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Beautiful Murcia - home to la Manga

So you've decided to take a luxury break in the five-star resort of la Manga - home to world-class golf courses, the finest outdoor tennis courts in Spain, gourmet restaurants and exciting night-life.

But la Manga is more than a resort - it's also a base from which you can explore the beautiful Spanish countryside and the culture of Murcia, in which the holiday complex is nestled.

Murcia lies in the south-east of Spain, and the provinces of Andalusia, Castilla-la-Mancha and Valencia are close neighbours.

La Manga itself is situated on a prospect of land from which the resort takes its name - literally "the sleeve" - and which divides the Mediterranean from the Mar Menor lagoon. The Mar Menor, Europe's largest salt-water lagoon is famous for its health benefits, attributed high quantities of iodine and salt in the water. The lagoon also serves as a natural playground for divers and water sports enthusiasts.

Along with Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca, the la Manga peninsular is amongst the most important resort areas of the 'Costa Calida' or 'warm coast'. Temperatures are typically balmy, with mild winters, warm summers and an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, as you'd expect for a region with some 176 kilometres of Mediterranean coastline.

Murcia city, the regional capital, lies cradled within the lush, verdant landscape of the huerta, or 'garden' of Murcia which spreads out over the plains of the river Segura.

The fertile huerta contributes to the a number of flavoursome Mediterranean food-stuffs indigenous to the region, which consists of a variety of salads, stews and meat and rice dishes. Proximity to the cool blue Mediterranean also brings adds a range of seafood dishes to the Murcian menu, while the region is also gaining a deserved international reputation for its fine wines.

Visitors interested in the history and culture of the region should take the time to stroll through the ancient streets of the provincial capital and discover the delights of the beautiful Gothic cathedral and exquisite architecture.

The cathedral of Santa Maria was finished in the 15th century and is amongst the most impressive monuments in the region. Murica city itself was founded by the caliphs of Cordoba during the 9th century, and Arab influences are still visible in other notable civic landmarks such as the castle of Monteagudo.

Other attractions include the Almudi palace, the Market de Veronicas, the Malecon Garden, the University of Murcia and the Museum Ramon Gaya which is dedicated to the Murcian artist of the same name.

Murcia is well served by a number of international air links to Alicante airport and offers the visitor an unforgettable Spanish experience.

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