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Located at the South-East corner of the Iberian Peninsula, between the regions of, Andalusia, Castile-La Mancha and Valencia, the Region of Murcia occupies an area of 11,317 km2 (2.2% of the total surface area of Spain), bordering the province of Albacete in the North, the province of Alicante in the East, the provinces of Granada, Albacete and Almería in the West, and the Mediterranean in the South-East.
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
The territory which is today known as the Region of Murcia has been inhabited by man for over 1,500,000 years, and this human presence has been a constant factor in the development of the Murcian landscape since the remotest periods of prehistory. The first evidence of the presence of man dates back to the Neanderthal and Cromagnon periods, whilst archaeological finds become abundant from Neolithic times onwards. Iron age remains begin to speak of a certain level of progress leading to the development of agriculture and the domestication of livestock during the Iberian period and, later, intense commercial activity with the presence of Phoenecian, Greek and Carthaginian settlers in permanent conflict with the autoctonous peoples. Scipio's conquest of the city of Carthago Nova in 209 BC led to the definitive expansion of what had already become an important economic and political centre in the Mediterranean.SEE MORE
From the geographical point of view, the region of Murcia stands out because of its multiple contrasts: dry vs. irrigated land, plains vs. mountainous areas, coastline vs. interior, vineyards vs. mesetas, factors which can no doubt be attributed to its location in a transitional area between the Sub-Baetic mountain range and the northern Sub-Meseta. Morphologically, the relief of the territory of Murcia falls within the influence of the Baetic cordilleras and shows an alternation between mountainous tracts, valleys and depressions, leading to extreme contrasts of altitude over short distances. Of the total surface area, the majority (approx. 45%) is situated between the altitudes of 200 - 600 metres; 23% is less than 200 metres above sea level, and the remaining 32% lies at altitudes of over 600 metres.SEE MORE
The region of Murcia has the typical Mediterranean semi-arid subtropical climate: namely an average annual temperature of 18ºC, with hot summers (registering absolute maximum temperatures of 40ºC) and mild winters (an average temperature of 11ºC in the winter months of December and January).
The number of days per year with clear skies is 120-150, with approximately 2,800 sun-hours per annum. In general rain is scarce throughout the region (approx. 300-350 mm/year), falling mainly in the spring (April) and autumn (October), leaving the summer an eminently dry season.SEE MORE
According to the most recent census figures, corresponding to 1st January 2011, the region of Murcia has an official population of 1.470.069 inhabitants. Analysis of the demographic evolution of the region shows a constant increase in population throughout the twentieth century, though it is only after 1976 that the Region begins to register increases above the national average, due mainly to the inversion of earlier migratory tendencies which had converted Murcia into a region from which the population was emigrating in search of opportunities in other parts of Spain or even abroad.
TIPS FOR YOUR TRIP
OTHER INFORMATION OF INTEREST
Depending on your country of origin the required documentation can vary. If you come from a European country, the only documentation necessary is your National Identity Document.
For those from other countries, a current valid Passport is necessary, and this will allow you to stay in our country for 90 days. You should consult with the Spanish Consulate or Embassy in your country of residence to see whether a visa is also necessary.
The telephone number in the event of an emergency is: 112
In the event of illness, you should attend one of the health centres (centro de salud) which can be found in every town, village and neighbourhood. If the illness is of a serious nature, you should go to the Casualty (Urgencias) department of one of the hospitals in the Region of Murcia.
If you come from a European country, you will need a European Health Card (Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea - TSE) in order to be attended. If you do not have one, you will be expected to pay the costs in the health centres and hospitals. You should speak to the appropriate organisation in order to obtain one.
Should you come from a country which is not a part of the European Community, before proceeding with your journey get in contact with the relevant authorities who will inform you of all the necessary procedures in order to receive free health care in our country.
All medication prescribed by a doctor can be bought at any of the pharmacies in our region. The pharmacies are easily identifiable as they all have an illuminated green cross.
For any type of problem related to security and protection you can phone 112, the emergency telephone.
If you so wish you can also get in contact with your own consulate.
The currency used is the Euro, which comes in the form of eight different coins with the following values: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents and 1 and 2 euros. There are also seven different notes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros.
Foreign currency can be exchanged in any of the banks (bancos) or savings banks (cajas de ahorro), whose normal opening hours are from 08:30 to 14:30 from Monday to Saturday. They close on Saturdays during the summer.
