Jumilla

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If you’ve got children or grandchildren Monday 12 August is the day to take them to Jumilla, as there is a 2 x 1 offer on fairground rides (it saves you some money too!)  Not only that, but the Cabalgata Infantil del Vino will have lots of entertaining floats for them to watch, starting at 20.30.  As it’s holiday time, you might let them stay to watch the drama between the Moors and Christians being re-enacted on the Paseo at 22.45.  Don’t let them get too close to the sword-play though as they use real swords (we’ve seen the sparks flying!)

If you enjoy witnessing Spanish traditions then Tuesday will be a good day to visit, as there is a procession of all the peñas (local associations) dressed in their traditional costumes and carrying baskets of grapes. They will start parading around town at 20.00, leaving from the Paseo and finishing in the Patio of I.E.S. Arzobispo Lozano. At 21.00 they will offer their grapes to the Niño de las Uvas followed by the grape treading ceremony.


If you are only able to visit Jumilla on one day, and if you enjoy drinking wine, Wednesday 14 August is one of the best days to visit. At 20.30 the Cabalgata Tradicional del Vino will leave the Plaza de Rollo and the colourful floats will slowly wend their way through the streets. I say slowly, because the participants are busy handing out sangria, wine and snacks to all the people eagerly lining the streets.

Thursday is the saint’s day for Jumilla’s patron, Nuestra Señora La Virgen de la Asunción. There will be a special mass for Our Lady at 12.00 in the parish church of Santiago, with the local choir Coral Canticorum, plus a solemn procession in her honour leaving the north door of the church at 20.00.


If like me you enjoy watching horses and carriages, don’t miss the procession at 20.00 on Friday. This will be followed by a free fiesta flamenca on the Paseo at 22.30.

Saturday is the day for the young and young at heart (particularly those with a lot of stamina!). The infamous Gran Cabalgata del Vino attracts thousands of visitors to Jumilla, all aiming to get soaked in red wine. Many people wear white – all the better to show off the wine stains – and they revel in dancing through the streets while wine is poured over them.  Personally I prefer to drink my red wine, but no doubt that is showing my age!

Sunday 18 August will be the last day of this year’s Feria. Mass will be held in Santiago church at 20.00 after which the statue of Our Lady will be carried to the Ermita de San Agustín. This year’s festivities will be finished off in style with a firework display over Jumilla Castle at 24.00. I suspect that after several late nights I will be watching it from our bedroom window!

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If there is a perfect time to visit Jumilla, it has to be during the Feria and Fiestas of August.  There is something to suit everyone: whether you like drinking good wine;  prefer listening to traditional music; love watching colourful processions or, like us,  enjoy all of these activities.  I have included the programme up to and including the first weekend of the festivies.


As you can see Friday is going to be a busy day with the official launch of the fiestas, including firing a rocket from the Town Hall balcony and the inauguration of the fountain of wine. If you don’t mind late nights, there is free entry to the Folklore Festival, which starts at midnight.


Wine lovers should put Saturday 10 August in their diaries now! The popular miniferia del vino will take place between 12.00 and 15.00 in the Jardín del Rey Don Pedro.  Last year all we paid was 3€ for a wine glass, then we strolled around the many wine stands tasting the best wines from Jumilla. What’s not to like? Also on Saturday, there will be a parade around town of all the groups taking part in the Folklore Festival, starting at 21.00, followed by a performance in the Patio I.E.S. Arzibispo Lozano at the more civilised time of 22.00.

Culture buffs shouldn’t miss the Moors and Christians procession starting at 21.00 on Sunday 11 August. Grab a table on Calle Cánovas de Castillo (there will be a charge) so you can enjoy a drink while watching, or bring your own chair and fight for a space along the processional route. Music, dancing, drama: the Gran Desfile de Moros y Cristianos has it all.

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Semana Santa (Holy Week) is celebrated throughout Spain, but is especially significant for the people of Jumilla, as their Semana Santa is the oldest one in the region of Murcia and considered to be of National Touristic Interest. Semana Santa lasts for more than a week.  I don’t know whether this is generally the case in Spain or a Jumillano trait, but most events referred to as occurring over a “week” are 10 days or more!.  It is one of the highlights of the year for Jumillanos, who are justly proud of their tradition.

