Enjoy a half-day of sightseeing in Murcia, the capital of the province. Settled by the Moors in the 9th century, and conquered by the Christians in the 13th century, this bustling city features a wonderful array of architectural delights.
It's a 1-hour scenic drive through the foothills of the Sierra de Carrascoy to reach Murcia. Along the way, a stop will be made at the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Fuensanta (the Patron of Murcia). Built at the end of the 17th century, the location of the Sanctuary offers up some wonderful views of the city and surrounding land. An order of nuns still resides and works at the Sanctuary and twice per year, there is a pilgrimage here from the nearby city.
Continuing on, you will make your way into the city, first visiting the Cathedral of Murcia (an interior visit is not always possible). Construction was begun in 1394, on the grounds where an Arab mosque once stood. Although it was officially completed in 1467, work continued up until the 18th century which is why it incorporates a variety of artistic styles. For example, the interior is Gothic and the façade is Baroque. The Cathedral also features a bell tower that reaches a height of 311 feet, making it the tallest of its kind in Spain, and taking over two hundred years to build. Also found here is the Chapel of Los Vélez, which has a flamboyant Gothic style and a star-shaped vault.
From the Cathedral, you will travel on foot to the Casino of Murcia. Inaugurated in 1847, the Royal Casino of Murcia is a private club which follows the traditional ways from the 19th century. From its inception, it has been one of the central protagonists of the Murciana social life. An extensive rehabilitation of this historical building was carried out between the years of 2006- 2009, which restored the Casino to its former glory. One of the most notable features is the front of the building, which displays a very modernist influence; however, the highlight of the Casino is without doubt, its magnificent ballroom that is decorated with spectacular chandeliers.
At the conclusion of your visit to the Casino, you will have some free time to stroll about the city center before re-joining your coach for the journey back to the pier in Cartagena.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking/standing plus any additional walking at the guests' discretion during free time. There are some steps and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. This tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light weight clothing; sun cap; sunglasses, sunscreen and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. It is also recommended that participants bring a bottle of water from the ship. The order of the sights viewed or visited may vary. Most shops in Cartagena close at noon Mon-Sat and do not open on Sundays.