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Exploring the Costa Blanca & Murcia Region in Southeastern Spain

Dave was feeling nostalgic for a Palm Springs-esque getaway: criteria included no shared walls, quiet, private, and retirement vibes. Coinciding with a national holiday and a few days off school in mid-October, we decided to rent a car and spend a few days exploring the Costa Blanca, about a 2.5-hour drive from Valencia. We were looking forward to 6 p.m. dinners and 9 p.m. bedtime (so, about 3-4 hours earlier than what’s acceptable in Spain).

We stayed in an Airbnb, a detached home on the Las Colinas Golf & Country Club golf resort, which was delightfully modern and tranquil; the downside was that the pool was unheated and although the weather was beautiful, it wasn’t hot enough to warm up the pool on its own. So unfortunately we didn’t get as much pool and swimming time as we anticipated, and thus had less to do on the property to keep Jacob occupied.

We spent a day exploring the city of Murcia, which is quite charming with its mix of Baroque, Gothic, and Islamic-influenced architecture. It’s easy to see the key sites over the course of a few hours, and we picked up empanadas for a casual lunch in the park next to the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall). Though I wouldn’t put Murcia in the top five cities to visit in Spain, if you happen to be in the southeastern region, it’s a decent day-trip.

At the very bottom of the Murcia region is the small town of San Pedro del Pinatar, which has a beach and some interesting purple and pink salt ponds. The beaches along the Costa Blanca aren’t as scenic as those of the more popular Costa Brava, but they are certainly less touristy this time of year.

In the end, we were pleased to escape the city noise for a few nights and explore a new part of the country.