Murcia’s popular Wine Bus tours of regional bodegas, vineyards and restaurants will be back on the road later this month.
The “Bus del Vino” schedule is due to begin in Yecla – one of the region’s three “denomination of origin” wine areas and nationally-categorised routes – on 17 September and continue until December. Tours are organised every second Saturday, starting from Cartagena (8am) and Murcia city (9am) and rotating between Yecla and the other two D.O. areas, Bullas and Jumilla.
The cost is €59 per person, which includes transport, insurance, guided visits, wine tastings and restaurant lunches “marrying” wine and local cuisine. Bookings at MurciaTuristica.
Announcing the new schedule (the previous one ran from March to June this year), the director of the regional tourism institute (ITREM), Juan Francisco Martínez, said that, following Murcia’s designation as the Spanish Capital of Gastronomy in 2021, “Reino de la Monastrell” (Monastrell Kingdom) wine tourism had become increasingly popular.
“It’s a form of tourism that gives tourists a high degree of confidence,” he said, “due to the fact that it takes place outdoors, not far from where they are staying, and is in tune with growing preferences for sustainable and healthy experiences that can be enjoyed with friends or family, while avoiding overcrowded areas”.
Murcia has more than 35,000 hectares of vineyards, and is the only single-province region in Spain with three “Protected Denomination of Origin” (D.O.P.) wine areas and three wine routes certified by the Spanish Association of Wine Cities (ACEVIN).
- Yecla: 17 September and 1 October – including guided tours of the Old Town and the Roman site at Fuente del Pinar, with its bodega dating to between the first and third centuries CE (AD). Also, a guided visit to Bodegas Castaño and lunch at Sierra Cazorla restaurant (17 September) and to Bodega Barahonda and lunch at Arora restaurant (1 October).
- Jumilla: 15 October and 3 December – including visits to the castle, Ethnographic & Science Museum and Archaeology Museum. Also, a guided visit to Bodegas Xenysel and lunch at La Macarena restaurant (15 October) and to Bodegas Luzón and lunch at Casa Sebastián restaurant (3 December).
- Bullas: 5 and 19 November – including visits to the Wine Museum and the Bullas 1900 Itinerary. Also, a guided visit to Bodega Balcona and lunch at Asador del Noroeste restaurant (5 November) and to Bodegas Lavia and lunch at El Castillico restaurant (19 November).