Brits looking for a permanent move to Spain want it all. To combine sun, sea, sand, culture, history, shopping and other attractions with good value in their choice of property purchase. The town of Lorca, a short distance from the Mediterranean, is beginning to make a name for itself amongst Brits who are keen to experience real Spanish life in the sunshine, without breaking the bank.
Known as “the city of the sun” Lorca, in the region of Murcia, is located 35 miles south west of the city of Murcia and 15 miles from the Mediterranean coast. With a population of 90,000, it is the largest town in Spain by area, stretching across an entire valley. The mountains are 1,500 meters high and their fertile slopes support numerous vineyards.
The town is a mix of the historical and the modern; is the most important tourist destination in Murcia as well as a key commercial centre. It is very accessible, with a developed network of roads, rail and air infrastructure, ensuring excellent access to the countryside, the Mediterranean and other parts of the country. The regional capital of Murcia city is accessible by motorway and a planned a high speed rail link to be completed in 2009 will further strengthen transport links.
Regarded as a friendly and hospitable town, Lorca offers a range of activities, attractions and fiestas as well as a unique cuisine. There are also hundreds of bars, restaurants, shops, a theatre and a cinema complex. There are also plenty of sports and leisure facilities, including golf courses in the region.
The town boasts a rich heritage and this, including its architecture, is a large part of its appeal. The region around Lorca was inhabited by Iberians during the Bronze Age, but the character of the town with its narrow streets and alley-ways was achieved under Islamic rule. Later, it was a dangerous border town between the Moors of Granada and the Spanish Kingdom of Castile. The square tower of homage to the city fortress can be seen throughout the town.
Part of the character of Lorca is the many beautiful, historic structures that remain including churches, Roman villas, palaces, monuments, museums and works of art, including the hilltop castle which dominates much of the skyline. The processions that take place in Lorca epitomise the culture and heritage of the town. Actors play Roman soldiers, quadrigas and baroque statues of saints whilst amateurs play the parts of various biblical and historical characters like Cleopatra, Nero and the devil. The themes are inspired by the ancient sites dotted around the area.
Although this mix of historical culture and modern tourist convenience is something Brits are increasingly attracted to, a further advantage the town possess is the good value of its property. Millions of people visit Spain every year, with Brits particularly enthusiastic about deciding to emigrate there. Although house prices in Lorca are higher than this time last year, compared to coastal resorts they are still cheaper and come with more land.
Mike Hamilton, Sales and Marketing Director of local developers Casas de Lorca, believes this makes the town a great destination for Brits looking to move permanently: A detached four bedroom villa on a coastal resort in the Murcia region may cost in excess of 350,000 Euros, plus there are no classically designed villas there on 5 acres of land. However, just twenty minutes from the coast in Lorca you can buy a classically designed villa on five acres for 269,000 Euros. The potential value is huge. Moreover, the plots have views of a national park on one side and a view of over 20 miles on the other side. It’s difficult to see where else in Europe you can get that kind of value.