Destination GuideValencia & Murcia
Valencia & Murcia
The long stretch of coast which makes up the province of Valencia and Murcia is a juxtaposition of contrasts. By the sea, picturesque villages lie side by side with towns whose potential has been under-exploited. Inland, there is an area known as the “orchard” on account of the fertility of its soil, where oranges, dates and rice abound (a legacy from the Moors) but there is also a high degree of desertification in the surrounding areas. As for the provincial capitals, Valencia is a contemporary city with many architecturally modern buildings whereas Murcia is a historic city whose cathedral is a testament to the importance the city enjoyed in the Baroque period. If Valencia is famous for its rich paella, Murcia is no less famous for its wonderful tapas. It is also a region known for its festivals and is home to two of the most spectacular – the fallas and the tomatina. This is an area of Spain where the Arab legacy is ever-present, in both the villages and castles near the mountains and can be seen in the place names, such as Benidorm and Alicante. In Valencia, valenciano is spoken, in addition to Castilian Spanish, and is a language derived from and similar to Catalan.