The first Semana Santa celebrations in Jumilla were held in 1411, inspired by the preaching of St Vincent Ferrer in the old church of Santa Maria de Gracia, which was situated in the original town of Jumilla, beside the Castle.  A new church Santa María de Rabal was subsequently built on the remains of an Islam necropolis, between the years 1430 and 1500, when the population living in the shelter of the castle moved down to the plain.  The founding of this church is said to have been inspired by the visit of St. Vincent too. All that remains today however are the main entrance and the church tower.

The first cofradía, or brotherhood, was the cofradía of Vera Cruz y Santo Sepulcro, which originated in 1609. There are now a total of 19 cofradías in Jumilla, with more than 4,500 members, who organise the numerous Semana Santa processions.

Semana Santa starts on Viernes de Dolores (the Friday before Palm Sunday) and finishes on Easter Sunday and on most days there is at least one procession to watch.

Both old and young Jumillanos take part, dressed in traditional costume, either helping to carry one of the countless religious statues, playing in one of the many bands or handing out sweets to the eagerly watching children.

The main “Caramelada” is on Domingo de Resurrección, where Spanish children scramble for the sweets that are thrown on the street, rather than over indulging themselves with chocolate Easter eggs.  However in recent years we have spotted Easter eggs on sale in our local Aldi, so we suspect that some children will have the best of both worlds. If you head to Plaza del Rollo for 12 noon on Easter Sunday you will witness the meeting of Jesus and the Virgin Mary there, before the parade down Calle Canovas in front of the eagerly awaiting children clutching their plastic bags.

There will be three “tamboradas” this year for those of you who enjoy listening to drums. The main drumming sessions will be on Saturday 23 and Saturday 30 March, with the drummers marching from Plaza de Arriba to the parking area behind the indoor market.  Friends of ours who live near there usually ask to visit us for the night rather than try to sleep with drums being banged enthusiastically outside their apartment until the early hours of the morning!

The children’s tamborada will take place on Monday 25 March at 17.00 and the children will march from Plaza de Arriba to the Paseo Lorenzo Guardiola.  Needless to say the children don’t drum through the night, though many children can be seen still beating their drums as they walk back home!

Wine always features in Jumilla´s Semana Santa, as well as during other fiestas. This year the popular Miniferia del Vino will be held between 12 and 3 on Saturday 23 March in the Jardin del Rey Don Pedro.  For a nominal sum you can purchase a wine glass and then wander around the stands sampling some of Jumilla’s best wines, with nibbles of cheese, ham, bread etc to accompany your wine.

Other highlights during Semana Santa include the following:

Palm Sunday. This is the occasion where Jesus rides through the streets of Jumilla on a donkey, only stopping when proud parents pass their babies to him for photos: inevitably this means that this is the slowest procession!  The procession leaves St John the Baptist Church at 12 noon approximately.

The Procession of Silence.  This is held late at night and all the lights in the old town are switched off, with only a few bonfires to light the way for the penitents, some of whom have bare feet as they drag chains behind them. The procession will leave Santiago Church at midnight on Tuesday 26 March.

“El Prendimiento” This dramatic re-enactment of the taking of Jesus includes scenes of the devil tempting Christ and the angels singing encouragement to him.  Although the angels were sweet, the devil had the best lines and was loudly applauded!  The drama takes place in Plaza Arriba at 17.30 on Wednesday 27 March.

The visit to the Monuments, popularly known as Las Manolas.  The señoras parade in their finery, wearing traditional mantillas and staggeringly high heels, accompanied by the señors from the cofradías dressed in their robes or their smartest suits. They will be parading down Calle Canovas, near the tourist office, from 17.30 on Thursday 28 March.

I will be updating this post next Thursday with further details of days, times and other events, so please return then!

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Sometimes you just can’t translate something into English!  The title of this post rhymes in Spanish but is far more prosaic in English: “Wine and Cheese Tastes like a Kiss” doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it?

