Have you heard of Candeleda? I didn’t, until I received an inquiry from my reader to write about it.
I was very intrigued by that request. I did research. And here it is…
I am very glad to tell you about this lovely place and share all the information that I found.
Perhaps, some travelers can include this town in their itinerary, or it might be a good one-day trip from Madrid and Toledo.
Candeleda is a Spanish town, with a population of 5,213 inhabitants, located in the province of Ávila, in the Tiétar Valley.
This medieval town, with rich heritage and beautiful nature, developed settlement in 1271.
Through the centuries, the region developed very fast and knowledge has been accumulated in the field of agriculture and animal farming.
In the 12th century, the Candeleda Pass was one of 13 royal passes that were used to drive sheep, and a fee was charged for crossing this pass under the reign of Alfonso X the Wise Velasco Gomez de Avila. This brought the town a large amount of money and made Candeleda a wealthy city.
Nowadays, part of the wealth of Candeleda comes from agriculture, livestock and tourism.
Lots of farmland was devoted to pasture, orchards, growing paprika and olive groves.
Livestock is still very important in the region. Candeleda is the town with the largest number of goats in the province of Ávila and produces fresh, cured and semi-cured goat’s cheese.
Tourism is another main economic sector in Candeleda, which has been the fastest growing industry in the last few decades.
By the 1990s, the annual number of visitors to the Tiétar Valley region was estimated at 100,000. The majority of visitors were from Madrid.
In 2011, the municipality developed a number of facilities to accommodate tourists, including retail establishments, restaurants and bars. Lots of companies provide activities such as horse riding, summer camps and parks.
The real estate sector is also important there, because many people have second homes in the region.
Candelela has a magical nature with pretty landscapes and groves, canyons, streams, springs, peaks and rocks of mountains.
Candeleda is located close to Madris and Toledo, so perhaps it will be a good escape for a day or two from big cities. Also, it is very close to Talavera de La Reina, where you can take a direct bus to Candeleda.
Madrid – Candeleda
The Cheapest way: Bus: €12-€19
Travel time : 2h 50 m
The fastest way: Car.
Travel time: 2 h
Approximate fuel cost:€18-€26
A direct bus, operated by Autocares Grupo Samar, departs from Madrid station to Candeleda station twice a week.
The cheapest way: Bus €11-€17
Travel time: 2h 30m.
The fastest way: Car
Travel time:1h 38m.
Approximate fuel cost:€15-€21
Unfortunatle, there is no direct bus from Toledo to Candeleda. However, there are services departing from Toledo station and arriving at Candeleda station via Talavera de La Reina where you have to change the bus.
Bus services, operated by Autocares Toletum.
Talavera de la Reina
The cheapest way: Bus; €4-€5
Travel time: 1h 10m
The fastest way: Taxi: $110 – $130
Travel time: 49 min.
The direct bus Talavera de La Reina – Candeleda, operated by Autocares Grupo Samar and depart twice a week.
Note: Please plan your trip ahead and check the bus schedule because some buses depart to Candeleda only two or three times per week.
What to see
Candeleda is a very lovely town, with 16th and 17th century architecture, narrow streets with half-timbered houses, parks. I’m sure you will enjoy just walking and exploring around, having a cup of coffee in some cute cafe.
Here is what might be interesting to you:
MUSEO DEL JUGUETE DE HOJALATA DE CANDELEDA
In the heart of the town of Candeleda, on Plaza Mayor, you will find charming the Casa de las Flores house (construction dates from 1862) with eight balconies and big windows, full of gorgeous flowers, which is blooming throughout the year. In addition, this house is a private museum, dedicated to the tin toy world collection, by Luis Figuerola- Ferretti.
The museum contains collections of more than 3,000 pieces of toys that Spanish children enjoyed since the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the second half of the 20th century.
