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Alarcon Travel Guide

Alarcon (Spain)
Coat of Arms of Alarcon (Spain)

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Coordinates: 39.55°, -2.083333°

Population: 152 inhabitants (2022)

Distance to Madrid: 189 km

Alarcon is a beautiful town located in the province of Cuenca. Its history dates back to the time of the Iberians and Romans. The history of Alarcon is closely linked to its strategic location on top of a hill, surrounded by the Júcar River.

This privileged location has been key to its development over time, making it an important defensive and commercial enclave. The town is located about 87 kilometres southeast of the city of Cuenca.

In the 13th century, during the Reconquest, it acquired great prominence. It was conquered by Christian troops led by Alfonso VIII of Castile in 1184, and was later awarded to the Order of St. James.
Alarcon (Spain)
In the following centuries, Alarcon experienced a period of great splendour. It was renowned for its castle, one of the most impressive in Spain.

Alarcon Castle was built in the 8th century and remodelled in the 15th century. It stands majestically on the hill, offering spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Today, the castle is a charming hotel where visitors can enjoy a unique experience and immerse themselves in the history of the town.
Alarcon's other architectural gems are the Gothic-style Church of St. Mary and the Town Hall, a Renaissance building.

The old town of Alarcon, with its cobbled streets and houses of traditional architecture, invites you to lose yourself in its historical charm. Also, this beautiful municipality is famous for its natural environment, with the Júcar River and landscapes of great beauty.

The Alarcon reservoir, located upstream, is a popular place for water activities and rural tourism.

Top 5 places to visit in Alarcon

Following are some of the places to visit in Alarcon, a historical, elegant and enigmatic site.

Alarcon Castle

Alarcon Castle (Spain)
Alarcon Castle is an impressive fortress located on top of a hill. Built in the 8th century and remodelled in the 15th century, the castle stands majestically, offering spectacular panoramic views.

It is an outstanding example of medieval military architecture, with its imposing stone walls, towers and battlements testifying to its defensive function in bygone eras.

Inside, you can explore various rooms, such as the throne room, the stables and the chapel, which exhibit architectural and decorative elements from different periods.
Today, the Castle of Alarcon has been adapted as a charming hotel, where visitors can enjoy the unique experience of living in a medieval castle.

The interiors have been carefully restored and offer modern comforts without losing the historical charm. This castle is an architectural treasure that captivates lovers of history and medieval beauty.

Old Church of St. John the Baptist

Old Church of St. John the Baptist (Alarcon - Spain)
The old Church of St. John the Baptist was built replacing an earlier one in Romanesque style. The church is located in the old part of the town and constitutes an important historical and architectural reference.

The Church of St. John the Baptist presents a solid and elegant structure, with an austere but imposing façade. Inside, one can admire magnificent altarpieces and works of religious art dating from different historical periods.
Additionally, it has a main nave and side chapels that house sculptures and paintings of great artistic value. The main altarpiece stands out, with its ornamental details and reliefs that represent biblical scenes.

The serene and calm atmosphere inside invites reflection and admiration of its rich history. The church is the headquarters of the Jesús Mateo Mural Art Centre.

Alarcon Reservoir

Alarcon Reservoir (Spain)
The Alarcon Reservoir is an impressive water reserve located upstream of the Júcar River. It is one of the main natural attractions in the area.

With an expanse of serene water surrounded by picturesque landscapes, the Alarcon Reservoir offers an idyllic setting for practicing aquatic activities and rural tourism. Its crystal clear waters invite visitors to enjoy activities such as fishing, canoeing and boating, providing a calm and relaxing experience.
In addition to its natural beauty, the environment surrounding the Alarcon Reservoir has exuberant vegetation and varied fauna. One can observe aquatic birds and other animals that find refuge in this natural habitat.

The reservoir also offers various recreational areas and viewpoints from where one can take in panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings.

Infante Don Manuel Square

Infante Don Manuel Square (Alarcon - Spain)
Infante Don Manuel Square is a charming space located in the heart of Alarcon. Surrounded by historic buildings, this cobbled square is a picturesque place where visitors can enjoy the traditional architecture and welcoming atmosphere of the town.

With its benches and terraces, it is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the views of the church and the castle.

The square is a popular meeting point for locals and also hosts cultural events and festivities throughout the year.
With its charm and lively atmosphere, Infante Don Manuel Square is an outstanding place to immerse oneself in the life and history of Alarcon.

It is an ideal setting to contemplate the beauty of the traditional architecture that surrounds it, including the church and other historical buildings. From here, one can admire the cobbled streets and the facades of the houses that retain the charm of the past.

Peña viewpoint

Peña viewpoint (Alarcon - Spain)
The Peña viewpoint is an impressive observation point that offers spectacular panoramic views of the town and its surroundings.

From the Peña viewpoint, one can see the imposing Castle of Alarcon, as well as the picturesque old town and the Júcar River, which shines through the landscape.

The views from this point are truly impressive and allow one to appreciate the natural and architectural beauty of the area.
The viewpoint has strategically placed rest areas and benches, which invite visitors to stop, relax and enjoy the scenery. It is an ideal place to capture impressive photos and immerse oneself in the serenity of the surroundings.

It is also a popular place to watch the sunsets and enjoy the magic of the landscape illuminated by the last rays of the sun.

The combination of natural beauty and history that surrounds this observation point makes it an attractive destination for lovers of photography, nature and tranquillity.

Gastronomy in Alarcon

This municipality of Cuenca offers a unique gastronomy that captivates palates. It is a delicious combination of traditional flavours and typical dishes from Castilla-La Mancha.

With a base of local ingredients and a historical influence, Alarcon's cuisine offers an authentic culinary experience.
One of the most emblematic dishes of the area is the “morteruelo”, a pâté made with game meat (such as rabbit, partridge or hare), spices and breadcrumbs. It is a traditional delicacy that is usually served on bread or toast, and it represents the richness of the local gastronomy.

There is also Segureño-style lamb, another of the star dishes in Alarcon. It is a suckling lamb roasted in the oven, seasoned with aromatic herbs and accompanied by potatoes. The tender and juicy meat and the flavour of the spices make this dish an irresistible delight.
As for desserts, the “alajú” stands out. This is a typical regional sweet made from honey, almonds, walnuts and wafers. It is a delicious combination of sweet flavours and crunchy textures that sweetens any meal.

Furthermore, one cannot talk about the gastronomy of Alarcon without mentioning the wines of the region. The area is known for its wine production, especially the red and white wines of the Manchuela Denomination of Origin. These wines perfectly complement local dishes and are a real treat for lovers of good wine.

In addition to the typical dishes, Alarcon offers a wide variety of local products, such as excellent quality cheeses, sausages and olive oil. These products can be found in specialized stores and local markets, allowing visitors to take a little piece of Alarcon's gastronomy home with them.

Alarcon's gastronomy combines tradition, local ingredients and authentic flavours, comprising a unique gastronomic experience that cannot be missed when one is visiting this charming town.