Moratalla, set on the side of a hill, is made up of beautiful, tall, old buildings and narrow, winding streets – many not passable by car. It is surrounded by pine forests and mountains, and in the “huerta” below the town are small farms of apricots, cherries , almonds and olives.
Boasting two rivers, the Arabe and the Benamor, the countryside around Moratalla is green and fertile. Against an impressive backdrop of mountains, Moratalla´s castle, built by the Arabs in the 10th and 11th Centuries, stands squarely on top of the hill towering over the whole of the old town, “El casco antiquo”. There are magnificent views from the parapets and not too many steps!
There is a large open-air swimming pool and two junior pools for children, open to the public throughout the summer. Theatre and cinema are often free during the summer and fiestas.
Moratalla is famous in Murcia for its bullrunning – a smaller version of Pamplona which takes place during the annual Fiesta, normally the second week of July. This is a test of bravery for the young men , and women too now, who run in front of the bulls, endeavouring not to get gored or tossed! Unlike many other towns in Spain, Moratalla does not have a bullring, after the “running” the bulls are returned to the fields.
Just a short drive from the town, tucked up in the mountains, is the Casa de Cristo Cave Art Museum. It is situated in a former monastery next to the church and a restaurant. There are the most spectacular views across the valley and over the surrounding mountains, a perfect place to enjoy a drink or snack soaking up the sun and tranquillity accompanied by the tinkling of goat bells. After visiting the museum, you will probably be inspired to view the actual cave art paintings nearby. Trips can be arranged for you; not to be missed – incredible!
There are a wide variety of bars, tapas bars, restaurants and discos in the town – something to suit every taste. Moratalla also has its own bodega just a few kilometres from the town, where you can visit and sample the local wines.
One of the greatest spectacles in Moratalla is the Easter festival. “La Semana Santa” includes many processions with flower-laden floats and thousands of drummers in traditional costume. The drumming can last up to three days and nights. Quite a spectacle, not to mention the volume! (Luckily, our house is a little away from the main procession area, so you will be able to sleep!)