This is one of the most popular regions of Spain with expats, and is particularly attractive to those who want to avoid the more tourist-y parts of the Costa del Sol and the like, and instead experience a traditional Spanish way of life. Aside from a major coastal development on La Manga, Murcia remains a traditional Spanish region – which also means that properties and the cost of living here is less than it is on the neighbouring Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol, and the beaches are less crowded! The traditions here are characterised by the region’s history of commerce and agriculture, drawing from its Iberian, Phoenician, Greek and Moorish original settlers.
This traditional way of life does mean however that it’s very important to have some Spanish language skills before moving to the area – or at least an intention to get started on learning this as soon as humanly possible! You will find that Castillan Spanish is the most widely spoken dialect in the area. Traditions here include many fiestas, such as the Bando de La Huerta and the Entierro de la Sardina – both of these take place around the Easter holidays as part of the ‘Spring Festival’ and are popular across the regions.
Currently around 14% of the total population of Murcia are non-Spaniards. Murcia is popular with both retirees and younger expats alike – and the air quality and proximity to the largest salt-water lagoon in Europe, Mar Menor (the Minor Sea), make Murcia one of the healthiest places in the world to live, especially for those with asthma or arthritis and those interested in water sports!! The lifestyle here is slow-paced and stress-free, crime levels are low and there are great transport connections.
This is the seventh largest city in Spain, and a home to many expats. Major attractions here include the Baroque cathedral, a Roman amphitheatre (which is still in use) and the 19th century ‘Real Casino’ – home to a ballroom decorated in the style of Louis XV.
La Manga del Mar Menor (Sandbar of the Minor Sea)
Sandy peninsula La Manga is home to many great beaches, thanks to its proximity between the Mediterranean Sea and the Mar Menor