Today we will be talking all about Guadalajara Spain. Guadalajara is a province in the autonomous community of Castile–La Mancha located in the middle of Spain.
If you love finding hidden gems, then you’ll absolutely love this super detailed guide about the area on what to see, what to do, and also where to eat. (foods important – am i right or ?)
Guadalajara is Madrids neighbor on the North-east and on the South east side you have Albacete and Cuenca on the south-west side.
Inside of the area lives a population of approximately 1.5 million people.
It is one of provinces making up the region of Castile–La Mancha. The others are Toledo to its North and Albacete to its South.
Learn about what to do in this underrated region that makes for a perfect adventure outside of Madrid.
How far is Guadalajara Spain from Madrid ?
Guadalajara is about 40 minutes – 1 hour from Madrid in car. It is a toll free route that involves getting on M-40 and E-90 highways. You can also take public transportation if you don’t have a car.
To get to Guadalajara with public transportation, you can take the metro to Vicalvaro rail road station. Vicalvaro is right outside of the Puerta De Arganda metro stop.
From there you can take the C2 railway that takes about 40-50 minutes and leaves you in Guadalajara. Just like there is hiking in Madrid, you can expect lots of outdoor routes here too.
Guadalajara Spain facts
One of the most interesting things about Guadalajara is it’s history. It was taken by Christian powers in 1085.
From the fifteenth to the seventeenth century, Guadalajara was the seat of the Mendoza family, who were kindhearted supporters of Spanish specialists and scholars.
There is a lot of history inside of Guadalajara Spain. The city used to be a business community in the Middle Ages. Now it’s home to a military airfield.
Present day Guadalajara keeps up its conventional rural ventures, yet its economy has developed with the expansion of current material and hardware producing offices.
Many people who live in Guadalajara work in Madrid and live in Guadalajara or vise versa. There are fast trains and easy transportation options for these reasons.
What to do in Guadalajara Spain
While many people think there is absolutely nothing to do in Guadalajara, that couldn’t be further than the truth! If you like history and the outdoors, then you’ll enjoy the options below on what to do in Guadalajara Spain.
Guadalajara Museum –
Visit the museum of the region. The museum offers an anthropological study of the ideas of life and strictness since Paleolithic occasions to the twentieth century.
The museum started in 1838, and is at presently inside of the Infantado Palace.
Works by Alonso Cano, Ribera and La Roldana, notwithstanding Celtiberian and middle age stays, among others, show the progressive entry of various societies through this region.
Chapel of Luis Lucena or Los Urbina –
Luis Lucena was a humanist and a local of Guadalajara who established and drew up the designs for this chapel.
He arranged the house of prayer to be assembled completely out of brick. He was enlivened by the Mudéjar style of the Romanesque church.
Santa María Co-cathedral –
Check out Landmarks at the Santa Clause María Co-Cathedral. It went through its last redesign in the seventeenth century.
It is in Mudeja style and was revamped in the seventeenth century. The primary façade has an entryway with Renaissance segments and capitals. Different entryways have horseshoe curves.
Inside, there is a fascinating alabaster podium and a few burial chambers. The inside curves are crescent.
Infantado Palace –
It is presently the home of the Museum of Guadalajara. The first structure of the palace was in Gothic style with various Mudéjar influences. It was worked on by Juan Guas, who started it in 1480.
By 1569, the fifth Duke adjusted it to Renaissance taste. They added galleries to the façade and supplanted the sections on the ground floor of the Courtyard of the Lions.
The castle was nearly ruined in 1936. The Courtyard of the Lions, the façade, and the Garden Gallery, were reestablished somewhere between 1961 and 1973.
Visit Sayaton in Guadalajara Spain
Sayaton is a small town located inside of Guadalajara Spain. This town is known for its beautiful rivers, relaxing atmosphere and history.
In the past few years, Sayaton has become more popular to visit. Tourists love to do rural tourism and that is only expanding.
It is also not overwhelmed by tourists so instead you’ll find plenty of space for everyone. Locals are constantly seen hiking, swimming, and living life on the terrazas.
What to do in Sayaton, Guadalajara
If you are outdoorsy, then you’ll love Sayaton. It is home to great hiking routes, beautiful bodies of water, and even more epic view points.
The beauty of it all? It’s a pueblo and there aren’t many people who live there. 2004 census documented only 129 inhabitants.
I’m sure the number has increased since then, but you won’t have to worry about parking and being limited with mobility due to crowds.
Archaeological Park of Recópolis-
For culture you can visit the beauitful archaeological site of the Archaeological Park of Recópolis . Recópolis is very special since its the only visigoth city in Europe. It was built while there was no previous settlement.