Here what people were saying about it:
Andrea Espada (Translated by Google) Marvelous. Paco is great, as is his family. The place is a monument and the museum houses not only a spectacular collection of toys, but some relics wonderful! 100% recommendable. To make the visit, a very interesting audio guide is available with all the pertinent hygienic measures! The best of Candeleda! (Original) Maravilloso. Paco es estupendo, al igual que su familia. El lugar es todo un monumento y el museo alberga no solo una colección de juguetes espectacular, sino unas reliquias maravillosas! 100% recomendable. Para hacer la visita, está disponible una audioguía interesantísima y con todas las medidas higiénicas pertinentes!Lo mejor de Candeleda! -Eva Testa (Translated by Google) Wonderful surprise; Better than it might seem, because the owner makes a very interesting and entertaining explanation, not only of the world of toys, but also of the many objects from other times with which he completes his collection. Also, surely you leave there happier than you entered, and for that alone it is worth it! (Original) Maravillosa sorpresa; mejor de lo que podría parecer, pues el propietario hace una explicación muy interesante y amena, no solo del mundo de los juguetes, sino también de los múltiples objetos de otras épocas con los que completa su colección. Además seguro sales de allí más contento de lo que entraste, y ya solo por eso merece la pena! - Roberto Eugenio (Translated by Google) Site highly recommended. They have a shop and museum. It is worth going, to enter the museum you must book the visit. It lasts approximately 1:15 minutes. The place is like entering another era. Sites like this should have some help because it is still a place for collectors. Early century toys, imported from many countries. (Original) Sitio muy recomendable. Tienen tienda y museo. Merece la pena ir, para entrar en el museo debes reservar la visita. Dura 1:15 minutos aproximadamente. El lugar es como entrar en otra época. Los sitios así deberían tener alguna ayuda porque no deja de ser lugar para coleccionistas. Juguetes de principios de siglo, importados de muchos países.
HERMITAGE OF THE VIRGIN OF CHILLA CANDELEDA
It is about a 5 minute walk from the Plaza Mayor.
One of the legends tells us that back in 1300, the Virgin appeared to a young man Shepherd named Finardo who mourned the death of one of his sheep. Compassionate, the Virgin brought it back to life and asked him, in return, to build a temple on the site of the miracle.
Finardo told what happened to his neighbors, but they thought that the location was very difficult for construction, and they began to build the hermitage in another place. Mysteriously, every night what was constructed was instantly destroyed, until, finally, the temple was built in its current location.
On the 2nd Sunday of September, as a tradition, the pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Chilla brings together all the peoples of the South of Gredos for celebration. The Virgin of Chilla is considered, in fact, as the Patron Saint of Gredos.
Roberto Hernández Plaza (Translated by Google) A spectacular place in a unique environment. It has very nice views both in autumn and spring. The pilgrimage that takes place in September is very beautiful. It is a bit far from the village of Candeleda but it is worth getting close by car. It has parking. Do not forget to visit the gardens behind the chapel and take a walk to the area of the stone of the apparitions. (Original) Un lugar espectacular en un entorno único. Tiene unas vistas muy bonitas tanto en otoño como en el primavera. La romería que tiene lugar en septiembre es muy bonita. Está un poco lejos del pueblo de candeleda pero merece la pena acercarse en coche. Tiene parking. No se olviden de visitar los jardines de detrás de la ermita y dar un paseo hacia la zona de la piedra de las apariciones. Carlos Caro (Translated by Google) Lovely setting, both the forest and the garden, very careful with different species (Original) Entorno precioso, tanto el monte como el jardín muy cuidado con especies diferentes PSDI SDI (Translated by Google) It is highly recommended, and admission is free ... Do not forget to visit ... the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Chilla an emblematic place for the inhabitants of Candeleda, ... Legend has it, which ran the year 1300 when Pastor Finardo was taking care of the cattle, and he finds one of his dead goats poisoned, then the Virgin of Candeleda's patronized screamer appeared on a stone and resurrected her, asking the shepherd to raise a hermitage in that place ... Upon leaving the village of Candeleda, part of a road that winds between mountains, small orchard and beech trees takes you to this beautiful place, ... The Hermitage surrounded by beautiful gardens, fountains, ancient trees, is beautiful ... there is the stone of the apparitions ... The sanctuary has a Small parking lot, picnic area, fountain with drinking water, public toilets and a restaurant (El Refugio de Chilla), very cozy ... On the last Sunday