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Castile-La Mancha (Spanish: Castilla-La Mancha) is one of Spain's largest regions, occupying close to 80,000 km2 in the centre of the country. It is also quite scarcely populated, although it has close to 2 million inhabitants. Toledo is the capital.
It is also the legendary region where the story of Don Quichote (the man from La Mancha) is situated. In a lot of places you will find referals to this famous story. In Toledo you will find a lot of statues of Don Quichote and his companion Sancho in a lot of stores.
Castile-La Mancha is one of the central regions of Spain. It has borders with the Community of Madrid and Castile and León in the north, Extremadura in the west, Andalusia in the south, and the Region of Murcia and the Community of Valencia and Aragon in the east. Castile-La Mancha is landlocked and is therefore often overlooked as a travel destination by beach-loving tourists. But for people visiting Madrid, a daytrip to Toledo should be on the programm, and Cuenca can be done as a daytrip as well, but is best served with an overnight stay.
There are five provinces in Castile-La Mancha, all of which are named after their respective capital cities:
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The five provincial capitals:
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The Old City is nicknamed the city of the three religions, as once Catholics, Jewish and Islamic people coexisted here without many troubles. It is also the former capital of Spain, until Felipe II, moved the seat of power to the new capital Madrid, where he could get away from the powerful Catholic church, which in his eyes had become too powerful. The Old city is a maze of small streets, and a couple of squares, including the central Plaza de Zocodover. In the old city there are numerous sights one can visit, including the Cathedral, The Synagogue del Transito and many old churches.
The people in Castile-La Mancha often describe their climate as 3 months of cold and 9 months of hell. During winter, the Castile-La Mancha is colder than the seaside regions of Spain. In summer, temperatures climb very high. In July and August it can be too hot to travel for long distances during the day.
Albacete Airport is the only option, but is only served by Air Nostrum which flies daily to/from Barcelona, and only seasonal to/from Lanzarote and Palma de Mallorca.
If you want to have more options, you need to figure out which airport is the closest. If you want to travel to Toledo, you can use Madrid Barajas Airport in Madrid, and continue the journey by train or bus. The airport is just about 75 kilometres from Toledo.
From Madrid it is easy to reach several places in Castile-La Mancha. Toledo is on a half an hour trip from Madrid's main trainstation Atocha. From December 2010, Albacete can be reached by AVE from Madrid. The trip will take around 1,5 hours.
From Madrid there are two motorways going south to Toledo. One is the toll road AP-41, and the other is the A-42. When coming from the south, it usualy the best to take the A-4, and switch to the CM-42 for the last bit to reach Toledo. To reach Albacete you can take the A-3 towards Valencia, and take the A-31 when it splits of from the A-3.
There are busses leaving Madrid from the busstation at Mendez Alvaro a trip takes to Toledo 1 hour, and is a little bit cheaper than going by train.
as well as Lavafalls (2%)
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