Walking in the Sierra de Espuña Natural Park

Espuna1.jpgThe park is located in the Autonomous Region of Murcia, South East Spain about 25 kilometres from both Lorca and Murcia itself. It is a small area-only about 18 square kilometres, with heights above sea level ranging from 200 to 1500 meters. The region was replanted with a variety of conifers at the end of the 19th century and was declared a nature reserve in 1978. The topography is relatively gentle a lower levels with ways that meander through pine forests. Higher up the terrain becomes much more open and rugged with spectacular views over vast distances.

There is much evidence of how people lived and worked in the Region in years gone by. At high level the Pozos de Nieve or ice houses are evident where snow was used to make ice to be transported to nearby cities like Cartagena and Murcia up to the time of the invention of refrigeration. Also to be seen are the ruins of casas forestales – once the homes of the people who tended the forests and the sites of plaster mines where this material was harvested and dried for use in building homes.

Espuna2.jpgThe Park is home to a wide variety of birds – Great Tits, Sparrow Hawks, Goshawks as well as both the Booted and Golden Eagle.  Perhaps the most emblematic animal to be seen is the Barbary Sheep. These were brought to the Park in 1970 and have thrived here and now provide hunting during the season.

The climate in the Park is agreeable and walking is possible most of the year. Obviously high up there is usually snow in the winter and perhaps July and August should be avoided because of the high temperatures. If walking has to be done during these hot months, probably early mornings or evenings would be best.

Walking is on generally good surfaces - dirt roads, tracks or footpaths. As a general rule most walks are well marked  The Park Visitors Centre which is located in the centre of the Park and is well signed is well worth a visit to understand more about the Park and to obtain a wide variety of information on walking and routes and so on.

alhama espunaProbably the best place to base oneself would be in the town of Alhama de Murcia which is to the south of the Park and from which walks are no more than 30-40 minutes by car. Alhama is a delightful town, friendly and well organised and with every conceivable facility. We would particularly recommend the Hotel Los Bartolos (www.losbartolos.com) a well run and friendly hotel, very comfortable and extremely well priced. There are other establishments available including the Monastery of Santa Eularia near Aledo which provides 4 star accommodation for those with deeper pockets.

There are Murcia, Alicante, Lorca and Cartagena all nearby and all very interesting and well worth visiting- though Lorca is still struggling to overcome the damage caused by the recent earthquake. With the excellent hiking in the Park and the interesting places to visit on days off, this is a wonderful area for a walking holiday. The hikes we have put on the site give a marvellous overview of all parts of the Park. We strongly recommend the Region to you – do try it, you will not be disappointed.

Jim Arymar

Sierra De Espuña


You can use these pages to browse for walks in specific regions, counties and areas. It is a good idea to narrow down your search to the most local area possible, as the list of walks for larger areas can be very long. An alternative way of searching is to use the Find a Walk tool.

We would like to include a short article for each of the areas on these pages. If an area has no article and you can send us a few hundred words about the area, pointing out its key attractions and other useful information, we would greatly appreciate it.