An arid plain in the land of Don Quixote, Castilla-La Mancha is a vast region that is always attracting tourists for its hunting or because of its gastronomy. Travelling across La Mancha is like diving into the adventures written by Cervantès. The rural life is full of the region's little white-washed houses, sheep herds, and absolute tranquillity.
Surface area : 79463.0 km2
Population : 2122000 inhabitants
The knives of Albacete and ceramics of Talavera de la Reina (Toledo) are 2 major souvenirs from this region that will give you memories for a lifetime. The knives of Albacete attract a great deal of tourists. They set themselves apart thanks to their quality and original design. The world-renowned ceramics of Talavera are surprisingly varied as far as their function is concerned: vases, as tiles, other decorative elements... The honey of Alcarria and marzipan of Toledo are the best souvenirs that gourmands can find. If you are fond of lace, the best place in the world to find some is the region of La Mancha in Almagro.
The cuisine of La Mancha consists of a great variety of spicy, easy-to-make dishes. This type of cuisine is based on a variety of quality fruit and vegetables, not to mention meat, and game especially. All this comes served with a choice of delicious wines, sheep's milk cheese, and desserts that will remind you of Don Quixote and his faithful squire Sancho Panzathe, who made this cuisine world famous. Pisto (with tomato and chilli for main ingredients), migas (prepared with leftover bread), gachas (gruel), cochifrito (fried meat), ajoarriero (potatoes, garlic, eggs, and oil), marinated partridge, moje (salad of chilli peppers and tomatoes), and caldereta (fish soup) are some of the most popular dishes prepared in the region of the ingenious Hidalgo. Several reputed restaurants in the region serve this exquisite gastronomy: El Bohío, located in Illescas; Las Rejas, in Las Pedroñeras (Cuenca); Adolfo, in Toledo; Casa Valencia; in Almansa (Albacete), etc.
Castilla-La Mancha is a region where villages and towns abound, extending over an immense territory. The good condition of the roads is an invitation to travelling around on them. The people of La Mancha are friendly and welcoming. They are very skilful in the kitchen, especially when preparing puchero (Spanish beef stew), or any soup or game meat. The magic of Toledo's 3 different cultures and the charm of Cuenca are a surprise for any tourist visiting the region for the first time. However, countless little other places display the same kind of charm and particular character that are also definitely worth a visit.