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Route of the Vera Cruz from Murcia

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  • Caravaca Cross © Turespaña

    Caravaca Cross © Turespaña

  • Church of El Salvador, Caravaca de la Cruz © Turespaña

    Church of El Salvador, Caravaca de la Cruz © Turespaña

  • Inside the Caravaca de la Cruz Shrine © Turespaña

    Inside the Caravaca de la Cruz Shrine © Turespaña

  • Caravaca de la Cruz Shrine © Turespaña

    Caravaca de la Cruz Shrine © Turespaña

  

A route of devotion

In 1998, the Vera Cruz catholic shrine, in Caravaca de la Cruz, was granted the celebration of a jubilee year in perpetuity. It is the fifth place to achieve this, after Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela, and Santo Toribio de Liébana. From the 13th century to the present day, several routes take pilgrims through Murcia up to the shrine which is the object of the devotion. The Way of the Apostle is the one that starts in Cartagena and gets to Caravaca de la Cruz, crossing Murcia city.
 

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This route can be covered in several ways. We can choose to follow the traditional pilgrim's way: on foot, for which we'll need four days to cover about 100 kilometres, which is the total length. Nevertheless, we propose a combined way: two stretches on foot and another two by bike, along the Vía Verde del Noroeste route.

It is the route of one of the old railway tracks that used to connect Murcia and Caravaca de la Cruz. It is fully prepared and signposted from the area of Los Baños de Mula up to Caravaca de la Cruz (48 kilometres), while the stretch from Murcia is being fitted out. We leave Murcia walking through the Espinardo university campus.

The first stretch takes us through the fertile plains of the Segura River up to Molina de Segura (22 kilometres), where we'll cross the river to get to Alguazas (26 kilometres), the end of the first stretch. The second stretch ends in Mula, after 27 kilometres, crossing the towns of Campos del Río and Albudeite, and the areas of Los Baños de Mula - where the Vía Verde stretch beings - and La Puebla de Mula, which goes along the cultivated lands of the Mula River for most of the way.

In Mula, dominated by the silhouette of Vélez Castle (16th century), it is worth visiting the Clock Tower, the old medieval quarter, the churches of San Miguel and El Carmen, the Royal Monastery of the Encarnación and its two peculiar museum centres: the Museum of Iberian Art "El Cigarralejo" and the "Cristóbal Gabarrón" Museum of Interpretation of Contemporary Culture, housed in the Casa Pintada house.

The third stretch (on foot or by bike) takes us from Mula to Bullas (22 kilometres). It goes past the Shrine of Niño del Balate (5 kilometres away), and climbs most of the way through almond groves and vineyards which produce the famous Bullas wines. In this town we find the Church of Rosario (18th century), the remains of its medieval castle and the Fuente Higuera Palace.

The fourth and last stretch is 26 kilometres long. The first part takes us to the town of Cehegín (about 17-18 kilometres away), passing next to the Cabecico Roenas site, the ruins of the old Iberian-Roman site of Begastri, which became an episcopal seat when the Roman Empire fell. It is worth stopping to visit the churches, convents and streets in the old quarter in Cehegín.

Then we arrive at Caravaca de la Cruz. The first thing we see is the hill on which the castle-shrine of Vera Cruz stands. It is a fortification built by the Knights Templar in the 13th century, and the basilica-shrine of the Santísima y Vera Cruz, a Baroque building (17th-18th centuries). Inside the Caravaca Cross is kept, which, according to Catholic tradition, is a sacred relic and the reason for the pilgrimage.

The old town of Caravaca de la Cruz is an important historic-artistic site, where it is worth stopping to visit the Renaissance churches of El Salvador, La Concepción and La Soledad (Archaeological Museum); La Tercia building (old Encomienda de Santiago Palace), the Convent of El Carmen (16th century), the Chapel of El Bañadero, the shrine of La Encarnación, the Las Fuentes del Marqués area and its several museums. It is also worth visiting in May because of its popular and important Festivities in honour of the Santísima Vera Cruz.
 

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What to see on the route

What to do

Green routes

Green routes

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La Vera Cruz Sanctuary © Turespaña

Jan 1, 2017 to Dec 31, 2017

Caravaca de la Cruz
Jubilee Year 2017 in Caravaca de la Cruz

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Dec 29, 2017 to Dec 30, 2018

Auditorio y Centro de Congresos Víctor Villegas. Sala Narciso Yepes - Murcia
Don Quijote. José Carlos Martínez.

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Jan 26, 2018 to Jan 28, 2018

Festivity of National Tourist Interest

Caravaca de la Cruz
Fiesta of the Cuadrillas in Barranda.

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Mar 25, 2018 to Apr 1, 2018

Festivity of National Tourist Interest

Mula
Night of the Drums

Discover the surroundings

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