|Murcia - Primarily an agricultural
area with many traditional towns inland of much historical interest, located
in the southeast of the country between Andalucía and Valencia,
on the Mediterranean coast.
The coast, Costa Calida ("the warm
coast"), on the Mediterranean is a major tourist attraction, with beaches
of fine sand and plenty of water sports available. The capital city,
Murcia, has many historic attractions.
The Autonomous Community of the Region
of Murcia (Spanish: Comunidad Autónoma de la Región
de Murcia) is one of Spain's seventeen autonomous communities.
The autonomous community consists
of a single province (region), unlike most autonomous communities, which
have several provinces within the same region. Because of this, the autonomous
community and the province are operated as one unit of government. The
city of Murcia is the capital of the Region, and seat of government organs,
except for the parliament (Regional Assembly), which is in Cartagena. The
autonomous community and province is subdivided in municipalities.
Region of Murcia is bordered by Andalucía (the provinces of Almería
and Granada); Castilla-La Mancha (the province of Albacete), which was
historically connected to Murcia until 1833; the Valencian Community (province
of Alicante); and the Mediterranean Sea. The highest mountain is Revolcadores
The region is a major producer of
fruits, vegetables, and flowers for Spain and the rest of Europe. Excellent
wineries have developed near the towns of Bullas, Yecla, and Jumilla, as
well as olive oil near Moratalla. Murcia is mainly a warm region which
has made it very suitable for agriculture. However the precipitation level
is low and water supply is a hot subject today since, in addition to the
traditional water demand for crops, there is now also a demand of water
for the booming tourist developments which take advantage of the mild weather
and beaches. Water is supplied by the Segura River or Río Segura
and, ever since the 70's, by the Tajo transvasement, a major civil engineering
which, under some environmental and sustainability restraints, brings water
from the Tajo into the Segura.
The Costa Cálida has
250 km of beaches, from el Mojón at the North near Alicante to Águilas,
South West Murcia, near Almería. One of the major destinations of
Murcia is the Mar Menor or Small Sea, the largest natural lake of Spain
and the largest salty lagoon in Europe, located by the Mediterranean. It
is separated from the mediterranean by a 22 km narrow sandy strip known
as La Manga del Mar Menor or simply La Manga. It is probably the
most developed and overcrowded holiday area of Murcia, despite being declared
a Specially Protected Area of Mediterranean Importance (SPAMIs) by the
Mar Menor's muds are famous
for their therapeutic properties. Apart from Mar Menor, the Murcian coast
from the historical city of Cartagena to the frontier with Andalusia, that
corresponds to the Mediterranean Sea (colloquially Mar Mayor or Big Sea)
alternates wild and unspoilt rocky areas with large sandy beaches, with
the towns of Mazarrón and Águilas standing out.
The tourist needs have forced the
area to add all kinds of facilities and services. The construction boom
shows the huge amount of estates, including the controversial holiday resorts
of Polaris World and second residences, as well as numerous malls. Thanks
to the geography and climate of Murcia, these lands are suitable for golf
courses, a fact that has been very controversial because of the need for
water, which Murcia lacks being a very dry region.
Other services includes charter nautical,
yacht facilities, golf courses, adventure tourism companies, sports federations,
tourist routes, guided visits, excursions by sea.