This is the fourth year of Jumilla’s popular wine and tapas promotion, which will run from 1 February until 3 March.  It is organised by the award-winning local cheese company, Central Quesera Montesinos, in conjuction with Bodegas Carchelo.  Not surprisingly the tapas must be cheese-based however, judging on previous years’ experiences, they will all be innovative and include much more that just a slice of cheese, as the local chefs compete to produce the best tapa.

You can enjoy a glass of Carchelo wine with your tapa for a reasonable 2.50€, and don’t forget to ask for your free scratch card with each tapa as there will be more than 10,000 prizes to be won.  Last year we ended up with a fridge full of cheeses and had to invite our friends round for a cheese and wine evening to get rid of them!

If you plan to visit a minimum of twelve establishments, split between the pink and blue zones, make sure that you pick up a leaflet and get it stamped in each bar or restaurant that you visit. There will be a prize draw at the end of the promotion with various prizes to be won including spa holidays, cash, cheeses and wines.  If you succeed in visiting all twenty-two bars and restaurants, your stamina will be rewarded with a guaranteed prize from the organisers.  I’ll have my fingers firmly crossed, as I fancy a spa break!

If you would like to combine the tapas trail with a free guided walk around Jumilla, please contact me using the form on the contact page.  You may also want to fit in a tour of one of Jumilla’s local bodegas, several of which will be open at weekends during February.

Click on this link for more details: Bodegas open at weekends.

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Johnny Pugh

The excitement is building up in Jumilla as people spot the posters advertising the first live performance of the Johnny Pugh Band in Bodegas Alceño.  Johnny and his wife Jane only moved here in January this year but already they have made many Spanish and British friends, who can’t wait to hear him sing and play the saxophone with his new line-up.

Johnny was the lead singer with the Climax Blues Band for five years, as well as playing the saxophone and harmonica with them.  He has an impressive CV, having also worked as a session musician with the likes of  Rose Royce, the Four Tops, Ben E. King, Martha Reeves and the Real Thing, to mention just a few.

Click on this link to hear Johnny and the Climax Blues Band at the Rock & Blues Festival 2011: youtube video.

Tickets for the concert cost 14€ including tapas and wine, with the chance to try the new Alceño Rosado 2012.  You can buy your tickets at the bodega at Calle Barrio Iglesias no 55 in Jumilla, or in Los Chilines wine shop at Avenida Levante no 69,  Jumilla.  Tickets are also on sale in Get I.T. Connected in Pinoso, tel: 966 192 953.  The date to put in your diary is Saturday 27 October at 21.00.

To listen to more music from Johnny, click on this link: this is from a gig a few years ago.

If you would like more information about the concert or about the Johnny Pugh Band, please contact Jane at:  jojanepugh@yahoo.com.

Finally, this is the poster to look out for.  I am proud of the fact that my talented friend José María decided to use one of my photos, though he is responsible for the brilliant design!

I can promise you a great night out – hope to see you at Johnny’s gig on 27 October!

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Here it is folks!  The eagerly awaited event of the year in Jumilla is due to start next weekend –  and I am way behind schedule in posting the details here.  I blame (in no particular order) the Olympics, my summer cold and the difficulty of obtaining advance information about the festivities.

Don’t miss the Fuente del Vino when you visit Jumilla during the Wine Festival: yes, there really is red wine flowing from the fountain in the Jardín de la Glorieta, though I doubt if it is suitable for drinking.  Even John hasn’t tried it!  If you want to attend the inauguration of the wine fountain, it will be held at 21.30 on Friday 10 August.

For wine lovers the first event of interest is the Miniferia del Vino, which will be held in the Jardín del Rey Don Pedro from 12.00 on Saturday 11 August.  Last year we paid the princely sum of 3€ to purchase a wine glass, then wandered slowly round the stands sampling wines from some of Jumilla’s best bodegas.  Luckily each stand provided nibbles to help line our stomachs!  Fortunately we live in walking or staggering distance of the gardens, but if you are driving I suggest you agree well in advance who is to be the designated driver.

