Alcantarilla is located just 5 miles away from Murcia. This town, famous for its "huerta" (vegetable garden), is a perfect combination of tradition and innovation and was settled by Iberians, Romans, Arabs and Christians.
The Ethnological Museum of the Murcian huerta is surrounded by ancient gardens and is the meeting point of the Alquibla, Daba and Turbedal canals. This museum, declared National Historical-Artistic Monument, represents how ancient market gardeners' life was with an exhibition of costumes, tools, pottery, hydraulic system and even a traditional "barraca", which is the typical old home of the huerta.
A HUGE WATERWHEE
The Alcantarilla and Arcos Wheel, also known as La Noria (the Waterwheel), is the most emblematic symbol of the huerta and the last part of the visit to the Ethnological Museum. This waterwheel, declared Historical-Artistic Monument, was built in the 19th century and has an 11 metres diameter. You will be amazed by the majestic presence of this hydraulic system, which is still working at full capacity and whose original version was built by Arabs in the 15th century .
Bicycles are perfect for all the seasons of the year! The Vía Amable, connecting Alcantarilla and Murcia, offers a sustainable and entertaining way to know the environmental, cultural and landscape wealth of the huerta of Murcia. Enjoy riding the bike and forget about the traffic hazards because this path has fewer vehicles than conventional roads and the maximum speed is 30 km/h. Just follow the course of the river... but, always at your own pace!
LET'S GO SHOPPING
The Calle Mayor is the main street of the town. There are a lot of shops affordable for everyone and a wonderful environment, which means that if you love shopping, this will be an alluring choice to enjoy your free time. If you are looking for bargains, the Outlet Trade Fair is the best place for you. It is held on March and there you will find the best brands at the cheapest price and on all kinds of products.
On the façade of the Cayitas House< there is the crest of the Holy Office: an emblem with a cross, a sword and a laurel. This majestic place housed the Regional Court of the Inquisition in the 17th and 18th centuries and the underground dungeons, where prisoners were locked up, still remain there. If you look through the small windows at ground level, you will surely get a bloodcurdling feeling. The Padres Mínimos monastery and the Church of Saint Roch are also from the same period.
During this time, devotion fills the streets of Alcantarilla with culture and religious imagery from the churches of Saint Peter and Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of Assumption). Women have a special role because this is one of the few places in Spain where a float is carried only by females. This Holy Week, declared of Regional Tourist Interest, is one of the oldest in the region and its processions date back to the 16th century.
WITCHES AND FUN
In the second week of May, Alcantarilla goes outside to enjoy the happiest and most awaited days of the year, Patron Saint's festival of the Virgen de la Salud (Virgin of Health), declared of Regional Tourist Interest. This festival offers a wide variety of acts ranging from the Trial and Burning of the Witch, to parades, big concerts, entertainment, humour shows, folklore and tango. From then on, never-ending fun is guaranteed.
WHAT AND WHERE TO EAT
You should go out to have lunch, dinner or tapas in the areas of Adolfo Suárez, Campoamor, Constitución, San Pedro or Cayitas, and discover the wide variety of local, creative and Mediterranean cuisine. All these places are a stone's throw away and offer a nice atmosphere. Choose between an exclusive restaurant with outdoor terrace and an archetypal pub... It's up to you!
CHRISTMAS SWEET CHRISTMAS
Do you want to see how cosy and fun can Alcantarilla be at Christmas? Well, then there's only one option: come and see. Cultural activities, shows, the Cavalcade of Magi and the most typical dishes are waiting for you. Be sure to taste the "tortas de recao", made with egg, flour and anise, with a hole filled with honey. No diets at Christmas!
This market, known as Las Palomas, is held on the fourth Sunday of each month in the Plaza de la Constitución. The talent, skill and devotion of master craftsmen result in all these amazing embroidery, miniatures, wood, leather, glass and all kinds of high-quality handcrafted materials. Many of them are made right in the site so you can see the process live and direct. Don't miss this event if you want to take a treasure with you.