Active travellers warm to winter in Murcia

Professional sports teams often pack up their kitbags and head en masse for Murcia during the winter for warm-weather training. 

With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, it’s the ideal destination, not just for professionals, but also for keen amateurs looking to enjoy some outdoor activity which may be impractical at home in the winter months. 

And with a four-night break in November costing from less than £70 per person, perhaps that sports gear should be dug out once more. 

Cycling, golf, walking, trekking, climbing and rafting are just six of the activities one can enjoy throughout the year in Murcia, with other less-active leisure pursuits also on offer. 

There are 22 high-quality golf courses in a 35km radius, including three at the world-renowned La Manga Club. Jack Nicklaus, Dave Thomas and Severiano Ballesteros are just a few of the famous names to have designed courses in the region, while there are myriad cycling opportunities – both on and off-road – in stunning rural areas and through picturesque villages. 

The rich variety of terrain is ideal for all manner of outdoor pursuits: hill climbing or mountain biking to the top of its towering massifs, scaling rock faces and limestone formations or walking for hours on end along coastal footpaths once used by miners or fishermen … 

There is a network of recreational walking routes with more than 30 different trails criss-crossing the region from one end to the other, including more than a dozen long-distance routes. 

The presence of numerous peaks – many of them are more than 1,000m high – is highly prized by climbers and fans of other adventure sports. Mountain ranges such as the Sierra Espuña, Revolcadores, the Pico de El Almorchón, and those around Cartagena or the Pico del Buitre are some of the most popular. 

Fans of spelunking – or pot-holing – are well served, for the interior of the region’s many caves and chasms offer a range of difficulty levels and even some interesting examples of pre-historic rock art. 

And the River Segura, flowing through gorges like the Almadenes Canyon, or protected landscapes of outstanding natural beauty in districts such as Cieza or Calasparra, is ideal for down-river canoeing, kayaking and river rafting. 

A four-night bed-and-breakfast break in the three-star Hotel Churra Vistalegre, in Murcia, in November, costs from less than £70 per person, based on two sharing a twin room, on a room-only basis. Located in a quiet area in the north of Murcia, a short walk from the city’s sights, the hotel even has a fitness room for more exercise when ‘back at base’. 

Access to the Region of Murcia is simple as it is served by Murcia-San Javier airport all year round, while Alicante airport is also nearby. Both airports are served by numerous airlines flying from a wide variety of UK and Irish airports, with flights to Murcia-San Javier in November currently available at less than £20 one way. 

www.murciaturistica.es/en 

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