- Capital: Toledo.
- Area: 79,463 km²
- Provinces 5: Guadalajara, Toledo, Cuenca, Ciudad Real, Albacete
Above photo Alcalá del Júcar, in the province of Albacete Photo: Turismo de Castilla-La Mancha
Castilla la Mancha is well known as the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, who wrote the novel ‘Don Quixote de la Mancha‘. These large open plains of central Spain are home to the immortalized windmills.
The world’s largest vineyards, Manchego (sheep’s) cheese, sunflowers and saffron are perhaps more talked about from this area than the absolutely stunning nature and wildlife within its territory
- Near Cuenca, is a wooded and mountainous zone where the source of the river Cuervo creates an unusual green oasis.
- The Ciudad Encantada is a fascinating maze of eroded rock formations that really are enchanting.
- Near Ciudad Real are natural lagoons that are linked by waterfalls creating a beautiful landscape.
- There is the outstanding ecological marsh land of Las Tablas de Daimiel, an important stopping-off place for migratory and wintering waterfowl.In addition are the Montes de Toledo. Each of these offering a different landscape and habitat.
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1 The Sierra Norte de Guadalajara Natural Park Incorporated into this area is the The Hayedo de Tejera Negra Natural Park (a beech forest located in Cantalojas in the northwestern corner of the province of Guadalajara and is the most southern forest of its kind in Europe).
2 Barranco del rio dulce Natural Park This spectacular landscape was popularized by the famous naturalist Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente as it provided the ideal setting for a number of his television wildlife documentaries. (Especially those dedicated to eagles)
3 Alto Tajo Natural Park Pine forests and spectacular cliff formations make for a wonderful area to explore with over 40 villages and towns within the parks boundaries. There are several Special Protection Areas for Birds (ZEPA) and Special Conservation Zones (ZEC) established in accordance with the Natura 2000 Network.
4 National Park of Cabañeros Located within the two provinces of Ciudad Real and Toledo. It is the best and largest surviving area of Iberian Mediterranean forest, with an enormous variety of plant species. Botanical heaven!
5 National Park of Tablas de Daimiel Formed at the confluence of the Guadiana River and its tributary the Cigüela this is one of the most important aquatic ecosystems in the Iberian Peninsula and is home to a great variety of fauna and flora especially aquatic birds both resident and migratory.
6 Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park The Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park acts as a buffer zone to the Tablas de Daimiel National Park and It consists of a complex lagoon system made up of fifteen lagoons, which over 30 kilometers constitute the Alto Guadiana valley and in its highest part the source of the Guadiana river.
7 Calares del Rio Mundo y Sima The Mundo river is well known for its picturesque source. The river originates from a cave in the middle of a tall cliff and forms a waterfall with a height of almost 100 meters. Subsequently, it forms a series of smaller cascades and pools.
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