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castilla la mancha

'Don Quixote' a universal classic

"The charmed city" in Cuenca

daimiel natural park
'Tablas de Daimiel' National Park

molino mancha
Old windmill in 'Campo de Criptana'

Atienza, in Guadalajara

'Entierro de El Conde Orgaz' by El Greco,
in Toledo

mancha flag
hotels in spain

With its nearly 80.000 Km2 and surrounding the natural area of 'La Mancha', this region will surprise travellers with an unusual variety of landscapes, from the flat plateau of copper couloured fields and windmill fields to the abrupt beauty of its parks where wild boars, bears and other animal species live in a privileged environment. Castilla-La Mancha is divided into five provinces located at the very heart of Spain: Toledo, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara and Albacete.

The route of Don Quijote
Also known as the 'Windmills route' with castles of medieval military orders and of picturesque spots of the time portrayed in the book from Cervantes. In the town of Esquivias you can visit the house-museum of Cervantes. Other places of interest include: Herencia, Alcázar de San Juan, Campo de Criptana, Mota del Cuervo, El Toboso and Belmonte at the heart of La Mancha.

Although each province has its characteristic dishes and products, some —like the famous 'queso manchego' and the 'Valdepeñas' wines in Ciudad real, Méntrida, Yepes, Quintanar, Malpíca de Tajo (in Toledo) and the wines of 'La Mancha'— are of significant importance inside this area.

Knife making tradition in Albacete

Tourism office:
Virrey Morcillo, 1. Albacete.

Highlights: Albacete city is the most populated urban center in the region.
The 'Lagunas de Ruidera' (15 lakes that strech over 35 kilómetres and where the Guadiana river originates) lay between Albacete and Ciudad Real provinces. They are part of the Natural Park of the 'Lagunas de Ruidera'.
Celebrations: September 7th to 17th.
Monuments: cathedral of 'San Juan Bautista', 'Posada del Rosario', archaeology museum, the 'Palacio de la Diputación', the 'Pasaje Lodares', Monastery of the 'Encarnación', 'Paseo de la Libertad', or the streets of 'Marqués de Molins' and 'Tesifonte Gallego'.
Shopping: Albacete town is known for its quality knifes. It is a centuries old tradition and some of the brands are world famous. Other metal handcrafts in copper and bronce are also interesting. Saffron and garlic are good cooking products of the region.
Food: 'sopa boba', 'La villa en caldo'.

ciudad real'Puerta de Toledo' in Ciudad Real

Tourism office:
Alarco, 21. Ciudad Real.
Highlights: Villages and small towns like 'Alcazar de San Juan' or 'Campo de Criptana' (with its typical windmills) are worth visiting. 'Tablas de Daimiel' is the smallest of Spain's national parks, but it is an important bird reserve. Almagro, features Spains most important classical theater festival the 'Festival Internacional de Teatro Clásico de Almagro' that takes place usually in July in this picturesque town with some of the best preserved old theater sites in the world.
cathedral of Ciudad Real city, church of 'San Pedro' and the 'Puerta de Toledo'.
Food: 'tasajo', 'machacón' or the 'conejo al tojunto' (literally the 'all-together rabbit').When visiting these region you will also be able to enjoy their famous wines.

cuencaHanging houses in Cuenca

Tourism office:
Dalmacio Garcia Izcara, 8. Cuenca.

Highlights: Part of UNESCO's World Heritage since 1996. This fortified historic city was built by the Arabs as a big nucleus of the Córdoba Arab reign. It is a very well preserved medieval city with many examples of religious architecture that stem from the 12th to the 18th century. Together with Toledo, Cuenca owns some of the most important monuments of the entire region, of which the gothic cathedral is the most important one. However Cuenca is many times rememberd for its rare 'Casas Colgadas' (hanging houses) built directly hanging on cliffs over the riverside of the river Huécar. The nearby mountains offer a beautilful landscape as well as 'La Alcarria' (famous honey production area) or 'La Mancha'.
Monuments: Archaeology Museum, Abstract Art Museum, cathedral, the 'Bajada de las Angustias', 'San Pedro' street, church of 'San Miguel', 'Conde de Toreno', 'Torre Mangana', City Hall building, 'Seminario Conciliar'.

guadalajaraEl Doncel in Sigüenza

Tourism office:
Mayor,7. Guadalajara

Highlights: 'Palacio del Infantado' in the Alcarria. Romanic route through Atienza and Sigüenza (the most important romanic city in the area). Like other towns in the Alcarria the town of Pastrana and its sorroundings were pre-Roman settlements.
Monuments: Roman bridge over the Henares river, church of 'Santiago', reinassance palace of 'Antonio de Mendoza', convent of 'La Piedad', 'Palacio de los Dávalos'.
Shopping: Carpet handcrafts, mirrors in Sigüenza, basket handcrafts in Romacos, ceramic in Cogolludo, Hita, Tendilla, Pozancos and Tamajón. Metal handcrafts in Brihuega and 'Alcolea del Pinar'. Honey from Alcarria.
Food: Goat roast in different recipes: aji-oli (garlic oil) in Molina town, mountain style in Atienza, or 'al breve'. For dessert, honey is the province's most well known natural product.

toledo Evening view of Toledo

Tourism office:
Puerta de Bisagra, s/n. Toledo.

Highlights: Part of UNESCO's World Heritage for its rich monumental and multicultural legacy. Its old urban medieval area remains nearly unchanged, full with museums and religious buidings.
Monuments: the cathedral, house and museum 'El Greco' (see painting by 'El Greco' in this page that one can admire at the church of 'Santo Tomé), the sinagoges of 'Tránsito' and 'Santa María la Blanca', church of 'San Juan de los Reyes', Museum of 'Santa Cruz', 'Puerta del Sol', 'Puerta de la Bisagra', bridges of 'San Martín' and 'Alcántara', Alcázar, ruins of the Roman circus.
Food: meats from game and small-game, products from orchards, excellent olive oil and saffron, all of which you will find in many of the traditional dishes of this province. Soups are very traditional starters: 'al tomatón', 'de ajo viudo', 'de ajo arriero', 'sopa verde', 'sopa tonta', 'al Señorito', 'sopa castellana', 'gazpacho manchego'. Main course dishes are: 'migas', 'gachas', 'lentejas', 'cocido' (stew), 'pisto', 'bacalao' (cod). Dishes with pork are also typical like: 'salmorejos', 'cachirulos', 'sangre con cebolla', 'cochinillo', 'tortilla a la magra', etc. For dessert we recommend marzipan and pastries from the convent.

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