Hiking through the serene mountain villages or strolling along miles of unspoiled coastline are all part of the experience in Murcia. The region is not well known to tourists, which creates a pleasant and relaxed vibe for travelers. Located in southeastern Spain, Murcia has a mild climate with over 300 sunny days a year. The picturesque orchards and vineyards provide the area with locally grown produce which can be bought at farmers markets. Many excellent wines can be sampled by visiting one of the region's vineyards. A local wine tasting can provide a wonderful diversion for a sunny afternoon.
Murcia boasts a large variety of cathedrals, castles and museums. Many are within walking distance of the main city square. The Murcia Cathedral is a beautiful example of Spanish Baroque architecture. Construction of the cathedral began in 1394 and continued through much of the 1400's. Additions were added to the cathedral over a period of several hundred years, creating a delightful blend of architectural styles. In addition to the Baroque facade, elements of Renaissance, Rococo and Neoclassical architecture are well represented.
The Holy Week Procession and Festival is an inspiring portrayal of the events of the Crucifixion. The candlelight vigil in the evenings is a moving and dramatic ceremony. Many come to take part in this interactive event where they can follow the procession as they are led in prayer at separate Stations of the Cross. The reverence of Holy Week gives way to the colorful Bando de la Huerta, or Orchard Parade. Locals dress in traditional costume and celebrate with music and dancing. The Three Cultures Festival takes place every May. The festival promotes understanding and good will between the Christians, Jews and Muslims on the peninsula.
The cuisine in Murcia is a mix of flavorful rice dishes, tapas, fish and other seafood and even wild game. Meat pies are sold by street vendors and are often filled with deer or rabbit. There are many reasonably priced restaurants in Murcia. The local produce and fine wines are a great draw to the area and enhance the local cuisine. The small eateries and shops are known for their reasonable goods and friendly service.