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August 10, 2022, 1:49 pm
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Yearly Archives: 2021

Winter in Spain: A Great Time to Explore Murcia and Local Traditions

There’s nothing like winter in Spain. Besides the fantastic weather it is a great time to explore Murcia and local traditions.

Unlike the colder and wetter parts in the north, the Murcia Region of Spain enjoys mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine, with a perfect combination of sea, lowlands, and mountains to suit everyone’s taste. By winter the crowds have thinned and the beachgoers will probably have packed away their swimming costumes but it’s high season for golf, cycling, and hiking.

Bélens Galore!

Winter also coincides with a prolonged period of fiestas that embraces several unique Christmas and New Year traditions. From the beginning of December, the cities and towns drape themselves in colorful lights so an evening or nighttime tour is well worth it. You will also notice grand nativity scenes, known as bélens, constructed in public spaces and in shop windows. They are elaborate constructions with lots of … Read More

Beer Beat: Discover Spanish Beer

If you are thinking about Spain as a place to live, consider the beer scene. Spain is perhaps better known for its wines but just like its northerly neighbors, Spain’s beer scene thrives in every community. It seems like every town has a brewery and certainly local beers are available at the many gastrobars, pubs and restaurants. To understand the local Murcian culture in a hoppy way, a quick spin around the local beer scene is what’s on tap.  

Spanish Beer Styles

Beer comes in styles like pale ale, IPA and stout but the seasonal, session beers reflect the unique flavors of Murcia. In the fall, that might mean Pumpkin Ale scented with cinnamon , Christmas Ale or black beer as the winter solstice approaches and a fruited beer in summer. Known as chumbo in Spain, prickly pear is a refreshing addition to summer beers – or eat one straight … Read More

Destination Dining: Murcia Michelin Restaurants

When you say the word Spain to a foodie, it conjures up a gastronomic wonderland. Eight Murcía Michelin restaurants have been selected and we have highlighted our favorites among the bunch. Vamos a comer en Murcía!

Odiseo Gastronomico

As a one-star Michelin restaurant, Odiseo is all about spectacle, but also surprise and delight. With a culinary focus that encompasses sushi, Spanish cuisine, and Mediterranean, this is a restaurant for special occasions and celebrations. Upon arriving at the restaurant, the outside resembles the kind of showmanship one might expect in Las Vegas and indeed, you can find a casino indoors. Inside, the grounds, a harlequin giant rabbit statue ensconced near fountains offers some diners dinner and a show. One outdoor dining space includes chic minimal decor positioned with the largest cantilevered swimming pool in Europe, according to Michelin. The illuminated bar resembles something out of a futuristic movie. Expect tasting menusRead More

Get-Away This Weekend: 5 Day Trips from Murcia

By now you probably know where in Spain is Murcia, and while there is plenty to see and do in Murcia proper, its location invites exploring nearby towns and cities. Taking day trips from Murcia is a leisurely way to spend all or part of a weekend. Here are a few of our favorite quick excursions (and a few more ideas to show how centrally located Murcia is).

Last Minute Travel: Drive 45 Minutes for Day Trips from Murcia

Cabo de Palos: Calling Conservationists + Scuba Divers 

A short 45 minute drive from Murcia lies Cabo de Palos, a 400 meter wide peninsula full of coves and sparkling sea. In the sea, you’ll find the Hormiga Islands, declared an Integral Marine Reserve with some of the best scuba diving you’ll find in all of Spain (think shipwrecks, coral reefs, sunken boats, and more to explore underwater).   

Portmán: Bring Your Beach Read More

Music and Arts in Murcia: San Javier Jazz Festival

In 1998, jazz fans yearned to hear the music they loved performed live. This is the auspicious beginning of the San Javier Jazz Festival. Known affectionately as Jazz San Javier, for 23 years, it has been drawing jazz lovers and musicians who return yearly for a can’t miss experience set in the natural beauty of Murcia, Spain. 

Jazz Goes Global

The San Javier Jazz Festival celebrates an international line-up. This year’s program featured renowned American pianist Brad Mehldau who blends classical with jazz, flamenco jazz with Spaniard Daniel García accompanied by Cuban musicians, Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander who hails in Miami and has 75 albums recorded under his belt, and a special performance with the Jayhawks. This year’s festival also included a tribute to jazz great and friend of Jazz San Javier, Chick Corea, recipient of the Festival Award in 2018. 

Music in the Streets

Another element of Jazz … Read More

Dine In: Discover Arroz Caldero, Only in Murcia

You may be familiar with the bomba rice dish paella, but get to know the caldero del Mar Menor or arroz caldero, a famous dish from Murcia with creamy rice cooked in sofrito with different kinds of fish. Literally translated, “arroz caldero” means rice cauldron and “caldero Murcia” is even more specific, Murcian cauldron. 

History of Caldero Murcia

In the 19th century arroz caldero was prepared by fishermen on the beaches of the Mar Menor, which was in part a matter of economy as the small fish they were not able to sell went into the cauldron instead. You can see the kind of iron cauldron, used on fishermen’s boats, depicted by Spanish painter Joaquín Sorolla in his painting, “Meal on the Boat.”   These days, October 12, National Spanish Day is considered “día de caldero” in Los Alcazares where you can make arroz caldero on … Read More

Murcia: Eating With the Seasons in Spain’s Fruit and Vegetable Garden

fruit and vegetable
Murcia is Spain’s fruit and vegetable garden of Europe.

If farmer’s markets are top of your list, you’re in for a treat when in Murcia. Known as “the crop garden of Europe,” the semi-dry climate in Murcia enables crops to flourish with a particular focus on organic agriculture and water conservation. The season for growing produce is long, thanks to the geography and climate. Did you know Murcia exports 70% of its vegetable production and 34% of its fruit?1

When you think of the Mediterranean diet, look no further than Murcia. Here, fruits like citrus, grapes, and stone fruits, grow along with almonds, vegetables, and cereals such as rye and oats. Here are a few ideas of what to eat and make when in Murcia.

Oranges

While not initially native to Spain, sour Seville and sweet Valencian oranges come to mind. Pairing salty and sweet citrus in salads like … Read More