The region of Murcia lies to the south of Valencia and is thinly populated except in the areas around the rivers. The mountains reach right down to the sea.
During the summer months the weather can be almost unbearably hot yet the winters are mild. The province of Murcia is irrigated by the Rivers Segura, Murdo and Sangonera which makes ideal conditions for the many orchards of citrus fruit. In contrast the area also has expanses of dry, arid land where olives and vines thrive, then turning to desert-like land covered in cacti and palms.
The city of Murcia is described as one of the most beautiful and historic in the country. The city stands on the banks if the river and enjoys all year round sunshine. It has the highest temperatures in the region. There is a great deal of Moorish influence in the city, not least of all the impressive city walls. After the reconquest, the 20 mosques in the city were turned into churches. The Cathedral is the most highly prized building in the city. The first foundation stone was laid in 1388 by Bishop Pedrosa. It took four centuries to complete. There are so many different styles and cultures within, including 23 different chapels.