Our semidetached house is situated in a quiet and beautiful suburbia surrounded by pine woodlands called "Montepinar". It's got four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a private garden with kids area. We have a garage. It was built less 6 years ago, so everything is in perfect conditions. The house is secure for children and it's got lots of toys. We also have a dismountable swimming pool for summer.There is an English-Spanish bilingual school very near our house. The house is perfect for relaxing while children are playing in the garden.
Montepinar is a very secure area provided with 24 hours private security. It's got several routes and paths to go trekking through the mountains, with wonderful sights. In Montepinar you can find a shopping center, a gym, restaurants, a big supermarket, cafes and it is easily accessible by road and motorway. You have several swimming pools nearby. It's 30 minutes from San Javier airport. It's ten minutes from the city centre, 20 from the nearest beach and 1 hour from the most remote one. There are also many historic towns near us to visit such as Cehegín,conceived during the Moorics era, the Holy Town of Caravaca, Mula and Archena with thermal water pools, Cartagena, one of the most important Roman towns in Spain.
TIPS TO ENJOY MURCIA
PLACES IN MONTEPINAR
All the shops and restaurants in Montepinar are in the same area, at the entrance, near the Security post, you’ll see it when you come in it. There are two supermarkets (Mercadona and Aldi). I personally prefer Mercadona, the prices are good and it has good quality products. There are three restaurants “Los Ángeles” where the food is excellent (I’d recommend you to try these tapas: “ensaladilla de marisco”, “ensaladilla” “buñuelos de bacalao” and just let the waiter advice you on what else to choose); “Rafaela” is another restaurant and café cheaper than the other one and there is also a pizzeria and some cafés around.
Ten minutes from home by car there are lots of big shopping centres where you can find absolutely everything from cinemas, shops, restaurants, to a swimming pool and spa, etc. The restaurants in the shopping centres are normally famouse food chains, however you can find interesting places like “Lizarrán” where you can have good tapas. Murcia is very famous for its gastronomy and the best traditional bars and restaurants are usually in the city centre, not in shopping centres.
ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN
Very near home too, just 15 minutes by car, there is a wildlife park (Terra Natura Murcia) that is worth visiting. Children will love the experience and there are even night safaris. Next to the park there is a huge swimming pool (Aqua Natura Murcia) with rides and all sorts of slides. You can have more information. http://www.terranatura.com/Eng/Inicio/Index.aspx
There is also an aquarium: http://www.murciaciudad.com/ingles/aquarium.htm although the best aquarium in Europe is in Valencia, it’s just amazing: http://www.cac.es/oceanografic/?languageId=1
Murcia has a lot of beautiful beaches. If you want to spend the whole day make sure that you wear caps, drink a lot of water and find a shelter and of course use a lot of sun cream at least two hours before sunbathing.
There are many hours of sunlight, the water is very warm.
Aguilas: wonderful coves, the most beautiful are the ones that are more hidden.
San Pedro del Pinatar y Lo Pagán. In San Pedro there is a natural park where you can see flamingos and other birds. A walk through the “Salinas” (salt mines) is a must. The sand and mud of these beaches have properties and have a healing effect. You will see some people spreading mud on their bodies. They’re not crazy. It’s very healthy. If you feel like relaxing there are two talassotherapy centres with excellent health and beauty programmes that includes massages (with mud, oils, even chocolate (not all mixed, I mean…) and a spa with several termal spring swimming pools. I’d recommend you these ones: http://www.thalasia.com/ or http://www.lodomar.com/. You can’t leave San Pedro without having eaten “caldero”, it’s just delicious. It’s similar to a paella although not exactly the same but they are usually made to order.
Calblanque (in La Manga): it’s a wild beach before arriving to La Manga. Be careful, in some parts nudism is allowed.
In La MangA there are beautiful beaches. And it’s the only place, if I’m not wrong, where you can swim in the two seas in Murcia (the Mediterranean and the Mar Menor). In Murcia we distinguish between the beaches of the Mar Menor (Minor sea) and the Mar Mayor or Mediterranean Sea. Mar Menor is the highest salty water lake in Europe. Here the water is really warm, even in winter,it is not very deep and there are not waves. The water is really warm. However I prefer the Mediterranean (you can surf, and the water is cooler, but you know, to each his own…)
Near Calblanque there is a very interesting natural park called Monte de las Cenizas: http://www.porlibre.com/MURCIA/calblanque.htm
Cabo de Palos: nice beach with an old lighthouse. Good restaurants to have “pescaito frito” (fresh fried fish)
Mazarrón: lot of info in the guide.
Los Alcázares: Nice promenade.
La Torre de la Horadada:
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
Caravaca de la Cruz: place of pilgrimage where there is a piece of Jesus’ cross. The typical sweets there are “yemas”. Delicious!
The legend here: http://www.simplynetworking.es/calida-2424-118-117-the_vera_cruz_cross_of_caravaca_story_of.html
Castillo de Lorca: great to spend the day. Lot of info in the guide.
