We were told that when driving to Alarcón, you would know when you were there. Wow, you most certainly do! What a sight, when you crest the hill and see the town of Alarcón, perched on the hill, with the imposing Marqués de Villena castle, sitting at the closest end of the picturesque town. The castle itself is lovely to stay in, but note, it is a castle, so the superior rooms and suites, which are in the tower, don't have extensive views as there are few, and very small windows. Everything was spotlessly clean, and the beds were comfortable. There is both heating and airconditioning in the rooms, which you can adjust to suit your own needs. Note that if the weather is cold, it can be rather bitter if walking outside. The wind can really whip across the surrounding countryside. We were a little disappointed when we originally booked, as, from the time we enquired until the time we booked (less than a week later) the price went up by €300 for the 3 nights. It meant we ended up just booking for two nights, but, as it turned out, that was possibly not a bad thing. There isn't a huge amount of stuff to do there. There are some wonderful walks around the area, with set walks ranging from 1 1/2 hours to 4 1/2 hours, taking in the three large towers on the far side of the surrounding river and ravine, and plenty of places to ramble, just following your noses. There are countless photographic opportunities both of scenic type, and of the medieval village, with it's wonderful churches and quaint buildings.There are a good choice of cafes and restaurants, and, or course, the restaurant in the Parador itself. We did find, though, that they left us on our own a bit too much, get their attention if you require something more to eat, or want to pay the bill. The staff were wonderfully friendly and helpful, and most had a little English. Note, the restaurant does have English menus. There are other small trips you can do in the surrounding countryside. One day we drove to Cuenca, only about half an hour away, and visited the amazing Casas Colgadas (hanging houses). On the way back we stopped off and looked around the excavated Roman ruins of Valeria. the countryside around here is terribly spectacular. Alarcón is a lovely place to stay for a taste of Spain, or if you wish to have a quiet, relaxing weekend. There are a few little stores in the village, but no bank or money machines. Do take some cash with you, as we found that the Eftpos connection was a bit dodgy in a couple of places, and we were unable to pay by bankcard. Do make sure you borrow the key from reception and take a walk up around the battlements. It is not something we could do often, however, as it was a little pricey. Worth doing once, though, if you have an 8 year old boy who couldn't think of anything better than a stay in a medieval castle!
We were in room 105, which was in the tower and had two small viewing windows (more than some) but u...
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