Perhaps best known for Cervantes' legendary literary figure Don Quixote and its windmills, Castile-La Mancha – Spain's third largest region – is a land of deep contrasts, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Imperial Toledo and cliff-hanging town of Cuenca vying with the grandeur of the medieval castles dotting the rolling countryside around Guadalajara.
Located under half an hour away from Madrid by high-speed train – a system to which Ciudad Real, further to the south, is also linked – Castile-La Mancha's capital Toledo is the perfect MICE destination for those looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. In addition to modern congress facilities accommodating a maximum of 2,000 delegates, as well as a wide range of original venues, including heritage buildings and wineries, the city affords a choice selection of hotels and restaurants and a seemingly endless array of impressive monuments, featuring the 16th century fortress dominating the city's skyline.
For smaller meetings, business incentives and team building, the region's other main cities – Albacete, Ciudad Real, Cuenca, and Guadalajara – offer everything a MICE destination should, including meeting facilities, hotels, watering places and spas, museums and other cultural attractions, and most importantly good road connections. In addition, Castile-La Mancha has countless towns and villages waiting to be explored, and, possibly its greatest asset, approximately 820,000 acres of protected natural spaces. These include two national parks, those of Cabañeras and Tablas de Daimiel both in the province of Ciudad Real, and six natural parks, featuring the Barranco del Rio Dulce in Guadalajara and Los Calares del Rio Mundo y de la Sima in Albacete.
As would be expected with such an abundance of diverse landscapes, there are many things to do in the outdoors, from river descents on the Tagus and Jucar and high-risk sports to fishing and hunting. Castile-La Mancha is also famous for its wines and cheese, and has a flourishing wine and gourmet tourism industry, with organised tours of the wineries and restaurants of Valdepeñas, Alcazar de San Juan, Campo de Criptana, Tomelloso, and Villarrobledo, among other localities. Last but not least, the region is also well-known for its local and religious festivals, Hellin's "Tamborada" and Toledo's Easter processions being perhaps the most characteristic of all.