Almagro, La Mancha & Toledo
New itinerary for 2017!
Almagro Theatre Festival
Theatre, history, nature of La Mancha - small international guided group








Almagro was once the seat of the knights of Calatrava, whose power was so great that King Alfonso X el Sabio founded Villa Real (now Ciudad Real) to balance it. Today it is a fascinating little town, one of the few in Spain where bicycles vie with cars in the streets, a harmony of white, green, ochre and blue, well known for its Plaza Mayor, its Renaissance theatre the Corral de Comedias (1628, oldest in Spain), and its lace-making, introduced from Flanders by Carlos V's court.

We propose 2 ways of exploring La Mancha from Almagro, one at the time of the Theatre Festival (July), the other a 'discovery' holiday, including a day in Toledo!



DISCOVERY WEEK

9 DAYS (8 nights) Activities: visits and excursions; 5 days with walks of about 1-3h in fairly easy terrain; theatre peformance in the Corral de Comedias. Group 10 maximum.

FULL BOARD
EXCEPT 4 MEALS, in rooms for 2 (private bathrooms) at Almagro in a quiet hotel very near the Plaza Mayor. Delicious specialities of La Mancha, some with curious names: pickled aubergines, tiznao, pipirrana, duelos y quebrantos...

DATES (Monday-Tuesday)

2017 5-13 June.

PRICE 895 euros per person; single room supplement 155 euros.

FLIGHTS choose an arrival in Madrid before 15.00 and a departure after 15.30.
RENDEZVOUS 19.20, Manzanares station (17.20 train from Madrid-Chamartín).
DISPERSAL Manzanares station for the train arriving at Madrid-Chamartín at 12.28.
Please ask us for travel information — we can book train tickets for you.


Location of this programme:


DAY-TO-DAY

MONDAY: Short transfer from Manzanares to Almagro. Tapas dinner on the Plaza Mayor.

TUESDAY: The Lagunas de Ruidera, an enchanting Natural Park with 15 lakes linked by waterfalls and places visited by Don Quijote, Peñarroya castle and Argamasilla de Alba, where an imprisoned Cervantes first began writing about the strange knight.

WEDNESDAY: A day in TOLEDO, the legendary multicultural capital of Spain, looking for traces of its Visigothic, Moorish, Jewish and Mudéjar splendour. Some free time to investigate the legacy of El Greco, the riches of the cathedral, or for shopping.

THURSDAY: Valdepeñas, famous for wine: visit to an organic bodega and to the Cerro de las Cabezas Iberian site. A walk amid the ancient volcanic cones of the Campo de Calatrava. Calatrava la Nueva, fortress of the knights.

FRIDAY: The luxuriant Mediterranean forest of the Cabañeros National Park. Walks of 'Pico Umbria' on a cork-cutters' path, and of the 'Boquerón del Estena', looking for fossils.

SATURDAY: The Despeñaperros Natural Park: short walks in this park take us to two spectacular natural monuments, the Collado de los Jardines vantage point over the vertiginous Despeñaperros cleft, and the Cimbarra waterfall. Visits to the palace of El Viso del Marqués and to the square bull-ring of Las Virtudes, Spain's oldest (1641). Back in Almagro: National Theatre Museum; a performance in the Corral de Comedias.

SUNDAY: The Campo de Calatrava: impressive fortified citadels of Alarcos and Calatrava la Vieja, curious examples of volcanism, the Cerro de la Encantada Bronze-age site.

MONDAY: Quijote route in the plains of La Mancha, including the spectacularly-sited castle and 'giant' windmills of Consuegra, and Puerto Lápice, where he was knighted by an innkeeper. A ramble in the footsteps of the Visigoths at the feet of the Montes de Toledo: the ruins of San Pedro de la Mata and friezes incorporated in the walls of Arisgotas village, with an interesting museum.

TUESDAY: Transfer to Manzanares station.

Ciudad Rodrigo Theatre Festival for families/mini-groups
Discovery: Berlanga-Soria / Uncastillo-Pyrenees / Jaén / Candás-Costa Verde / Liérganes-Santander
Two centre discovery: Ciudad Rodrigo-Arribes del Duero / Ruta del Oro / Extremaduran Kaleidoscope
Bienal Flamenco Seville / Jerez Flamenco Festival / Summer/autumn flamenco nights (Granada & Jerez)
walking / nature rambles / historical journeys / Xmas 2017 at Cordoba / New Year 17-18 at Trujillo
for families or friends / Holiday index+calendar / Introduction in English / How to book / e-mail us







THEATRE FESTIVAL

The Almagro Classical Theatre Festival takes place in July in the Corral de Comedias, the two other theatres (C19 and modern) and the patios of other notable buildings of the town, some not otherwise open to the public, and all within a few minutes' walk. Plays are performed in Spanish and other languages with both conventional and experimental representations of classical pieces; there are also concerts, dance and other events. In the evening the streets and squares of the town are invaded by an animated crowd of theatre-goers and strollers.

IMPORTANT: in view of the popularity of the festival, and of the limited space in the venues, theatre tickets are sold out in a few days. In order to be able to guarantee reservations for at least 4 performances, we MUST receive bookings by 7 April 2017. In May, all participants will receive a list of the pieces we shall be seeing, so as to be able to read them in advance if they so wish.

7 DAYS (6 nights) Activities: 4 theatre pieces, exhibitions, street animation, monuments open for the festival. Visits, excursions; 2 days with easy walks of about 2 hours. Group 10 maximum.

FULL BOARD
EXCEPT 3 MEALS, in rooms for 2 (private bathrooms) at Almagro in a quiet hotel very near the theatres and Plaza Mayor. Delicious specialities of La Mancha, some with curious names: tiznao, pipirrana, duelos y quebrantos...

PRICE
895 euros per person; single room supplement 155 euros.

DATES (Thursday-Wednesday)

2017 13-19 July. FULLY BOOKED.

FLIGHTS choose an arrival in Madrid before 15.00 and a departure after 15.30.
RENDEZVOUS 19.20, Manzanares station (17.20 train from Madrid-Chamartín).
DISPERSAL Manzanares station for the train arriving at Madrid-Chamartín at 12.28.
Please ask us for travel information — we can book train tickets for you.


DAY-TO-DAY
THURSDAY: Short transfer from Manzanares to Almagro. Discovery of the town and tapas dinner on the Plaza Mayor.

FRIDAY: An organic bodega in Valdepeñas, and the Cerro de las Cabezas Iberian site. Quevedo route through Villanueva de los Infantes and Torre de Juan Abad.

SATURDAY: The impressive fortified mediaeval citadels of Alarcos and Calatrava la Vieja. The National Theatre Museum at Almagro.

SUNDAY: The Campo de Calatrava with its ancient volcanic cones, curious examples of volcanism, the Cerro de la Encantada Bronze-age site, and Calatrava la Nueva, castle-monastery of the knights.

MONDAY: Quijote route through the plains of La Mancha, with spectacularly-sited castles and windmills. A stroll in the wetlands of the Tablas de Daimiel National Park.

TUESDAY: Walk in the Lagunas de Ruidera, a Natural Park with 15 lakes linked by waterfalls. Argamasilla, where an imprisoned Cervantes created his most famous character.

WEDNESDAY: Transfer to Manzanares station.