Things to do in Murcia

Must-see Murcia sights

Sun-drenched beaches, ancient history, laid back café culture - Spain’s Murcia region delivers all that and a whole lot more.

  1. Meander Murcia city
  2. Beach hop the Costa Cálida
  3. Roam Roman ruins
  4. Explore an ancient spa town
  5. Go on a wine crawl
  6. Trek pine forest trails
  7. Experience an enchanted city

Murcia’s towns and cities offer excellent museums and galleries, with architectural sights ranging from Roman ruins to Baroque cathedrals, while nature-lovers will find plenty of things to do in Murcia’s national parks. And the food and drink ain’t half bad either. The region is home to hundreds of olive groves, vineyards and tonnes of top-notch tapas joints. With so many attractions in the province, choosing what to do in Murcia ain’t that easy!

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Meander Murcia city

Founded by the Moors in 825, Murcia moves at a pleasant pace, so take your time to take in the city’s historic highlights, like the 14th-century cathedral with its baroque façade and ornate chapels (the star-shaped skylights of Los Vélez are out-of-this-world). Re-charge with a coffee in the shade of the sweet scented blossoms and palms of Plaza de las Flores before strolling the Paseo del Malecón riverwalk. When you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Plaza San Juan for tapas your taste buds will thank you for.

Don’t miss: touring Real Casino de Murcia – a private gentleman’s club with more bling than Liz Taylor in her Hollywood heyday.

Top alternative: Into ancient history? Visit Murcia Archaeological Museum.

2. Beach hop the Costa Cálida

With 250 km of Mediterranean coastline, the Costa Cálida has every kind of beach a person could wish for, which makes beach-hopping a highlight of cheap holidays to Murcia. Family-friendly with facilities? Try the urban beach of Playa de Poniente near the resort area of Águilas. Peace and palm trees on a classic cove? Percheles near Mazarrón is sure to float your boat. Want to strip off to shed those tan lines? Pop to Playa Negrete nudist beach in the Calblanque Regional Park. Like we said, there really is a beach for everyone here.

Don’t miss: Playa de Paraíso – shallow waters, beach activities, and plenty of places to eat.

Top alternative: if you find Playa de Poniente too busy, try family-friendly La Azohía.

3. Roam Roman ruins

Exploring Cartagena is one of the best things to do in Murcia. Every street, square and monument in this ancient port could tell a story. The city’s top attraction is the Roman Theatre Museum, with its restored 6000-seater theatre that dates back to the 1st century BC. Other classical must-sees include the Barrio del Foro Romano where you can wander the walkways of Carthago Nova to get a feel for everyday Roman life, and Casa Romana de la Fortuna, which showcases domestic life through personal artefacts.

Don’t miss: Concepción Castle with its peacock-packed gardens and panoramic views.

Top alternative: Lorca - Murcia’s ‘Baroque City’ with its very own Fortress of the Sun.

4. Explore an ancient spa town

The thermal waters of Archena have been softening skin since Roman times. But before you bliss-out in Balneario de Archena Spa, head to the town’s museum to discover local history from the Bronze Age, through Roman times, to the twentieth century. Had enough of history? Promenade along the Segura River. Clean air, cool views, with a hot mineral bath waiting for you to slip into - what’s not to like?

Don’t miss: lunch or a snack in a local café. The pastries are to die for.

Top alternative: the town of Fortuna is another hotspot for thermal spring action.

5. Go on a wine crawl

With vines introduced to the region by the Phoenicians, it’s no wonder that Murcia is renowned for its wine. Taking the Jumilla wine route tour is an especially scenic way to sample fruits of the vine while soaking up info about the winemaking process. Need a break from booze? Jumilla is as rich in culture as it is in wine. Its mighty hilltop castle has watched over the town through its Iberian, Roman, Arab and Castile periods, while the opulent red and gold interior of the nineteenth-century Vico Theatre could give the Albert Hall a run for its money.

Don’t miss: the colourful festivals held around the 15th August in honour of Jumilla’s patron saint.

Top alternative: the Bullas Wine Route

6. Trek pine forest trails

The Sierra Espuña Regional Park is a dream draw for hikers and nature-lovers, with a network of trails through mountainous pine forest. The Umbria del Bosque Path leads walkers to breath-taking cliffs, while the steeper Pedro López Path offers jaw-dropping views across the Malvariche valley, with chances to spot golden eagles and raptors. You might even get lucky and see a huge-horned mouflon mountain goat or wild boar.

Don’t miss: the 16th-century sunken ice huts that were used to store snow during summer.

Top alternative: Sierra de la Pila Regional Park – rugged, mountainous, with plenty of birdlife.

7. Experience an enchanted city

Overlooking Bolnuevo Beach, the wind-and-water eroded sandstone formations of Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City) are a geological wonder. The strange sherbet-hued, mushroom-shaped rocks might put you in mind of America’s Monument Valley in miniature. Or, if you’re a child of the eighties, a beach-fronted Fraggle Rock. Either way, you won’t forget this otherworldly sight.

Don’t miss: a sunset stroll along Bolnuevo Beach.

Top alternative: Want more natural wonders? Head to the Salto del Usero waterfall and rock pools on the outskirts of Bullas.

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