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.
For one of the most spectacular views on the Costa Cálida, try the walk up Monte las Cenizas close to the popular resort of La Manga. It's a round walk of around 6km. Up top are the huge Vickers guns, which belonged to the decommissioned military base.
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
An exhibition of 133 photographs of artist Salvador Dalí in his beloved Cadaqués is on show until 27 April at Murcia Archaeological Museum. It is the first time the pictures by avant-garde film maker Robert Decharnes have been shown outside the Costa Brava coastal village (7 Avenida Alfonso X, murciaturistica.es).
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.