Now that Spain’s tourism product is beginning to emerge from its Covid induced coma, we thought it was time to head inland and help a local business to kickstart its summer. Temperatures are building on the coast so a short break in the hills of the Sierra Espuña mountains was called for.
Accommodation and fine dining
A couple of nights rest at Hotel La Mariposa, just a few kilometres up the hill from Alhama de Murcia, was just what the doctor ordered. Adventure, tranquility, and socially distanced fine dining made for a wonderful mini-break. You don’t need to stay at the hotel to taste their amazing food, but a reservation is definitely a good idea to avoid disappointment. A four course menu del día for just €10 is incredible value, especially for a meal of such quality. The rooms are very comfortable too, with each based on a particular theme. We stayed in the Africa room full of memorabilia from the continent from which it gets its name. The price of the rooms may surprise you too, and they will certainly tempt you back sooner rather than later. Unfortunately our visit was too soon for the post-Covid measures to be in place for an afternoon by the swimming pool, but everything is in order now.
Whether or not you are staying at the hotel, it’s a great place to find a bit of adventure. Espuna Adventure run a wide range of activities from the hotel. There’s kayaking, rafting and down-hill mountain biking on offer, but our choice was quad biking. If you can ride a push bike, you can drive one of these things. It takes a little bit of strength in the arms to manoeuvre at first, but very soon it becomes second nature. Under the tutorship of our excellent guide, Gary, my passenger would hardly have guessed that this was only my second time on a quad bike, and the first time was 17 years ago! We went out into the beautiful countryside and ended up swimming in the crystal blue waters of the Embalsa de la Rambla de Algeciras. It was a fabulous two hour trip culminating in a sumptuous lunch back at the hotel.
Walking The Loop
From the hotel there is an easy one hour circular walk you can do by yourself. Just ask the staff for directions. It takes you out into the countryside where you can admire the views and with a bit of luck, spot some wildlife. Hoping for some jabali (wild boar) we were disappointed but the birds were wonderful. A good pair of shoes, a bottle of water and some sunscreen are all that are required, but some binoculars and/or a camera will add a new dimension to your wandering.
We were not sponsored in any way for our visit, and they didn’t know until the end that I would be writing this post so all that we did was a truly authentic visit. Should you go there because of this blog, please be kind enough to mention it to them, and perhaps leave a comment here saying what you thought of the experience. One thing is for sure, we will be back.
If you have enjoyed this post and want to find out more about the region of Murcia, the new Fourth Edition of Going Native in Murcia is available to buy now.