The town Consuegra, located at a distance of 60 km from Toledo is right in the middle of the vast saffron plantations.
Rose of Saffron Festival has been held each year since 1963.
The festival is going on the last weekend of October.
During the festival, the people of Consuegra don their traditional costumes and spend a weekend dancing, eating, drinking, parading and merry making from morning to night.
A visit to this extraordinary food festival does not only give you a chance to sample the best paellas and other rice dishes you will ever eat, but also to enjoy historical monuments and art if you decide to make the short trip to Toledo.
A very different Spain experience indeed.
Saffron has been harvested, the threads are dried and packaged and it´s time to celebrate which the people of Consuegra do exceptionally well.
October is harvest time in many European countries and several festivals are held to celebrate the end of the hard work.
The saffron rose is a lovely, small flower ranging in color from light blue to lilac, containing yellow threads in the petals which make up saffron, the world´s most expensive spice.
Castilla La Mancha in central Spain is the center where the best quality saffron grows in Spain, due to its climate.
It´s back breaking work to collect the flowers.
Best time is early in the morning when the petals just open.
Then to pluck out the threads also called stigma, pile them up and dry them.
Only then is the spice ready for use, sold by the ounce and often presented in beautifully crafted glass jars.
It´s all done by hand.
Not so many hotels right in Consuegra, but a few charming ones, with typical Spanish style, can be found.
A hidden gem is the cozy Hotel Rural La Vida de Antes, in an old mansion from the 1800’s.
Great staff and a charming backyard with a little pool.
Good reviews from its guests.
Consuegra Windmills and Castle
Up on a hill stands an impressive 12th century castle which has recently been restored and contains several workshops.
Over the next hill you find Spain´s best preserved seven wind mills, and each with a name.
They all came to fame because Castilla La Mancha is Cervantes country.
The mills were the model for Don Quixote´s fight with the windmills and one of them is named after his side kick Sancho Panza.