We stopped by the town of Consuegra on our way to Sevilla. It’s located on the Calderico ridge that rises above the plains of La Mancha and is about one and a half hours from Madrid.
The main attraction here is a series 16th century whitewashed windmills, that are just like the ones described in Don Quixote. Quixote attacks the windmills, thinking they look like ferocious giants. The idiom “tilting at windmills” meaning fighting futile battles comes from this. They really were stunning in person, just one after another after another. Also, being high on the ridge afforded great views of the country all around.
We came for the windmills, but were surprised to find how charming the town itself was. It had a medieval like appearance, with various pennants hanging between the narrow cobblestone streets. It really was like stepping back in time. For a moment there, I was waiting for the sound of the bugles to announce the impending arrival of the king. We wanted to go to the main plaza and ended up driving right up on the plaza and parking, because we saw another car parked there. For Spain, this is extremely good parking fortune. We sat down at one of the two cafes in the plaza and and had a drink at and some tapas, as we watched the school children play nearby. Quite a nice little surprise in this town.
If you’re going to be near Madrid, you should definitely add Consuegra to your itinerary.