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Local Area Information

Murcia is one of Spain's smaller regions and is located in the south east of Spain between the autonomous regions of Andalusia to the south and Valencia to the north. The regions ancient history was sculptured by the Carthaginians, Romans and the Moors, all of which occupied and left their marks on this sometimes overlooked part of Spain.

Murcia and Costa Calida is famous for it's exceptional climate. According to the World Health Organisation this region has one of the healthiest climate in Europe with more than 320 days of sunshine per year and temperatures on average 10 degrees C above those in the UK and northern Europe all through the year.

From a geographical point Murcia really is a region stark in contrasts from its dry plains to green lush cultivated areas. Murcia also has its fare share of wild mountainous areas and of course a fantastic coastline, the Costa Calida around 250 kms long.

Activities along the coast focus on water sports of all kinds - sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing, swimming and the Costa Calida also has two of the best dive locations in Europe – the Islas Hormigas Marine Preserve and Cabo Cope Marine Preserve. There are well over a hundred beaches along the Costa Calida – from tiny, deserted coves only accessible by boat to vast stretches of beaches. Only 15 minutes away by car, you will find the fantastic beaches of Mazarron and Bolnuevo. Here are several small shops and restaurants as well.

Close to the resort there are several protected areas for exemple the Sierra Espuna which offer walking and hiking trails, mountain biking, para-sailing and mountaineering. The highest point in the region is the Revolcadores massif, around 2,027 meters in height, followed by numerous other smaller mountain ranges such as El Carche, La Pilar, the Sierra Espuña, Pila, and Ricote, these sierras include national parks boast of important forested areas.

The regional capital, Murcia, is known as the Baroque capital of Spain for its wealth of fine buildings and is a fantastic place to explore. It is shopping heaven with many up market shops and department stores. You can wander through the pedestrianised areas to beautiful squares. There's a magnificent cathedral, a beautiful monastery, many gardens and parks. My advise is to jump on the red "Hop-on and Hop-off" buses just in front of Murcia Town Hall, the bus-ride takes about 45 minutes.

The holy city of Caravaca de la Cruz is one of the Worlds 5 holy cities (this includes locations such as Jerusalem and Rome). It is dominated by a fortress on a hill which now guards the large church at its centre. In 1232 a Christian prisoner here, converted the reigning Moorish sultan following the appearance of angels bearing a cross. The cross was lost during the recent civil war and has been replaced by one from Rome, which has inside it a remnant of the original wooden cross. This town is also famous for its week long wine horse fiesta held in May with events culminating in the racing of horses, with magnificent jewelled mantles, from the fortress to the streets below.

Totana, Lorca and Cartagena are all excellent places to explore with shopping, wonderful architecture, markets and fantastic fiestas. In the end of September there is a major Fiesta in Cartagena, where the residents dress up as Romans and Carthaginians, and party well into the early hours. In Jumilla, Bullas and Yecla many great vineyards are to be found.

Calasparra is famous throughout Spain for the rice that is produced nearby. The narrow streets in this small town have been pedestrianised and there are several cafes and restaurants to while away the hours. During September there is a fiesta here where the bulls are run through the streets, as in Pamplona.

The Resort

On the island of La Isla you will find an outdoor sport area with free WIFI connection, a small playground and 2 infinity pools. It is a very safe, secure and quiet place.

Within walking distance you will find the beautiful Al Kasar shopping complex, right now there is a supermarket, a bakery, a pub, a pizzeria, a tapas bar and 5 restaurants. Close to Al Kasar there are other sport facilities, such as a football field, tennis courts and the golf course. This is the only golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus himself, and it is truly a great experience to play this course. Within 45-55 minutes driving by car, 5 other golf courses designed by the Jack Nicklaus Design Group are available for play for Polaris World residents.

The Condado Club has a sports complex with tennis courts, basketball courts, paddle tennis courts and a football pitch where you can spend some free time, and have something to eat. 

Diving

La Azohia: There are three diving clubs in the village of La Azohia, which is a fair indication that there are things to be seen below the surface of the water. There are additional schools in Puerto de Mazarron.  As the sea temperature remains above 17C all year round, diving here is also all year round, although the best time for scuba is May - September. There are very few currents in the area which makes for safer diving.

Friends In Nautical Sports (FINS) has a dive centre in the Puerto de Mazarron. Very close to the beaches of Mazarron, Isla Plana & La Azohia.

Antipodas Buceo is a scuba diving club based in la Azohia. They also run the bar at the far end of the bay near the tower of St Elena, which is a great place to relax and soak up the last of the sun's rays as you watch it set across the water towards Mazarron, complete your visit with some of their tapas and a cold beer.

The Islas Hormigas underwater preserve is a protected area that is renown in diving circles. Several of the diving schools at the village of Cabo de Palos take trips out to this area. This is a working fishing village located at the base of the strip and is very well known for its collection of fine fish restaurants.

With so much to offer, Costa Calida is best explored by car.

Location
Guest Comments
Had a fabulous week at Lisbeth's penthouse apartment. Apartment in fantastic location with outstanding views. Also a short walk to Al Kasar Shopping Centre. Apartment well equiped and clean. Very quie ... — Joan.G, 08 Oct 2012
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