Weekend Adventure: Murcia, Spain

My entire trip to Spain basically revolved around eating. I visited my friend, Melissa, in the region of Murcia which is known as ‘the garden of Europe’. Many of the fruits and vegetables we buy here in the UK are grown in Murcia. So as you can imagine, the food there was amazing and everything was incredibly fresh. Also, because Murcia is near the coast, there was seafood aplenty. There was simply no end to the tasty food offerings of Spain.

The city of Murcia is charming with its cozy plazas and laid back atmosphere, but it was surprisingly tourist-free. Of course, that meant there were also very few people who spoke English, but I liked it better that way. Exploring was easy as the sites are all very close and the city is so compact. The main attraction is the cathedral in the town center. It was built in 1394 on the site of a mosque, but the façade of the cathedral was later updated in the baroque style.

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What surprised me most about Murcia was the seeming lack of Arabic influence. The city is of Arabic origin, but there is little trace of the culture left today. There are so many pretty churches to see in the old town, but no mosques at all. Inside the Santa Clara Monastery is a museum dedicated to the building’s history as a Moorish Palace. While it houses some Arabic artifacts and has recreations of original architectural details, much of the interior’s designs have been wiped away.

Because Murcia is less than an hour’s drive from the Costa Calida, we decided to spend one day just relaxing on the beach. We got a ride down to a beach in La Manga area, which is southeast of Murcia. La Manga literally means ‘sleeve’ and it’s called that because of the very narrow strip of land separating the Mar Menor (small sea) from the Mediterranean. The spit is around 21 kilometers long, but only 300 meters wide.

The next day, we took a bus to a place called Salto del Usero in Bullas. The area is made up of refreshing natural pools along the river Mula and a partial cave that was excavated by the river. It was a really beautiful spot that’s actually not well-known by the locals. Even the bus driver to Bullas didn’t know what we were talking about and Melissa speaks Spanish like a native. Luckily, another woman on the bus overheard our conversation and pointed us in the right direction.

2 thoughts on “Weekend Adventure: Murcia, Spain

  1. Hi! It depends on what you like. 🙂 It is very small, so there aren’t many sights to see. But the city has a relaxed feel with great food. It’s a fun place to go bar or tapas hopping with friends, just enjoying the general atmosphere. Hope that helps!

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