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 own story? 

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 Henares- Madrid 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 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 Belmonte
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 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.974fe547-b4a8-40c8-b99e-273d0b890128jpg

Day 4:El Toboso - Campo de Criptana, Alcazar de San Juan 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 plain 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 . cheese


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 great deal".

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