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
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
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
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'.
de Toledo' in Ciudad Real
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.
Monuments: 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.
houses in Cuenca
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'.
Doncel in Sigüenza
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
Evening view of Toledo
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
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.