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Panoramic view of the city of Toldeo, Castilla la Mancha

Road trip to explore Toledo and the natural parks nearby

Toledo

If you’re planning a trip that includes both culture and nature, then we strongly recommend you take a look at Toledo. The old quarter has been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO, and the city is located very close to some areas of outstanding natural beauty. This 115-kilometre route is a good option for taking slowly, over a few days. 

The city of Toledo

Did you know that Toledo is nicknamed “the City of the Three Cultures”? This is because for centuries Muslims, Christians, and Jews all lived here together in peace. The result? The monumental city that you can visit today. You could start off at the Puerta de Bisagra, and take the little street that leads up to what used to be the gate to the city in the Muslim era: the Puerta del Cristo de la Luz. Walking on through the pedestrianised streets, you’ll come to the Plaza del Ayuntamiento square where you’ll see the Archbishop's Palace and the impressive Cathedral of Toledo. Construction began on this spectacular temple in 1226, and the work continued for centuries.

Top: Puerta de Bisagra, Toledo / Bottom: Cathedral of Toledo, Toledo.

Another essential point of call is the Church of Santo Tomé, as inside you can admire El Greco’s masterpiece, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz. To learn more about the artist and his work, visit the city’s El Greco MuseumOther buildings that will no doubt also grab your attention are the Synagogues of El Tránsito, which houses the Sefardí Museum, and Santa María la Blanca, built in the Mudéjar architectural style. And don’t forget the Franciscan Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, constructed in the time of the Catholic Monarchs, the Church of San Román, and the Museo de Santa Cruz museum.Also not to be missed is the Centre of Modern and Contemporary Art, inaugurated in 2019.

Top: Church of Santo Tomé, Toledo / Bottom: Franciscan monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, Toledo

Escape to the natural world

To combine with your cultural visit to Toledo, a visit to the Barrancas de Burujón is a great option. This nature reserve is less than 30 kilometres from the city, and comprises the waters of the Castrejón Reservoir on one side, and steep claystone gullies on the other. An especially beautiful place as the sun goes down, when the walls of rock take on a reddish glow. The viewpoints in the area, such as Cambrón and Los Enebros offer wonderful views. 

Top and bottom: views of the Barrancas de Burujón, Toledo

Finally, at a distance of about 85 kilometres from the Barrancas de Burujón lies the Cabañeros National Park. With its rivers, mountains and plains, this is an ideal place to unwind and to get back in touch with the inner you along one of the 16 routes within the park. And if you’re a keen birdwatcher, this is a paradise that’s home to more than 200 species, among them the black vulture and the black stork stand out. As you’ve no doubt realised, this road trip taking in Toledo and the natural spaces in the surrounding area is an excellent option if you decide to spend your holiday in Spain. 

Top: Cabañeros National Park, Toledo / Bottom: detail of a waterfall in the Cabañeros National Park, Toledo
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