of May, the Brotherhood of the Virge A pilgrimage is celebrated in Chilla, in honor of the Virgin ... Note in summer the parking lot is usually full ... The best time of the year to visit the Sanctuary is in the months of spring and autumn as the gardens shine in all their splendor ... (Original) Es muy recomendable, y la entrada es gratuita… No dejes de visitar… el Santuario de la Virgen de Chilla un lugar emblemático para los habitantes de Candeleda,… Cuenta la leyenda, que corría el año 1300 cuando el pastor Finardo estaba cuidando el ganado, y encuentra a una de sus cabras muerta envenenada, entonces se le apareció en una piedra la Virgen de chilla patrona de Candeleda y la resucitó, pidiéndole al pastorcillo que le levantara una ermita en aquel paraje... A la salida del pueblo de Candeleda, parte una carretera que serpentea entre montañas, pequeñas huerta y hayedos te lleva a este paraje tan bello,… La Ermita rodeada de unos preciosos jardines, fuentes, árboles milenarios, es preciosa… hay esta la piedra de las apariciones… El santuario dispone de un pequeño aparcamiento, merendero, fuente con agua potable, baños públicos y un restaurante (El refugio de Chilla), muy acogedor… El último domingo de mayo, la Cofradía de la Virgen de Chilla se celebra una romería, en honor a la Virgen… Nota en verano el parking suele estar lleno… La mejor época del año para visitar el Santuario es en los meses de primavera y otoño ya que los jardines lucen en todo su esplendor…
PISCINAS NATURALES EL CARRERAS CANDELEDA
Only a 10 minutes walk from Candeleda and you will find delightful natural swimming pools, with clean, clear and cool water. Public beach with a bar and cafe. It looks like an ideal place to relax on hot days.
Mar Martin (Translated by Google) Excellent bathing area. With areas of different depths for all audiences. On the right bank there are beach bars and bars and shaded areas; Of course, there is a blue zone for parking (for a fee) and they do not have direct access to the river. It is recommended to go with booties for greater comfort. I do not give it 5 stars for 2 reasons: the first is that there are people so unfriendly that, despite being prohibited, they allow their dogs to enter the bathing area and loose. The second, by the civil guard of the area that despite the fact that they made an appearance due to the risk presented by some dogs, did not make much intention to approach and call their attention, so that bathers could use the bathing areas comfortably (I advise, however, since it is forbidden, to call if this circumstance occurs because they tend to fine the owners) (Original) Excelente zona de baño. Con zonas de distintas profundidades para todos los públicos. Al margen derecho dispone de zonas de chiringuitos y bares y zonas sombreadas; eso sí, para aparcar hay zona azul (de pago) y no tienen acceso acondicionado directo al río. Se recomienda ir con escarpines para una mayor comodidad. No le doy 5 estrellas por 2 motivos: el primero es que hay gente tan incivica que, a pesar de estar prohibido, permite q sus perros se metan en la zona de baño y sueltos. La segunda, por la guardia civil de la zona que a pesar de que hicieron acto de presencia por el riesgo que presentaban algunos canes, no hicieron mucha intención en acercarse y llamarles la atención, para que los bañistas pudieran hacer uso de las zonas de baño cómodamente (Aconsejo, de todas formas, al estar prohibido, llamar si se da esta circunstancia pq suelen multar a los propietarios) Nestor Gracia (Translated by Google) A very appetizing place in Candeleda, ideal for families, the water is amazing, it looks transparent, and there are plenty of places to eat in the center of Candeleda. I recommend it 100% for families. If you come from Madrid I recommend the Candeleda campsite 2 kilometers from the town, your thing is to come a couple of days to see the charm of this area. (Original) Un lugar muy apetecible en Candeleda, ideal para familias, el agua es una pasada, se ve transparente, y hay un montón de sitios donde comer en el centro de Candeleda. Lo recomiendo 100% para familias. Si vienes desde Madrid recomiendo el camping de Candeleda a 2 kilómetros del pueblo, lo suyo es venir un par de días para ver el encanto de esta zona. Sara Gomez (Translated by Google) Great, beach type sand and natural pool with crystal clear water. Great with children, several places with terrace to eat (Original) Genial, arena tipo playa y piscina natural con agua cristalina. Estupendo con niños, varios sitios con terraza para comer Julio M (Translated by Google) Cold water that takes away the heat in 1 second. Good place to spend the day with friends, although it is usually quite crowded and as you do not arrive soon you do not take a place. It's been a few years that in the summer it's a blue zone and it's time to check it out. (Original) Agua fria que te quita el calor en 1 segundo. Buen lugar para pasar el dia con amigos aunque se suele masificar bastante y como no llegues pronto no coges sitio. LLevan unos años que en verano es zona azul y toca pasar por caja.
