A trip of around a 75min drive from Orihuela Costa will take you to Calasparra, within the Murcia region. A visit to The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Hope ( and Patron Saint of Calasparra ) is a must, and indeed the town of Calasparra is also worth a stroll around.
The Sanctuary is to be found in a cave which has been spectacularly carved into the rock. The feat of such a structure is a sight to see.
The cave is home to 2 images of the Virgin of Hope. One small ( La Pequeñita ) and one larger ( el grande ).
The story suggests it was found by a shepherd who kept his cattle in the cave. The villagers in the town of Calasparra wanted to locate the images to the town, however due to her weight it is considered the Virgin prefers to reside in the orginal grotto.
The Sanctuary is set in peaceful surroundings making it a perfect place to relax while hearing the River Segura cool water flow by. Information on a couple of walking routes are signposted.
We took one route and climbed the steps to reach the hilltop for a well earned panoramic view of the area. If you need refreshment after the climb maybe a visit to the restaurant at Las Lomas Del Virgin is close by. For those unable to make the hike to the top a restaurant also sits at the foot of the steps, and plenty of places to take a gentle stroll and relax.
We visited in late January this year 2022, taking advantage of the winter sunshine. A popular time to visit is springtime, which can be a lovely drive when the trees are in blossom, fraturing almond, peach, orange and lemon trees to complete the colourful landscape.
Oprning times: Winter: 08:30 – 18:00 Summer 09.00 – 19.30 For more information on The Sanctuary visit https://santuariovirgenesperanza.com/
We have deliberately not shown photos inside the grotto so as not to spoil the experience of any future visit.
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