This square is flanked by two of the city’s most interesting buildings, as opposite the impressive cathedral of Murcia is the Palacio Episcopal from the 18th century. Constructions on the Episcopal started in the 14th century, and today, its impressive tower reaches over 300 feet high.
Northwest of Murcia is the small and historic town Caravaca de la Cruz. In the 16th and 17th century, Caravaca was the political centre of a vast territory that was governed by the Order of the Temple and Order of Santiago, and the splendid castle and the renaissance Salvador church are now the town's main attractions.
One of the coast’s natural attractions is Mar Menor, the largest saltwater lake in Europe. As Mar Menor means 'minor sea', the Mediterranean Sea itself is, consequently, called 'major sea'. Close to the lake are the old fishing village of Cabo de Palos, and the unexploited beaches of the Calblanque National Park.
The regional park Calblanque is a beautiful nature reserve with amazing sandy beaches, cliffs, and mountains. There is a small visitor centre where you can get more information about both flora and fauna, and routes for the hiking trails. Be aware, there are no facilities like cafés and restaurants here as this is a protected area.
The Cathedral of Saint Mary was built in 1394 and it is Murcia's most important monument. It has outstanding details, both inside and outside, with elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. The bell tower is 90 meters tall and it has 24 bells, each named individually.
Royal Casino of Murcia is located in the city centre just a short distance from the Cathedral and it can be described as a social club for the elite; however, this exclusive environment is open for the public during specific hours as well. The casino is a very unique building with beautiful decoration, a modern Arab room, a beautiful art nouveau library, a nice ball room and a glass gallery.
On display of the museum is a huge collection of underwater artefacts and old sailing and trade ships but the exhibition is also devoted to naval construction, navigation and ports of the Mediterranean. The museum is located in an impressive modern building and in the inside, you will find a café-restaurant that offers magnificent views over the bay of Cartagena.
For an excursion, head over to the amazing castle of Lorca. To get up to the castle, take the small road train that directly leaves at the visitor centre called Lorca centre. At Castillo de Lorca, you will meet staff in costumes that will try to make each part of the castle come to life again.
Why not try some adventure sports like river rafting or kayaking! You do not need any experience, as the trained guides and the great stability of the boats will allow you an easy start – just enjoy the beautiful scenery and the adrenaline. There are also many activities that are adapted for the whole family, so this will be a memory for lifetime!
The cave of the port, Cueva del Puerto, is one of the largest caves in eastern Spain, located in the beautiful Sierra del Puerto Mountains, and offers many beautiful underground rooms such as the Zona del Laberinto, Gran Diaclasa, Gran Bloque and Sala de los Claustros. The amazing and colourful stalagmites and flow stones stand out, and they do allow both great fascination and extreme experience.
El Parque Minero de La Unión, the local mining park, opened in the summer of 2010 and it is a unique tourist attraction where you can learn about the city's mining history, as there is plenty to see at both the inside and the outside. Keep in mind that it is necessary to book your visit in advance. They also provide English speaking tour guides.
San Pedro del Pinatar is a popular small town by the coast, and it is also home to La Casa del Reloj. Its Victorian style architecture from the late 19th century is a reminiscence of when this area has developed as the Spanish equivalent to the French Riviera: it is a beautiful traditional Spanish Restaurant that offers first class service. On the menu you will find dishes like roasted lamb, baked sea bass and seafood soup.
Jota Ele is a quaint restaurant next to Santa Isabel square that offers great food of high quality. As the cafe is open almost all day long, their menu varies from snacks over desserts to proper dishes, which are always at a reasonable price. Although the dishes are mostly Spanish , there can also be found some Asian influence that allows you to taste great sushi.
El Sordo Restaurante is beautifully located in the heart of the Muricia Ricote Valley, surrounded by mountains, olive gardens and native plants. This very stylish restaurant serves a wide range of house specials and tapas, which you will enjoy, as well as their own produced wine.
Enso Sushi is a Japanese restaurant with high quality food. On the menu you will find a wide variety of dishes like sushi and sashimi. The atmosphere inside is cosy and intimate with curtains dividing the restaurant. The tasty food is beautifully presented and is a feast for your palate.
You will find this restaurant inside Playasol hotel Bolnuevo, and it serves high class seasonal cuisine with fresh produce from land and sea. The traditional cuisine is carefully prepared and with a modern touch, so best enjoy your food by the hotel pool under a large umbrella.
Antipodas Tavern is truly a gem and offers an amazing view over the port of Mazarron. Here you can enjoy fresh local produced food such as fish which is supplied directly from the bay every day. You will also find meat dishes like Iberican pork shoulder, duck breast and sirloin steak.
This cafe specialises in tea and coffee from around the world, with over 180 flavours of the former, and 20 of the latter one. The knowledgeable staff is happy to help you with your choice as deciding between the considerable offer not always goes easily. However, just give your first choice a try as you can always revisit another store of Salzillo's, which is spread across the whole town.
Café de Alba is a cosy cafe where you can enjoy a nice snack and a glass of wine. Although the shop is open all day long, its special atmosphere particularly spreads in the evening hours, as they always offer great entertainment. They also host different events such as concerts throughout the year.
If you are craving great coffee, than head over to Café Lab, where well experienced baristas will take great care of you. Those experts are not only authentic but also helpful, as choosing from the huge variety of coffee (and cake) may be heaven for your taste buds, but potentially hell when making decisions.
La Noria is a compromise, if you want to do both shopping and enjoying the weather. This outlet is an open-air shopping centre, designed as a Mediterranean village, with great brands and low prices. Even if you do not plan to buy anything, it is still worth a visit for just having a walk.
If you want to experience the world of wine, then head to Bodegas Luzon, which will most happily open its doors to all wine lovers and wine lovers to-be. Here, you can join a guided tour and get to know the whole process of producing wine, from reaping the grapes to bottling the produce. Do not forget to take your seat at the wine tasting table and take your favourite wine with you, as a souvenir that will likely not last for long.
Spain can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
Average temperatures in Murcia greatly vary but considering the humidity, temperatures do always feel nice and allow for a great experience of typical Spanish life. Thus, you can visit Murcia nearly all year long but the season from March until September might be best for enjoying parks and outdoor activities. As the summer months are the busiest ones, do choose another season for having lower expenses and less crowded public spaces.
A network of well-maintained roads makes it easy to drive around the region. Highways connect Murcia with the coastal villages Cartegna and La Manga as well as with the rest of Spain. Trains depart from El Carmen railway station for Cartegna, Alicante, Albacete, and onwards to Madrid. The local trains connect Cartegna - Los Nietos with Mar Menor. Buses depart to all parts of the region from Murcia’s bus station.