Lorca has the largest surface area of any municipality in the Region of Murcia (1,676 km2) , with a population of around 92,000 (Padrón 2011).
Lorca lies within the Guadalentín Valley in the area known as the Comarca del Alto Guadalentín. This is an area of rich, flat, agricultural plains, (the word comes from the Arabic for mud ) which have been cultivated by mankind since pre-history, and still are today, agriculture and livestock farming still being the backbone of Lorca economic activity. Tanning, tourism and service industries are other vital components, the opening of a Parador in 2012 adding an additional tourism impetus.
The city has played an important part in the history of Murcia, with continuous habitation from the Neolithic era. It was a major Argaric settlement, and played a strategic role during the period of Moorish occupation, before becoming an important border town during the process of the Christian Reconquist in the 13th century.
The rich and extensive history of Lorca has left a legacy of archaeological sites, and historic buildings, around which the modern City has built its tourism industry. Amongst these are Lorca Castle, Plaza de España, Colegiata de San Patricio, Museo de Arqueologico Municipal, Iglesia de San Francisco, Casa Huerto Ruano, Palacio de Guevara, Iglesia de San Mateo, Pósito de los Panaderos, Convento Virgen de las Huertas, Antiguo Convento de la Merced, Iglesia del Carmen, Teatro Guerra etc.
Unfortunately Lorca has been prone to natural disaster, suffering a severe flood in 1973 which killed 50 people, and a Gota Fría on September 28th 2012, as well as a series of earthquakes, the most recent of which was 5.3 on the Richter scale on 11th May 2011 and claimed 9 lives.
Lorca also has an area of coastline incorporating the Parque Regional de Cabo Cope - Puntas de Calnegre, in the Sierra de Almenara, which includes the beaches of, Puntas de Calnegre, Baño de las Mujeres, San pedro, El Siscal, Cala Honda, Cuartel del Ciscar, Junquera, Cala de la Gruta, Cala leña, Los Hierros, Cala Blanca and Playa Larga, although many are accessible only through agricultural exploitations.
However, in spite of its many attractions, the name of Lorca is synonymous with Easter, ( Semana Santa) its biblical parades of International Tourist Interest status and famous throughout Spain. The week includes a series of parades in which the whites ( paso planco) and blues ( paso azúl) try to outdo each other with the magnificence of their embroideries and the skill and daring of their horsemen.
In the Autumn Lorca also celebrates the Fiestas of san Clemente, a Feria and has a series of important events throughout the year in the Recinto Ferial, as well as a busy cultural and sporting programme.
Lorca is on the bottom South-west corner of the Region of Murcia, in southern Spain and borders with Almería. Within the Region of Murcia it has the municipalities of Caravaca de la Cruz and Cehegín to the North, Mula, Aledo, Totana and Mazarrón lying to the east, Águilas to the south and Pulpí, Puerto Lumbreras, Huércal-Overa, Vélez Rubio and Vélez Blanco on its eastern flank. The main connection to Murcia is via the A-7 ( 70 km) and the city of Lorca is 90km from San Javier airport.
The main population centres in the Lorca municipality are: La Paca, Palm Zarcilla, Avilés, Coy, Doña Inés, Don Gonzalo, El Pardo, La Canaleja and Zarzadilla de Totana.