With 73 kilometers of coastline and beautiful beaches, surprisingly, Murcia’s Costa Calida is not as established with mainstream tour operators, or as popular with British holidaymakers as its coastal competitor the Costa Blanca. Unusual, when you consider what it has to offer in terms of safe sandy beaches, beautiful sierra landscapes, historic cities and family-friendly golf resorts.
An autonomous region of Spain, renowned for its farming heritage, it is home to the calm, clear waters of the Mar Menor (quite literally small sea) the largest salt-water lagoon in the world. The famous agricultural region of Murcia now boasts over 17 new golf resorts, established over the last 6 years, offering luxury villas with pools and golf apartments, which include the original and world-famous La Manga Golf Resort. Thanks to international property investment and the Spanish government backing the region’s infrastructure growth, Murcia is fast becoming the new golfing Mecca of southern Spain. With an almost un-spoilt year-round climate and excellent golf courses to choose from, including Hacienda del Alamo and Polaris World’s El Valle and La Torre Golf Resort, which recently hosting the much publicized Davis Cup between Israel and Spain. It can offer great value for money for golf and sports enthusiasts as well as young families looking for a relaxing summer holiday.
In Murcia, a typical villa with pool in peak season can also cost up to 40-50% less than similar properties on the Costa Brava and Costa del Sol.
With some of the region’s best beaches, such as Los Narejos, securing Blue Flag status also, the inviting waters of the Mar Menor, are a haven for youngsters that can toddle in the clean sea and not get knocked over by unexpected waves. With long, wide promenades, shaded by palm trees, providing the ideal backdrop for walking, strolling and cycling; coupled with plenty of traditional tapas bars and beachside restaurants; as well as a host of watersports to choose from such as sailing and windsurfing; Murcia’s Costa Calida may be lower key than some of Spain’s more typical Costas, but it certainly still has a very Spanish appeal that is refreshingly attractive and different.
While Murcia may not have countless theme and water parks to choose from or British pubs and eateries on every corner, it can offer families a more affordable way to relax and just enjoy quality time together in a place that actually still feels like Spain.
Although, sadly, the British influence in the region is growing year on year, Murcia is already firmly established as a popular holiday destination with the Spanish, who for years have flocked to the Mar Menor for it’s renowned mud baths and thelassotherapy treatments. The old fishing villages of San Javier and San Pedro del Pinatar are always popular choices with the Spanish but Los Alcazares, the largest beach town in the area, also serves many of the new golf resorts too, including Mar Menor Golf Resort and Roda Golf Resort and Beach Club. It offers two distinct areas: the traditional Spanish old town and the new town that is now spilling over with new bars and restaurants catering for tourists, locals and the ex pat residents’ needs.
The region also has superb access to the rolling hills of the Sierra Espuna, another treat for walking and trekking enthusiasts, as well as the traditional Spanish villages of Lorca and Fortuna. Just 20-30 minutes away from most golf resorts holidaymakers can also experience the cosmopolitan and historic city of Cartagena, with it’s superb marina, fabulous shopping malls and roman remains, as well as the region’s capital, Murcia, with is ornate cathedral, traditional plazas and bustling old walkways.
One thing’s for sure, with the new International Corvera Airport due for completion in 2010, it looks like the relatively undiscovered region of Murcia, could soon be a thing of the past.