a mobile phone in case the car breaks down. The distances between service stations can be quite long.