What to see in the Lagunas de Ruidera

In the region of La Mancha there is a tourist destination that many recommend to spend the summer holidays. These are the Lagunas de Ruidera, a complex water system of 15 natural dams that create an interesting ecosystem typical of wetlands. However, many of us do not know what its true attractions are.

The territory where the Lagunas de Ruidera are located was declared a Natural Park in 1979, mainly to protect the area from uncontrolled urbanization and thus promote animal diversity. Today, the 37.72 km² of surface of this nature reserve form a landscape that many define as paradisiacal, and is even considered an oasis in the middle of a predominantly dry climate in central Spain.

The weather in the Lagunas de Ruidera varies according to the time of year, as is the case in much of the Mediterranean. In winter, the days are short and the temperature can drop below zero degrees Celsius, with frequent rains. When spring arrives, it is possible to enjoy the result of the rains, since the lagoons have their characteristic overflowing waterfalls. For its part, summer is a warm period, with maximum temperatures of 24 to 26.6 degrees Celsius in July, while in autumn the vegetation around the lagoons presents a landscape between ocher and brown, which contrasts with the emerald green of the waters, creating a very romantic atmosphere.

If you are wondering what to see in Ruidera, you should know that one of the most outstanding characteristics of this area is its geomorphology. The limestone rock has been dissolved by the water, creating small waterfalls, which is why many compare the landscapes with those of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, located in Croatia. In this sense, the erosive action of the waters of the Alto Guadiana River for centuries has created a karstic complex, so that beyond its natural beauty, it is also an interesting place for students of these issues.

Location of the Ruidera Lagoons

To know where the Lagunas de Ruidera are, we must mention the Spanish community of Castilla-La Mancha, in the center of the Iberian Peninsula. Most of the lagoons are found in the limits of the provinces of Albacete and Ciudad Real. In fact, the largest and deepest dam called Laguna Colgada was divided, one part belongs to Ciudad Real and the other to Albacete.

If you want to know how to get to the Lagunas de Ruidera from Madrid, we tell you that it is very easy and by car it can take only 2.5 hours. Therefore, you can go and return home in a weekend. You just have to take the A-4 South motorway towards Andalusia, and then take the Manzanares exit. Next, you must exit to the N-430 through a ring road. On the way you will pass through Membrilla, Alhambra, La Solana and finally you will arrive at Ruidera. At the entrance of the town you will see a detour to the right with a traffic signal to the lagoons. 

Accommodation in the Lagunas de Ruidera

It is a fairly large territory, so there are many accommodation options. You can choose between the apartments and hotels that are next to the lagoons or within the towns of Ruidera and Ossa de Montel, depending on whether you are in Albacete or Ciudad Real. In this sense, we can say that there is a place for every taste.

As for accommodation prices, the Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park offers a great variety. In general, the hotels that are near the lagoons are more expensive than those in the towns, but their rooms can have a view of the lagoons and special services of tourist routes. For their part, those found in the towns of Ossa de Montiel and Ruidera have more competitive prices, are usually very comfortable and also have a tourist offer.

In this sense, very close to Laguna del Rey is El Mirador de Ruidera, which consists of a group of apartments equipped with a series of services and an entertainment area with satellite TV, DVD and video game console. In addition, the accommodation includes WiFi and swimming pool at no additional cost. 

The accommodations are a good option if you are looking for where to eat in the Lagunas de Ruidera, but there are also restaurants with typical dishes from La Mancha, such as lamb stew, duels and quebrantos, as well as atascaburras. Also, you can find pizza, hamburgers and other popular foods. 

The journey to the lagoons

Although this rural destination is close to the big cities, the idea is not to return home the same day, since there is much to do; above all, because it is about 15 lagoons. If you come from Ciudad Real, you can start the tour at the Peñarroya reservoir, to enjoy the military architecture of the homonymous castle, a Muslim fort built in the 12th century. From there, you can go through all the places to the Laguna Blanca. 

Now, if you enter the lagoons from Albacete, then you can start at Laguna Blanca, to continue towards Conceja, Tomilla, Tinaja, San Pedro, Redondilla, Lengua, Santos morillo, Batana, Colgada, del Rey, Cueva Morenilla, Coladilla and Swampy. In this case, the trip would end at the Peñarroya reservoir. 

Other activities you can do in the Lagunas de Ruidera 

As we have seen, the offer in the Lagunas de Ruidera is very wide. Currently, there are companies that take travelers to enjoy different outdoor activities, such as cave tours, hiking, night astronomy routes, guided 4×4 routes and bird watching, so do not forget the binoculars.

In the Lagunas de Ruidera there are areas enabled for swimming, so we recommend that you bring your best swimming goggles for open water. In addition, there are diving courses and it is possible to practice nautical activities, such as light sailing and kayaking. But that’s not all, there is also paintball, a climbing wall, archery and mountain bike rental for guided tours. 

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