The capital of a thinly populated province of the same name, the city of Murcia has a population of 358,000 people. Perhaps one of the least visited cities in southern Spain Murcia has a lot to offer the discerning tourist. For starters it is convenient; situated just 30 minutes drive from the coastal towns of the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida, making for an ideal day trip.
Often described as one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the country Murcia owes much of its heritage to the Moors (Arabs), who founded it in 825AD; naming the city Mursiya. The impressive city walls are a fine example of this, as are the 20 (former) mosques within them. Murcia was re-conquered by native Spaniards in 1243 and went on to prosper; enriched by the silk industry and agricultural prosperity. It is this good fortune that funded much of the splendour seen today, from the magnificent baroque cathedral, to urban palaces and churches.
The summers here are hot and the winters mild. This coupled with the irrigation provided by the rivers Segura, Murdo and Sangonera make for ideal citrus fruit growing conditions. The region exports many tons of oranges and lemons; much of it to the German market. To a lesser extent olives and vines are also grown.