Currency exchange can also take place in some hotels and travel agencies.
In addition to legal tender, payments can also be made by credit card (each establishment should indicate those that they will accept) and by traveller's cheques, as long as they are accompanied by the correct documentation.
Restaurants and bars
For breakfast (el desayuno) the normal timetable is between 08:00 and 10:00.
Lunch (el almuerzo or la comida) is served between 13:00 and 15:30.
Finally, dinner (la cena) is served between 20:30 and 23:00.
Some establishments are open continuously throughout the day.
Cinemas, theatres, concert halls, museums and exhibition rooms
Cinema programmes usually take place between 16:00 and 22:30. Theatres begin at about 20:00, and concerts are normally held between 20:00 and 23:00. Museums and exhibition halls have a similar timetable to commercial establishments but with the difference that they close on Mondays.
Pubs, discotheques and night bars
From Thursday to Sunday the pubs, discos and night bars stay open until 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. In the larger towns and cities there are also discos which stay open until dawn.
Shops and commercial establishments
The shops and commercial establishments are usually open from Monday to Saturday between 09:30 and 13:30 and then from 16:30 to 20:30.
Department stores, hypermarkets and shopping centres open continuously from 10:00 to 21:30 or 22:00.
Some shops might open on Sundays and holidays if they are located in:
Águilas, Cartagena, Moratalla, Los Alcázares, San Javier and San Pedro del Pinatar.
La Azohía, Cabo de Palos, Isla Plana, La Manga del Mar Menor, La Manga Campo de Golf, El
Portús and rest of the Mar Menor coastal area.
El Berro (Alhama de Murcia).
Portmán (La Unión).
Puerto de Mazarrón y Bolnuevo.
Puntas de Calnegre (Lorca).
The shops of the Region of Murcia have the choice of opening to the public on the following Sundays and bank holidays of 2015:
- 4th January
- 11th January
- 2nd April
- 7th June
- 5th July
- 15th August
- 11th October
- 6th December
- 7th December
- 13th December
- 20th December
- 27th December
If you phone the Region of Murcia from a foreign country these are steps which you need to follow:
International code from the country of origin + 34 (code for Spain) + the telephone number in the Region of Murcia.
If you want to phone abroad from the Region of Murcia these are steps which you need to follow:
00 (international code phoning from Spain) + code of the country of destination + telephone number.
Telephone boxes: they work either with coins or cards which can be bought in estancos (tobacconists which also sell stamps and phone cards).
For any phone call within Spain the number of digits is always the same: 9
The GSM technology is used in Spain. This technology is not compatible with that of some other countries, as is the case with the USA and Japan. If the system of technology used by your mobile phone is compatible with that of Spain, then you need to contact an operator in your country to see if it is necessary for them to activate your international service. Once you are in our region do not forget that in order to phone abroad you have to dial 00 (the international code from Spain) + code of the country of destination + telephone number.
Letters, telegrams or faxes:
In order to send a letter you have to use the stamps which can be bought in estancos (tobacconists which also sell stamps and phone cards). Once the letter is ready to be sent, post it in any of the yellow post boxes which are found in the streets everywhere. If you wish to do so you can also go to the General Post Office (Oficina de Correos) which has branches in all the cities and towns of our region, where you can buy stamps, post letters, and where they can advise you on any doubt which you may have in this respect.
In order to send telegrams or faxes it is best to head directly for the General Post Office where they will advise you on all the steps which you need to follow.
You can connect to internet in various places such as cibercafes, libraries, and other places with free access. Information about these places can be obtained by asking at the Tourist Office (Oficina de Turismo) or Centres for Youth Information in whichever town you might be.
Remember that some tourist establishments offer connection to internet as part of their service.
OTHER INFORMATION OF INTEREST
During your stay you have the right to receive tourist services in accordance with the qualities and characteristics advertised by the company who offer them. If this situation is not fulfilled, then you can express your dissatisfaction or make a complaint.
The current laws state that every establishment has to have "hojas de reclamación" (complaints forms) available to any client who may ask for them, so that they can express their dissatisfaction.
Your official complaint may be presented either in the establishment itself or in the consumer Offices Rights of the Consumer
Electrical appliances work with 220 volts AC. 50 Hz and the sockets correspond to the round pin European system.
Driving in Spain
It is necessary to be an adult (18 years of age or older) and to have a valid current driving licence.
The language spoken in the Region of Murcia is Castilian Spanish.
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