Outdoor Activities on the Costa Cálida

Facilities in inland Murcia and along the Costa Cálida for outdoors activities: hikes, cycling, horse riding and water sports, as well as details of local nature reserves and walks on the <em>vias verdes</em>...

Some facts about the Costa Cálida region:

  • The province of Murcia is located in the south east corner of the Iberian Peninsular
  • It is bordered by the provinces of Granada, Albacete and Almería to the west and Alicante to the east
  • Three rivers, including the Segura, Murdo and Sangonera, intersect the province
  • The region is made up of a variety of terrain, including plains, mountainous areas, rocky cliffs, coves, caves, sandy beaches and the lagoon of Mar Menor
  • The Costa Cálida spans approximately 170 kilometres of Spanish Mediterranean coastline
  • Murcia has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters; temperatures generally decrease further inland, particularly in wintertime
  • The average annual temperature is 18ºC

The favourable weather conditions and variety of terrain makes the Costa Cálida a good location for a variety of outdoor sports, including walking and hiking, rock and mountain climbing, cycling, air sports, horse riding and watersports.

Regional Parks and Nature Reserves

There are 7 regional parks, 1 nature reserve, 8 protected areas and 3 other natural spaces located on the Costa Cálida.

  • For more information on protected natural areas, see the Murcia regional tourist office website: Click here (in English)

The protected regional parks have limited sports facilities. For example, the Parque Regional Calblanque has four beaches, but no facilities for watersports. However it is a good location for bird watching and beach walking.

Parque Regional Sierra Espuña

The Sierra Espuña regional park covers 25,000 hectares of land across the Sierra Espuña mountain range. There is a wide variety of flora and fauna, including pine trees, wild boars and the Espuña squirrel.

It is an ideal location for walking and hiking, climbing and mountain biking.

  • For more information on the Sierra Espuña, see the Espuña Tourística website: Click here (in Spanish)

The Centro de Interpretación Ambiental del Parque Regional de Sierra Espuña also provides information on sporting activities in the area.

  • For the Centro de Interpretación Ambiental del Parque Regional de Sierra Espuña website: Click here

Walking and Hiking

The Costa Cálida is a great area for walking and hiking, with national marked routes and the vía verdes (see below) crossing the region. The Spanish Federation of Mountain and Climbing Sports (Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada) promotes walking and hiking in Spain, and provides information on routes and safety, as well as clubs and associations.

The Regional Committee of Walking in Murcia (Comité Regional de Senderos de Murcia) has information on walking routes in the Costa Cálida region.

The official Spanish tourism website provides an interactive map with official walking routes.

  • Select the region for local itineraries: Click here

Vías Verdes

The Spanish Railways Foundation (Fundación de los Ferrocarriles Españoles) is turning disused railway lines into cycling, walking and bridle paths. The project began in 1993 and has been so hugely successful in redistributing tourism to poorer rural areas that the program won a United Nations Best Practices Habitat International Award in 2000.

Information is available in English on the website, although most of the route plans on the site remain in Spanish. Local tourist offices may have the routes in English on request.

Rock and Mountain Climbing

There are numerous opportunities to climb around the Costa Cálida. The Sierra Espuña offers climbs for all levels, including crag and multi-pitch. The Paredes de Leyva is considered one of the best climbs in Spain. Climbing is generally possible until November, depending on the weather.

  • To search for crags in Spain, with quality ratings: Click here (in English and Spanish)

Climbing in Spain is regulated by the Spanish Federation of Mountain and Climbing Sports (Federación Española de Deportes de Montaña y Escalada).

The Region of Murcia Mountaineering Federation (Federación de Montañismo de la Región de Murcia) provides information on mountaineering and climbing in the province of Murcia.

Cycling

Cycling is a popular sport in Spain, and the Costa Blanca is an ideal region to discover on a bike. Away from the busy coastal areas, there are trails and routes throughout the countryside for road bikes, as well as mountain bikes (bici todo terreno/BTT).

Recommended routes include the Sierra Espuña and Mazarrón. The most gentle routes are along the Vías Verdes and disused railway lines.

The Friends of Cycling in Murcia (Amigos de la Bicicleta de Murcia) provides advice and information on mountain biking routes in the province of Murcia, as well as the rest of Spain.

The Spanish Cycling Federation (Federacion Espanola de Ciclismo) and the Murcia Regional Cycling Federation (Federación Ciclismo Región Murcia) have information about routes, cycling events and road safety.

Horse Riding

Riding clubs and associations organise hacks and treks into the Murcian countryside.

The area around Mar Menor is a very popular trekking destination.

The Regional Horse Riding Federation (Federación Hípica de la Región de Murcia) provides information on local clubs, horse riding licences and events in the Murcia region.

Air Sports

The Royal Spanish Aeronautical Federation (Real Federación Aeronáutica Española) governs air sports in Spain. It is responsible for licences and accident procedure legislation to ensure the safety of participants.

The local clubs, as well as licence information and availability of each discipline, can be found at these links below:

Watersports

Facilities for watersports are found throughout the Costa Cálida. The resorts of La Manga Mar Menor, Mazarrón and Águilas are particularly well equipped. White water rafting is available on the Segura River.

The Murcia Regional Federation for Underwater Activities (Federación de Actividades Subacuáticas de la Región de Murcia) provides advice on diving licences and clubs on the Costa Cálida.

The Murcian Canoeing Federation (Federación Murciana de Piragüismo) has information on clubs, activities and training in the Murcia region.