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train stop between Madrid and Valencia

My friend and I are taking the train to Valencia from Madrid in early June. We would like to spend a night somewhere between the two cities that is accessible from the train. We read about Cuenca and that seems interesting but wondering if there are other places instead of Cuenca. We like art, history, architecture, food and wine and really all things Spanish. Any suggestions about lodging (flexible price range), restaurants, and sites are also welcome.

Posted by
18906 posts

Aside from a few AVEs that make a stop at a place I haven't heard of (Requena-Utiel), you have no choice but Cuenca (and not all the Madrid-Valencia trains stop even there). It's a good thing Cuenca is a worthwhile destination. There are two small modern-art museums, a nice cathedral (English audio guide available), and the atmospheric hilltop medieval district with hanging houses threatening to slide into the ravine. I recall seeing posted notices about a walking tour. As of 2016 there was a tourist office.

I believe there's a parador, but I haven't stayed there.

Note that AVEs stop at Fernando Zobel station, which is a good way from town. There's bus service, but I'm not sure how frequent it is. I think there may be no buses on Sundays. I imagine taxis meet each AVE, but it would be prudent to arrive with the telephone number of the local taxi company, just in case you need it.

If you had a car, I'd be encouraging you to devote several days to the area so you could also see Teruel and Albarracin, but they are not on your direct path, and Albarracin doesn't even have a train station.

Posted by
2212 posts

If you like "art, history, architecture, food and wine and really all things Spanish", Cuenca is your town!

Art - the Spanish Museum of Abstract Art
History - Catedral de Cuenca (12th century), El Castillo de Cuenca (remains of Moorish Fortress), Museo de Cuenca (Ancient Roman Artifacts), Villa de Noheda (recently discovered large ancient Roman mosaics)
Architecture - Casas Colgadas (UNESCO Heritage Sites)
Food & Wine - La Mancha D.O. (largest wine region in Spain)
Lodging - Parador de Cuenca (4-star hotel located in monastery, with stunning views of the old town, and an award-winning restaurant)

Posted by
30 posts

Thank you acraven and Carlos for your responses. We thought Cuenca would be our stop but there are so many knowledgeable people in this group we thought we would put the question out there.
Thanks again

Posted by
205 posts

Yes, they have a parador and it is wonderful. We stayed there last year. It's directly across the walking bridge.

I was there on exchange in high school in 1981. It was fun to go back. The old town is really beautify. If you have time (we didn't) the Enchanted Village is fun (I went in high school). Don't miss Cuenca!