Day Out El Valle Regional Park
The Regional Park of El Valle and Carrascoy is located almost 6 kilometres to the east of Murcia City and is nicked named the ‘green lung’ of Murcia. The mountains within the park range in height from 200 to 1,000 metres and the park covers an area of 11,000 hectares. It has been a protected area since 1917 and was declared a regional park in 1992.
There is an abundance of fauna and flora. Such animals as the natterjack toad, red squirrels, montpellier snake, sparrow hawks, striped necked terrapin, wild boar and golden eagles inhabit the park. There are more than 600 species of plants; these include the aleppo pine, esparto grass, evergreen oak, rosemary, thyme, and oleanders among others.
The hermits have inhabited this area since the 5thcentury and the park has many religious buildings to visit like the impressive La Fuensanta Sanctuary. There are two free visitor centres, one called the Centro de la Luz and the other the Centro Naturaleza El Valle as well as a fascinating Arboretum. There is an abundance of signposted walking and cycling routes, a road to the top of El Relojeroat 609 metres and even a children’s play area with BBQ facilities and plenty of picnic tables positioned throughout the park.
Places to stop during a day out in El Valle Regional Park
- La Fuensanta Sanctuary: impressive church, great views and small cafe.
- Centro de la Luz Visitors Centre: exhibitions about the area including its history, viewing balconies and cafe.
- Centro de la Naturaleza Visitors Centre: interactive exhibitions about the importance of the natural environment of the park.
- Arboretum: paved paths with information boards about the different varieties of trees.
- Antonio el Pobre Hermitage: one room hermitage with 10 minute video about the life of hermits in English.
- Children’s Playground, BBQ & Picnic Areas: swings, slides, stone BBQs and picnic tables.
- Walking & Cycling Routes: many marked trails.
- Murcia City Centre: end your day with a stop in the heart of Mucia and enjoy a well deserved cerveza or vino in the main plaza right in front of the impressive Cathedral.