Madrid to Cuenca
Travel from Madrid to Cuenca in Castile-La Mancha is easy by train from Madrid Atocha Station. The train station boasts excellent high-speed AVE train links that connect Madrid to Cuenca Fernando Zobel Station in Cuenca. The high-speed AVE services going from Madrid to Valencia and Madrid to Alicante stop at Cuenca. There are 11 in total with a journey time of under and hour. In addition to these, there are several other direct services on ALVIA and INTERCITY connecting Madrid to Cuenca that take a little over an hour.
When you arrive at Cuenca Fernando Zobel Station, you’ll be around 5kms south of the city centre. It’s is actually one of two train stations in Cuenca. The other is simply referred to as Cuenca Station and is located in the city centre.
For more information on taking the high-speed AVE service from Madrid, see our guide to departing on the AVE from Madrid Atocha Station. But if you’d rather drive from Madrid to Cuenca with the convenience of your own car, see our Madrid Atocha car rental guides. Many car hire suppliers also offer one-way rentals within Spain. It’s worth considering if you’d rather start and finish your trip in a different location.
Best in Cuenca Travel
Cuenca is the capital of the province of Cuenca in Castile-La Mancha, central Spain. And as one of the most beautiful cities in the region, it would be a shame not to explore it. With journey times under an hour for Madrid, you could even do it as a day trip!
With three sides of the city overlooking the deep gorges of the Jucar and Huecar rivers, the setting is certainly spectacular. The city’s Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses in English) only highlight the feeling of living on the edge as they seem to literally rise up above the cliff edges. Indeed, a famous feature of them are the wooden balconies that jut out over the ravine. One of the houses is now home to the Museum of Abstract Art, which features work by Antonio Tapies and Fernando Zobel.
The best views of the houses are from San Pablo bridge. You can also enjoy more fantastic views of the city on top of the Mangana Tower and the Church of San Miguel.
Best beyond Cuenca
If you’ve got more time to explore Cuenca and the surrounding area, it’s definitely worth doing so. Around 90kms south of Cuenca, Alarcon is another historic city full of charm. A highlight is the hilltop castle. If you head further south, Alcala del Jucar (pictured above) is also full of charm and features a hilltop castle. And north of Cuenca, the Serrania de Cuenca National Park is another top highlight of the area. The park is full of breathtaking mountain scapes, waterfalls, ravines and river gorges. It’s in this park where you’ll find Ciudad Encantada (Enchanted City). Instead of a city in the traditional sense, you’ll find spectacular limestone formations that are like towers (hence the name). There are plenty of hiking trails available to help you enjoy the scenery.
Cuenca is located about halfway between Madrid Airport and Valencia Airport, which are the nearest airports. If you have decided to explore the area with a car hire, there are various options in terms of returning a car hire depending on your supplier and where you’d like to end your trip. In addition to Cuenca Station (the city centre train station), Madrid Atocha Station, Madrid Airport and Valencia Airport are all good options.