The special children’s procession, the Cabalgata Infantil, is on Tuesday 14 August, starting from the Plaza del Rollo at 20.30. It’s great fun though no wine is involved!

You can sample more wine during the Cabalgata Tradicional, which is our favourite procession and which will take place at 20.30 on Thursday 16 August.  Decorated floats parade along the main streets of Jumilla, with the participants handing out samples of wine, sangria and local snacks while dancing to the accompanying bands.  The tables outside the local bars are packed as everyone enjoys a drink while they wait for the procession to reach them.  This is the procession for those of us who like to drink our wine rather than get soaked in the stuff!

The main event for many people, especially the youngsters, is the Gran Cabalgata del Vino, which starts at 19.00 on Saturday 18 August.  My only advice is to wear your oldest clothes, which traditionally should be white, and have a change of clothing for afterwards!  As mentioned earlier, red wine is poured or thrown over the participants, who party through the night.  You will need to have plenty of stamina if you decide to join in the fun!

Click on the following link if  you want to see the full programme for the Fiesta de la Vendimia.  It includes such quirky events as Gran Prix, Jumilla’s own version of “It’s a Knockout”; the launching of the rocket from the town hall balcony to open the Fiesta; the popular grape-spitting competition, a gachamiga-making contest and many more.

Below is a small selection of photos from previous years’ festivities.

Children's procession

Fuente del Vino 2011

Gran Cabalgata - soaked in wine!

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Yes it’s that time of the year again – when all the bodegas in Jumilla are alive with the sound of music!  When we first moved to Jumilla we thought that the idea of listening to a concert in a bodega was really cool.  Four years later and we haven’t changed our minds.

Starting on Saturday May 12 in Bodegas San Isidro, there will be a concert in Jumilla every weekend until 28 July.  On the programme there is music to suit all tastes: a string quartet, a choir, pop rock, jazz, our favourite flamenco group Al Golpe and many more.

Most events will be held on a Saturday evening or a Sunday lunchtime and will start with a tour of the bodega followed by the concert and, to round thing off in style, there will be a chance to sample some excellent wines accompanied by local dishes.

The exception to this will be on Friday 3 June, where our favourite Vinotería Los Chilines will be hosting the concert.  Chilin (aka José María) always organises great events, so we have already reserved our tickets and are looking forward to music from Cantos Jazz Fusión and the usual mouthwatering food, washed down with some of the best Jumilla wines.

Because of the crisis the amount of sponsorship has gone down in recent years, which means the price of tickets has had to be increased.  Having said that I still think that the ticket price of 20€ is a bargain, considering that you get to listen to great music,  taste lots of Jumilla wines and sample delicious local food.  I wonder how far £20 would go on a night out in London nowadays?!

These events are always very popular, so I would advise you to reserve your tickets either by phone or by email before they sell out.

The programme is copied below, but if you want more details or have any queries you can contact me via the Contact page on this website.

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Jumilla is renowned for its wine – tipped by the American wine guru Robert Parker to be one of the stars of the wine world by 2015, outselling both Rioja and Ribera del Duero – so stock up now!

However Jumilla is also becoming well-known locally for its gastronomy, which is why, during last year’s Semana Gastronómica, so many people travelled from places like Murcia, Orihuela and Alicante to enjoy a gastronomic feast in Jumilla’s restaurants.

This year the 6th  Semana Gastronómica takes place from Saturday 5th November until Sunday 13th November, giving you plenty of opportunities to visit Jumilla for a special meal in one of the nine participating restaurants for an inflation-proofed 30€ (the same as last year), which you will be pleased to hear includes your drinks.  You can also enter the prize draw to win a weekend for two in the Balneario Vichy Catalan near Girona: I have my fingers firmly crossed!

Many of the restaurants will be featuring local specialities, which tend to be meat-based, so you might want to check out the menus before making your reservation if you are a pescatarian like me.  Click on the link below to see the leaflet, which includes all the menus at the individual restaurants, as well as a list of establishments on the tapas route.

FOLLETO S. GASTRONOMICA

We plan to go to Restaurante Monasterio as six of their seven starters include fish or vegetables, and the good news is that you share the seven starters between you.  I just hope that I have enough room for my main course and dessert!

