TRAVEL THROUGH SPAIN IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF DON QUIXOTE
DON QUIXOTE TOURS OFFICIAL GUIDE
Route of Don Quixote
Discover a land of adventure, culture, nature and delicious cuisine.
Our proposal entails discovering all the secrets behind the hectic life
of Miguel de Cervantes and his famous and ingenious knight errant
Don Quixote de la Mancha, one of the most important books of
world literature and the second most translated book after the Bible.
Our starting point to follow in the footsteps of Don Quixote is the
university city of Alcalá de Henares and on the tour we'll visit
windmills, inns and World Heritage cities of Castilla La Mancha.
This is the famous Don Quixote Route, the first European Cultural
Route based on a literary character and one of the most prominent
eco-tourism corridors in Europe. A fascinating journey on which
you'll discover famous Quixote episodes, unexpected corners,
legends dating back to the Golden Age, heroic battles and love
stories, deep-rooted traditions handed down from generation to
generation, beautiful natural scenery, a rich heritage and a
gastronomic paradise. Anything can happen in the land of Don
Quixote! Relive the adventures of this noble knight and visit
centuries-old villas, historic trails, and natural areas yet to be
explored, castles peppered with legends... Tilt at windmills in Campo
de Criptana, Alcázar de San Juan or Consuegra; visit the alleged
home of his beloved Dulcinea in El Toboso; explore deep and
magical places such as the Cave of Medrano in Argamasilla de Alba
and the Cave of Montesinos; feel the essence of La Mancha at the
inns of Puerto Lápice; discover the surprising and bewitching beauty
of the Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park; and stroll through beautiful
towns full of history such as Toledo and Ciudad Real. And all of this
while savouring the delicious dishes of the land and the excellent
local wines in the same way as Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
would have done 400 years ago.
Are you ready to experience your
Madrid, Alcala De Henares, Esquivias, Toledo, El Toboso, Campo de
Criptana, Alcazar De San Juan, Belmonte, Cuenca , Argamasilla de
Alba, Lagunas De Ruidera, , Villanueva de los Infantes, Almagro,
Daimiel, Ciudad Real, Puerto Lápice and Consuegra.
Travel descriptions. Day 1: City of origin - Alcalá de
Alcala de Henares
Your adventure begin here. This interesting Cervantes route begins
in the historic university town of Alcalá de Henares near Madrid.
declared a World Heritage Site, the city is famous for its literary
atmosphere and for being the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the
genius who would give life to our illustrious knight errant, the
charismatic Plaza de Cervantes and the house-museum of Cervantes
will take you back in time to discover some of the best-kept secrets of
the Spanish Golden Age.
Madrid is Spain's largest city (and the capital) and an iconic place
associated with Cervantes in Madrid, is the Church and Convent of
the Discalced Trinitarians. There is proof that this might be the place
Route of Don Quixote
where Cervantes and his wife are buried, so you can visit the
funerary monument that has been erected in his honour, and read a
plaque that includes an excerpt from one of the author's works:
"Time is brief, anxieties grow,/ hopes diminish/ and, with this,/ I
carry out my life with my desire/ to live."
There are plenty of other places associated with Cervantes in
Madrid, the Juan de La Cuesta Printers (where the first edition of
Don Quixote was published in 1605), the National Library (which
preserves a copy of the first edition of Don Quixote) and Plaza de
España (with statues dedicated to the writer and his characters).
Day 2: Esquivas – Toledo
- Esquivas Birthplace of Cervantes' wife Catalina de Palacios. Here
they married (1584) and spent their first few years as man and wife.
We recommend a trip down to the wine cellar of the Casa-Museo de
Cervantes, a really interesting experience, and a visit to the parish
church which still retains the marriage certificate.
Toledo, an impressive city (World Heritage Site, in fact) graced
with a magnificent old town and an important legacy of monuments.
City known as the city of three cultures because it is home to a
stunning cathedral, the Greco Museum, mosques such as the Cristo
de la Luz and synagogues such as El Tránsito (which also houses the
interesting Sephardic Museum). This city is a place not to be missed.
For a stunning view of the city, we suggest visiting the Mirador del
Route of Don Quixote
Valle viewpoint. It was in this walled city, dotted with stories and
legends, where Cervantes justifies the creation of his work. As told in
the book "Don Quixote", it was in the old Toledo neighbourhood of
Alcaná (site now occupied by the cloister of the cathedral) where
Cervantes bought some old papers from a certain Cide Hamete
Benengeli that narrated the adventures of Don Quixote.
- Day 3: - Belmonte- Cuenca
Situated in the midst of Route of Don Quixote (Ruta Del Quijote),
An overview offers up a uniquely beautiful town with noble buildings
and major monumental heritage. The unquestionable star is the
Castle, which sheltered Doña Juana la Beltraneja, and where a great
number of movies have been shot. Located on a hillside, the exterior
pentagonal complex has a Gothic gate and is linked to the city walls
running down to the town. Highlights in the triangular interior are
the Mudéjar coffered ceilings, the plasterwork and the Gothic reliefs.
Cuenca, whose historic centre has the UNESCO World Heritage
designation. Its buildings blend in perfectly with stunning natural
Route of Don Quixote
landscapes. This fusion of art and nature give this city in the CastileLa Mancha region, in inland Spain, a special atmosphere.
