English guided tour

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Semana Santa Jumilla 1411 – 2011


Semana Santa statue

The Dominican missionary St. Vincent Ferrer was born in Valencia in 1350 and preached in many different parts of Spain.  In 1411 he visited Jumilla where, after being inspired by his sermons, the town celebrated their first Semana Santa. 

600 years after St. Vincent Ferrer’s visit, Jumilla is preparing for some extraordinary celebrations to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Semana Santa and is hoping that many visitors will join them to share in the passion, colour, music and pageantry of this momentous occasion.

Children’s Semana Santa

Children's Tamborada

The following events are specifically organised for the children, although many children will also take part in the main processions, plus some parents will be seen carrying babies dressed in traditional costumes.

Thursday 14 April

17.00. 3rd Tamborada Infantil at Plaza de Arriba.  Children under the age of 12 will take part in this procession, playing their drums with much enthusiasm – and skill too!  The event is being organised in collaboration with Caritas, who will be accepting donations of non perishable foods and household products. The procession will start in Plaza de Arriba and end outside Teatro Vico.

Sunday 24 April

12.00 Easter Sunday and the traditional meeting between Jesús Resucitado and the Virgen Gloriosa in Plaza del Rollo.  Lots of excited children will be waiting along Calle Cánovas, because after the procession comes the traditional Caramelada, where the children will be scrambling to grab handfuls of sweets.

Children scrambling for sweets


Main Semana Santa processions

Friday 15 April

Semana Santa will officially begin on Viernes de Dolores, the Friday before Palm Sunday, with a procession at 21.30 from the Iglesia de Santiago. 

Sunday 17 April

12.00  Procession of the Palms  In this procession, a group representing Jesus riding on a donkey with the Apostles around him will be accompanied by children dressed as Hebrews.  The procession leaves from Iglesia de San Juan and continues to the parish church of Santiago via Plaza del Rollo and Calle Cánovas, with Jesús declaiming his prophesy about the destruction of Jerusalem.

Palm Sunday procession

21.00  In previous years the statue of “Christ tied to the column”, made by the renowned Murcian sculptor Francisco Salzillo, was brought down from the Monastery of Santa Ana in solitary splendour.  This year, as part of the 600th Anniversary, the Franciscans have agreed for the statue of “Abuela Santa Ana” to be brought down to Jumilla at the same time.  The procession through the streets of Jumilla will be from the Ermita de San Agustín to the Iglesia Mayor de Santiago, and I imagine the streets will be lined with both young and old for this historic event.

Cristo Amarrado a la Columna by Francisco Salzillo

Tuesday 19 April

23.30 Celebración Penitencial  This is held in Iglesia de Santiago, followed by the Procession of Silence where the penitents, all dressed in black, and many of them with bare feet and dragging chains behind them, walk through the dark streets of the old town.  All the street lights are switched off during the procession, and the only light comes from bonfires lit in the streets.

Procesión del Silencio

Wednesday 20 April 

17.30 Re-enactment of the Capture of Christ, in Plaza de Arriba, with 18 actors taking part.  “Los Armaos”, the Roman soldiers, will also be participating in this act.

21.30 Procession of “Jesús Prendido”, plus other statues representing Peter’s denial, Judas’ Kiss, St John the Apostle – ten in total – from Iglesia de El Salvador.

Thursday 21 April

17.30  Visit to the monuments  This is one of my favourite processions, where the lovely señoras in their mantillas and lace dresses parade with proud señors (also dressed in their finery) as they visit the monuments in Jumilla, accompanied by local bands.

Señoras wearing their best mantillas


21.30 Procession of the Virgen de la Amargura  The procession leaves the Iglesia de Santa María, going through the streets of the old town, and finishes in Iglesía del Salvador.

Friday 22 April

09.30 Procession “Antigua” This is the first of two extraordinary processions to commemorate the 600th Anniversary.  Starting at the Iglesía de Santa María, ten of the oldest Semana Santa statues (pre 20th century) will be carried through Jumilla’s old town.

11.00 Procession of the Calvary  One of the largest processions takes place on Good Friday.  Sixteen statues are carried from the Iglesía del Salvador around the steep and winding streets of Jumilla, then along Calle Cánovas and up to Calle Canalejas before returning to the church.

Saturday 23 April

19.00 “Magno Entierro”  The second extraordinary procession for the 600th Semana Santa. If you only watch one procession this year, this is the one to watch, with 35 statues being carried through the streets of Jumilla.  The procession leaves from Iglesia de Santa María and finishes at the Jardín del Rollo, next to the tourist office.

Sunday 24 April

Easter Sunday procession

12.00 Procession of “Jesús Resucitado”.  As mentioned above, this is the final event where the “Risen Jesus” meets the “Glorious Virgin” in the Plaza del Rollo.  After this the procession departs from the Plaza and goes along Calle Cánovas, with sweets being thrown to the eager children, clutching the plastic bags that they hope to fill to the brim with sweets.

