How many times have you heard about Cartagena, a beautiful city in the Caribbean coast Region of Colombia? Many of you may remember it from your last vacation or your last cruise to South America. Nevertheless, have you ever visited Cartagena, in the region of Murcia, Spain? If your answer is no, you must not miss out on a 3,000-year-old city that has seen how different civilizations have settled here: Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Byzantines and Arabs. Located on Spain's southeastern coast, the region offers a wide range of adventures, both easygoing tours to more exciting activities.
In the region, we find a great number of huertas, irrigated agricultural landscapes that have contributed to its culture and history. In fact, Murcia is known as Europe’s Orchard given the high quality of the fruits and vegetables that are here grown. The irrigation system used was by means of waterwheels, constructions that date back to the Arab period, and are located along the Ricote valley. The 7-kilometer waterwheel route is a relaxing, fun walk through parks, orchards and gardens.
Given the great military influence of Cartagena, castles and batteries are located all along the coast, many of which you can visit through walking and cycling routes. Castillitos Battery, meaning little castles, is located in Tiñoso Cape. The construction includes huge 18-meter long cannons that were capable of shooting projectiles as far as 35 kilometers. They were installed in parallel to the cannons of Cenizas Battery (Portmán), also used to protect Cartagena.
Sierra Espuña, One of Spain’s Best Kept Secrets
The region of Murcia is very popular for its beaches and warm climate. Nevertheless, in the inland we find Sierra Espuña Regional Reserve, offering a wide range of environments: from high mountains, dense forests, to rivers and reservoirs, dry crop and irrigated farmland, making it the perfect place to enjoy the countryside. Some of the most impressive areas are the Leyva Valley, with limestone walls, excellent for climbing; the Pozos de la Nieve, former snow wells from the 16th century used to supply ice to the cities; the Barrancos de Gebas canyons, a unique lunar landscape.
Falconry Experience in Baron Island
Baron Island is a privately owned Nature Reserve. It is the biggest of four islands of volcanic origin located in the Mar Menor (the largest saltwater lagoon in Europe), which is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by La Manga, a strip of land about 20 miles long. This wildlife reserve covers an area of about 220 acres, including a variety of Mediterranean vegetation as well as species, such as falcons and Sardinian mouflons. Baron Island enables visitors to experience the art of falconry, a unique and exclusive sport where you can admire falconers, who train birds to fly free, hunt for a prey and then return to captivity.
Calblanque Protected Nature Reserve
Covering an area of more than 1,800 hectares, Calblanque is the most important wild park of the area. From the cove of Cala Reona, in Cabo de Palos, to the mining town of Portmán, you can enjoy cliffs, sandy beaches, dunes, gorgeous coves and saltwater marshes. Take a horseback riding tour through this amazing virgin area!
Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve
Among the water activities that may be practiced all year round given the warm climate, scuba diving in Islas Hormigas Marine Reserve is a must! Located in the small fishing town of Cabo de Palos, Islas Hormigas is home to unique flora and fauna of the area, with crystal-clear waters and rich seagrass.