Visiting La Huerta
The "Huerta" market- gardening area: on exploring any of the thousand lanes which crisscross the river valley, we can discover the true essence of Murcia, its rural spirit. We shall be fascinated at every step by its folk, its crops, scents, colours, the banks of blossom, way of life, simple eating- houses, traditions, the well- structured network of drainage channels , the oxbow lakes formed by the river and irrigation channel meanders and many, many more. In many cases the techniques, names and traditions have been handed down intact from the medieval Moorish culture. Upstream, the water- wheel at La Ñora and the 18th century "Jeronimos" monastery (the Murcian Escorial) should be visited , while downstream we can see the "Rincón de Almodóvar" with is typical fortified mansions, a vestige of the local country architectural tradition dating from the 16th century.
The "Fuensanta" Sanctuary: The southern edge of the plain is closed off by a rugged mountain range where we can find the "Carrascoy and El Valle" Regional Park, whose peaks tower to 1.100 and 609 mts. respectively, giving panoramic views of the lovely river valley. There we can take part in all sorts of out- door activities in a natural park only 5 kms. from the city centre. At El Valle, near Algezares, be sure not to miss the 18th century sanctuary of "La Fuensanta". The carved figure of the Patron Saint of Murcia is carried down in a lively procession from the sanctuary to the Cathedral twice a year.