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.
An exhibition with more than 4,000 coins dating from the third century BC to the 19th century is taking place at Murcia archaeological museum, MAM. Called "Tesoros. Materia, ley y forma" (Treasures. Material, law and form), it features exhibits from 23 finds in the region including the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes frigate and from neighbouring provinces. It is on until 12 April and admission is free (7 Avenida Alfonso X El Sabio, murciaturistica.es/es/museos).
An exhibition of works based on the sea by local sculptor Fernando Sáenz de Elorrieta is taking place at Cartagena's naval museum. Sculpture di Mare consists of 25 sculptures made from different materials that evoke the sea in its many different facets (Muelle de Alfonso XII, Cartagena).
Missing home? The Cockney Rejects are playing at the Garage Beat Club in the city on 5 October 5. ticketmaster.es
The Mar de Músicas festival in Cartagena, which runs over a number of nights at the end of the month, offers a wide range of spectacularly good music. One of the stand-out shows is Bobby Womack on 24 July. lamardemusicas.com/2014
The port city of Cartagena is a fascinating place to visit. Founded by the Carthaginians, but made great by Rome, there are wonderful monuments to see such as the Roman theatre and the Forum. And don't miss the Modernist section of the Old Town.
Visit Torrevieja on the coast for an authentic fishing port with some great seafood restaurants close to the harbour area and some lovely little streets that lend themselves to a post-prandial stroll.
The regional park at San Pedro del Pinatar is a fascinating protected area visited by many different types of migratory birds, including the emblematic flamingo. There are some fantastic walks to be had in the area. murciatoday.com
Have a break from the heat of the city on the coast at the Mar Menor, the vast, shallow lagoon that is fed with sea water from the Mediterranean. Try a mud bath at San Pedro or fresh fish at Santiago la Ribera.