Orihuela – once the capital of a kingdom – is situated about 57 km southwest from Alicante, on the river Segura. That is about half an hour by car from both Murcia and Alicante airports (San Javier and El Altet).
Although an inland town, it is quite close to the coast, having easy access to a number of beaches between Santa Pola and Torrevieja. Orihuela Costa offers you about 16 km of fine sand beaches and temperate weather with mild temperatures during the whole year.
The surrounding landscape is diverse and dominated by the Segura river. There is a lot of olive, orange, and almond groves and cotton fields in the countryside. Close to the northern part of the town, you can enjoy the shade of thousands of palm trees in El Palmeral. Like similar parks in Alicante and Elche, it has a Muslim origin and a characteristic form of a half-moon. The Muslim influence is evident in the agricultural development of this region. Maintaining good irrigation systems for centuries, people used to say “Rain or no rain – corn in Orihuela”.
Climbing up nearby hills, such as Hurchillo, you can have a magnificent panoramic view over the landscape. The whole coastal area is in harmony with nature. A lot of attention is put into environmental issues, in accordance with European regulations.
Between Santa Pola and Torrevieja, there are numerous beaches, which alternate between the cliffs – framed by the Mediterranean vegetation and transparent water. Mil Palmeras, Cabo Roig, Campoamor, Playa Flamenca – just to name the most important of them. You can find a room in many family homes and holiday villa resorts available for rent during the summer season. You can practice water sports, use the services of nautical clubs, as well as enjoy quality golf facilities.
The cultural heritage of Orihuela Spain is fascinating. It is one of the richest in this part of Spain – second to Valencia. Founded by Carthaginians and named Orcelis, this town became the capital of the Visigoth province of Aurariola and of the Kingdom of Tudmir in the 8th century. During the following centuries, it was controlled by the Emirate of Cordoba and the kingdoms of Denia, Murcia, and Valencia. Today we can appreciate numerous monuments from those remote times.
The most important one is the Cathedral – built almost 1000 years ago in the place of an old mosque. Originally it was a Gothic church with a dark interior – remodeled later in the Baroque style in the 16th century. Other sacral buildings of interest are the old monastery Santo Domingo, Episcopal Palace, the Church of St. Justa, and Rufina the Church of Santiago and Sagrada Familia.
Among other cultural monuments, numerous palaces stand out by the beauty of their ornaments. Palace of Count de Pinohermoso, Palace of Marques de Rafal, Palace of Count de la Luna (today Hotel Tudemir), Palace de Rubalcava, and other mansions and residences impress by their facades with balconies, gardens, and rich interiors.
Orihuela Spain is also a city of museums. Ethnology Museum, the Museum of Reconquista, the Museum of the Sacral Art, and the Museum of Semana Santa invites you to learn more about the history of Orihuela and discover its long traditions.
Of very special interest is the birth house of Miguel Hernández – the leading 20th-century Spanish poet and playwright, anti-fascist, and a supporter of the Republic, which died in prison in 1942 from tuberculosis. His family home, situated in Arriba street, is today a museum dedicated to his art and life, preserving a look of a typical house from the beginning of the 20th century.
Map of Orihuela
Use this large map to easily locate the monuments in this lovely town of poets and kings.