If your budget doesn’t stretch to a meal out, why not come along and take part in the Ruta de las Tapas?  You can try a tapa and a glass of Jumilla wine for just 2€, and there are eleven different bars and restaurants to visit, though preferably not on the same day – especially if you are the driver!  If you go to four different venues, make sure that you get your leaflet stamped at each one so that you can participate in a prize draw to win a meal in one of Jumilla’s  fine restaurants.  We are hoping to visit at least eight of them – obviously on different days – which will give us two entries.

Other activities that will be happening during the Gastronomic Week are as follows:

For early risers who drive a 4×4, there is a guided route around the area on Sunday 6th November, leaving Bodegas BSI at 8 a.m. and finishing in Bodegas Viña Elena.  Not having a 4×4, I won’t be there – at least, that’s my excuse! For more information, please contact:  693758933 (movil).

The tourist office is offering guided walks around Jumilla on Sunday 6th and Sunday 13th November.  Contact them for further details at: oficinaturismo@jumilla.org.  Please note that the guided walk will be in Spanish, though there are information boards in both Spanish and English outside the main sites.  However, if you would like a personalised tour in English, you can contact John and me via the Walkers Tours of Jumilla page on this website.

Sunday 13th is the European Day of Wine Tourism, and where better to celebrate it than Jumilla?  All of the bodegas on the Ruta del Vino will be open. Click on the links for each bodega on the Ruta del Vino website to get more information.

Finally, also on Sunday 13th November, there will be an artisans’ market in Plaza de Arriba, which sadly we will have to miss as we are running the Race for Life (Carrera de la Vida) in Los Alcazares on the same day.  If you don’t know Jumilla, there is a street plan on the Jumilla official website to help you find your way to the Plaza, as well as all the bars and restaurants.  However don’t worry if you do get lost – there will be plenty to see and do in Jumilla during the Semana Gastronómica and you are guaranteed a warm welcome in any bar or restaurant that you stumble upon.

Restaurante San Agustín, where you can enjoy a gastronomic meal as well as tapas y vino!

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Vineyards at Bodegas Martínez Verdu

The Vendimia is in full swing in Jumilla – we can tell as soon as we leave the house and sniff the air!  There is no mistaking the heady aroma of fermenting grapes, which will no doubt end up in a bottle of wine in a supermarket near you.  We are lucky, as we can walk down the road to buy our wine from the local bodegas, which saves us a bit of money as well as being very convenient.

In some parts of Spain they are celebrating the Fiesta de la Vendimia right now, however we think Jumilla has made a wise decision in celebrating its Fiesta in August before the hard work begins, especially as the beginning of the harvest is a moveable date, rather like the Fall in New England.

Jumillanos always enjoy a good party,  so I am sure they will find another excuse to celebrate once the Vendimia is over for another year.  After all, where else do you find people celebrating their saint’s day as well as their actual birthday?

The Vendimia in Jumilla started a couple of weeks earlier than it did in 2010.  We soon spotted the tractors and trailers heading down the road beside our house, and we also read about it on Facebook.  I am a Facebook friend of many of Jumilla’s best bodegas, including Viña Campanero, Hacienda del Carche, Silvano Garcia, Martínez Verdu and BSI: it helps to keep in touch!

Which way to the bodega?

This year we have noticed lots of lorries carrying grapes, as well as tractors and trailers of varying sizes.  We have also spotted several cars pulling smaller trailers full of grapes.

We were worried when we had some heavy rain recently, but fortunately it did not damage the crops as we had feared and it actually helped in the process of maturing the grapes.

You can tell that I am no wine expert when it comes to the technical details, in spite of having had several tours around local bodegas – but I do know a good wine when I taste it!  We are lucky to be living in Jumilla, with so many excellent bodegas around us.  The American wine guru Robert Parker consistently rates Jumilla’s wines highly, with many wines achieving over 90 points, and in particular for their excellent price to quality ratio.

Initial reports for 2011 sound very promising.  The volume of grapes is down 20% but we have heard from several sources that the quality of the grapes is good and expectations are high that this will be another very good vintage.

