Alcalá del Júcar (near Albacete) was included in an article by El Pais on Spain’s prettiest villages, and after Ana in our office paid it a visit last weekend, she told us she really would recommend a visit.
So why would you make a trip to Alcalá del Júcar, 2 hours from La Zenia?
The village is built on a rocky outcrop, as are many villages in Spain, on a bend in the river, presumably for security in times gone by.
Driving northeast of Albacete, taking the CM3201, the road is fantastic, with big long straight sections at either end and the road down the canyon to Alacalá del Júcar is stunning. There are hairpin bends all the way and the deep, tree-filled gorge of Río Júcar is beautiful. About halfway along the CM3201, the village of Alcalá del Júcar based on a crag comes into view as you descend.
The village has an old castle with spectacular views from the tower and it is only 2.50€ to enter. It currently has an exhibition of historic bicycles and has fantastic views. The town is built on the river and I attach here a very useful plan file:///C:/Users/Usuario/Downloads/planoguiaalcaladeljcar2016.pdf
The Moorish castle, dating mostly from the 15th century, lords it over the properties spilling down the steep bank of the river gorge. There is a medieval bridge with Roman origins and a plaza, where kids play, and adults relax and watch. It has a large area free of traffic and if you are feeling brave there is even one place where you can swim or paddle in the river.
If you wish to try some activities here you can find river trips and local walking trails. There is also an activity centre by the river.
Alongside the river, there is also an unusually shaped bullring rebuilt in 1902. Another of the attractions of Alcalá de Júcar is its numerous caves. Some of them have become mini museums. Try and find the four of them – all part of the fun of it.
It is a drive of about 2 hours from La Zenia, on the AP-7 and A-31, so possible for a full day´s outing.
Ana stayed in the Hostal Rambla, in Alcalá del Júcar, which made it a more relaxed trip. This cost €50 for a double bedroom with breakfast included. It was very well located and everything was very pleasant.http://www.hostalrambla.es/ It has pleasant ensuite bedrooms and there are restaurants and bars close by.
Why not have a fun trip and head out for the day to a new place, or even make a weekend of it?