Quaint towns of the Province of Cuenca!

Well ,rain is back, flooding in some parts where I am and even in Spain, rivers flowing thru towns unfortunately, this is the end of Spring and Summer coming up June 21th. Anyway, here are my newest take you go places.

I have enjoyed coming with the family to visit these places on first time, something we relish having discovered them together. We took our base in the mountains of Cuenca and from there went by car all over. These are the quaint little towns of Tragacete, Canete, Tarancon, Una, and Villalba de la Sierra all in the province of Cuenca, autonomous community of Castilla La Mancha.

My previous blog post on some of these towns here: Quaint Province of Cuenca

Ok , let’s start. Tragacete  is as all are (not to repeat myself) in the Province of Cuenca, autonomous community of Castilla La Mancha located in the Serranía Alta or high sierra area, and part of the natural park of the Sierras of Cuenca or Parque Natural Serranía de Cuenca. Here the Júcar river is born in the Cerro de San Felipe  and reach the town on about 12 km from its birth; nearby ,you ,also find the birth of the Cuervo river also at about 12 km and the birth of the Tajo river and a bit further the wonderful Ciudad Encantada (enchanted city natural park), Parque de El Hosquillo (more rock formation park) , and the  Ventano del Diablo (the window of the devil with great views). The town is shaded by the highest peaks in the area all over 1850 meters high.  Going out further at about 2 km,  you have the Molino de la Virgen (windmill of the Virgin), there is a nice cascade down juraisic stones down river; you see the water come and go as it filtered on the calcaric rocks that reach a plain at about 1560 meters high  from where the Jucar river is created  (Cerro de San Felipe plains) at a place call the Ojos de Valdeminguete (the eyes of Valdeminguete).


Here is born one of the Royal trails of the animal and men crossing in Spain, that are regulated by a Royal decree signed by king Alfonso X the Sabio in 1273. The one here is known as the  Cañada Real Conquense o de los Chorros . It goes thru the provinces of Cuenca, Ciudad Real, and part of the province of Jaén in Andalucia.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Tourist office of Spain: Spain on Tragacete

Tourist office of Castilla La Mancha on Tragacete:  http://www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/tragacete-70831/

City Hall of Tragacete:  http://www.tragacete.es/turismo/oficina-de-turismo

We move on to  Cañete at about 70 km from Cuenca. Main road to take you there is the N 420 halfway between Cuenca and Teruel. There is a nice natural setting park at El Chorreadero. The castle you can do on foot as well as the quaint Postigo or Hoz del Postigo that has a pretty cascade fall, river, and hanging houses as well as the Chapel of the patron Saint of  Virgen de la Zarza, parts of the ruins and plenty of fishes , birds etc for the nature lover.

The Chorreadero ,you go out of town by the gate or Puerta de la Virgen and crossing the  Salinillas (sandy area) you can reach the place or continue towards  Cabeza de Don Pedro. The nice ruins castle or  Castillo de Cañete is of  Moors origins with various additions after the Castilian conquest. The last were done in the 19C during the Carlist wars. It is on top of a narrow hilly area where you can look at the town below and the  Mayor del Molinillo river. You can see the Wall ramparts or Muralla de Cañete, the town in parts is surrounded by it with Moorish origins and Christians modifications inside you can see the gate or Puerta de las Eras,with a horseshoe arc and Moorish lettering. You can see the Churches of Santiago, Chapel of San Juliàn, and Chapel of the Virgen de la Zarza. Lots of destruction here during the Spanish Civil War by the Republicans forces.  In addition, in 2015, it was discoverd a mount call locally El Cabezuelo or the big head with three megaliths steps that could be possible pyramids in steps the first in Spain. Even if the majority of experts believe is a Celtic Oppidum from the 3C AD.


Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

City of Canete: http://www.villadecanete.com/

Tourist office of Castilla la Mancha on Canete http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/canete-64231/descripcion/

This is a town we passed all the time and the sad story is that here my dear late wife Martine was treated for pains (there is a clinic (Centro de Salud) in city center) while on vacation, the first signs of her cancer. Villalba de la Sierra will be only sadly remember I am afraid. It is only 21 km from Cuenca on the foot really of the Serrania de Cuenca mountains where we rented houses the last several years at 1400 meters. It is an area good for natural river fishing on the Jùcar river on two spots call the  coto de Villalba, and  El Tablazo. You see from here high above the before mentioned Ventano del Diablo,, the valley of  Cambrón,​ where you will see the ruins of a former convent of Carmelites , the Barranco del Jùcar or canyon is good to see.

