Murcia is a provincial region surrounded by Valencia to the northeast; Castilla-La Mancha to the northwest; Andalusia to the southwest and the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The backbone of Murcia is the Segura river basin, and the region is composed of a rich and varied environment from mountains, valleys to coasts. For its inhabitants the most staggering characteristic is the amount of sunshine, with an average of 10 hours for 300 days per annum.
The combination of the Segura and the sunshine embraces a fertile market garden across the region, known as the huerta.
Historically Murcia still shows today the influences of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors and finally the Catholic Monarchs. Having said that one should not overlook the finds from pre-history - Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic (Copper), Argaric (Bronze) and Iron Ages.
Carthago Nova (modern day Cartagena) became the centre of the Iberian peninsula for the conflict between Rome and Carthage. In 209BC, Hannibal"s brother Hasdrubal conceded defeat to the Roman legions, and that event led to great prosperity in Murcia which lasted 400 years. Decline under Visigoth dominance was halted by the Moorish invasion in 713, and again Murica flourished for another 400 years, before there was two centuries of instability. Struggles between Castilian and Moorish forces and territorial disputes were the cause until the unification of the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile, when Ferdinand and Isabella married in 1469.
In terms of tourism Murcia is divided into 8 areas as follows: -
• The Northeast (Altiplano)
• The Northwest
• The Ricote Valley
• Murcia and the Huerta
• Mar Menor
• Cartagena & La Union
• Mazarron & Aguilas
• Guadalentin Valley