When you think of Castilla La Mancha you probably immediately think of the white windmills that dominate the landscape. You think of Don Quixote and his partner Sancho Panza trying to fight off these structures thinking they are giants and when you stand up close to one of them, that’s exactly what you’ll take them for. Their huge bases painted white with their black blades stand out in the dry and dusty land of Castilla La Mancha and when you drive by a group of them you can’t help but stop and take your camera out.
It was in my high school Spanish class when I first read an excerpt from Don Quixote and I remember enjoying it and laughing when I read that Don Q tried attacking them but I was thoroughly interested in seeing these constructions so I put it on my “Spain Bucketlist.” It truly feels like a dream to stand next to them.
I went to the city of Alcázar de San Juan located in the province of Ciudad Real which is north west of Tomelloso. There are four windmills there and we toured two of them. First you enter the base of the windmill where you can read facts about the windmills and the anatomy of them. As you walk up the narrow spiral stairs and you see the second level. There you learn about the different grains they use to mill into flour and meal. The different grains they use are wheat, corn, rye, and barley. Next is the last floor, where all the magic happens. This is where the grains are milled into the flour or meals. It’s really special to see mechanics like this that have been working for decades.
If you want to see these windmills in action, this town turns them on during the month of August and I’m definitely coming back for that. The best towns to see these molinos (windmills) are Orgaz, Mora, Madridejos, Tembleque, Consuegra, and Alcazar de San Juan.
What do you think of the molinos? Have you ever visited them? Let me know in the comments below!