Murcia

Murcia

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About Murcia

A prospering university town with an interesting cultural history

Sun-worshippers need look no further than the relaxing and, more importantly, sun-soaked Spanish spot Murcia, with its miles of pristine beaches and lively student-fed culture. Once renowned throughout the world for its production of fine silk, Murcia is now a prospering university town with an interesting cultural history, sweeping landscapes and if Spanish food-critics are to be believed, a standard and variety of delicious tapas dishes good enough to challenge many of its high profile relatives.

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There are plenty of chic places to stay in Murcia thanks to the attractive rococo buildings that permeate the city. The NH Rincón de Pepe (Calle Apóstoles 34) offers a superb location in the centre of town, just a brief stroll from the old quarter and Murcia’s majestic Gothic cathedral. The AC Hotel Murcia by Marriott (Avenida Juan Carlos I 39) is found away from the centre and offers its own spa, while the Hotel Casa Emilio (Calle Alameda de Colón 9) is a family-run option boasting a strong central location opposite the attractive Floridablanca public gardens.

Although locals are endearingly proud of their city being one of the few in Spain to have a Primark branch, there is plenty of scope to seek greater adventure among Murcia’s shops. Head to Calle Jabonerías for top-end design, or La Oca on Calle Jerónimo de Roda for modern art and furniture. Meanwhile a branch of Spain’s top department store, El Corte Inglés, can be found on the Avenida de la Libertad. Behind this there is a street market that is great for a browse, with inexpensive bric-a-brac all the rage.

If you listen to food critics in Spain then Murcia boasts the country’s best Tapas, despite the protestations coming from Barcelona and San Sebastián. There are Moorish influences found in Murcia’s tapas, and La Mejillonera (Plaza Cardenal Belluga 7) is a great place to sample this with offerings such as mussel stew spiced with Moroccan cumin. Russian salad, Ensaladilla rusa, can be found in plenty of places, although for some of the best head to Bar Los Zagales (Calle Polo de Medina 4). Meanwhile Pepico del Tío Ginés (Calle Ruipérez 4) offers bigger plates and tasty salty cheeses.

Los Caballos del Vino

February

The running of the wine horses dates back to the 13th century and February sees this intriguingly bizarre festival take place in nearby Caravaca de la Cruz. Witness horses decked out in lavish costumes dashing through the medieval streets of the town.

Entierro de la Sardina

April

Colourful floats feature in this lively festival that sees an effigy burnt at the end of a vibrant parade, which moves along the Murcia’s streets to the beat of Brazilian samba bands.

Murcia Tres Culturas

May

This festival bids to combat racism and prejudice when it comes to religion by bringing together performers, artists and authors from Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

Festival de Cante Flamenco de Lo Ferro

July

Check out flamboyant flamenco dancing at this festival that is held in July in San Pedro del Pinatar just outside Murcia.

Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos 

September

These annual celebrations commemorate the battles between the Moors and the Christians, which sees the procession of ‘armies’ through the city centre before a gory bull fighting display concludes the event, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Key facts

Language:Spanish
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT +1 hour
Flight time:2 hours 50 mins
Airport code:MJV
Holiday type:City Break

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