The chief sight of Cuenca is the Old Town itself. Isolated from the rest of Spain, it requires a northern detour from the heavily traveled Valencia-Madrid road. Deep gorges give it an unreal quality, and eight old bridges spanning two rivers connect the ancient parts of town with the growing new sections. A footbridge is suspended over a 60m (197-ft.) drop.

Cuenca's streets are narrow and steep, often cobbled, and even the most athletic visitor will tire quickly. But you shouldn't miss it, even if you have to stop and rest periodically. At night you're in for a special treat when the casas colgadas are illuminated. Also, try to drive almost to the top of the castle-dominated hill. The road gets rough as you approach the end, but the view makes the effort worthwhile.

If you have the time, you can make a side trip to the not-that-enchanting Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City), Carretera de la Sierra, about 40km (25 miles) to the northeast of Cuenca. Storms and underground waters have created a city here out of large rocks and boulders, shaping them into bizarre designs: a seal, an elephant, a Roman bridge. Take CU-912, turning northeast onto CU-913. Ciudad Encantada is signposted.

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