MEGALITICO LA GUANA PARK
Lovely park, located outside of town: 5 minutes by car.
Open 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM
Here what tourists said:
Oscar Fidel Mayo (Translated by Google) Different and entertaining place to teach the little ones and not so little ones, with a Dino included, it is worth spending 10 minutes and taking some photos. (Original) Lugar distinto y entretenido para enseñar a los peques y no tan peques, con un Dino incluido, merece la atención del pena pasar 10 minutos y hacerte unas fotos. David SH (Translated by Google) A small but beautiful place, it simulates Stonenghe and also has other interesting sculptures to see. It has a pond of frogs, dolmens, tools and megalithic constructions between fig fields. Access is along the road but there is not much room for more than 4 or 5 cars. You have to donate and help with maintenance and expansion. (Original) Un lugar pequeño pero bonito, simula Stonenghe y además tiene otras esculturas interesantes de ver. Tiene charca de ranas, dolmenes, herramientas y contrucciones megalíticas entre campos de higueras. El acceso está junto a la carretera pero no hay mucho espacio para mas de 4 o 5 coches. Tiene para donar y ayudar al mantenimiento y ampliación. Alvaro A.B. Free entry, it takes a short time to see it and the little ones like the dinosaur.
El CASTRO DE EL RASO
The traveling time by car is 20 min.
El Castro de El Raso is the ancientest settlement located in the municipality of Candeleda, surrounded by the mountain range of the Sierra de Gredos.In the Castro, you will discover two houses, which have been reconstructed into an interpretation center that offers information about the site. The Castro Celta del Raso is one of the most complete archaeological sites in Spain and it is a combination of archeologic remains of human activity and historical artifacts.The site comes from the fifth century B.C. and discovered remains of materials belonging to the Copper Age. Cave paintings and weapons can be dated to the Bronze Age.
I think it might be interesting to visit.
Linton Nightingale A really interesting archaeological site with a rich history. It's better to visit the site on a guided tour so that you can actually enter the houses and hear the narration from an expert. Otherwise, you'll have to be content to walk around the perimeter fence and just look. Best time to go is early in the morning in the summer to avoid the heat. Marcos Rueda (Translated by Google) Perfect place to get away. It has a tour of the entire castro and informative posters that tell you the history of each point. It also has a house that they have restored so that we can better see how these people lived. The views from there are incomparable with the river and the mountain in the background. There is a small esplanade to park your car. The road is a bit poorly maintained but it is perfectly possible to go with the car. Recommendation to go one morning Perfecto sitio para escaparse. Tiene un recorrido por todo el castro y carteles informativos que te van contando la historia de cada punto. Ademas tiene una casa que han restaurado para que podamos ver mejor como vivían estas personas. Las vistas desde ahí son incomparables con el rio y la montaña al fondo. Hay una pequeña explanada para aparcar el coche. La carretera esta un poco mal cuidada pero se puede perfectamente ir con el coche. Recomendación para ir una mañana Gonzalo Ranz (Translated by Google) Magnificent settlement of the Vetones with magnificent views. Magnífico asentamiento de los Vetones con unas magníficas vistas.
Festivals and folklore
Candeleda is an ancient town that preserves the traditions and forms of social life: people like to gather together during the festival or at Christmas, where they sing traditional songs, play music and dance on the street with guitars, lutes, rondens and hotas. Zambombas (rustic drums) at Christmas and a bottle of anise-flavored liqueur (Anisette ) are also a very popular tradition in Candeleda.
