Castilla la Mancha and it’s Don Quijote!

And back to the travel stories with a region dear to me as well. The part of the Spanish which is immortalized by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and the dreamers story of Don Quijote. The land has reminiscent of this all over and even the windmills. We ride the car here to all the small corners of the region from its wonderful mountain ranges or serranias to the valleys of the windmills, the monasteries, and heritage places, even in non asphalt country roads. The food is fantastic and inexpensive. This is Castilla La Mancha or CLM!!

Well ,will try to keep it short but have many posts in my blog on this region.  I think should be a wealth of information for the visitor to this region.  And of course ,my usual ramblings on the area.

Castilla La Mancha is in the center of Spain, the historic region of Nueva Castilla from where it was detached from the Province of Madrid to become Castilla La Mancha after the Constitution of Spain in 1978; however, it was added the Province of Albacete that belonged to the region of Murcia. It is surrounded by the regions of Castilla y Léon, Madrid, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Andalucia, and Extremadura. Currently, it is divided into five provinces, those of Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara, and Toledo. The capital is Toledo and the biggest city in population is Albacete.

It is in this area that the worldly story of Don Quijote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was done and putting this region on the world map.  La Mancha is a wide huge area of wind swept battered plateau, it remains a symbol of Spanish culture with its vineyards, sunflowers, mushrooms, olive plantations windmills and ewe milk manchego cheeses. And of course, Don Quijote. The highest altitudes are in the  Montes de Toledo with peaks of La Villuerca at 1601 meters (5253 ft), and Rocigalgo at 1447 meters ( 4747 feet). The Serrania de Cuenca or sierras ranges of Cuenca are where we base ourselves high in the mountains at 1400 meters, and even if not into walks and mountains areas I have to admit this is heaven! highly recommended to all. More in Spanish here:

Main autovias or highways/motoways are the A3 going east to west and into Madrid and Valencia. The A2 Madrid Barcelona, A41 Ciudad Real , AP41 Madrid Toledo; Cordoba, A42 Madrid Toledo, CM42 Toledo to Tomelloso pasing by Consuegra. The car is king still here!  You have national train service  RENFE mainly from Madrid to the major towns in the region like Toledo, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, Guadalajara,  etc High velocity trains or AVE takes you to from Madrid to Ciudad Real, Toledo, Guadalajara, Cuenca, Albacete, etc.Local trains or commuter /Cercanias go out of Madrid into the region. The C-2 stops at Azuqueca de Henares ,Guadalajara and the city itself. The airport have a small one at Albacete but the folks comes to the Madrid or Valencia airports and connects here. In each of my posts I have detail routing on how to get around in this region, heavens!

The history is long and grand  , to keep it short. By the 4C BC the Iberian and Celtic were here, and the end of the 2C BC the Romans came to stayed. The decline of the Roman empire saw many Germanic tribes coming ,and the Visigoths takes over the lands choosing Toledo as their political an religious capital. By 711 AD, the Moors/Arabs came up and stayed for a long period mixing cultures, religions, and languages here. Once they were began to expands in early the 11C or 1031AD, the caliph of Cordoba starts with several caliphs including that of Toledo; of which territory is almost identical to the one you find today. By 1085, king Alfonso VI takes Toledo, followed by king Alfonso VIII taking Cuenca in 1177,and king Alfonso X taking Villa Real in 1255 (became Ciudad Real). Eventuall, all fitted into Spain by 1492 and the Catholic kings of Fernando and Isabel reuniting the Spain as we know it today.

The region is dotted with the most beautiful of Cathedrals such as the ones in Toledo, Sigûenza, Cuenca, Albacete, and Ciudad Real . The castles are many (like the name Castile) too numerous to mention my favorites are those of the Alcazar of Toledo, castle of Alarcon, Almansa, Chinchilla, Consuegra, Garcimuñoz, Orgaz, Sigûenza, Uclés and Zafra.

Some webpages to further help you plan your trip is here:

The Castilla La Mancha region tourist office:

Spain tourism on Castilla La Mancha :

Hope you enjoy the ride, and do visit this region, it is wonderful. One of my places to settle down for retirement eventually, still working on it. A vast land of many wonderful heritage and still to be discovered by many. Enjoy your Sunday. Happy travels and good health. Cheers!!

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6 Comments to “Castilla la Mancha and it’s Don Quijote!”

  1. And Manchego cheese: one of the best cheeses going and delicious with membrillo! 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Feeling jealous now. Mind, went to the market in Moissac yesterday and bought some Bleu de Gex: très bon aussi!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great set of pictures that gave me a memory nudge!


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