Spring is upon us. Hundreds of thousands of fruit trees in the valley around the village of Cieza, north of Murcia, are about to blossom. The website dedicated to this annual natural phenomenon leaves no doubt what awaits us: 'The greatest colorful variety of flowers in the world'.
That's quite a claim. But if we put the somewhat exaggerated local pride aside for a moment, then this massive opening of new life is indeed a beautiful spectacle. Once the 13,000 hectare area of almond, plum, apricot and peach trees is in full bloom, the whole valley is transformed into a sea of white and pink. Every year it is mainly the peach trees that, with their many variations in pink, claim a leading role during this eruption of colors.
The blossom splendor in Cieza attracts thousands of visitors every year. For lovers of natural beauty, it is of course difficult to determine when is the best time to see the most colorful result. The peak of flowering is usually around the second and third week of March. But a relatively cold winter can cause a delay. Nevertheless, you can always enjoy this spectacle of fruit blossoms from the beginning of March to mid-April.
Those interested can choose from different ways to admire the blossom. Walking or cycling through the area is an option, but the size of the region also makes the car a popular choice. The tourist office in Cieza has several maps that can help visitors. Two frequently visited places are the visitor center on a hill with beautiful views and the recreation area El Horno where beautiful walking and cycling routes along the river start.
For maximum enjoyment, it makes sense to consider a visit with a local guide. Guides know exactly where in the 13,000 hectares at that time the blossom is in full glory.
The reason why this area in the northern part of the province of Murcia is so suitable for this type of agricultural activity is a mixture of plenty of sun, a flat environment and clean water from the river Segura. In addition, the region has a very long experience in this field.
For detailed information on this annually recurring natural phenomenon, you can visit the special website (La floracion de Cieza) dedicated to 'The flowers of Cieza'. The site also explains how the peach story started. Legend has it that a single peach seed was found in the Sima de la Serretta cave nearby in the third century. It cannot be denied that Cieza has turned that one seed into a great success.