Your dreams can come true in the Region of Murcia. Good weather, trails, coastline, mountains, and a friendly and welcoming region all await you.
The Region of Murcia is an authentic paradise in its entirety with an incredible diversity of natural wonders. Its traditions and culture that shelter it could place it among the best tourism spots in the world. But if we add to it the stable moderate weather that offers 300 days of sunshine, 19ºc average temperature, 7 regional parks, 19 natural areas, more than 100 trails (PR), 9 trails (GR) and routes certified by IMBA all we can only do is scrawl our names where it says: sign here and pack our bags!
A Special Place
On this journey through the region of Murcia I returned to meet old friends and paths that reminded me strongly of my past trips here. As I allowed myself to relive those memories I thought that perhaps time had made them more epic or intense in some way. But when my wheels returned to tread the paths of Sierra Espuña, Mazarrón, Murcia … I realized that it was not my memory playing tricks on me; it was real.
The authentic, caring, friendly and welcoming people you come across here makes you want to return again and again or even consider that perhaps there is no better place to live. Which is what happened to Steve Bade, owner of Orange Bikes; who for a good handful of years has lived in this area designing and testing the Orange prototypes.
Coast and Interior Go Hand in Hand
First and foremost, we think of Murcia as being dominated by sun and beach. And it has them and of the highest quality anywhere. But this region still hides much more. The areas of ecological interest such as the Salinas de San Pedro de Pinatar or the Regional Park of Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas y Peña del Aguila, in the middle of the Mediterranean coast, very close to La Manga and the coastal town of Cabo de Palos are places that take us to a Murcia perfectly suited for cycling tourism. An ideal location for family activities, together or separately. The riders in the family can take a ride, while the rest of the family can relax and enjoy a day at the beach a few kilometres away.
If after a good solid ride, you arrive in the city of Murcia and you cannot pass by the Bar La Tapa which is located near the historic city centre. This is an amazing spot where modernism and traditional cuisine shake hands. It will become one of your favourites by the time you finish.
If you can pull yourself away from the coast, the interior area of the region offers a rich collection of landscapes, natural reserves, marshes and river channels. In these areas, you can take part in a wide range of activities to keep you going with a smile on your face. Let yourself be carried away by the attractions all along your routes. You will be introduced to a vast amount of knowledge on the cultural and natural heritage of this region.
The Mazarrón City Council, told us how the bicycle is influencing tourism in this area. The Mazarrón area has two routes certified by IMBA. Some sections of the routes take you through Costa Cálida an area of astounding great botanical, geological and natural richness.
Another of the great attractions of the region are its numerous caves. During our visit, we were lucky enough to enjoy the charms of the Cueva del Puerto, in Calasparra, where Lola and Mavi kindly showed us around 700 meters of underground wonders.
The Regional Park of Sierra Espuña and its surroundings have become the first protected natural area of the Region of Murcia endorsed by the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism, CETS.
Active tourism with unparalleled contact with nature is one of the opportunities provided by the Region of Murcia. Along the coast, from Cabo de Palos and Portman, to Aguilas, the coast offers numerous possibilities for practicing all kinds of sports and activities. In the lands of the interior, visitors will find even more to keep them entertained.
Andrés García of Hotel Bajo El Cejo (www.bajoelcejo.com) is a veteran innkeeper in the area. At the Bajo El Cejo you can enjoy a unique experience that will satisfy all your senses. Everything is taken care of in detail for you. The food, treatment and accommodations are truly spectacular. Bajo El Cejo, despite being a small family run business, ranks among the top national positions in Trip Advisor ratings.
About the ride
The Region of Murcia has all the qualities necessary to be an ideal cycling destination. During colder seasons, it maintains a great temperature for outdoor activities. Its infrastructure and services offer enough to adapt to all levels and types of riding.
Between its routes and zones that are more specific to Mountain Biking they recommend these:
– Northwest Greenway
An old railway line that links Murcia with Caravaca de la Cruz and stretches along 80 kilometres. The route has been maintained since 1998 and is made of asphalt and compacted gravel to make the ride enjoyable. You will roll through many unusual landscapes such as the rare “badlands” mountains with large pine trees and a rich monumental heritage. Along the journey you have 9 hostels available that can provide you with accommodations and food.
If you like to get to know the local food I recommend the strong roasts, baked meats with potatoes, “empedrao”, rice with cod, stews of spinach, migas, bonito with pickled, stuffed squid, pork loin, pork handles and michirones.
– Espubike Challenge
One of the most original riding challenges is the complete Espubike tour. You start out by registering online and receiving a “passport” and at special points along the route you get it stamped. If you complete your passport with all the stamps you will be presented with a jersey designed specifically by Espubike. There are four sections with the departure and arrival in Berro and it includes 146 kilometres of riding along with 4,300 meters of climbing so it will take some real effort!
Among the wonders of this area you will enjoy views of the Strait of Agualeja or discover the wells of snow (which were used as refrigerators hundreds of years ago). If what you like is to delight the palate the rice with rabbit or the stew with meatballs will leave you wanting more.
– IMBA routes in Mazarrón
This municipality has two mountain bike routes (MTB) along the Murcian coastline that are approved by the IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association). Both have a BTT Centre. The first one is the Route of the Partridge (44.7 kilometres) which is a loop that runs 420 metres of up and down fun riding. The second is the Calas Route (48.9 kilometres) which is another loop of great riding.
The local gardens and sea inspire the local gastronomy with exquisite tomatoes and salted fish, steak, mojama, tuna and bonito. Monkfish or grouper to mazarronera, ajotomate, hake meatballs and moragas de sardines are the most outstanding dishes. Although rice and lobster, noodles with bonito, casserole empana, talvina or lecha are the best if you ask my taste buds.
Information about routes: