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Toledo Tourist Information   by Gary Marshall
Toledo is situated around 40 miles (64km) southeast of Madrid, and is capital of the Castilla y La Mancha region. This unmissable old city, surrounded on three sides by a tight bend in the River Tagus, boasts a wealth of historic attractions and artistic treasures. It is also famous for being the home of renaissance painter, El Greco, who came to the city from Crete in the 16th century.

Due to Toledo's strategic location, the Visigoths made it their capital in the 5th century AD. The Moors took control in 712AD, before the Christian king, Alfonso VI, captured the city in 1085. Toledo then enjoyed its golden age, until Philip I moved the royal court to Madrid for political reasons in 1561. Afterwards the city went into economic decline, although this has meant that many of Toledo's historic buildings have been preserved. Toledo remains the chief city of the Spanish church and seat of the Primate of Spain.

Toledo, Castilla La Mancha, Spain
Featured Hotels in Toledo

Cathedral, Toledo, SpainBegun in 1227 and completed in 1493, Toledo's magnificent cathedral is regarded as one of the finest in Spain. The cathedral houses a variety of artistic masterpieces, including paintings by Velazquez, Goya and El Greco. Pride of place goes to the huge golden monstrance, which is carried through the streets of Toledo during Corpus Christi.

A short distance from the cathedral is the tiny church 14th century church of Santo Tome. Tourists flock here to admire El Greco's enormous masterpiece, El Entierro del Conde de Orgaz (The burial of the Count of Orgaz). The painting depicts Saints Augustine and Stephen lowering the count into his grave. To discover more about its artist, head to the Casa y Museo del Greco in the old Jewish quarter. Although El Greco didn't actually live here, the museum contains several of his paintings. There are more examples of El Greco's work in the Museo de Santa Cruz. This former 16th century hospice, which also contains paintings by Ribero and Goya, is especially notable for its spectacular facade.

The huge Alcazar fortress, which dominates the skyline of Toledo, is famous for the Spanish Civil War. Nationalist forces, under the command of Colonel Jose Moscardo, managed to hold out against the Republicans for 68 days, although the Alcazar was almost completely destroyed in the process. Today the rebuilt fortress houses a military museum, which traces the story of the siege. There are also some magnificent views across the river valley from the Alcazar's terrace.

Toledo had a large and important Jewish community during the Middle Ages, and there are two surviving synagogues in the old Jewish quarter, El Transito and Santa Maria la Blanca. El Transito, built by Samuel Levi in the 14th century, now contains a small museum, while Santa Maria, which dates back to the 12th century, was converted into a church after the Jews were expelled from Toledo in 1492.

The nearest airport to Toledo is Madrid (Barajas). There are regular trains from Madrid's Atocha station to Toledo, although buses are usually quicker and more convenient. The city's tourist information office is situated at Puerta de Bisagra and is open daily.

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About the Author - For more advice and tourist information about Toledo please see Toledo Spain

