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Don Quixote Country

Don Quixote (c 1868) by Honoré Daumier
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Don Quixote Country Travel Guide

Introduction

Castilla-La-Mancha is inextricably associated with Miguel de Cervantes' classic, Don Quixote, for it's largely set in the towns and countryside of this region. It should therefore come as no surprise that many of the towns and villages here bear the stamp of their beloved author on storefronts, mesones, inns and street signs. In virtually every town with even a peripheral connection to the knight itinerant and epic adventurer Don Quixote, there's a statue or plaque, possibly both, paying homage to Cervantes' masterpiece and drawing tourists who pay to get a whiff of it. Among the sights are such memorable settings from the classic as the windmills of the Manchas – or plains – scattered in isolated clusters or perched on hills, as well as the towns of Consuegra, Puerto Lápice, Campo de Criptana, and El Toboso, the birthplace of Lady Dulcinea, the inspiration for Don Quixote's chivalry.

Location

How to Get There

Sightseeing

Main Towns

The following towns and villages with associations to Cervantes' fictional character Don Quixote can be see on a driving itinerary.

  • Consuegra - At the top of the itinerary is the town of Consuegra, located in the southern Toledan Mancha. Here, on the outskirts of the town is the yellowed Mount Calderico, crowned with a row of windmills which, at one end, run down to a ruined castle. The windmills have been colorfully named "Vixen," "Turkish Woman" and "Sancho Panza" – Don Quixote's chubby, blubbering companion – among others.

  • Puerto Lápice - Puerto Lápice is the next stop along the route, reached by heading east from Consuegra to Madridejos and picking up the N-IV south to Puerto Lápice. The town, in any case, is remarkable mainly for its inns, each bearing a name that references Cervantes’ classic. Among the most prominent is the Venta de Don Quixote, claimed to be the haunt of Don Quixote.

  • Argamasilla de Alba - Argamasilla de Alba, the next town along, is arrived at by journeying south from Puerto Lápice on the N-IV, then turning southeastward at Villarta de San Juan, and so to the town of Argamasilla de Alba. Argamasilla de Alba is actually where Cervantes was once imprisoned on an unsubstantiated murder charge, and, while in captivity, is believed to have written the introductory pages of his masterpiece, Don Quixote.

  • Campo de Criptana - Campo de Criptana is the next destination, reached by driving northeast to Tomelloso, then heading north toward Alcazar de San Juan before turning east, some 9 miles (15 km) later, directly to Campo de Criptana. At Campo de Criptana you can search out the windmills that Don Quixote attacked, mistaking them for giants. Ten of the original 32 windmills are still standing, poking out of the Sierra de la Paz, with the oldest of them, the "Infante," dating back to 1500 AD. Even more windmills, seven of them, can be seen at Mota del Cuevo, which can be accessed by heading east on the N-420.

  • El Toboso - El Toboso is the final destination on the Don Quixote route, reached by heading east from Campo de Criptana a little way, then northeastward on the CR-1101 directly to El Toboso. El Toboso, of course, is the birthplace and home of Cervantes' other fictional character, Lady Dulcinea, that unattainable femme that pervades Don Quixote’s adventures. The place to visit here is the restored 16th-century Casa de Dulcinea, former residence of Doña Ana Martínez Zarco de Morales, identified with Dulcinea in the Cervantes classic, which has on display a good collection of period clothes and tools.

How to Get Around

Where to Party

Where to Eat

Where to Stay

Know Before You Go

  • Best Time to Visit:
  • Cost Per Day: US$-US$ (-)
  • Currency: (US$1 ~ )
  • Electricity: 220-240V - 50Hz
  • Phone Code: +34
  • Population:
  • Official Website:

Nearby Destinations

© Indian Chief Travel Guides

Last updated December 3, 2013
Posted in   Spain  |  Toledo
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