Photo of Sierra Espuña supplied by Murcia Tourism

A travel feature in the Sunday Times has recommended that British tourists discover the Murcia region’s exceptional natural attractions. The august newspaper especially highlighted Sierra Espuña as the ideal destination for eco-tourism.

In an article titled “Murcia: the Spanish region that’s pioneering green travel”, author Xenia Taliotis wrote, “With protected lagoons, replanted forests and restaurants growing their own food, the south of Spain is flourishing.” Furthermore, he added, the destination can be enjoyed at all times of the year.

According to minister for tourism, culture and sport Marcos Ortuño, the United Kingdom remains Murcia’s main international market, representing 31.6 cent of all foreign tourism recorded in the first nine months of 2022.

Reflecting the importance of that market, Corvera Airport Murcia is maintaining numerous direct flights from the UK this winter, covering Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester. Since the airport was inaugurated in January 2019, 1,6 million British passengers have travelled on flights between the UK and Murcia.

In his Sunday Times article, Xenia Taliotis concluded, “From the Sierra Espuña, in the centre of the region, I drove an hour south to the coast. The Costa Calida isn’t as fiery as the Costa del Sol or Costa de la Luz in Andalucía, but as its warm embrace stretches for 250 kilometres it’s quite possible to find your own private bay; or to pick between salt marshes and orange sands; or to wade out for metres while remaining in the shallows; or to plunge deep within a few steps.

“After a swim at Calblanque I spent the day on a boat, sailing around the person called Mar Menor. You read that correctly. After an impassioned campaign by thousands of residents, Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon was granted personhood status on 21 September, which means that it has greater rights to protection than a plain old lagoon. Its rights to ‘exist as an ecosystem and to evolve naturally’ can now be defended in court.

“The lagoon and the islands within it are unique – the waters calm and serene and, crucially, 5C warmer than the nearby Med. Besides the scenery, another beautiful aspect of this place was how few other tourists I noticed. Most visitors to the Murcia region are Spanish; only a handful of Brits make it here each year.”

In October,  the Spanish Tourist Office in London launched a new “Sustainability Hub” that includes Murcia’s eco-tourism routes as one of its main attractions.

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