Cartagena's Top 10
Collected by Chris Ciolli, AFAR Local Expert
Plaza Condesa de Peralta, 7, 30202 Cartagena, Murcia, Spain
Cartagena’s Roman roots run deep. Excavation of the 7,000-seat Roman amphitheater (Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 9) began only in 1988—before that, a residential neighborhood and cathedral had been built above and around the ancient elements visible...
Parque Alfonso Torres, 30202 Cartagena, Murcia, Murcia, Spain
Hike to the top of Cartagena’s highest hill through picturesque Torres Park, or opt for the easier panoramic elevator ride up. At the top, peacocks and ducks roam the grounds of this restored medieval fortification. The castillo was built upon the...
C/ Caridad, 15, 30202 Cartagena, Murcia, Spain
The light streams through the stained-glass windows that surround the central dome in this neoclassical basilica designed by naval engineer Tomás de Tallarie. The basilica holds exceptional religious art, like Francisco Salzillo’s moving sculpture...
30868 Cartagena, Murcia, Spain
Take in spectacular views of Cartagena Bay and the peaks of the Sierra de la Muela from the ramparts of this military stronghold. Built in the 1930s to resemble a medieval fortress, with rocky turrets and huge cannons, the battery has a...
Calle Escritor Sánchez Moreno, 5, 30009 Murcia, Spain
The ruins of this cathedral are a lasting reminder of the Spanish Civil War and the struggle for control of Cartagena (the port was among the last to fall to Franco). The haunting ruins, abandoned for over 75 years, still reveal the building’s...
30400 Caravaca de la Cruz, Murcia, Spain
Because of its unique history and a remarkable number of religious monuments, Caravaca de la Cruz is considered a significant holy city by the Catholic Church. A tour of the city is best begun with a visit to the medieval Castle of Santa Cruz,...
Paseo de la Estación, s/n, 03202 Elx, Alicante, Spain
This vast plantation of date palms was laid out at the same time that the Muslim city of Elche arose, near the end of the 10th century when most of the Iberian Peninsula was under Moorish control. The ingenious irrigation system at this UNESCO...
Camino del 33, s/n, 30360 La Unión, Murcia, Spain
The area's rich mining heritage is on focus inside La Unión Mining Park, which reopened as an open-air museum after having been abandoned for 40 years. You can journey 80 meters below the earth's surface into a massive pyrite mine to explore...