Rich Cultural Heritage
Most holidaymakers to Torrevieja will associate Murcia with the Murcia-San Javier Airport which services much of the Costa Blanca, and it is a pity not many get to visit Murcia city itself. Situated just under an hour from Torrevieja, the city is the seventh largest in Spain with a rich cultural heritage and some fine examples of historical buildings. Perhaps the most visited of these is Murcia Cathedral, an imposing Gothic style building constructed between 1394 and 1465. Since then the cathedral has had some remodelling and several additions that has kept it in excellent condition.
Nueva Condomina Mall
Not to worry if you are visiting with kids, Murcia is not just about its historical buildings. Throughout the city there are parks and plazas among the narrow streets, and plenty shops and boutiques to browse. Just outside the city there is an impressive shopping complex that consists of the Nueva Condomina Mall, that is set over 2 levels with a great selection of shops including well known high street brands such as Primark. Thader Mall is in the same complex and is home to the popular homeware giant Ikea, and also has a selection of cafes and restaurants as well as a 10 pin bowling arcade.
Virgin of Fuensanta
For fantastic views of the city and its low lying plains, the beautiful Shrine of La Fuensanta lies in the mountains about 6 kilometres from the city and houses the Virgin of Fuensanta, Murcia’s patron saint. The shrine’s interior is quite stunning with golden pillars and striking artwork, and the Quitapesares Terrace is a great place to relax and enjoy refreshments while taking in the splendid views. Another special place to visit is the Real Casino de Murcia that was built in 1847 and has been declared a Historic Monument. Exploring this grand building, it is amazing to see how privileged a lifestyle the aristocracy lived. There is an Arabic patio with a glass domed ceiling, the grand ballroom, British library, ladies room and Pompeian patio, just to name a few of the stately rooms in this lovely building. There are several museums in the city and the Salzillo Museum is home to the largest collection of works by the Murcian sculptor Iglesia de Jesús as well as scenes of the Passion of Christ that include a famous 556 piece nativity scene.
Murcia boasts 2 great theme parks offering excitement galore for all the family. The parks are owned by the same company and combined, making it easy to enjoy both in the same day. Aqua Natura offers a selection of thrilling water slides and rides as well as swimming pools, parkland and play areas for the smaller children. There are excellent facilities and amenities including ample parking, wheelchair access, baby changing rooms, first aid, sun beds, parasols, cafes and restaurants. Terra Natura is a wildlife park with 2 themed areas, the Iberian Peninsula and the African Savannah that have over 50 different species of animals, mammals and reptiles. The sea lion show is a great hit with the young ones and offers the chance to swim and play with these affectionate creatures. Bird watchers will enjoy the superb collection of birds of prey in the parks Falconry Zone.