We will report back once we have tried this year’s wines, although sadly the Tinto Joven 2011 won’t be available until 2012, so we will have to make do with the rosados and blancos until then. On the whole we didn’t find last year’s wines as good as those from 2009, however – from what we’ve heard on the grapevine – 2011 should be a winner.  ¡Salud!

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If you enjoy meeting friends for a few drinks but don’t have unlimited funds, Spain is definitely the place to be.  I have been horrified by prices in London recently – even when meeting friends for a coffee – never mind the cost of a glass of wine!  No wonder so many fellow Brits have decided to retire to Spain, where they can still afford to have an active social life.

The best value for money is having a menú del día in a Spanish bar or restaurant, but sometimes you want to go out in the evening just for a change.  Spain again has to be the winner, especially as many places give you a free tapa with your glass of wine or beer.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the best bars in Jumilla if you fancy going out for some tapas with your friends.  Although free tapas are rare here, prices are so low that we don’t mind paying a bit extra: two euros for a drink and tapa isn’t exactly going to break the bank!

1.  Cervecería Borneo Avenida de la Libertad

Our dog Lisa recommends this bar.  There are tables outside, so she can sit with us while we enjoy our coffees, or a glass of wine in the evening.  The owner always makes a fuss of her too, so it is no 1 on Lisa’s list. Although they don’t do a menú del día here, the food is very good and reasonably priced.  We tried their hamburgers (in my case it was a fishburger) and can confirm that it made a very tasty and filling snack for less than 3€, and they always have a good selection of tapas on display, which we all enjoy sampling.

Borneo – recommended by Lisa

2.  Bar La Casa Avenida de Reyes Católicos 13

If you want to bump into lots of expats come here on Tuesday mornings at around 12 noon, and especially on the first Tuesday of the month when we have our English book swap from 11.00 to 13.00.  If you want to avoid your fellow Brits, then give it a miss on Tuesdays!

Although the bar is tiny, there is a dining area behind where you can sit if the bar is full and – even better – a lovely walled patio at the back where we sit in the summer months, though sadly Lisa isn’t allowed in there.  Cristina and her parents always give us a warm welcome – and in the winter months, when the wood fire is burning, it is lovely and warm in the dining area too!

Bar La Casa

3.  Bar Central Plaza Alcoholero de Menor

This is a recent addition, situated in the Roque Baños Centre, although we understand that there was a Bar Central on Calle Canovas during the 60s.  Their tapas are very good and their prices are very cheap, so not surprisingly it has become a favourite haunt, especially after our Spanish lessons in the nearby Adult Education Centre twice a week. Lisa also enjoys sitting outside this bar, watching the world go by, though she doesn’t find it quite as relaxing as Borneo.

4. Cafetería de Estacion de Autobuses Avenida de la Libertad

This is another venue with the Lisa seal of approval, especially during fiestas.  We sat outside with friends, plus Lisa, after watching one of the processions during the Fiesta de la Vendimia and had the best sepia y champiñones ever. We realised that Lisa liked this bar when we tried to walk past it last week, and she pulled on her lead until we walked over to one of the tables and sat down to order coffee!

5. Nuestro Bar Los Milanos

Incredible food at incredible prices: if we only lived closer to Nuestro Bar it would be our regular haunt.  Faustino had a well-deserved excellent write-up onTripAdvisor, after two American visitors had eaten there a couple of times.  Having shared the paella with Cathy and Ed on their second visit to Nuestro Bar, we can wholeheartedly agree with her comments!

Whenever we are near Nuestro Bar we pop in for coffee or wine and tapas, and always receive a warm welcome and very good service: the one time we thought they were being a teeny bit slow, we discovered when we left that dozens of people were sitting outside enjoying drinks and tapas as well!

Faustino joined us for the photo call in Nuestro Bar

6. Bar La Tapa “Rincon de Pedro” Calle Marchante, 8

A typical Spanish bar: small, always busy, usually noisy and with a good selection of tapas as befits its name.  It used to be a regular haunt when we first moved here and were renting a flat in the centre of Jumilla.  The biggest smile we have ever seen on Pedro’s face was reserved for John’s grandsons when they came to visit us: Pedro presented them with Kinder eggs and bags of crisps.  Pedro enjoys good music and has been known to increase the volume when his favourite tracks are playing, drowning out all conversation.