Semana Santa Mini-feria del Vino

Many people will know about Jumilla from drinking the wine produced by the many bodegas in and around the town.  There will be the perfect opportunity to sample some of the best Jumilla wines on Saturday 16th April, when the Mini-feria del Vino is being held in Jardín del Rey Don Pedro between 12.00 and 15.00.  Entry will cost 3€, which is a bargain when you consider around 20 bodegas will be offering you the chance to try their wines.  Hope to see you there!

Mini-feria del Vino


Vino y Cuaresma

If you are visiting Jumilla on Friday 15 April, why not visit one of the ten bars and restaurants offering a tapa and glass of Carchelo wine for 2€?  On Saturday 16 April, the same establishments will be offering dinner for 15 to 30 euros, which includes a bottle of Carchelo wine between 2 people.  Finally, Sunday lunch on 17 April will cost you from 22 to 30 euros, including a 500ml bottle of Vino Canalizo per person.

Look for the distinctive posters outside participating restaurants!

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Jumilla Castillo

Jumilla is the hidden jewel in northeast Murcia.  It is a typically Spanish country town – best known to wine-drinkers for its red wine and many bodegas - and is surrounded by mountains and vineyards.  Anybody staying on the Costa Blanca or Costa Calida who wants to experience the real Spain should venture inland and visit Jumilla.

Most people who visit here say that they are surprised by how big the town is, and you certainly need to spend at least one day in Jumilla to see the main sights and of course to enjoy some of its fine wines!

Wandering through the narrow streets of the old town gives an insight into the fascinating history of Jumilla, which was occupied by the Iberians, Romans and Arabs before the Spanish king Alfonso X re-conquered what was then known as Xumilla for the Kingdom of Castile in 1241.

Jardín del Rey Don Pedro

Important historic monuments include the well-preserved 5th century mausoleum known as El Casón, the impressive 15th century Church of Santiago and the recently restored Castle. The fortress that we see today dominating the skyline was constructed in 1461 by Juan Pacheco, the Marquis of Villena.

Other places worth visiting in Jumilla include several interesting museums, the lovely 19th century Teatro Vico, modernist style houses, as well as charming squares and gardens to explore.

Just outside the town there are several good walks for those of you who enjoy being active, especially in the Sierra de El Carche and Sierra de Santa Ana. If you go to the Sierra de Santa Ana, a visit to the Monasterio and its fascinating museum is a must.

Monasterio at Santa Ana

The good news for those of you on a budget is that a day trip to Jumilla won’t cost you a fortune.  The majority of museums are free and the privately owned Museo Jésus Nazareno only charges 1€, which should not break the bank. 

Contact Walkers Tours of Jumilla if you would like a free guided walk around Jumilla in English (and Scottish!). Sue and John can arrange for you to visit a local bodega for 5€, which includes wine-tasting and snacks, and if you fancy having lunch in Jumilla they are able to recommend several local restaurants, where you can have a delicious menú del día from 8€ including all your drinks.  What are you waiting for?

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Sue and John Walker – your guides to Jumilla


John and I have lived in Jumilla for nearly two years, and we love showing friends and family around the town.  We have been on the excellent guided visits organised by the local Tourist Office, but we know some people can find them a bit daunting as they are all in Spanish, so we came up with the idea of Walkers Tours of Jumilla in English.

If you come on a Walkers Tour of Jumilla, your guides will both speak fluent English, as I am English and John is Scottish (OK, John’s fluent English may be debatable!) 

We are also happy to tailor the tour to suit your needs.  If you love looking around museums, we can time it to allow you to indulge yourself wandering around the Archeological Museum, the Semana Santa (Holy Week) museum, and the new Museo Jesus Nazareno.  With enough notice we can even arrange for you to visit the private wine museum, which is a fascinating experience even if you aren’t a wine lover. 

If you prefer gardens and plazas to museums, a walk out to the Botanical Gardens can be included as well as a stroll to see the many lovely gardens and squares around the town.

A popular option at the end of the walk is a visit to one of Jumilla’s many bodegas: after the tour of the bodega you can indulge yourself with wine-tasting and nibbles.

Prices are very reasonable.  Depending on the size of your group and what options are included, you can have a guided walk around Jumilla, a visit to the bodega plus wine-tasting for less than 10 euros.

Please contact us through this website if you want to book a tour or for further information.

Comments from Kathy and Tony (San Pedro del Pinatar) after their Walkers Tour of Jumilla:

“John and Sue took us to all the local historic buildings carefully explaining about each point, last of which was the wonderful castle with views of the town and surrounding areas, absolutely breathtaking. These guys were good, their knowledge of the town second to none , and good fun to be with. 

Thank you so much Sue and John, for giving us a truly memorable and enjoyable weekend with fantastic hospitality, and a guided tour not to be forgotten,  far beyond what we expected and recommended to all.”

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