Today I am very lucky to be with Sergio Ferrer Nadal, a real Spaniard from Motril: a small yet very desirable town on the Spanish “Tropical Coast”. However, today we are meeting Sergio to talk about another amazing Spanish town: Murcia. I would sincerely recommend you to visit Murcia, in the South of Spain.
Sergio moved to Murcia 7 years ago after living in Barcelona for 5 years. Now he has become what I would call and expert of all the good things Murcia has to offer! I wanted my readers to discover this southern town and I thought Sergio would be the best person to ask travel tips to.
I have recently visited Murcia for the first time and I must say I fell in love with the town’s ambiance and prettiness. For instance, Sergio was my guide and I think that exploring a city with a well-established Spanish local makes the whole difference: I explored hidden sights, tasted local tapas, met lovely locals and heard all about their traditional festivities and customs.
Murcia is, to me, a hidden gem worth visiting that not many tourists know about. Just to give you some facts, Murcia is the capital of the province of Murcia, in the Southern-Est part of Spain. Even though Murcia has its own international airport, Alicante airport is only 40 miles away. Murcia is very close to the sea side, however this town is in land, in an extremely fertile land called “La Huerta”.
The weather is amazing in Murcia: the annual temperature average is 18.5˚c that means you can eat on your balcony in January where temperatures can reach 18˚C (I am not sure you will be having lunch in the Sun during summer time as temperatures in August can reach 40˚C).
So, let’s let Sergio guide us so we can make the most of our next visit to Murcia!
-So, Sergio, if we only had one day to visit Murcia, which sights would you recommend us to visit?
Thanks for your kind introduction Cristina. Only one day in Murcia? Difficult job! Murcia is not a city to visit in just one day, Murcia is a place to enjoy the whole year! Temperatures are probably the mildest of the whole country in winter, and the proximity to the coast lets you fully enjoy the never-ending possibilities of the Mediterranean sea. But ok, I will try to answer to your question.
We can start the day by having a typical Spanish breakfast in any of the terraces of the central and historic square Plaza del Cardenal Belluga. In this square you will find the front-door of the magnificent Cathedral of Murcia. Enjoy the warm sunlight of the morning with a toast of bread with tomato, olive oil and delicious Spanish ham in this incomparable scenario. Do not miss the opportunity to visit the Cathedral, a fascinating and superb building whose interior is Gothic and Baroque its the facade.
An unmissable visit would be, without a doubt, the Salzillo museum. Francisco Salzillo was a murcian sculptor, one of greatest Spanish Baroque artists dedicated to religious sculpture. Take your time to contemplate its original collection of stunning figures showing the Salzillo’s artistic inspiration and talent for sculpting.
Then time for lunch! Feel like a murcian and deep into the bustling but charming square Plaza de las Flores, first choice for locals to enjoy the tastiest tapas and social drinks. Order a marinera to start; exquisite mixture of potato, tuna and mayonnaise salad over a piece of toast and an anchovy on the top.
Discover the finest flavors of local vegetables and succulent meats or fishes in any of the restaurants around this square.
After lunch, my suggestion is to go to La Fuensanta sanctuary. This sanctuary is on the top of a hill with amazing views of Murcia. There is a terrace where you can enjoy a relaxing Gin tonic with the whole city of Murcia at your feet.
If you are interested in shopping, do not miss the opportunity to get lost in Traperia and Plateria streets. Right in the centre of the city and next to the Cathedral, in these two perpendicular streets you will find plenty of famous brands and local manufactures making it a great destination for clothes, accessories, shoes and bags.
Finally, you can enjoy the evening in any of the fabulous restaurants of Murcia. My favorite place for romantic dinners is the square Plaza de Juan.
-Which season do you think is the best to come and visit Murcia?
Temperatures in July and August are usually too high, so my suggestion is always visiting the city at any other month of the year. However, summer season is a great opportunity to visit the coast which is only 50 km from Murcia.
-What do you personally love the most about Murcia?
I love the people, probably the most warming and hospitable people that I have ever met. As you know I came to Murcia seven years ago, but I felt as at home from the very first day.
-Sergio, as a foodie and great cook yourself, could you recommend us a place (or more) to eat in Murcia?
My favorite restaurant in Murcia is “La Pequeña Tarberna Típica”. Centrally located, this charming place offers dishes from the region of Murcia and the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Meat, fish, seafood, premium vegetables and its superior cellar are its specialties.
-What is your favorite tapa or traditional dish (or both)?
My favorite tapa is the Artichokes boiled with wine offered in “La Pequeña Tarberna Típica”. This dish is real art made in a kitchen!
-To you, what would be the best part in town to book a hotel?
Murcia is a small city with lot of pedestrian streets. My recommendation is to stay in a hotel centrally located, so you can go anywhere just walking.
-If we wanted to sample some Spanish fiesta, where could we go for some vino and music?
Locals love going out to Calle (street) Pérez Casas for some party time. This is a tiny street with plenty of what we call pubs (music bars), there is a lot of people drinking, dancing and socializing on weekends. If you love wine and you want to taste the best of our region, you must definitely ask or buy a bottle of Jumilla. I would recommend you Juan Gil, reserva 12 meses, on of my everyday’s favorite.
-What would you recommend us to do around Murcia?
Murcia is a great unknown, but it has lot of attractions. As I said, the sea is just 30 km by car. There are mountains, Sierra Espuña, where you can enjoy outdoor activities.
-What are the most important annual events in Murcia? Would you recommend any?
The Bando de la Huerta is the most colorful festival when murcians dress up with traditional clothes and crowd the streets to celebrate the beginning of the spring.
-What is your favorite holiday destination in Spain?
I can not be fair answering this question. I am from Granada, and I think Granada is the most charming and amazing city of Spain. If you do know the Balearic Islands, you must visit Menorca, a real Mediterranean paradise. In contrast to the mild and warm Mediterranean sea, San Sebastian is another astonishing city just by the wild Cantabric sea in the north of Spain
Wow, I think Murcia is sounding great so far and I am convinced you would also love to pay Murcia a visit.
I would like to thank Sergio for his time today and for his enthusiasm in collaborating with A Spanish Perspective in order to express his love for Murcia and for his country in general.
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