The capital of the Costa Calida is Murcia, Spain. It is here that the old is blended with the contemporary. A typical Spanish city, Murcia has many points of interest for locals and tourists alike. It is a college town with over 30,000 students attending its university at any given time. Thus, Murcia has earned the nickname “University City.”
Among the places to visit in Murcia are museums, cathedrals and churches, and the university itself. Getting there is easy too. Once you arrive there is no shortage of accommodations either, but you will want to plan for university events such as graduations because hotels will book quickly.
Arrival at Murcia — Planes, Trains and Automobiles
Murcia is best serviced by the San Javier airport where major international and European carriers come and go on a regular basis. It experienced a 77 percent increase in traffic between 1996 and 2006 due to a burst in interest in the region among tourists and students. It is located along the northern part of the Mar Menor, which is also a great location for outdoor sports such as swimming, water skiing, sailing, fishing, etc.
Once you arrive, you can hire a car to take you to your hotel or use a taxi or bus, which will also get you to all of the points of interest in and around the city.
In-Town and Nearby Hotels
There are plenty of choices in hotels and around the city centre of Murcia. For example, one modern choice is the Hotel Nelva. It is just 4 km from the downtown area and only cost around $75 US per night.
In the heart of the city is the also modern Catalonia Conde de Floridablanca. It is just steps away from the shops in town and the cities cathedral.
The business and commercial district of Murcia is the location of the Zenit Murcia. It is also close to the cathedral and has 61 air conditioned rooms costing approximately $65 US per night.
If you are looking for a golf resort and retreat, then look no further than the InterContinental Mar Menor Golf Resort & Spa located in Murcia and also in the Canary Islands. Here you can take in 18 holes and the escape to a relaxing retreat where you can enjoy many different spa treatments.
Museums and Other Attractions
Once you have found your home base it is time to explore the many sights offered in and around Murcia. There is something for the art lover, history fanatic or outdoor enthusiast.
One must-see stop on your tour of Murcia is the Cathedral of Murcia. This landmark is known by its tower that can be see from great distances. Outside, there are huge access doors that are uniquely crafted. The main entrance, known as the Puetra del Perdon, the north side door, called the Portada de las Cadenas and the Portada de los Apostoles all give entrance to the chapel. Inside you will find an abundance of gold and other ornate embellishments that show this is a sacred place. Tourists can go to the top of the tower to see spectacular views of the city and beyond.
The museum called the Almudi Art Palace once housed the tithes in the form of corn, collected by the clergy. It is the city archives and centre for art today after being renovated in the mid-1980s.
The history of the entire region can be seen at the city museum called Museo de la Ciudad. Art, industry, and the entire culture can be viewed by its artefacts. This location also boasts an orchard from the Moorish period.
Just for fun, the Gran Casino Murcia lets you spend your Euros in slot machines while enjoying the ornate ballroom. Then you can move on to the Spa La Manga Club for some relaxation. It is located at the Hyatt Las Lomas Village & Spa and offers steam rooms Jacuzzi tubs, manicures, pedicures, therapeutic massage, and even reflexology. A lap pool is located on the premises featuring 6 lanes 25-metres in length. Children are welcome, but have their own swimming pool so the adults are not disturbed.
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