Poppy Brown, Travel Advisor at our Ipswich travel agents, recently enjoyed her first educational. She was lucky enough to visit the sunshine region of Murcia in Spain, where she looked around some of the area’s best hotels and got to enjoy some exciting activities.
Destination: Murcia, Spain
(Hotel names/Ship name): La Torre Golf Resort, Hacienda Riquelme, Condado de Alhama
Duration: 3 nights
We flew out of Gatwick to Murcia-San Javier with EasyJet Airlines. EasyJet was very efficient; a member of our group was in a wheelchair and they ensured he was on the plane first. However, he was split up from the group, meaning he was sat at the front of the plane and the rest of us were in the back rows. The outbound journey landed 15 minutes early – which was a good way to start our trip.
We stayed in the La Torre Golf Resort which featured over 2,000 apartments and villas. It was a very large complex, with a great golf course and 16 swimming pools to choose from. The majority of the villas come with their own private swimming pool. Some of the members of our group stayed in a three-bedroom / three-bathroom villa which had a large living area and kitchen, as well as a terrace and garden. These villas are very suitable for families.
I stayed in a two-bedroom apartment with one bathroom and I was surprised as to how big they were. We were on the first level with a large balcony that one of the bedrooms and the living area could access. We also had a view of one of the swimming pools, which was easy to access from our apartment. The apartments came with a kitchen and a utility room with a washing machine. These are great for those who want to stay somewhere for a few weeks. They are self-catering, but there are plenty of restaurants onsite, as well as a supermarket. On this site in particular, there is a Novasol office where they speak multiple languages. This is great if you have any concerns etc.
The other resorts we visited were very similar in terms of apartment and villa sizes. They all offered golf facilities, swimming pools, restaurants and spas. I would highly recommend car hire whilst visiting, as public transportation isn’t a regular service and most complexes are around a 20/30-minute drive from cities such as Cartagena and Murcia. Also, car hire is essential just to get around the resorts themselves.
I would describe the resorts as peaceful, so if you are looking for a relaxing break away for any duration from one week to three months, this would be perfect.
My only concern with the accommodation is that some looked slightly like a concrete jungle, especially the apartment blocks.
Our first excursion was a stop at the Liquor 43 factory on our way to Cartagena. We were able to have a tour of the factory and museum and a taste of the drink itself. The history of the drink and how it is a family run business was explained to us. It wasn’t too busy and the tours conducted were all private, meaning when visiting the factory (as an example) we were the only people in there.
We visited the city of Cartagena, which is a popular docking area for cruise ships. We were able to have a little wander around the city taking in the sites before we began our tour of the Roman Theatre. The lady who conducted the tour was very informative. It began in the museum and ended with us getting to see the Roman Theatre. She then took us to see another ruin from the Roman period, highlighting how much the city has to offer in terms of history and culture.
In the region of Murcia, they have a lagoon called the Mar Menor. We departed from Santiago de La Ribera and took a boat trip across to Tomás Maestre Harbour, where we were able to see the long stretch of hotels which they refer to as their ‘Miami’.
On our last day, we went to visit the city of Murcia. Here we met our tour guide in one of the city’s many squares. This square happened to host Murcia’s Cathedral, which we were shown around before enjoying a tour of the city itself. The city is quite modern and clean with lots to offer, especially in terms of shopping. There are lots of squares which offer numerous restaurants, so you will find lots of people sitting outside eating and drinking.
This was my first educational trip and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a very busy few days and we saw a lot. It was great to meet travel agents from across the UK and find out their stories and what they had seen in the world.
My favourite part of the trip was the Roman theatre in Cartagena. I didn’t know about its history and thought it was very interesting.
Personally, I see this region of Spain as a place of relaxation, but you get to immerse yourself in the Spanish culture as it isn’t crowded with tourists.
As I mentioned before in the accommodation section, my only negative is the way some of the apartments looked. The fact they were in gated communities made them look a little segregated. Also, the fact you need to drive distances to see anything may be an annoyance for some people. You aren’t going to find lots of kids clubs either. There are playgrounds on the resorts and they will conduct swimming lessons and other things, but there isn’t any children’s entertainment in the evenings.
I would definitely recommend this region to holidaymakers. It is fantastic if you are interested in culture and history, whilst also giving you the option to return to your resort and relax in the peace and quiet. Additionally, I would highly recommend these resorts to golfers, there are so many courses and for all skill levels.
The resorts can offer up to three months stay which is brilliant for those who want to be away for the whole summer and do not want to travel too far. The apartments and villas are spacious and well equipped, so are perfect for those who love to go self-catering or want to enjoy the restaurants in the area. There are plenty of parking spaces on site as well.
Also, the region of Murcia has 300 sunny days a year. So it’s practically perfect all year round.
Must see? Roman Theatre in Cartagena
Must do? Boat trip across the Mar Menor
Must try? Liquor 43
If you would like to enjoy a relaxing family holiday in this part of Spain, our team will be happy to talk you through the options. Send your online enquiry or drop by our travel agents in Suffolk today.