The Mar Menor provides an area rich in mineral salts, which makes Murcia an ideal place for spas. On this page you can learn about the diverse nature of the area.
Murcia is located in south eastern Spain on the Iberian Peninsular in an area known as the Costa Calida. The region occupies an area of 11,320 km2 and borders with the provinces of Albacete in the north, Alicante in the east and Granada, Albacete and Almeria in the west.
The population of Murcia is approximately 340,000 in the capital and 600,000 when the outlying areas are included. Murcia has been the capital of the province since 1838.
It has 170km of coast, which consists of many small bays and rocky shores. There is a strip of land 20 to 30 km long in Murcia, which separates the Mediterranean Sea and the salt water lake of Mar Menor.
The Murcia region has excellent links with the rest of Spain with a full network of communications. Investment has been made to improve and enlarge the road network, in particular to the construction of motorways which have made it possible to enhance links between different towns within the region and at the same time giving good contact with the rest of Spain.
The Mar Menor is a huge (135 square kilometres) salt-water lagoon, separated from the Mediterranean by La Manga del Mar Menor. The average depth of the Mar Menor is four metres and its maximum seven with a gently sloping bed. The marshes around the Mar Menor are a conservation area owing to the huge diversity and numbers of visiting birds.
The Mar Menor's high salt content makes it a safe place to swim. The mineral-rich waters of the Mar Menor are believed to have therapeutic effects, creating a significant spa tourism industry. The sludge in the saltpans of Lo Pagán to the north of the Mar Menor is also credited for its health benefits.
The Murcia region has excellent links with the rest of Spain and boasts a complete network of communications. Much investment has gone into the improvement of the road network, in particular to the construction of motorways.
There are many projects to further improve communications with the area. One is the railway network, with the imminent incorporation of the high-speed train (AVE) connecting Murcia with Madrid and the Valencia region. The other is the project for a new regional airport, equipped with state-of-the-art national and international air transport infrastructures.
There is a port at Cartagena, situated at the hub of the principal Mediterranean commercial and passenger sea routes. This port receives a steady flow of visitors on pleasure cruises throughout the year. It is fully equipped with every amenity for a pleasant stop-off point on Mediterranean maritime routes.
Murcia has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. InJuly and August temperatures reach around 40C and drop to around 10C in the winter, with over 300 days of sunshine a year.
Murcia is built near the centre of a low-lying fertile plain known as the huerta or market garden of Murcia and is surrounded by mountains.
Inland Murcia is ideal for nature lovers owing to the mountains and woodland areas. There are fields, forests and valleys in 18 natural parks, making it ideal for walking, climbing and all other mountain sports. There is abundant wildlife and bird life for animal lovers.
Coastal Murcia is ideal for water sports devotees as it is one of the best places in the world for practising sailing, canoeing, swimming, water-skiing, jet-skiing, kite surfing, windsurfing and every type of water sport. Numerous clubs, ports and sailing schools serve the area.
Murcia is famous for its golf courses with several world-class courses in the area, the most well known being La Manga.
The city of Murcia is modern city and offers many activities for recreation. Its excellent cuisine and warm climate makes it unforgettable. A huge choice of bars, restaurants and shops cater for every nationality and taste.
Murcia was founded in 825 AD by Abd ar-Rahman II and had the name Medinat Mursiya. The Arabs created a complex network of irrigation channels from the Segura River, which made the town prosperous. It was described by Muhammad al-Idrisi in the 12th century as populous and strongly fortified.
The city flourished in the 18th century, mainly due to the boom of the silk industry. Many of its churches and monuments were built during this period.
The town and its surroundings suffered from floods in 1651, 1879 and 1907, though the construction of a wall has helped to keep the Segura River in its bed.
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