The village festival and pilgrimages in honor of the patron saint of the town, the Virgin of Chilla, are celebrated every second Sunday of September. The festival was declared of Tourist Interest in 1966.
Las Candelas celebration is held on February 2, with traditional “iiluminarias” and bonfireOn the following day on February 3, people have Saint Blaise, also known as “chorizo day”, where folk gather together to eat doughnuts and homemade chorizo.
Carnival parties, with parades and costume contests, for children and adults happen in February in La Plaza del Castle with a snack of sardines and lemonade. Wearing beautiful traditional costumes with handmade embroidery is a very popular cultural tradition as well. The embroidery technique continues to be passed to the younger generation from their mothers and became a great family tradition .
Spanish cuisine is very popular. It includes a wide variety of traditional dishes, like Chorizo, Paella, Gazpacho, Jamón, Turron, lots of delicious meat, paprica, garlic, herbs and, of course, olive oil.
One of the most well-known product cultivated in the town is the paprika of Candeleda. Other foods produced in the region are goat cheese, meat, cherries, figs and olive oil.
You should also try Sangria, which is one of the most favorite drinks in Spain, especially during summer.
Where to eat
Restaurante Casa Pepe
Raaing : 4.5
$$ – $$$ Steakhouse Mediterranean Spanish
The local restaurant is located in the old town, in the Plaza Mayor, in front of the Town Hall. Definitely an ideal place for the lunch or dinner.
sylviane lhery Good service, good qualité, very nice food. Not the first price, but not to expensive. We would be happy to come back. Tony Max Power The restaurant is at the village main square. Having two main rooms (ground floor and 1st floor) it's decorated in a local rustic way and feels cozy. The day we went the restaurant was at 50% of total capacity, so the stay was quieter and more pleasant than usual We were three people for lunch and we asked for roast goat kid, lamb ribs, octopus, baby squid and a salad with roasted vegetables and serrano ham. All the plates looked mouth-watering and were generous in quantity. Main meat dishes had chips and fried peepers as sides. Of course we also had bread. Finally we had 'fried milk' and chocolate crepes with vanilla ice cream for pudding. All tested delicious. Food was served in a reasonable time and prices were slightly cheaper than similar meals at bigger cities' restaurants. If you want Spanish rustic yet classy food this place is perfect. Linton Nightingale This place is in a great location. I had the duck confit which was very tasty but very dry. The waitress was very friendly and the restaurant quaint and cosy. Price is a bit in the rich side, and the wines are way overpriced.
$$ – $$$ Mediterranean Spanish
Los Castañuelos, located near the Plaza Mayor and the Casa de las Flores, in I a small hotel. It looks like a pleasant place to eat.
The restaurant opened in 1987 and offers cuisine based on high quality local products.
Jose_Manuel_00 Outstanding The best restaurant in Candeleda. It is not a cheap place but the price is fair for the given quality. The service and indoor furniture are warm and make you feel at home, with plenty of space. I fully recommend it Isabel Jiménez6 (Translated by Google) The best restaurant in Candeleda. The food of incredible quality all delicious and a perfect presentation. (Original) El mejor restaurante de Candeleda. La comida de calidad increíble todo riquísimo y una presentación perfecta. mandreinacardenas Good restaurant for lunch and dinner, traditional food with good service and good selections of wines
Restaurante el Rodeo
$$ – $$$ Bar & grill , Spanish
This is a family restaurant with delicious cuisine.
IfieldDiver Lovely Family Restaurant Great family restaurant in a superb setting. Friendly efficient staff and huge tasty steaks; all reasonably priced. I had Migas for the first time and loved it. llivy Excellent family restaurant It is great to sit outside and enjoy typical food from region such as cabrito. Kids like it too in grassy area. Elisa Kestler Absolutely worth to go! Inviting outside dining and good and friendly service. Will be back! Alexandra Hernández Great food! We enjoyed it a lot: the portions were huge!
Hopefully, this information is helpful and informative.
Enjoy the pleasant atmosphere in Candeleda and excellent gastronomy!