We start by visiting one of the wineries of the Wine Route of Yecla.
Next, it is on to Yecla old town, starting with the Parque de la Constitución. From the park you can enjoy one of the best views of Yecla town centre, with the lovely 'Old Church' at the top.
During your visit, you can also visit the Concha Segura Theatre, a late 19th Century building, the structure and main façade of which are the work of architect Justo Millán.
The next stop is the 18th-19th Century La Purísima Basilica. Amongst its paintings and sculptural works, 'Our Lady of Sorrows' by Francisco Salzillo is particularly worthy of note.
Leaving the Basilica, you could stop off at the Casa Palacio de los Ortega mansion, where the 'El Greco' Reproductions Museum and Archaeological Museum are located.
Another must-see is the Plaza Mayor, where you will find the Town Hall, the Los Alarcos Palace, the Clock Tower, the Granary and the recently restored Municipal Auditorium.
Here you can also see the Iglesia del Hospitalico, a beautiful church with characteristically Murcian Baroque decoration.
Another church worth visiting is the La Asunción Parish Church or 'Old Church' as it is also known.
After the morning's cultural tour, it is time for lunch and an opportunity to sample some of Yecla D.O.'s best wines.
Completing your tour, is a visit to Monte Arabí and the Cerro del Arabilejo. The sanctuary is home to several prehistoric archaeological sites. Particulary worthy of note are the World Heritage listed cave paintings.
Yecla, one of the most exceptional destinations of the Region, is situated in the far North, or better said, in the far Northeast. This is a land of mountains, good wine, history, culture and legends. It is no wonder that Spanish writers such as Azorín or Pío Baroja were fascinated after getting to know it.
THE MAGIC MOUNTAIN
Mount Arabí, known as the Magic Mountain, is an enigmatic treasured place for the inhabitants of Yecla. It is worth organising an expedition and enjoying these beautiful hillsides in which the humans walked 10,000 years ago. A must visit are the cave paintings of Cantos de la Visera and the Mediodía caves, as well as the petroglyphs of the Cerro del Arabilejo hill.
FROCK COATS AND TWO-CORNERED HATS
A great uproar of arquebuses and drums announces the arrival of hundreds of "Tiraores" (shooters) dressed in frock coats and two-cornered hats. These are the Patron Saint Festivities of the town, declared of National Tourist Interest. This celebration of more than 350 years is carried out every December in honour of the Virgen del Castillo (Lady of the Castle Sanctuary) in gratitude for the safe and sound return of all the men who went to fight in the War of the Spanish Succession. This celebration is also livened up by salutes and fireworks, and by parades and picturesque acts such as when the Virgin is taken up to the sanctuary and when she is brought down to the town. The Solemn Procession, the Flower Offering or the day of the Alborada, during which it is typical to taste the ¿gachasmigas¿ (flour cooked with olive oil, water, and garlic cloves), a traditional dish of Yecla, also stand out.
SWEET AND SALTY
The food is better in the countryside, and to prove it, there is nothing better than to go deep into the culinary tradition of Yecla. We recommend that you taste "gazpacho" or "gachasmigas", dishes which were the traditional diet of farmers in the past and which you find nowadays in the most exclusive restaurants. Another suggestion is to go out for "tapas" in the town bars and to eat little but tasty snacks. If you prefer something sweet, buy and have a taste of the typical "Libricos", which are authentic works of art composed of very thin wafers and layers of deep flavoured honey between them. One detail: these sweets are decorated with engravings which reproduce the most important places and monuments of Yecla.
Yecla has always been linked to the culture of wine; tourist visits to vineyards and wine cellars, wine tastings and courses of enotourism are very popular in this town of the Murcian Altiplano (high plateau). That is because one of the best way of discovering the tradition, the cultural diversity and the natural treasures of this town is through its wine with Denomination of Origin (D.O.), grown on appropriate grounds and at a height between 400 and 800 metres. This Wine Route is designed to offer an à la carte experience, giving you the option of choosing between a pre-established itinerary or one designed by yourself.
WALKING AMONG GHOSTS
On the opposite side of the hill to where Yecla is located, the ancient village and Muslim fortress Yakka is found. It was inhabited between the 11th and 13th centuries and abandoned after Mudejar revolts and the Christian conquest. Walking around this archaeological site and the Castle Hill, is like walking among ghosts that still have the hope of returning home.
IS IT AN ORIGINAL OR A COPY?
El Greco Replica Museum is located on the second floor of the Municipal House of Culture of Yecla, which was the Ortega's House-Palace. The collection, with a total of 73 oil paintings, includes works such as "The Apostolate", "The Despoilment" and "The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest". You will doubt whether they are replicas or not.
For more than 50 years, the Furniture Fair has turned Yecla into an extremely important industrial and productive centre in the economic field of Spain. In a total of 16,500 square metres of surface, 120 companies exhibit furniture of all kinds, novelties and complements each year. If you are interested in buying furniture and you can't go to the fair, remember that here you find the best specialised furniture shops, as much for tradition as for quality and price. Open all year round.
TOWERS AND ALTARS
From different periods and styles, they offer you an excellent excuse to walk around this town and get to know its architecture and history. The Asunción Parish Church stands out, where the Holy Week Museum, La Purísima Basilica, San Francisco Church and San Roque Church are found, among others. It is a great adventure to discover the secrets and peculiarities that each of these temples has.
VIP (Very Important Places)
The Plaza Mayor is possibly the perfect place to begin any visit to Yecla. In this main square headed by the Town Hall, you will enjoy jewels such as the Alarcos and Council Palaces, the old granary building Alhorín, the Auditorium and the Clock Tower. The second VIP refers to the La Constitución Park, one of the most fascinating places of Yecla. This small natural paradise, with numerous species and centenary trees, emerges in the middle of the town, being the quintessential recreational area of the inhabitants of the town for more than a century.
In May, Yecla celebrates another one of its most authentic festivities: the San Isidro Festivities. Open-air dances, food samplings, a medieval market, music and wine tastings are celebrated in honour of the countryside, spring and the patron saint of farmers. But undoubtedly, the flowers battle and the floats parade decorated with handmade paper ornaments are the stand out festivities.