Another of Extremadura’s attractions is its spectacular scenery, always a particular favourite with birdwatchers. Highlights include the Monfragüe National Park, the Jerte valley and the region’s characteristic wooded pastures. A visit to the Jerte valley is highly recommended in spring, when the cherry trees are in blossom and the valleys are clothed in a blanket of white. And the pastures are used for grazing the pigs, which then go on to make the world-renowned cured ham from the Dehesa de Extremadura.
Extremadura´s cuisine has influences both from Andalusia and Castile. It is a rich and varied gastronomy full of vegetables, game and many meats. Typical foods include spicy chorizo sausage, pata negra jamon (finest quality cured ham), gazpacho extremeno (a cold soup), stews and various game dishes. Among the sweets are nevaditos (sugar coated cakes), almond cakes and biscuits. The best wines produced in the region come from Montanchez and from Tierra de Barros.
This is a land famous for its arts and crafts, for the unique monuments to be seen in its towns and cities, and for being the setting for the adventures of the famous literary hero Don Quixote of La Mancha. Any trip to this area in inland Spain should definitely include a visit to its World Heritage cities such as Cuenca with its famous Hanging Houses, and Toledo with its cathedral and Alcázar fortress. If you like culture and history, you’re bound to enjoy its four Archaeological Parks, some of the oldest examples of rock art in Spain, and events such as the International Classical Theatre Festival in Almagro. And if you opt to explore its natural landscapes, you should bear in mind that Castile–La Mancha is one of their territories in Europe with the largest number of officially designated nature reserves, nature areas and national parks, including particularly the Tablas de Daimiel and Cabañeros. You’ll love them.
Castile–La Mancha is also home to a whole host of traditional celebrations such as the Corpus Christi in Toledo, Easter Week in Cuenca, the Albacete Fair, and the Drum Festival in Hellín. And as befits a land of traditional customs, it also produces a variety of typical gastronomic products such as honey from La Alcarria and marzipan from Toledo, as well as being the site of numerous wineries where visitors can enjoy tasting a range of wines, including Valdepeñas. Bon appétit!
In Castilla-La Mancha the cuisine is quite diverse and includes delicious meats, fresh trout and another local delicacy, river crabs. Popular dishes are mountain rabbit, hare, migas (fried breadcrumbs), morteruelo (pork liver pate), pistos asadillo (roast peppers and tomatoes with garlic) and gazpacho manchego. Sweets include turron (nougat) and yemas (small egg-yolk cakes). Two products in particular symbolise the gastronomy: manchego cheese and Valdepenas wine.