December is the time for rejoicing and reflecting. You have survived another year – did you make the best of all opportunities available to you? Embrace the spirit of the season and enjoy the festivities around the region – be inclusive with those you know and those you don’t know. Happy Christmas!
Stay informed online at www.costacalidachronicle.com and the blog and the relevant Tourist Office websites.
T: 968 652 244 Market Tues
Sunday 2nd – Free Guided Tour explores the historical bodegas, visiting the Bodega de la Balsa and the Bodega Don Pepe – book via the Tourist Office.
Sunday 2nd – El Zacatin Artisan Market 9am-2pm in the central squares of Plazas Vieja and Castillo, and Calle San Anton.
Sunday 2nd – Free Guided Route to reveal modernist Bullas c. 1900 – in Spanish but guides do speak some English and the route is highly visual. From tourist info point in the market place 11am/12pm/1pm.
Casa-Museo Don Pepe Marsilla has authentic furnishings and décor and guided tours (in English) for only 2 persons on 968 657 211 (around 5€ pp). Wine cannot be bought here, but you can visit one of the two urban bodegas or one of bodegas in the nearby countryside.
Museo del Vino has a shop with prices to match the bodegas. To visit either, telephone the above number or the Tourist Office or email email@example.com.
T: 968 745 325 Market Fri
Sunday Artisan Market at the Sanctuary of La Esperanza – check online for the date/time.
T: 968 702 424 Market Mon
Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th – Medieval Market with over 200 stalls with artisan goods, gifts, food and visual entertainment of jugglers, costumed artisans, hand-crafted demonstrations, all accompanied by medieval music. Ideal for inspirational Christmas gifts. Located in the old quarter, the market spreads over the streets of Los Monjas, Mayor and Rafael Tejeo and offers something for all family members.
Saturday 8th – Medieval Tournament 5pm in the bullring. Tickets 7.50€ in advance from Tourist Office or on the door. Parking by the sports ground or by the Salon de Celebraciones accessed from the Moratalla Road.
Sunday 16th – Free Guided Tour (Spanish) – Explore the beauty of Caravaca’s history. 1.5 hours. 11am from the Castle and Basilica through the old quarter and finish at the Plaza del Templete. Info boards in English and some guides may speak English. Book at Tourist Office.
The culture trail continues with a prominent exhibition tracing 500 years of religious mysticism through works of art presented at the former church of the Compania de Jesus. The renowned sculptor Francisco Salzillo exhibits his restored figure of the Virgen del Carmen and Santiago Ydanez displays an impressive 14mtr canvas painting; examples of a major collection of works available to see until 6th January 2019.
For those keen on history, Angel Reinon Sanchez is the creator of an amazing collection of miniatures which reveal the ethnographic history of Caravaca: how the trades and crafts people carried out their work, including Caravaca’s then biggest export trade – the manufacture of espadrilles, hemp shoes. The museum is just before the entrance to the Old Quarter in Calle Puentecilla No 3, Bajo, Tel 968 795 620. Usually open every day but check the times.
Carlos Blanco Fadol Museum of Ethnic Instruments in Barranda, has clear signposts and has with easy access for those with mobility issues. Space limits the display to 5% of his 4,000-piece collection and conveys a fascinating variety and history of musical instruments. 3€ (reduced 2€/child 1€). English leaflets and assistants speak English. Check opening times with Tourist Office.
T: 968 723 550 Market Tues
Friday 7th-Sunday 9th – The Falcotrail Marathon – a huge mountain event with an Ultra race of 72km. Includes marathon and half-marathons. Take a look at Falcotrail on Facebook for more information.
Saturday 15th – Free Historic Guided Tour (in Spanish). See the old quarter and its churches and concludes with a visit to the wine school and buy wines from the D.O. Bullas. 11.15am from Plaza del Castillo. Pre-book at Tourist Office.
Sunday 23rd – Car Boot Sale at Park Ginés de Paco at the bottom of Gran Vía. To book at Tourist Office 1€/mtr.
Sunday 30th – El Mesoncico Artisan Market in Plaza del Castillo in the old town. 60+ craftsmen of the area display products such as cured meats, hams, pottery, cakes, wines, cheeses, etc. Free parking at the Marble Technology Centre in Carretera Murcia. December market includes traditional music from the best country groups (Cuadrillas).
Archaeological See of Begastri open for tours on Saturdays & Sundays at 10.10am/11.15am/12.20pm. 2€. Begins with a video presentation followed by a guided tour to see the remains of the Iberian culture before the IV century B.C.
The Eco Park (Tourism Activity Park) ‘Coto de las Maravillas’ has activities for all the family and all ages including zip lines, archery, nature walks etc. They can also host events. There is a campsite, BBQ area and kiosk-bar offering a great menu.
Open each weekend 10am-5pm. (weekdays prior booking required). Tel 968 069 202 Mon-Fri 9am-3pm
T: 968 780 237 Market Tues
The renovated hilltop 15th century castle is open to explore every Saturday and Sunday morning from 10am-2pm until the end of February 2019 for only 1€. Access to the castle is on foot (or bike) up the Camino del Subidor or by bus when you park at the gate to the castle road at the eastern end of the hill @ 10.30am/11.35am/12.30pm/1.30pm – return times are on the hour 11am-2pm. You can take the bus from the Tourist Office at 11.30 and return at 1pm.
