Now the weather is starting to be just right for road trips and walking around, we’ve been trying to do more and more outdoors with the weekends. There are loads of places on our list, but we’re ticking off the ones that we can do in just a day. After looking at Google Maps, Cuenca was the decided place.
Cuenca isn’t the easiest place to get to from Alicante, but it’s definitely doable in a day. I’d recommend making a weekend of it though and booking a hotel room and doing it in a weekend.
Tip: there is a Cuenca in Ecuador and loads of people make the mistake of booking a room in Cuenca only to find out that they’ve booked South America. Make sure you double check that you’re booking Cuenca, Spain because it’s SO easily done.
I’d had an awful sleep the night before being woken up by irritating bites that seemed to cover me. I finally got back sleep around 6am so when I got up at 9am, I had the worst tiredness headache and still itching like mad. We were in two minds whether to go or not. After all, we had planned to leave out about 8 to be in Cuenca before midday.
By 10am, we were up and ready and I had my coffee ready for the 3 hour journey to Cuenca.
We had hoped to go for breakfast somewhere on route, but the road is seriously just nothing. We drove along the same road that passed through stretches of just fields and trees. It was a whole lot of nothing. By 13:30, we finally arrived in Cuenca and McDonald’s was the true saviour. Feeling hungry and desperate for a wee (too much information?) we were saved by that big, yellow M.
If you are planning to drive, bear in mind there aren’t many services on route so make sure you’ve got water and the essentials with you, plus all the normal road trip bits and pieces like your reflective vests and warning triangle.
First impressions of Cuenca weren’t so great. It felt like we had driven for hours for somewhere that didn’t look impressive. The outskirts were, quite frankly, a little ugly.
But, once we arrived to the centre and to the casas colgadas, that all changed.
Cuenca is a city in the Castilla La Mancha región set in the mountains of the east-central part of mainland Spain. The city has truly kept its Moors roots and has kept its historic essence with steep cobbled streets and medieval architecture.
When you think of coloured houses, you might consider Villajoyosa, but Cuenca has even more coloured houses. It also has the spectacular hanging houses that look like they loom over the cliff edge perched on limestone as a gentle reminder of the colour that bursts around the city. Plus, it has a gorgeous stream that runs across the city.
The city is wonderful to walk around and everywhere you look there’s something to take in. We loved that as Cuenca is at the top of the limestone rock, every corner brings a spectacular view from high up.
As we visited on Carnaval, there was a concert happening in Plaza Mayor and vintage cars were parked to take photos with. They made such good props for taking photos with the cathedral behind.
Rio loved walking around the grassy area of Cuenca and around the rocks that have the most beautiful view of the hanging houses and the ground so far below. We also just had to get some photos of him smiling with the view behind, as this arch just makes a stunning frame.
We visited in February and there were thousands and thousands of almond trees bursting with pink blossom on the route to Cuenca and some in the main city. We walked from the main plaza up to the hanging houses and around the rocks and back through the park.
8,000 steps, 1 can of Pepsi, and 3 hours later we were heading back to the car. We felt like we were able to see lots in the short time we visited but would definitely love to go back and spend a couple of nights in Cuenca. It would mean we could explore more of the countryside areas and visit some nearby cities like Guadalajara and Albacete again.