Moratalla is one of the most mountainous areas in the region of Murcia. The rugged, scenic mountains and forests surrounding Mortalla lend themselves to hiking and walking. Guided walks can be arranged for you. The perfect spot for mountain biking: hundreds of kilometres of paths and off-road tracks.
A climb to the top of the Pico de Revolcadores the highest peak in Murcia, at 2,021 metres above sea level should raise the heart rate! For something a tad lower try El Buitre at 1,428 metres, just south of Moratalla. Both of these peaks provide excellent climbing, as does the Pico del Almorchon near Cieza.
Explore the Via Verde running from Caravaca de la Cruz to Mula – the old railway track – now train-free and great for walking or cycling. The railway line ceased to run in 1971, when the sleepers and rails were removed. There is over 40 kilometres of trail which is well signposted and easy to follow. On the way you can see the old railway stations and viaducts dating back to the 30s, along with diverse scenery from “the badlands” to lush fruit orchards.
The GR7 is a long distance walking route that starts in the North of Europe and passes through the North East of Murcia, across vineyards towards Cieza. (Please note: you do not have to walk it all!)
The Almadenes Gorge, nearby at Calasparra, offers terrific days out. The Gorge is a nature reserve and only accessible by boat. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the gorge, plus the wildlife, unusual flora and fauna on the banks of the river. Canoeing, abseiling, white water rafting, and climbingare all possible here. On one of the boat trips down the river it is possible to stop off and visit a cave where you can view prehistoric cave art.
For more information on “Arte Rupestre” (Cave Art) visit “La Casa de Cristo”, a cave art museum set in a spectacular spot up in the mountains. The museum is housed in a restored monastery, which was built originally in 1589. In 1811 it was set on fire by Napoleonic troops, but in 1829 the monks returned to restore the building. The beautiful cloisters survived and were incorporated during further renovation in the 20th century creating a fabulous courtyard. This can be followed by a guided trip to any of the local caves. Murcia has an abundance of caves showing Levantine, Paleolithic and Esquematic art.
Caving A beautiful cavern at Calasparra – called “La Cueva del Puerto” – is filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is 14 kilometers long, only 300 metres is open to the public, but well worth visiting. Did you know that stalactites and stalagmites take 100 years to grow just one centimetre?
Also nearby you can visit “La Cueva de la Higuera”. This is one of the longest caves in Murcia and very popular with expert cavers. For the less advanced there are other ´easier´ caves such as ” La Sima de Santa Barbara”.
Paragliding/Hanggliding – From the ridge of the Sierra Muela at 631 metres you can enjoy both of these sports. It is considered to be one of the best areas for “free flight”.
Quad biking is available in Cehegin and near Pliego. Terrific landscapes to explore including the moonscape-type scenery at Gebas.
Horse riding is very popular in Moratalla, local riding schools provide trekking or specific lessonsaccording to ability. The nearby mountains are the perfect place for an afternoon trek!
Try the ancient art of Esparto weaving! This is one of the most popular of the old traditions of the Murcia region, and is still practised in the more rural areas and in Moratalla itself. Try your hand atmaking a basket. Every stage of the making will be demonstrated and then you will be helped to make your own. A visit to the Esparto museum in Cieza can be arranged to show you the diverse range of goods created in the past, many working materials e.g. huge baskets for almond collection, donkey baskets and reins and harnesses for horses, plus espadrilles – still worn in some areas!
These are just some of the activites available in or around Moratalla, but if you don´t feel overly energetic you can of course just sit on the patio with a glass of local vino and soak up the sun!