Hotels in Castilla-La Mancha - quick links:
Alarcón Hotels - Albacete Hotels - Almagro Hotels - Ciudad Real Hotels - Cuenca Hotels - Guadalajara Hotels
Manzanares Hotels - Oropesa Hotels - Sigüenza Hotels - Toledo Hotels - Toledo Surrounds Golf Hotels
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AC Ciudad de Toledo, Toledo
This 4 star hotel is located on one of the most beautiful and best-known corners of Toledo known as "Los Cigarrales".  It is formed by a group of country houses highly regarded due to their location next to the river, and the panoramic views over the city. This hotel maintains the architectural style of its surroundings and is located in a truly privileged site as it is only five minutes away from the historical centre of the city. Located in the Toledo valley, “El Balcón de Toledo” is noted for its marvellous views and for the light airiness of its rooms. The restaurant, with personal assessment from a team of professionals, provides a varied gastronomic offer inspired by traditional recipes that are carefully prepared with innovative touches.  We want our guests to be in good shape to enjoy their stay. We therefore provide a free Fitness Centre, where you will find Bodybuilding equipment, exercise benches, turkish bath, television and mini Hi-Fi system
Hesperia Toledo
The Hesperia Toledo is a refurbished hotel, with an impressive glass atrium, on the main road from Madrid and just 500 meters from Toledo's walled old town. Most of the city's major sights, including the El Greco House Museum, are within 1.5 kilometers of the hotel. The town's bullring is opposite the hotel.  Guests can unwind with a coffee and a book on the local area in the library room, or take in the views from the panoramic terrace. There are two meeting rooms and a business center on site. Although the hotel does not have a restaurant, there are several local dining options to choose from, including La Casa Del Temple and La Taberna Gótica.  The 35 rooms are well suited to the hot Toledo summers, with cool tiled floors, air conditioning and ceiling fans.
Hilton Buenavista Toledo
Hilton Buenavista Toledo is a contemporary hotel located in the historic city of Toledo, Spain, two kilometres from Alcazar Castle and the El Greco Museum. This contemporary hotel features an outdoor pool by which guests can relax and enjoy a drink from the poolside bar. The hotel has a gym and a full spa featuring a hot tub and massage treatment rooms. There is also a putting green and a cigar bar. Wireless Internet access is available   There are two dining options at the Hilton Buenavista. The Goizeko Toledo Restaurant serves regional specialities and international dishes in a sophisticated contemporary setting. The Marketplace Restaurant serves Spanish dishes and light meals and is open all day. Air-conditioned guestrooms feature marble bathrooms offering complimentary toiletries, bathrobes and hair dryers. 
Hotel Beatriz Toledo
The Hotel Beatriz Toledo is a modern hotel with spacious garden areas and impressive views of Toledo Old Town, two kilometres from the city centre. Within two kilometres of the hotel, guests can explore museums and streets of Toledo, practise their swing at the golf course, and watch a traditional Spanish bullfight. Guests can while away the hours on the sun terraces, go for a dip in the outdoor pool, or enjoy a cocktail or an exotic shake at the poolside bar. The hotel's health club includes a sauna and gym, whilst children are well cared for with supervised childcare activities and babysitting.  The hotel offers two dining options; La Alhacena serves an a la carte menu of Mediterranean and international dishes with Paella being a house speciality; La Romana offers a buffet breakfast, light meals and snacks throughout the day. In the evening, guests can unwind with a drink alongside live music in the Piano bar.
Parador de Toledo, Toledo
On the hill called Cerro del Emperador by a meander of the river Tajo, this hotel in Toledo offers an unequalled panorama of the monumental silhouette, with its greatest jewels, the Cathedral, the Alcázar and the synagogues. In the hotel you can also enjoy the refreshing swimming pool and plan outdoor leisure activities. From the bedrooms, lounges, terrace and pool the beautiful views of the Imperial City dominate, while the interior is remarkable for its spaciousness and luxury.  Comfortable furnishings combine with wooden beams, staircases and balustrades, and Mudejar elements in rugs and tiles.  The dining room offers typical dishes from Castilla - La Mancha, such as stewed partridge Toledo style, roast lamb, cream cheese and honey ice cream and the famous marzipans of Toledo.
Sercotel Casona de la Reyna, Toledo
Set on the edge of historic Toledo, overlooking the River Tajo, the Hotel Casona de la Reyna is a modern building in traditional style. Within 500 metres of the hotel lie the El Greco Museum, the Transito synagogue and Santo Tome church.  Breakfast is served either in the dining room, where guests can also order coffees and wine, in the courtyard or by the open fire. The front desk, open all hours, can assist with laundry or dry cleaning, currency exchange or use of the meeting room. Parking is available in the hotel's garage.  All guestrooms are air conditioned and decorated in yellow tones, with dark wood floors and antique-style furniture. Each room is equipped with a wireless Internet connection, desk, minibar, safe and and satellite television.
Sercotel Pintor El Greco, Toledo
The Pintor El Greco hotel is located in Toledo, Spain, 20 metres from the Paseo del Transito Gardens and the El Greco Museum, and 750 metres from the city cathedral. Toledo train station is 250 metres away.  Set in a 17th-century Toledo house, this hotel has a reading room and lounge area. Wireless Internet is available throughout the building, and there is an adjoining garage for guest parking.  A buffet breakfast is available daily at the Pintor El Greco (surcharge).  The 33 air-conditioned guestrooms have rustic decor in warm tones. Amenities include minibars, satellite television, and hair dryers. The city of Toledo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its history and architecture. The ornate baroque altar in Toledo Cathedral stands several storeys high. 
Sercotel San Juan de los Reyes, Toledo
The Sercotel San Juan de los Reyes is located in Toledo, Spain, 200 metres away from the Del Greco Museum. The Synagogue is situated 50 metres away and the cathedral is located 500 metres away. This hotel is housed within an old flourmill and the Neo-Mudejar facade dates from the 19th-century.  There is an onsite parking garage and a hair salon. The hotel also offers currency exchange and dry cleaning services.  Guests can also enjoy a game of billiards. Sercotel San Juan de los Reyes offers room service (limited hours) and drinks are available from the hotel bar.  The 38 guestrooms all have air conditioning and complimentary wireless Internet. There are also televisions with satellite channels and direct-dial phones. Further amenities include minibars and safes. The private bathrooms feature jetted tubs
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Citymar Layos Golf, Layos - 12 kms from Toledo
The Citymar Layos Golf hotel is located next to the Layos Golf Course, Spain, 12 kilometres from Toledo and 70 kilometres from La Mancha. Situated by the golf course, the Citymar Layos Golf is a three-storey property built in a contemporary style.  The air-conditioned lobby offers wireless Internet access. Multilingual staff can exchange currency and provide limited hours room service. Complimentary parking is available on site. The Citymar Layos Golf's restaurant serves international and Mediterranean food. The café-bar offers drinks, snacks, television and music. The Citymar Layos Golf offers a seasonal outdoor swimming pool complete with a sun terrace. 
Barceló Alba de Layos, Layos - 9 km from Toledo
Situated on a magnificent 18-hole golf course, just 9 km from the city of Toledo, the Barceló Alba de Layos hotel offers a new concept of hotel where you can enjoy extraordinary gastronomy, relaxation and medical-aesthetic treatments in its Spa, and where you can hold conventions, congresses and all kinds of social events.  Its splendid setting offers you the possibility of choosing from a wide range of leisure activities: golf, horse riding, cultural tours, children’s activities, etc.  The hotel offers a varied range of gastronomy, designed to be enjoyed at all times of the day. Different ambiences, textures, flavours, that all make up an experience. The hotel has 86 bedrooms (46 Deluxe bedrooms, 26 Junior Suites, 8 Deluxe with terrace and 6 Deluxe with private garden).
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