Villalba de la Sierra

The city hall with tourist info on Villalba is here:   http://www.villalbadelasierra.org/portal/lang__es-ES/tabid__5354/default.aspx

Going up and around in this mountaneous area we reach the nice Uña (nails), there is a big lagoon/lake here part of the Parque Natural de la Serranía de Cuenca. You need to go by car up the mountain on the local road  CM-2105. It is a lake of 200 meters in diameter with clear emerald waters of no more than 15 meters deep. Wild life is big here with ducks, seagalls, etc as well as deers, wild pigs etc. Around the lake you come into the Balcony of Uña, from here we can see the rocky coastal shelf, known as the castle of Uña, which shields the town from the wind. This is the landscape known as Gorge Los Cortados. The sierras of Las Majadas (where we had been renting rural houses) and Valdecabras, among which the Jucar river runs, are the backdrop of the town’s entrance. The highlight of the historic quarter is the Church of San Miguel Arcángel, built in the 13C, and remodelled in the 16C. It is a building made of masonry, which has a steeple and a wooden gabled roof.


Just around the corner from the town you have the Embalse de la Toba , a dam that starts from the  Júcar river ,between mountains. It is a big swamp of 150 hectares where you can see the muela de La Madera a place of many voltures and other rapace birds. The dam or embalse is created from the Júcar river together with others such as the Valdemeca, and other small streams . The Embalse de la Toba was built in 1925 as a project to conditioned the hydroelectric plant using the river for a traject of 20 km inside the Serranía de Cuenca that would help control the Júcar river as well as channeled the waters to the hydroelectric plant at Villalba de la Sierra. In Summer, it is one of the best areas for swimming and the most popular beach area in the province of Cuenca.


The tourist office of Castilla La Mancha has some on Una here:   http://www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/descubra-el-casco-urbano-de-una-70931/descripcion/

Last but not least, is the town where we came in on the A40 to take the A3 to Madrid each time or vice versa. And of course, we went  to see Tarancon.

It is at the crossroads of the A-3 or Autovía del Este  Madrid-Valencia. The A-40 or Autovía de Castilla-La Mancha, starts in Ávila, past by  Toledo, Tarancón, Cuenca , and finish at Teruel.  The  N-400 connects Tarancón with Ocaña and Toledo. The local road  CM-200  connects the towns of Fuente de Pedro Naharro, Villamayor de Santiago, Tarancón , and Barajas de Melo in the province of Cuenca, and  Albalate de Zorita, Almonacid de Zorita, Pastrana and Fuentelencina in the province of Guadalajara. Tarancón  has a train station on the line Madrid-Cuenca-Valencia.  Tarancón as Madrid and Cuenca are in the zone E2 of the Madrid regional transport network and you can use the Abono Transporte pass to come here on the bus lines 352 from company Ruiz, S.A. and line 309 from bus company Auto Res, S.A. taking you to Ave Conde de Casal in Madrid or Cuenca bus/train terminals.

Tarancón , it is half way between Cuenca and Madrid at about 80 km. It has some nice quaint architecture as well. The Palacio de los Duques de Riánsares (palace of the dukes of riànsares was restored in the 19C on a rectangular shape and a central park with Toscans columns around which are the rooms of the palace of which very few originals are kept. It is currently the City Hall of  Tarancón. You can see outside the remains of the old gates wrough iron grills, the nice gardens in the 20C were change into the current square Plaza del Mercado.

Other nice things to see here are  the Church of our lady of the Assomption or Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción,from the 16C with a nice retable altar in plateresque style on the high altar. The convent or Convento de San Francisco, the sanctuary or Santuario de la Vírgen de Riánsares, and the palace mansion or Casa Palacio de los Parada, the parish Church of San Victor y Santa Corona, and other chapels such as San Juan, San Isidro Labrador, San Roque ,and Santa Quiteria.  There is a quaint nice old town around the parish Church.


For the art lover or curious there is the painting collection of Emiliano Lozano. It includes about 300 works bequested to the city of Tarancón,by the family Lozano de la Pola, and it shows small and big portraits in all types of support and all kinds of techniques in which many of the greater works from the comics, portraits, posters, views of cities , wine houses etc etc are on display.

Tourist office of Castilla la Mancha on Tarancon: http://en.www.turismocastillalamancha.es/patrimonio/tarancon-85531/descripcion/

Hope you enjoy the ride as much as we did; it is the real Spain, nothing about crowds or up prices, this is the real thing and of course, much better with a car.

And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!! Again thanks for stopping by. Cheers!!!

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