There are 919 principalities in Castile la Mancha, Spain, so if you want to see them all, you had better start planning your holidays because you are going to need a couple of months to explore every one of them.
The novel Don Quixote was set in the area, which is why most people will tell you that they have heard of La Mancha, however, most seasoned travellers have probably never been to the area. The region is filled with vineyards, olive orchards and windmills. The countryside with its rolling hills and Mediterranean climate is the perfect place to unwind.
Toledo is the capital city of Castile la Mancha and has a rich and colourful past. The small city has quite a few museums where you can find out the history of what used to be the capital of Spain. Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art, or visit the Museo de los Concilios y Cultura Visigotica. Here you will find an abundance of Spanish treasures dating back to the 6th century.
The largest populated city in the region is Albacete. Visit the Provincial Museum, and make sure you take a few pictures of the famous Bullring, Parque de Abelardo Sanchez. Rent a self-catered apartment, and explore the region that is filled with delicious tavernas. Spend your evenings in Albacete, and you will find some great pubs, bars and discos. Wake up in the morning, and drive to the Natural Spring Baths located in Villatoya. Since 1843, locals and tourists have been using the Banos de la Concepcion for all kinds of water therapy treatments.
Calatrava la Nueva is a medieval castle that is located in Aldea Del Rey, and served as the home of the Calatrava Knights. Take a tour through the castle which is open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday. Serving as a monastery to the warrior monks of Calatrava, it was also used for defensive purposes.
While you are in Castile la Mancha, make sure that you visit the Tablas de Daimiel and Lagunas de Ruidera National and Nature Parks. The two protected areas are full of water birds like ducks, kestrels, horned grebes and herons. The wet lands are the perfect habitat for otters and weasels, but you will also find rabbits and foxes in the area.
Spain is a country that is full of rich history and ancient treasures, and if you are undecided about your holidays this year, you should consider Castile la Mancha.