From ancient Arab citadels to centuries-old churches, castles and towers, Toledo's historical treasures provide fascinating glimpses into its past. Relics are dotted among cities, towns and villages surrounded by a countryside of wide-open plains, high peaks and forests. Hike over mountains, go wildlife spotting in a national park and explore a Gothic cathedral.
The capital of the province is also called Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its wealth of historical monuments. Venture behind its medieval walls to explore old churches, palaces, synagogues and mosques. Tour the 13th-century gothic Catedral de Toledo, visit the ancient Arab fortress of Alcazar and admire the stucco decoration of the Synagogue of El Transito. View masterpieces by the Spanish Renaissance painter El Greco who lived in the city for nearly 40 years. They are exhibited on church walls and at El Greco Museum.
Drive or take the bus for the 50-mile (80-kilometer) journey to Talavera de la Reina. This city has been an important ceramics center for hundreds of years. See pieces from the 14th century to the present day at the Ruiz de Luna Pottery Museum. Travel the short distance to the medieval village of Oropesa. Head to its 13th-century hilltop castle and visit other historical monuments, such as the 16th-century Jesuit College and St. John the Baptist Hospital.
Explore the Toledo Mountains on a hiking or driving expedition. Head into the National Park of Cabañeros within this mountainous region. Wander through grasslands, oak forests and mountains and look for the local wildlife, which includes eagles, kestrels and deer.
Don’t leave the province without enjoying some of its celebrated gastronomy, such as marzipan, meat stews and cheeses made from ewe’s milk.
Reach Toledo by flying into Madrid. Make the rest of your journey by car, train or bus. The Spanish capital is about 45 miles (73) kilometers north of the city of Toledo. This is a good base from which to explore the province’s history, architecture and gorgeous scenery.