Visiting the park of Recopolis takes you on a journey from the 6th century to the 17th century and some diversity.
The traces of the three communities left behind are Visigoths, Andalusians and Christians. Their legacy is still evident today in the archaeological remains.
This castle is important because it symoblizes medieval origin. The views from the castle aren’t bad either. Anguix castle is located on top of a rock above the Bolarque reservoir.
Here are outdoor things to do in Sayaton.
Mirador Del Cemeterio
Love a good view? Feel free to continue your love for them at Mirador del Cemeterio. You get epic views of the river and some grass land. It is located right next to the cemetery.
If you put the exact location, you might get a little lost. The streets are super narrow and its easy to make a wrong turn. However, if you get lost you can easily ask a local and they’ll point you in the right direction.
That’s what we were able to do.
Mirador de Lago Bolarque
Lastly, you have another view point of the Bolarque lake. This view point is about a 25 minute drive from Mirador Del Cemeterio.
This one is super beautiful and the beach is also close by if you want to go swim. Simply put in “Playa Bolarque” and it will come up. In addition, there are signs that say playa all around so you really can’t miss it.
Where to eat in Sayaton Guadalajara
Though Sayaton is small you can definitely find amazing restaurants. The 2 that I highly recommend in the area are:
- Restaurante Abuela Maravillas – This place is located right next to the river, has delicious food, and has the vibe right!
- El Rincon de la Espe – Cozy and family friendly. This restaurant is smaller but doesn’t compromise when it comes to flavor.
Traditional food from Guadalajara Spain
Ofcourse, we all know humans love food so its SUPER important to mention traditional dishes of the region if you visit.
The most traditional dish from Guadalajara is roasted lamb. It’s exceptionally recommendable in this area because the meat comes from the mountains and the animals have alot better nutrients and care.
You should also try the honey from Guadalajara that is named “La Alcarria.” Lastly, there is “morteruelo serrano” that is a dish thats very popular for Castilla de la Mancha.
Morteruelo is a very thick soup that people commonly eat bread with, sometimes they spread it on the bread too.
Other Guadalajara Spain travel destinations
There are 2 other travel destinations about Guadalajara Spain I would like to share with you, there’s Trillo and Pastrana.
Trillo Guadalajara Spain
Trillo is a beautiful town of Alcarria. It’s surrounded by water, most famous are the Tajo and Tagus rivers.
Trillo is a common travel destination for the active traveler. People travel to Trillo for hiking, bicycling, fishing, and even canoeing.
If you visit Trillo, these are the best monuments to visit: Tagus bridge, Cifuentes waterfall, Casa de los Molinos, and the Church of the Asunción de Santa María.
The bridge over the Tagus river is very historical because it was used in battles that helped with passages.
Regarding bridges, the other 2 most famous bridges are the Murel bridge and the Arriba bridge. A lot of history happened on these bridges. Today there are now monuments in the town.
The Cifuentes waterfall is located by the start of the Tajo river and is a must to see. Some people even swim but beware the water is super cold.
Regarding some places to eat in Trillo, make sure you check out Casa David and Covillo.
Pastrana Guadalajara Spain
Pastrana is another great travel option in Guadalajara. It is also close to Trillo. So if you visit Trillo you can visit Pastrana too. In Pastrana, you can walk through the beautiful medieval-like streets.
It’s a small town so you can get to know it quickly.
Here are the best things to see in Pastrana:
- Iglesia Colegiata – beautiful church in the area
- Palacio Ducal de Pastrana – reinassance style palace with mannerist element that was declared a national monument
- Museo Parroquial – parish tapestry museum that is known for its rich history and detail
- Fuente de Los Cuatro Canos – fountain of the four pipes that is now a historical landmark in Pastrana
If you are looking for a good place to eat in Pastrana, I recommend the El Cenador de Las Monjas. It’s tried and true and the service was super gracious. Another good option is Restaurante Cesar.
More Guadalajara Spain restaurants
If you want to eat somewhere really nice in Guadalajara, Spain, then I highly recommend the following restaurants.
Not only is the food exceptionally good, the service is cozy.
Guadalajara Spain conclusion
We hope you get to make it to Guadalajara Spain one day. It’s so important to give things a chance.
I always say to go for yourself and form your own opinion.
Just to recap for today, we talked about the history in Guadalajara, what to do in Guadalajara, other travel destinations in Guadalajara, and where to eat.
We also talked about Sayaton that is a small pueblo located in the area. It’s perfect for people who love the outdoors. You have mountains, rivers, and lovely view points.
Visiting spain will not disappoint. There is tons to see and do. Have you ever heard of Guadalajara?
If not, where would you travel to first from this list? Let me know in the comments!