Cheap flights to Murcia
If it's a true slice of Spain you're after, then look no further than the city of Murcia.
That's because both the city, and its region have somehow managed to remain untouched by large-scale tourism. Add to this some 250 kilometres of beautiful and unspoilt coastline, a year round average temperature of 17 degrees and more than 3,000 hours of sun a year and you have a perfect holiday destination. So what's the catch? Well there isn't one, unless of course you don't like the idea of travelling to a region full of mountains, rivers, orchards, traditional towns and stunning desert. And there isn't a better place to base yourself than in Murcia City, or the 'Baroque capital of Spain' as it is commonly called.
Hurry to catch the wonderful Dalí exhibition at the Museo Regional de Arte Moderno in Cartagena. The exhibition offers a wide and eclectic look at one of the 20th century's greatest artists. It starts with a collection of sculptures and works that show his fascination with science. The depth of his thinking and the paradoxes that fuelled his creativity are on show too.
An exhibition containing 38 photographs by Pedro San Martín, one of the most important archaeologists to work in Cartagena, is taking place in the city's archaeological museum. Entitled La Otra Mirada de Pedro San Martín (The other view of Pedro San Martín), the exhibition features images portraying San Martín's vision of the historic port city between the years 1954-1958. Find the museum at Calle Ramón y Cajal, 45. The exhibition is on until 10 January.
Orihuela's Museum of Religious Art is exhibiting Philippe de Champaigne's classic painting "San Felipe". It has been loaned to the museum from the Louvre in Paris. Along with a portrait of Luis XIII of France on display at the Prado in Madrid, this is the only piece of work by de Champaigne in the country. Catch it at the museum's Sala Velázquez until 13 July. spainisculture.com
Calle Trapería, which leads off the cathedral square in the Old Town, is a wonderful pedestrianised street with boutique shops, historic buildings such as the elaborate Casino and top restaurants. Stop at a bar for coffee or tapas and watch watch the world go by.
The fishing fleet in Torrevieja brings in large catches from the Mediterranean, with some of the fresh fish ending up in the restaurants near the harbour. Experience a taste of this fishing town with a visit to the port, the sandy beaches and of course the restaurants, with the local speciality being sea bream baked in salt.
Murcia is a fantastic region for walking, with all sorts of routes available, ranging from the flat and short to all-day mountain hikes. Winter is the best time of year to do it, with agreeable temperatures often around 20c. For shorter walks try San Pedro del Pinatar salk lake park - or longer routes in the Sierra Espuña. All the details can be found at www.murcianatural.carm.es/senderos
Click on 'red de senderos naturales' for the walks
Head for the inland sea of the Mar Menor for safe water sports all year round. The town of Los Alcázares has all sorts of options available ranging from kayaking to windsurfing. For those who want to take it easy, a paddle in the salty sea is a popular past time.
The port town of Torrevieja has some excellent beaches and top seafood restaurants near the harbour, making it a popular destination for young and old alike, couples and families. Pack a picnic and make a day of it. torrevieja.com