One of the best things about living in Valencia in Spain, is the accessibility to countless amazing little breaks within a few hours. The city itself is a remarkably interesting, exciting, different and fun city, with plenty of things to do in Valencia. But it's also a great base from which to head out and see more of Spain. Many visitors to the country end up in the main tourist bases of Barcelona, Madrid and the southern cities of Andalusia (Seville or Granada), but there is so much more to see, and the smaller more hidden places will actually show you more of what the 'real Spain' is actually like! This article will show you all about the strange but special city of Cuenca, which sits on top of a huge rocky outcrop and has done for more than a thousand years!
I love every single drive I've every done in Spain! It's one of my favourite countries to drive in, as the roads are perfect, the traffic is very light and the scenery is stunning. Once you leave the larger cities, the open spaces and natural beauty are remarkable, and made all the better by the emptiness of it all. On the journey from Valencia to the city of Cuenca in Castilla-La Mancha (around three hours away), you will barely see another car, and will only come across small little villages in-between. Even though I've lived in Spain for almost three years now, there is still so much unexplored and still to visit.
This was another trip with Happy Erasmus, the travel group that puts together trips to help young adults living in Valencia (often coming from other countries) to see more of Spain! As always, the trips with these guys are well organised, very well priced and have a really fun and inclusive atmosphere that can add to the enjoyment of any trip. Cuenca has sat in this elevated spot since around the 8th Century, and has seen its share of Islamic, Catholic and Christian developments, wars and constructions, all of which still bear their marks.
With the group I went with, we had a guided tour, which I was initially unsure about. I sort of had an idea that guided tours were restrictive and claustrophobic as you can't choose where you go, nor can you get away from the group. I'll be honest and say that this idea was simply wrong. The level of expertise and fun knowledge from our guide (Hugo) and the well-paced movement of our group meant I discovered WAY more than I could have done on my own, and also it meant I could ask questions about specific things that normally I'd spend a while trying to research online.
Cuenca is a beautiful city, much more interesting and unique than I was expecting and definitely a place worth visiting. It's in the middle of nowhere, and all the more exciting because of that. The long journey from Valencia to the city built my excitement, and it didn't hurt that we had plenty of sun (even in mid December).
Like this story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.