7.  Bar California Calle Canovas de Castillo

This is the exception to the unwritten rule that the floors of the best bars are always covered in litter.  Whenever we go into Bar California it is busy, however the floor is always spotless, and it is renowned for being the cleanest bar in Jumilla.  Their tapas are good and it is very popular with the locals – presumably because of the tapas rather than its clean floors!

8. Bar Canarias C/Jesús Sánchez Carrillo, 4

In our neighbourhood, and near the local market, Bar Canarias is one of our favourites.  Lisa enjoys visiting it during the summer when tables are outside, and is always made to feel welcome.  The owner speaks good English, though we always try to speak to him in Spanish.  Depending on his mood, he will greet us in English, Spanish or a mixture of both!  We took friends here for wine and tapas after going to a carol concert last year and they were impressed by both the food and the prices.

Bar Canarias

9.  Bar Chaparral Avenida de Yecla, 75

A good place to go to with friends when you are very hungry but don’t want to spend a fortune: its tapas are excellent and unbelievably cheap, so you can afford to buy loads.  Our best Christmas party ever was upstairs in Bar Chaparral, which the Adult Education Centre had booked for its students.  The amount of dishes they produced was amazing, and all of them were delicious.  Fingers crossed that we go there again this year!

10. Bar Gatico Negro Calle San Roque

Apparently the original bar wasn’t very salubrious, however it had closed down before we moved to Jumilla.  After being completely renovated, it re-opened under new management about six months ago.  It is a small, friendly bar with good tapas, plus they have a room upstairs for larger groups.

11.  Cafetería Los Angeles Plaza Pablo Picasso

Recently opened and conveniently close to home, so we often stop here with Lisa for a coffee on the way back from the shops.  She has her favourite table and looks very annoyed if somebody else is sitting there!  Although they don’t do tapas here, if we stop for a glass of wine in the evening we ask for olives or almonds with our drinks.  I don’t think I have ever seen local people have an alcoholic drink without something to nibble on, which is a healthy habit we have adopted since moving to Spain.

Cafetería Los Angeles

12.  Heladería Cinema C/ Canovas del Castillo, 67

I know that strictly speaking ice-cream doesn’t come under the heading of tapas, but on a hot summer’s day, when you really fancy an ice-cream, this is the best place to go for one in Jumilla.  All their ice-cream is home-made, there is a huge selection to choose from, and they are all absolutely delicious.  Sadly they don’t sell ice-cream during the winter months, so John’s daughter-in-law Katy was bitterly disappointed when she visited us in February and couldn’t sample their ice-creams!

13.  Restaurante San Agustín Avenida de la Asunción, 64

A long-term favourite of ours for their menú del día, we also enjoy going to San Agustín for tapas in the bar, though unfortunately they don’t have tables outside so Lisa has to stay at home.  Popular with the locals, which isn’t surprising considering how good the food is, and there is always a lively atmosphere.

14.  Bar las Delicias C/Lope de Vega-C/Hernando de Nuño

This is a comparatively new bar in our local barrio of San Juan.  In recent years, sadly, we have seen many businesses close down or change hands, however we are confident that Bar las Delicias will be here to stay because of their good tapas and cheap prices.  I am always on the look out for special offers on the facebook page of the manager, Ester Delgado Rodríguez.

Of course these aren’t the only places in Jumilla where you can find tasty tapas, and the following bars and restaurants are also good places to visit on your tapas trail:   Restaurante Reyes Católicos; Bar Paraíso; Restaurante Monasterio; Duque de Lerma; Meson Jumillano; Bar Ave: Cervecería Castillo; Cervecería Levante.  Plus many, many more!

Before you visit Jumilla, why not print out the street map to help you find the recommended places?  Otherwise, just pop into any bar that takes your fancy: you are sure to have a good time.  ¡Aproveche!

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