Murcia’s new airport opened for business on January 15th 2019, bringing improved international air access and a definite feel-good factor to the region. We take a closer look, and ask Murcia resident Nicky Smith, Sales Director at HomeEspaña, what it’s like living there at such an exciting time.
Reaching Murcia and south-east Spain has got a lot easier for British tourists and homeowners now that Murcia International Airport is finally up and running. The airport was initially completed six years ago, but its grand opening now will bring a welcome boost to property sales in Murcia.
Located 25 minutes inland near the village of Corvera and mid-way between the cities of Murcia and Cartagena, the airport takes over from San Javier as the region’s gateway for foreign travellers, offering better facilities, a longer runway and far higher capacity.
Ryanair and easyJet launched new routes to the airport in January, the former being the first airline to touch down there on the day Spain’s King Felipe VI officially opened the terminal. Other airlines starting services there in March or April include TUI, Norwegian Air and Jet2. More European airlines are expected to launch routes as summer approaches.
“There is little doubt that having an airport with a larger capacity and more international flights will benefit the local area around the Mar Menor, as well as wider Murcia and Orihuela Costa,” said Nicky, who moved to Murcia 14 years ago. “Not forgetting we’ll be able to have late flights arriving now, unlike at San Javier which was restricted by its military use.”
The new airport has affected the transfer time of homeowners in resorts along the Mar Menor, such as Los Alcázares and San Pedro del Pinatar, only slightly – driving to the airport at Corvera will take about 25 minutes rather than around 10 minutes to San Javier, depending on where you are coming from. And compared to Alicante airport, which many Mar Menor homeowners were choosing to use due to its better choice of flights, the new airport is actually 25 minutes closer.
For anyone living in inland Murcia, like Nicky, there is no real difference. “We’re about 25 minutes from the new airport at Corvera, compared with 20 minutes from the old one at San Javier,” says Nicky. “I live with my husband in a village called Sucina, 15-20 minutes inland. My parents live there too, as we all moved over from Wales 14 years ago.”
Nicky has seen Sucina change since she bought her home there, but says the airport has brought a real buzz to her local area, with a growing international community. She continues: “Since buying my home, which is on a small urbanisation, the village has definitely grown. But what’s nice is that there are still lots of Spaniards living in the area, so it still feels very Spanish. At the same time, there is also a nice mix of British and Scandinavians, and increasingly Belgians, living here.
“The village is very friendly and the community always includes British and foreign residents in all of its festivals and events, like the Easter Parade. And in the summer months they hold live music events in the square, where you can sit out with a drink.”
Nicky’s nearest beaches are 15-20 minutes’ drive from her home. One of her favourites is Los Narejos, which is in Los Alcázares and easily reached via the resort’s fantastic long promenade. “It’s lovely,” she says. “Being a lagoon means that the Mar Menor is warm, calm and has gently sloping beaches, so it’s ideal for families with young children. Usually we start going around May time. It gets very busy in July and August when the Spanish come on holiday here. Anyone visiting Los Alcázares should pop into the HomeEspaña office there – it’s less than two minutes’ walk from the beach!”
Residents in her area are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out, enthuses Nicky, who says some of our favourite spots include the plaza in Torre de la Horadada, an Italian restaurant in Pinar de Campoverde and, of course, her local bodega in Sucina, which she can walk to. For serious shopping, there is La Zenia Boulevard, but in the other direction is Cartagena, which also has a shopping centre. “Or 30 minutes away is Murcia,” adds Nicky. “There are two very large shopping centres on the edge of the city near the football stadium. Murcia is also nice for a city break!”
Turning to opportunities to buy property, Nicky says demand is strong and prices are rising. At HomeEspaña, there is interest in all types of homes in Murcia, from resale apartments overlooking the sea to new villas five minutes’ walk from the beach.
Golf resorts are very popular here, with well-known resorts include La Roda, La Manga, and Hacienda Riquelme offering excellent value for money and access to great facilities on-site – and often shuttle buses to the beach.
On the Mar Menor coast, much of the interest is in a cluster of small towns which mix traditional Spanish appeal with newer, more English developments, including San Pedro del Pinatar, with its promenade, marina and popular beaches, such Lo Pagan; the former fishing village and popular sailing resort of Santiago de la Ribera; and of course, Los Alcazares.
“Property prices in my area and around the Mar Menor are on the rise,” confirms Nicky. “But they are still cheaper than in Orihuela Costa. This is good news for today’s buyers who can expect to see capital growth.”
After years of playing second fiddle to the Costa Blanca, it seems like the Costa Calida is finally receiving the plaudits it deserves – and the opening of Corvera airport is only likely to win over even more admirers!
Thinking about buying a property in Murcia? Contact HomeEspaña today.
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