Salto del Ángel
Valle perdido paisaje lunar
La Fuensanta: sanctuary very famous in Murcia because the Virgin that is there is the patron of Murcia.
Baños de Archena : the best termal spring water pools. The price of the outdoor pool is very cheap and the sights are good and you don’t need to book. Just go have buy some tickets for it. If you want to spend more time there is a hotel and in the rooms there are private pools. http://www.balneariodearchena.com/default.asp?lang=EN
Cartagena: Roman theatre, the first submarine was built there by Perales, modernist buildings and much more. A must
One of my favourite pubs is “La Mejillonera” where you can have seafood and the speciality is mussels served with different types of sauces.
Aledo y castillos Sierra Espuña: historical village.
Murcia city is not very big and all the places described below are not far from each other. You can go everywhere walking. There is a tram that connects different areas.
Every Saturday at 11.00 there is a free guided tour with an official guide around the historical city of Murcia. The meeting point is the Turist Information at plaza Cardenal Belluga (where the cathetral is placed). You have to book it phoning this number
968 22 50 20 from 10.00 to 13.00 and 17.00 to 19.00 http://www.murciaciudad.com/ingles/index.htm (it’s better the Spanish version of this website.
Casino: really beautifull building. Another must.
Museo de las Claras: a must.
Catedral: a must
Museo Salzillo: most famous sculptor in Murcia and very important in Spain and Europe. http://www.museosalzillo.es/salzillo.html
Muralla Santa Eulalia.
Iglesia de Santa Ana: opposite las Claras
Different squares: Murcia is also famous for its squares, there are dozens of them. The most famous: Plaza de las florez, plaza de Santa Isabel, La Glorieta, San Bartolomé, Cardenal Belluga, Santo Domingo, plaza Circular, plaza de España, plaza de San Miguel, Teatro Romea, San Esteban, jardín de la Pólvora (an excellent pub called Rincón Taurino, you can try bull’s meat), jardín de la Seda.
In all of them there is a church (many of them from the Baroque and Neo-classic period), and in most of them you can find some pubs, patisseries or restaurants with excellent cuisine. I’ll recommend you my favourite tapas, cakes, pies and dishes and the best places to have each one (this information doesn’t appear in the tourist booklet, the ones that appear there are good but sometimes a bit expensive).
• Ensaladilla rusa: the best “ensaladilla rusa” is served in a pub situated in Alfonso X. I don’t know its name but is just next to another one called “La Vagoneta”. Ensaladilla de marisco is also nice.
• Pastel de cierva: this is a type of pie typical from Murcia. You can only buy it in some patisseries but the best one to try this pie is called “La peladilla” and it’s in a street behind the cathedral. If you ask someone they’ll tell you.
• Pastel de carne: another pie typical from Murcia. The best ones in Bonache, in Plaza de las flores. This patisserie is also famous for its “pasteles de sesos”. In this square there are many good pubs, my favourite one is not in the guide and it’s a bit shabby but the food is excellent. It’s in a narrow street that connects the square with another street. It’s the last pub of the street. Next to it there’s a building and beside a clothes shop for children. If you go there don’t forget to order: tigres y lengua de ternera.
• Empanadilla o empanada (the same as empanadilla but bigger) (normal o de hojaldre, both are very nice): in all patisseries and many pubs.
• Cakes and sweets: anywhere but I love the ones from “Antolinos” in Santa Eulalia square.
• OTHER TAPAS AND TYPICAL DISHES (DELICIOUS!): michirones, pisto, zarangollo, ensalada murciana, gazpacho, morcillas, longaniza y chorizo, tortilla de patatas, conejo frito al ajo cabañil, caldero . There are so many that it’s difficult to select only a few!
• DESSERTS YOU MUST TRY: paparajotes (only in Murcia, made with lemon tree leaves. But don’t eat the leaf!), arroz con leche, tocino de cielo, pan de calatraba, buñuelos, macedonia, tarta de higos, etc.
• COLD MEAT: the best in the small villages butcher’s but also in pubs: jamón serrano, morcón, blanco, chorizo (if they are “ibericos” much better and much more expensive)
• Paellas: two very good places and not very expensive: Finca de Santiago: you can book online
http://www.fincasantiago.com/index.php?mn=docB&mid=100 C/ ral, s/n - 30100 - El Puntal - Murcia
Los arroces de Segis: near la Fuensanta: http://maps.google.es/maps/place?hl=es&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=arroces+de+segis+murcia&fb=1&gl=es&hq=arroces+de+segis&hnear=Murcia&cid=15902424632901577243
• Excellent but a bit more expensive restaurant: Palacete de la Seda: http://www.palacetelaseda.com/#
Monteagudo: near home: http://www.restaurantemonteagudo.com/main.html
http://www.murciaturistica.es/es/turismo.oficinas_de_turismo turist offices of the different villages in Murcia