Tucked in the Iberian Peninsula’s southeast corner, Spain’s region of Murcia may not be as well-known or as popular as other destinations in the country, but it should be. Accessible from other regions of Spain, including Madrid (the city provided a beginning and end cap for my visit to Murcia), Murcia offers a region of contrasts, from dry plains to mountains and coastlines, begging to be unearthed. As a bonus, its semi-arid subtropical climate and location in the Mediterranean coastal arch guarantee near-daily sunshine.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.