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Quixotic adventures sound in the background on this route that gallops across the great plain of La Mancha between Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Toledo. There are no longer hundreds, but we can still visit many windmills, "lawless giants" and undisputed icons of this territory, the scene of Cervantes' masterpiece. These are some of the must-see towns for travelers:

Tembleque

The beautiful arcaded Plaza Mayor of Tembleque is the picture of a La Mancha town par excellence. Considered one of the most perfect in Spain, it is an emblem of the popular Baroque of the seventeenth century. You should also visit the Gothic-style Church of the Assumption and the stately homes, such as the Casa de las Torres, an eighteenth-century Baroque mansion or the Casa de Postas, located on the outskirts.

Consuegra

From the road, you can see the windmills of Consuegra, dominating the Calderico hill next to the castle of La Muela. No less than 12 windmills can be found on this Toledo ridge with very wide views of the entire plain (five of them preserve the complete mechanism). The town has Roman origins (Consaburum) and in the town centre there are also its Town Hall, the Arch and the Clock Tower and the churches of San Juan Bautista and Santísimo Cristo de la Veracruz. The Tourist Office proposes a triple visit that includes the entrance to the interior of the castle, the Bolero windmill and a visit to the Municipal Museum to discover the cultures that have passed through Consuegra. You can't miss a walk to enjoy the wines and tapas of the village.

El Toboso

The best tour guide in El Toboso is still Miguel de Cervantes today. In chapter IX of the second part of Don Quixote it can be read as a guided tour of the village of Dulcinea. The first stop on the route takes us, of course, to the young woman's house. Known since ancient times as Casa de la Torrecilla, it maintains part of its original structure from the sixteenth century. On the white façades of this charming La Mancha villa you can read quotes from the novel. This is how we tour the entire historic site, which also has an obligatory stop at the Cervantino Museum and the Dulcinea Museum of Graphic Humour. The Convent of the Trinitarians is another important address in El Toboso. In the Herrerian style, it is known as the Little Escorial of La Mancha for its grandeur.

Sculptures of Dulcinea and Don Quixote in El Toboso.SHUTTERSTOCK

Corral de Almaguer

Between vineyards and cereal fields, we approach Corral de Almaguer. Another essential Plaza Mayor awaits us on the map of La Mancha. The highlight is its neoclassical Town Hall with a clock on the pediment, the design of which was designed by the architect Ventura Rodríguez. The church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción from the end of the 1981th century, declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in <>, is another of the travelers' attractions. Not forgetting the palatial houses that are scattered throughout the town, such as the Higueras and the Maldonado or Postas houses, which apparently hosted the kings.

Campo de Criptana

There are ancient documents that speak of more than thirty windmills. Today, the blades of up to 10 of these giants break the La Mancha skyline in Campo de Criptana. Three of them, the Burleta, the Infante and the Molino Sardinero, preserve their original structure and machinery from the sixteenth century, which suggests that they could be the same ones that Cervantes knew on this hill now called La Paz. Another of its hallmarks are the cave houses excavated in the Albaicín neighborhood. Nature lovers have one more appointment: the Salicor Lagoon, a wetland area of great importance for its biodiversity.

Mills of Mota del Cuervo (Cuenca). SHUTTERSTOCK

Mota del Cuervo

Its spectacular windmills stand on a hill that offers a dazzling panorama: El Toboso, Quintanar, Campo de Criptana, Alcázar de San Juan... That is why we know Mota del Cuervo as El Balcón de la Mancha. But its urban fabric, at the foot of this hill there is also much to explore. From its display of stately homes to the Plaza de la Cruz Verde, the epicentre of the Cantarería neighbourhood, where the artisans who made the pitchers have traditionally lived. Here we can find the monument to the Cantarera, the Pottery Museum and the only kiln that exists today.

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  • Tourism
  • Castilla-La Mancha