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Murcia

With so many cheap flights... Shouldn't you know a bit more?

 

 

Murcia. Say it properly now: "Moo" - roll the "r" only a bit – then "thia". Now you’re on your way! It’s about time we unwrapped the fascinating city that too often gets overlooked. Come on, let’s explore…!

The boardwalk to the pool at the stunning new Sol Melia Hotel in Murcia

Buying in a politically and economically stable European country that is easy to get to has got to be a good investment. These days, Mr and Mrs Joe Average are coming back from Spain, not so much with a sombrero and a Spanish bull under their arm, but a small apartment or a three-bedroom villa! They are part of a new breed of canny investors, taking advantage of a buyers’ market on the Spanish costas. With the Paramount Theme Park and a hi-speed train link planned to Madrid, Murcia is a good choice.

Murcia's cathedral in the city centre

Most people fly in to Murcia’s San Javier airport to soak up the sun along Spain’s sun-drenched Costa Calida without sparing a moment’s thought for the university city of Murcia, nestling in a plain, flanked by mountains. You can’t miss 14th century, 96-metre cathedral tower housing a deafening 25 bells as you approach the city. It started life as a Moorish mosque and is visible from miles away. You can shop ‘til you drop in the narrow lanes round the cathedral and in one of the best El Corte Inglés department stores in Spain. Shopping is a delight in Murcia. Spanish shoes are a particular bargain. While it’s hot and most of the shops shut, take a break between 2 and 4pm for some refreshments before you carry on shopping until 9pm!

You hear the music long before you spot the cello player

Don’t miss the stunning architectural treasures of Murcia as you follow the river that snakes through its centre. We say this because you really ought to stop off at the Church of Santa Ana’s and say "gracias" to the sisters of this closed order. They’ve made vows to have no contact with the outside world, but that hasn’t stopped the nuns selling delicious home-baked cakes through a revolving serving-hatch! And if you haven’t sinned enough, there is always the Casino, built in 1847 which houses a magnificent Moorish patio, a fascinating library, a neo-Baroque ballroom and exposes the hidden secrets of the Lady’s Powder Room!

Plenty to see and do in colourful Murcia

Then, it’s back home to watch the sun go down from the hills or from the balcony of your house or apartment looking down over the sun-lit, golden rooftops of the city from Torre Guil. It is here you can get lost along nature trails shadowed by holms, pines, oaks and junipers in the forest. There are apartments, villas and terraced houses for sale here. Nearby Polaris World and Frondoso Valley are just some of the many popular residential areas to buy.

Townhouses at Frondoso Valley

Living outside Murcia gives you the benefit of spectacular golf courses and the stunning sandy beaches of Costa Calida. You’ll soon be pottering around, decorating your home with knick-knacks you’ve picked up from Murcia’s Ikea or planting bougainvillea and orange blossom from the local garden centre in terra cotta pots you’ve lined up along your terrace.

Make something of those late summer evenings in your new home

Live like a Moor! Learn to knead bread and distil essences and liqueurs, cut honeycomb or make cheese. Relax in front of an open fire or throw the steaks over your barbeque and invite your new neighbours to share a hearty stew, some migas or a tasty dish of game with a bottle of cold San Miguel beer or a fine bottle of local wine, Denominación de Origen. As well as learning a useful language, you or the kids can learn to paddle down a river by canoe, go potholing, climbing, hiking, horse-riding, cycling or swim in the warm, aquamarine seas off small beaches and rocky coves along the coast. And who could avoid the opportunity to dip your toe in the placid waters of the Mar Menor? This unusual accident of nature is formed by the La Manga strip almost closing off the Mar Menor, making the water 5°C warmer than the rest of the Mediterranean. With a new international airport and Theme Park at Murcia, you don’t have to be an investment whiz-kid to work out where the region is going. So what are you waiting for?

Enjoying time off in the main square in front of the cathedral and university

© Let’s Live Abroad!