Motorhome route through the Region of Murcia: orchard, sea and mountains

For some reason, the Region of Murcia is for many a great unknown. Even many Murcians prefer, when they travel, to cross its borders and visit other places with a theoretically greater tourist attraction. We don't understand it! We love the region. Murcia is home to beautiful landscapes, as well as an important cultural and gastronomic offer. Because of its geography, it has different and varied places that are well worth visiting with your rented motorhome.

 

Motorhomes and campers are in fashion! The year 2021, despite the mobility restrictions and the slow return to normality, has been a good year for Caravaning. The increase in demand and interest on the part of the general public has led to more and more motorhome buying and selling companies appearing in the sector, rental companies, and, something that we celebrate, more and more municipalities and regions are adopting a favorable position to this type of tourism, with the opening of new areas and the start of new projects in order to favor the sector and this type of tourism.

 

Motorhome route through the Region of Murcia: a perfect territory to travel with your house on wheels.

 

In a not very large area, more than assumable traveling by motorhome, only eleven thousand square kilometers, there is an enormous environmental variety. The Region of Murcia is a transition zone between European and North African influences, with a landscape of contrasts. In Murcia it is easy to go from the arid basins of the south of the peninsula, with desert environments, to the forest masses of the interior mountain ranges, to the fertile plains formed by the Segura River and from there to the Mediterranean Sea.

The arid landscapes represented by the so called "badlands", gullied lands originated by the action of water on soft materials, stand out for their uniqueness.

Another unique place is the Mar Menor, a coastal saltwater lagoon of 180 km2, separated from the Mediterranean by the sandy bar of La Manga.

The dual character of the Region of Murcia has a protagonist: the Segura River, which flows through much of the Murcia geography. From its source in Pontones (Campervan route through the Sierra de Jaén, natural jewel of the Iberian Peninsula) the Segura floods the rice fields of Calasparra, forms the deep canyon of Los Almadenes and irrigates the meadows of the Moorish valley of Ricote and the Huerta de Murcia (Campervan route through the Ricote Valley: Huerta de Murcia). Its high low water levels and strong floods have led to the construction of 16 regulation reservoirs, many of them easily accessible by campervan (for hiking or to spend some time parked), to ensure urban and agricultural supply, while serving for the flood defense plan.

 

 

Relief: mountain routes to travel in your motorhome

Included in the domain of the Cordilleras Béticas, the Region of Murcia comprises a rugged territory in which southwest-northeast mountain alignments alternate with valleys, large depressions and plains.

Of the total surface of the Region, 23% is below 200 meters of altitude; we speak in this case of its coasts and beaches, of the field of Cartagena and even of the valley through which the River Seguro flows as it passes through the city of Murcia, the territories known as the "Huerta de Murcia" (Route in Campervan Campervan through the Ricote Valley: huerta de Murcia). The 45% is distributed between 200 and 600 m; they are the interior villages, with mountains and valleys where diverse citrus and fruit trees grow. And the remaining 32% exceeds 600 m; that is to say, although we can think that not, Murcia has a great surface of mountainous zones.

The highest point is located in the Revolcadores massif, at 2,027 meters. Numerous mountain ranges located in the northwest and center of the region exceed 1,000 meters, such as El Carche, Sierra Espuña, La Pila or Ricote, covered by extensive forest masses, mainly composed of Aleppo pine forests.

In the northeast, near the border with Albacete, Castilla La Mancha, extends the high plateau of Jumilla-Yecla: an extensive and elevated plain where vineyards are exploited and wines are produced with designations of origin of the Region.

Towards the south of the region the altitude of the reliefs decreases, the climatic conditions become more arid and the vegetation is bushy. This area of the province has a more desert-like appearance and is very similar to the area of Cabo de Gata, in Almería.

The Murcian coastline, with more than 170 kilometers of coastline, draws a cliffy and rocky coast, interrupted by small beaches and coves, where an enormous variety of ecosystems are found: salt marshes, wetlands, dunes and beaches (La Costa Calidad en Autocaravana. Murcia: two seas on one coast). Thus, half of the areas that currently make up the network of Protected Natural Spaces in the Region are linked to this coastal strip. This is the habitat of the juniper, a tree native to North Africa that is not found in the rest of Europe.

 

Cultural attraction: highlights its Roman and Arabian history

The Region of Murcia has a rich history and past. It is a territory that has been populated since ancient times due to its Mediterranean location, which has witnessed the passage of numerous cultures and civilizations.

It preserves important prehistoric sites, such as the second oldest human remains of the peninsula in the Sima de las Palomas, or the presence of one of the most developed cultures of the Metal Age as the Argar Culture.

Among the pre-Roman peoples, the presence of the Phoenicians on the coast stands out, where the remains of the Phoenician ships of Mazarrón can be found, as well as the important development of the Iberian Culture. However, the arrival of the Carthaginians in 227 B.C., which led to the foundation of Qart Hadasht (present-day Cartagena), making the area their main area of expansion in the peninsula, is worth mentioning.

It was precisely the war against the Carthaginians that motivated the conquest of the Romans, having Carthage Nova as a center in the area, becoming the capital of the province during the Low Empire (Carthaginians and Romans: a perfect opportunity to know the beautiful city of Cartagena by camper van or camper).

Later the Visigoths and then the Byzantines settled in the area, before it passed back into Visigothic hands in the 8th century. At this time, what will be called the Cora of Tudmir, an autonomous area of the new Muslim Hispania, emerged after the agreement between the Visigothic Doge Teodomiro and Abd el Aziz. This will mark the special assimilation of the southeastern area in Al-Andalus. Later the Muslims developed a greater influence, highlighting on this occasion the rise of the city of Murcia (Campervan motorhome route through Muslim Murcia: Arab and Moorish history of the Region), capitalizing three Taifa kingdoms until the thirteenth century, the time of the Christian conquest.

However, it was the conquest, which took place between 1243 and 1266, the peculiar influence of both the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon, and the creation and existence of the frontier Kingdom of Murcia, which generated the culture that we now call Murcia for seven centuries.1 This historical demarcation, precedent of the current Region of Murcia, experienced during its long existence until 1833 moments of crisis, as in the 14th century, and moments of splendor, as in the 16th century and the 18th century.

After the disappearance of the kingdoms, from 1833 to 1978 there was the bi-provincial Region of Murcia (formed by the provinces of Murcia and Albacete), which in the Transition gave rise to the current uniprovincial autonomous community of the Region of Murcia after the passage of the province of Albacete to Castilla-La Mancha.

 

And last but not least, Murcia has one of the best gastronomies in the Iberian Peninsula.

The Region of Murcia has a wide and varied gastronomic offer. The quality of its products stand out, some of them unique, such as the rice from Calasparra (the best rice in the world for making paellas), the fish or seafood from the Mar Menor and, of course, the many quality products from the area known as "Huerta de Europa" (Europe's vegetable garden).

This rich gastronomy is also the result of the important cultural influence that the different peoples, who have been inhabiting this area in the past, have contributed.

We recommend several options, such as enjoying a fried fish or a caldero in any of the fishing villages along the coast, such as Cabo de Palos or San Pedro del Pinatar. It is also highly recommended to visit one of the many typical "ventas" (roadside restaurants) in the region. And finally, to go for tapas, to have a good octopus, a marinera, caballitos, michirones... always accompanied by a cold beer, in any of the cities: Murcia, Cartagena, Lorca, Águilas, etc. And for dessert, of course, some paparajotes (lemon leaves covered with rich dough and fried).

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