Backed by the Peñarrubia and Calo de los Enamorados mountains, the historic city of Lorca faces down the fertile plains of Murcia towards the Sierra de la Almenara, beyond which lies the crystal blue Mediterranean sea.
Lorca is approximately 1 hour 40 minutes drive to the north of Almeria Airport, and 1 hour 30 minutes to the west of Murcia San Javier Airport.
To fully appreciate the region and all it has to offer, a hire car is recommended for this resort.
In 1964 Lorca was declared a Historic and Artistic site. Lorca is known as the “baroque city” due to the significant number of buildings in this style.
From the Paleolithic period until Roman times, a wide variety of cultures and settlers converged on the ancient city of Lorca. The many archaeological sites are testament to this: The Milaria Column from the Roman age, the Tower of Espolón or the Alfonsina Tower, is but a few.
The San Antonio Porch, a gate from the old walled enclosure which guarded the city, from the 10th century; the churches and convents of different ages and styles; and the palaces and baroque stately homes, such as the palace of Guevara, the palace of the Counts of San Julián or the Mula ancestral home, are all of historical interest.
The fortress, which transformed the medieval citadel into an impregnable prize, is very impressive. Popular architecture can be seen on the cobbled streets, which flank Plaza de España, like the Zapatería and the Cava.
The Teatro Guerra, is in the Plaza Calderon de la Barca, Calle Principe Alfonso, facing the square. It is a regal red and white building. The theatre offers a wide variety of events, including cinema, children’s theatre, drama, musicals, concerts, dances and opera. Tickets can be purchased in advance from ticketmaster.
Lorca also has a fine Archeological Museum, run by the city council.
The weekly market dates back to 1465, when Enrique IV granted a free market on Thursdays. The concession was confirmed by the Catholic Monarchs in 1495 and by Charles II in 1685.
It was first celebrated in the streets near the cathedral of Santa Maria By the 16th century it was next to the church of San Patricio. It even took place for a time in the pig market at Santa Quiteria.
Today the weekly market is held in the Huerto de la Rueda every Thursday.
There are two food markets, one at Explanada de la Estación, and the other at the aptly named Plaza de las Hortalizas.
Lorca has many fine boutiques and shops where local arts and crafts can be found. There are also branches of the best Spanish department stores.
Leisure & recreation
There are a good number of gyms and fitness centres in Lorca, and the city has a fine sports hall where a variety of indoor sports can be practiced. In addition there are facilities for tennis.
In the countryside around there are great opportunities for the walker and the long distance runner. Try the Ruta del Cajo de los Enamorados. For the cyclist there is a labyrinth of quiet rural roads amongst the market gardens to explore, or for the more adventurous there are some pretty testing routes up in the hills.
The extreme sport of throwing yourself off a high mountain attached to a flimsy bit of cloth (hang-gliding) is practiced off the top of the Peñarubia. Check your travel insurance before giving it a go!
The wonderful beaches at the port of Aguilas are just 30 minutes drive. Mazzaron at 45 minutes has some fine beaches, and is a popular resort with many facilities.
A day trip to Murcia for it's fine buildings, riverside walks and excellent dining is worthwhile.
Adventuring in the countryside, visiting small towns and villages and sampling the local produce is a popular pursuit.
The plains of Murcia are incredibly fertile, and produce a vast array of fresh fruit and vegetables, which make up the base ingredients of the regions cuisine. Rice is also staple here, and finds it's way into many dishes.
The abundant and varied seafood from the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean, along with game and farmed meat from the mountains complete the picture.
Some typical dishes include: Arroz y Conejo (rice with rabbit), Arroz de Verduras (Rice and Vegetables), Arroz y Costillejas (rice and ribs), Arroz Marinero (seafood rice) and Paella Huertana, a vegetable paella.
Non-rice dishes specialities include Potaje, a rich stew dish; Menestra, a dish of sautéed vegetables; Habas con jamón" (ham and broad beans and Caldo Murciano, a local soup dish. The king prawns fished in the area are also particularly fine, and the Huevas de Mújol, a type of caviar, is also a high delicacy of the region.
Lorca enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate. Very hot in summer and protected by surrounding mountains against the cold North winds in winter. The area averages nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine each year and the average temperature easily exceeds 20 degrees.
In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area as one of the most equitable in the world - neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter. On average it can boast 325 sunny days each year making it an ideal all year round destination.