Wine-loving visitors to the Murcia region can once again enjoy comfortable and safe organised bus trips to the region’s bodegas.
The Wine Bus (Bus del Vino) has resumed its excursions this month, with trips every two weeks until December to wine tourism routes in Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla.
In addition to traditional visits to bodegas and vineyards, the excursions include wine tastings, special menus “married” with wine, and trips to other areas of special natural or cultural interest, always accompanied by an official guide.
The trips begin in Cartagena and Murcia city, and bookings can be made on the Murciaturistica.es website.
The Murcia region has more than 35,000 hectares of vineyards, covering three “denomination of origin” wine areas and nationally-categorised routes (Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla).
The next itinerary in Yecla (following last weekend’s) is scheduled for 13 November. It includes a guided tour of the historic town centre and the Roman site of Fuente del Pinar, which has a winery dating to between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. Visitors will also be able to visit Bodegas Castaño, including a tasting of two wines, and complete their trip with a meal paired with D.O Yecla wines at the Peña Taurina Restaurant.
Planned for 16 October and 4 December, the Bullas excursions will include (depending on the chosen date) a guided visit to the Bullas Wine Museum, a tour of the vineyards of Aceniche Valley (850 metres above sea level) or the Venta del Pino area, and a wine tasting visit to Bodega Balcona or Bodega Lavia, followed by lunch at the Asador del Noroeste or Café Casino de Cehegín. After lunch, the day (in October) will end with a visit to the Don Pepe Museum and Bullas Archaeology Wing, or (in December) a guided tour of the Cehegín historical complex and the School of Wine (an old cellar and granary dating to the 16th century Order of Santiago).
On 30 October and 27 November, visitors will be able to enjoy the Jumilla Wine Route. The first excursion includes an itinerary through Jumilla’s historic town centre, which has been declared a “Historic-Artistic Site” followed by a visit to the local castle and Madrid Romero wineries for a wine tasting, then lunch at Casa Sebastián. The second day will follow a similar route, but with a tasting at Viña Elena and lunch at the La Macarena restaurant.
According to minister for the presidency, tourism and sport Marcos Ortuño, the aim with the Wine Bus visits is “not only to showcase the winemaking process but also allow visitors to discover some of the region’s most spectacular natural landscapes and bring people closer to the people of Murcia’s rural world and their heritage.”
He noted that wine tourism is one of Murcia’s most highly valued tourist attractions. “It is sustainable, promotes activities related to healthy and natural tourism, transmits the essence and identity of these wine territories, and can be enjoyed in the open air and close to areas where tourists are staying.”