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Six great family days out in the Region of Murcia this summer

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Half a dozen plans for a day away from the beach in the Costa Cálida!

School’s almost out for summer, and thousands of families will be heading from all over Europe to the Costa Cálida for their annual dose of sun, sea and sand, but of course the Region of Murcia consists of more than just the great beaches of the Mediterranean and Mar Menor coastlines and there are plenty of fabulous options to break out of the beach routine for a day and explore what the area has to offer just a short drive inland. 

Water Parks, nature reserves, adventure centres and rafting on the River Segura are all great ideas to add more fond memories of the family’s trip to the south-east of Spain, and what follows is just a selection of the possibilities!

  1. A journey to the centre of the Earth in the Cañón de Almadenes 

By the time it reaches the city of Murcia the River Segura is a slow-moving, gentle body of water (except in times of torrential rain!), but further upstream it has carved spectacular gorges through the mountainous terrain of the north-west of the Region of Murcia.

blcóndel cañón de almadenes

One of these is the Almadenes canyon, which is home to just some of the incredible archaeological heritage of the area between Cieza and Calasparra in the north-west of the Region. This is easiest appreciated with a guided tour of the cave of La Serreta, hidden inside the canyon itself, a true archaeological paradise in which the remains of a Roman settlement have been found: to date this is the only underground Roman site found in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula!

In addition, don’t miss Los Abrigos del Pozo: this natural rocky shelter has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and it contains prehistoric rock art believed to date from around 4300 BC. 

And no day trip to Almadenes would be complete without joining one of the rafting descents of the river, an exhilarating experience which will satisfy even the most demanding of youngsters!

  1. The thermal spa resort of the Balneario de Archena

There might be a temptation to think of the thermal waters of the spa of Archena as the province only of older generations, but there are a series of pools and activities designated specifically for children to enjoy while the grown-ups treat themselves to massages and a range beauty and relaxation therapy at the state-of-the-art facilities. Lemon-scented baths for some and water slides for others before al fresco dining and a good night’s sleep in one of the three on-site hotels!


  1. The gun battery of Castillitos, a surefire hit every time! 

This coastal defence gun battery was built in 1929 as part of the plan to defend Cartagena and the rest of the Region of Murcia against attacks from the sea, and all the facilities on the imposing headland of Cabo Tiñoso can still be seen today: workshops, kitchens, barracks, storage areas and, most notably, the massive Vickers guns which were transported up the mountain to occupy their magnificent strategic position looking out over the Mediterranean. 


It is even possible (with a torch!) to venture inside the tunnels along which shells were shuttled to the guns – the rails inside are still there – and the incredible views guarantee that a visit to Castillitos will not be forgotten in a hurry!

  1. The safari park and water park of Terra Natura and Aqua Natura

The only problem with this major attraction just a couple of kilometres from the centre of the city of Murcia is choosing between one area and the other: the open-air zoo, with everything from lions and giraffes to otters and lemurs, and the water park, with its enormous slides and pools.

terra natura

Faced with the choice, the best solution is obvious: both! Find out the options for a combined entry ticket at the park’s website

  1. Reconnect with nature in the regional parks of Murcia

For nature lovers, the Region of Murcia is blessed with a variety of protected areas which reflect the diversity of the area. 


Murcia is not just coastline and beaches, so take the family to explore the mountains of Sierra Espuña (far higher than Ben Nevis!), the salt flats and sand dunes of San Pedro del Pinatar or the “Valle Perdido” (lost valley) in the mountains just south of the regional capital (the regional park of Carrascoy and El Valle). These unique landscapes are best enjoyed through hiking, cycling or simply taking a gentle stroll, breathing the clean air and listening to the sounds of the birds in their natural environment. 

  1. The gun battery of Las Cenizas 

Another of the coastal defence installations built in the early 20th century, the gun battery on Monte de las Cenizas just outside Cartagena is an amazing place to take the youngsters on a country walk made memorable by the stunning views over the sea and the coastline as well as the cannons, which are still in place.

las cenizas