Archaeological Museum (tel 968 757 379) and Ethnography And Natural Sciences Museum (tel 968 780 740) offer various workshops for all the family at various times.
Sunday 2nd – Free Theatrical Guided Tour of the old quarter (in Spanish) can be combined with a visit to any of the bodegas in the area. 11am from Teatro Vico entrance accompanied by characterful costumed guides recounting anecdotes in tune with the history.
T: 968 730 208 Market Sat
Rock Art of Moratalla tours available encapsulating prehistoric to medieval styles and worthy of its UNESCO World Heritage status. More info and cost:
Tel 696 807 037
T: 968 661 501 Market Sat
Thursday 6th – Free Guided Visit (in Spanish) to the prehistoric site of Abrigo el Milano is unfortunately fully booked but you can ask to go on the waiting list. Used as a burial site from the Eneolithic period, it also contains rock art of the era. Contact the tourist office for detail.
Sunday 9th – Artisan Market dedicated to local sweets and pastries and hand-made craft products, gifts and treats. 10am-2pm in Las 4 Plazas in the Old Quarter.
Sunday 9th – Guided Theatrical Tour 3€ (in Spanish). 11.30am from the Convent of San Francisco. Booking at Tourist Office advised.
Sundays (excluding 2nd) – Free Guided Tour of the Roman Villa site of Villaricos, one of the best preserved agricultural villas from the Roman province of Hispania. 45min tour 10.30am from the motorway exit in the Carretera del Embalse de la Cierva. From the RM-15 take the turning for Mula and then immediately right at the roundabout and a short distance along the lane. Tours are in Spanish but info boards are in English and some group members may translate; English-speaking guides are available for advance group bookings of 20 plus through Tourist Office.
El Cigarralejo museum and the Casa Pinatada have several new exhibitions. More info at Tourist Office.
: 968 358 749
Free Monthly Organ Recitals in selected cathedrals and churches to June 2019. The Iglesia del Convento de Dominicas de Santa Ana hosts Carlos Arturo Guerra on Thursday 20th December playing the 1763 instrument.
Events @ Auditorio Victor Villegas: (info/booking available 9am-2pm at box office or tel 968 343 080)
Saturday 1st – The Murcia pop group Maldita Nerea with OSRM perform orchestral arrangements from their many hits including their first successful album El Secreto de las Tortugas. 9pm. 20€-38€
Sunday 2nd – Classical Music Followed by Jazz with Tapas and Drink 12pm with Duo Valero-Gomez performing pieces by Spanish composers, followed at 1.15pm by the trio Melo and then tapas and drink! 15€.
Thursday 6th – Midday Concert with Banda Sinfonica. 3€
Friday 7th – Spanish favourite, Luz Casal, who’s been wowing audiences around the world over four decades with hits ranging from her debut single La Guapa to songs from her latest album Que Corra el Aire. 9.30pm. 20€-50€
Saturday 8th – Piano Concertos composed by Bach, Liszt and Tchaikovsky. Prize-winning pianists from 4th edition of the CLAMO Region of Murcia international competition perform with the OSRM under the baton of Gonzalo Berna Pic. 7pm Tickets 10€ & 30€.
Sunday 9th – Musical Comedy Concerto a Tempo D’Umore – classical music, film soundtracks and mime with twelve musicians, directed by Jordi Purti. Pre-concert activities from 11.15am when performers interact with youngsters. 12pm. 10€ or discount for season ticket holders.
Thursday 20th-22nd – The Nutcracker, by Spanish Compania Nacional de Danza and OSRM. The year 1910 is the focus with dreams based on the adaptation of ETA Hoffmann’s story by Marius Petipa, choreographed by Jose Carlos Martinez. 8pm. with tickets at 25€/35€/45€/70€
Sunday 23rd – Classical Clarinet Music with Jesus Carrasco & Cuarteto Saravasti performing Debussy, Ravel & Mozart. 7.30pm. 12€ (6€ for student card holders).
Sunday 23rd – Frozen Tribute Show 12pm. 75 minutes of music of the best known songs, a new short film and songs from other children’s films. 15€ over 1yr.
Saturday 29th-30th – Michael Jackson Tribute Show – Forever brings together singers, musicians and dancers wrapped in astounding stage and audio-visual effects. Sat 6.30pm & 9.30pm/Sun 5pm. 25€/35€/40€
Several cycles of musical events are held at the Auditorio throughout the year. For only 36€, you can enjoy six fun musical events for the family, one per month on a Sunday at midday which started 14th October. Detailed ticket information from the box office or tel 968 343 080
T: 968 754 104 Market Wed
Saturday 1st – Free Guided Evening Tour (in Spanish) of the fiesta preparations. 5pm at the Castle Sanctuary to prepare the Virgen de la Purisima to be carried down into the town. Visit Museo Mariano which exhibits items relating to the annual fiestas. Book at Tourist Office.
Friday 7th – Free Guided Tour, after the Virgen, accompanied by thousands of people and to the sound of foot soldiers firing arquebuses, an early form of musket, is brought to the Basilica in town. 11am by the Basilica. Book at Tourist Office.
Saturday 22nd & Sunday 30th – Free Guided Evening Tour (in Spanish) – see festive lights and decorations, belenes (nativity scenes) with traditional Murcian carols. 7pm. Book at info at Tourist Office.