If you want to explore a wonderful historical city without tourists and feel the authenticity in this 21st century you should take the new high speed train and go to Cuenca.
The historical fortified city of Cuenca has been awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO for its wealth of monuments. Cuenca is located between the Júcar and Huécar river canyons.. Its historic centre looks out over rocky canyon walls in the heart of the Cuenca Mountains. The Cathedral, Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses) and cobbled streets charm all Spanish people that visit as well as the most hardened traveler. A former Dominican convent houses the Cuenca Parador Hotel, where to rest and enjoy the region’s most traditional recipes. Also as most of you know the Paradores always guarantee a good deal… the best quality at the better price.
The way the city “hangs” from the rock is spectacular. The view from the Parador (former San Pablo convent) is stunning. From the Parador you can walk to the city center in 5 minutes by taking the San Pablo Bridge suspended over the Huécar Canyon. The “Casas Colgadas” or hanging houses are excellent examples of the traditional architecture. They are currently home to the Spanish Museum of Abstract Art that, together with the Antonio Perez Foundation are a not to be missed. The museum houses one of Europe’s better collections in the genre.
Our good friend Andrew Ferren wrote an article on Cuenca at the New York Times last week. Don’t miss reading it: http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/01/30/travel/30overnighter-cuenca.html?ref=travel