Known as the Gateway to the North-west, Bullas is an ideal holiday destination. With a great climate, superb food and abundant resources for leisure pursuits and entertainment, you can find everything you might hope for during your stay. Bullas is ideally positioned for getting around the small province of Murcia. If you enjoy a day at the beach the coast is about an hour away by car and, as Murcia enjoys both south- and east-facing borders, visitors can choose between busier, animated beaches to the east and a more rugged coastline to the south with secluded coves and crystal-clear seas. The capital, Murcia City, is half an hour away by car and can also be reached by bus, or a combination of either with the city tram.
Itinerary Bullas 1900
Bullas is a friendly town, centred on agriculture. Almonds, apricots and grapes are among the principal crops and there is a visible nod to the past (back to the Roman period) when you watch the trailers piled high with purple grapes being brought into the bodegas for wine making. The area has its own D.O. grape, Monastrell, which is used to produce some exceptional wines. Most of the surrounding small bodegas are privately owned and there is a co-operative that dates back to 1950. The quality of the wines is recognised by the regular procession of awards that make their way to this region.
The Wine Museum, built over a traditional bodega, offers a wonderful presentation of the history of wine here and incorporates part of the Ruta del Vino, the Wine Route, in which you can visit various bodegas and take part in wine tastings.
You can’t mention wine without food and the opportunities for gastronomic pleasure are abundant! There are many bars and restaurants in the town and almost all of them offer their own speciality of tapa. The tapas festival in September is a brilliant demonstration of the diversity and ingenuity of these gourmet delights.
Around the town there is much natural beauty to enjoy. The waterfall and pool ‘Salto de Usero’ is a wonderful place to swim – even in the winter if you are extremely hardy! Otherwise there is an attractive open-air pool and sports complex, open to the public during the summer, at La Rafa. Here you can play tennis and squash and there is a gym. If water sports are your thing, head for the Mar Menor where you can sail, kite-surf, mud bathe and swim.
This region offers so much to the walker, cyclist and birdwatcher that it is difficult to know where to begin. There are a number of Natural Parks – regionally protected areas akin to National Parks in the UK, the closest of which is the Sierra de Espuña. This is a large and beautiful area of wooded mountain with abundant wildlife and opportunities for rougher walking. A smoother and easier walking route, also very popular with cyclists, is the Vía Verde, the Green Road. This is a 78km disused railway track running from Murcia to Caravaca. There are many opportunities for dipping in and out of the Vía Verde so it can feature as an object for sight-seeing and taking in the beauty of the landscape. This whole province has an abundance of interesting birds from a variety of habitats: woodland, steppes, salt lakes and highlands, amongst others, and seems to be generally very under-rated as a bird-watching destination.
Salto del Usero and Vía Verde
Weekly outdoor markets are a colourful feast for the eyes. Produce arrives from many local areas and is presented in a mosaic of brilliance. The craft market, El Zacatín, follows a different monthly theme. These demonstrate many of the traditional crafts – esparto, leather, carpentry, cheese and, of course, wine. Probably the most important of these is the October market when the grape harvest is coming in and you can taste the wine ‘must’ as well as the finished product. All kinds of home-produced items are on sale from bread and olives to soap, chocolate and herbs.
For a flavour of what other activities are on offer around the region, and easily accessible from Bullas, you can pop down to Águilas on the south coast to check out the antiques and collectables or over to Cartagena to visit the Military Museum and take in the stunningly well-presented Roman remains. Murcia City is vibrant with concerts, jazz festivals, dance, historical re-enactments…there is always something going on. For a different kind of night-life the clear skies above this region offer the chance to view the stars, so if you are a skywatcher head to the observatory at Puerto Lumbreras where guided viewings can be arranged.
With 200 days of sunshine a year Murcia is a great holiday destination and, with a wealth of castles, archaeology, mountains and valleys, plains and an abundance of produce, excellent olive oil and wine…what more could you want?