Day 4:El Toboso - Campo de Criptana, Alcazar de San
El Toboso, the true essence of La Mancha.
A pretty town that was home to Dulcinea, the eternal love of Don
Quixote. Here you can visit Dulcinea's house-museum which
recreates a typical 16th-century house from La Mancha. Tradition
has it that this house belonged to Ana Martínez Zarco de Morales
("Sweet Ana"), who inspired Cervantes to create Dulcinea. In Plaza
Mayor you'll find a monument that El Toboso dedicated to Dulcinea
and her lover. You can also discover the Cervantes Museum which
has 600 editions of his work signed by international political and
cultural figures and taste "pelusas" and "caprichos de Dulcinea",
delicious sweets handmade by the nuns at the Convento de las
Clarisas. Campo de Criptana
We’ll now enter the legendary "land of the giants". In the photogenic
Campo de Criptana, one can imagine Don Quixote and his faithful
squire Sancho Panza fighting bravely against the defiant windmills.
And after enjoying the sensational landscape and the vastness of the
Alcázar de San Juan -
A Cervantes-rich town that rivals Alcalá de Henares for being the
birthplace of the famous writer. Strolling through its historic streets
and visiting the Cervantes Interpretation Centre will give travellers
an insight into what life was like for the knights errant. Must-visits
include the Torreón and the Santa Maria church, which safeguards
the baptism certificate of "Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra". And don't
forget to taste one of the famous Alcázar cakes. Perfect place to
savour the delicious local wine with some authentic Manchego .
Day 5: Argamasilla de Alba - Lagunas de Ruidera /Ossa de
Montiel - Villanueva de Los Infantes –
Today to embark upon one of the most beautiful, magical and
enticing legs of the tour. We'll head deep into the land of magic
spells, beautiful landscapes that taste of wine and culinary delights
.Our first stop will be Argamasilla de Alba, a town rivalling
Villanueva de los Infantes for being the writer's famous "place whose
name I do not care to remember". It was in the cave of Medrano
where the then captive Cervantes is said to have started writing his
masterpiece. Then we'll continue to Ossa de Montiel to discover the
magic cave of Montesinos and the ruins of Castle Rochafrida, (visit
not included) two key places in the adventures and misadventures of
our famous knight errant.
In the monument-rich Villanueva de los Infantes, where we can find
the house of Don Diego de Miranda, who according to tradition was
the Knight of the Green Overcoat, whose great deeds were
mentioned so many times by Don Quixote) and the Lagunas de
Ruidera National Park, one of the most beautiful wetlands in Spain.
Here you'll get the chance to see thirteen lakes connected together
by waterfalls. An incredible natural sight that for Don Quixote
depicted princesses who had been turned into lakes by the magician
Merlin "because of their weeping".
Day 6: Almagro - Tablas de Daimiel National Park - Ciudad
Real. We bid farewell to La Mancha of inns and windmills to explore the
legendary lands of Calatrava, riddled with castles, episodes, heroic battles, love stories, and natural landscapes yet to
be explored. Our first call is the majestic town of Almagro. After
visiting its noble neighbourhood, its charming old quarter and its
magical Corral de Comedias, the only fully-preserved Golden Age
theatre in the world, you'll understand why it was one of the social,
cultural and theatrical epicentres in the Cervantes era.
Today its beautiful Plaza Mayor dotted with majestic homes gives
the traveller an insight into the lavish parties and merry comedies
that would attract the local powers-that-be. After taking in the
beautiful National Park of Las Tablas de Daimiel, one of the most
valuable natural areas in Spain,
A place that cannot be missed on this route is Don Quixote Museum
in Ciudad Real. Here you can see interesting reproductions of the
characters "talking" to each other... During the trip we'll be able to
make out the famous maars, traces of volcanic eruptions which once
rocked the region. And along the way try out some delicious local
specialities such as "gachas de almortas" (cornflour porridge),
"migas" (sautéed breadcrumbs), "asadillo de pimientos" (roast
pepper salad), "duelos y quebrantos" (scrambled egg with chorizo),
or "berenjenas de Almagro" (pickled aubergines).
Day 7: Puerto Lapice - Consuegra – Madrid Following in the footsteps of the knight errant, today we'll head to
Puerto Lápice, a village with typical La Mancha architecture where
everything evokes Don Quixote. Some authors say that he
experienced his early adventures here and was knighted in the
village. You'll be amazed to see how details of the knight errant are
hidden in its charming nooks and crannies. La Venta de Don
Quixote, a typical place where travellers would stop off for
sustenance and which today serves hearty dishes common in the
local cuisine. Then we'll continue on the Don Quixote Route to Cerro
Calderico in Consuegra. Here it's easy to let your imagination run
riot and imagine the battle of Don Quixote against those who he
believed were ferocious giants. From the hill you can admire
spectacular views of the immensity of La Mancha. If possible, go and
watch one of the cereal grinding displays held in the old windmills.
You'll see how the blades of the mills, powered effortlessly by the
wind, trigger the heavy machinery that turns grain into flour. A great
experience to round off this intense journey
Arrival at the airport with enough time and check-in for our flight,
that will take us to the city of origin. Arrival.
End of the trip. And this is the end of this route that will enable you
to find out more about the figure of Don Quixote and the man who
brought him to life. We are sure that it has been worth it because
"he who reads much and travels much sees and knows a