The Enchanted City: how to get there, schedules and prices
In the Natural Park of the Serranía de Cuenca there are many natural jewels but, without a doubt, the most famous of all of them is the Enchanted City and its fame is completely deserved. If you have not visited it yet, do not miss the opportunity to get to know this emblematic natural space with our best nature guides with the Cuenca Nature and City Tour, an excursion from Madrid to Cuenca in one day. But even if you already know it, at Cuenqueando we invite you to return and discover some of the secrets it hides.
To get to the Enchanted City from Cuenca we leave through Paseo del Júcar along the CM-2105, which is the road that leads to Villalba de la Sierra, in that direction we will reach the Ventano del Diablo. This is our first obligatory stop since the Ventano del Diablo is a natural viewpoint that overlooks the gorge of the Júcar River, one of the most beautiful views of the Serranía de Cuenca. We continue our excursion through the Serranía de Cuenca and find the detour to the Enchanted City on the CM-2104 and in 5 minutes we will be at the Enchanted City parking lot where you can leave your cars for free.
The Enchanted City opens every day of the year, its opening hours are at 10:00, although the closures vary depending on the time of year you visit, you can check all the schedules and special hours by entering the Enchanted City website. To access the Enchanted City you have to stop at the entrance ticket office, the price of general admission is €5, reduced admission is €4 and there is free access for children under 7 years old. You can also access the Enchanted City with your pet, but don't forget that they must be on a leash.
The first thing we have to know in order to understand why the Enchanted City is the way it is is the geological origin of this unique karst landscape. This area of the Serranía de Cuenca, currently more than 1,400 meters above the sea, 90 million years ago was part of the Tethys Sea that bathed the coasts of the Mesozoic island that we call Iberia. At that time only dinosaurs and other inhabitants of the Cretaceous enjoyed the beaches, but further out to sea, where the Enchanted City is today, a massive limestone deposit was being produced that formed a massif, the contributions of the rivers that flowed into the nearby coast, Together with the transgressions and regressions of the sea, not all of this karst relief was equally resistant to erosion, and the water, ice and the effect of time caused the rocks to take capricious shapes until it became the current Enchanted City. . In the image above we see "The Slide" down which we descend during our excursion to the Enchanted City.
The great landscape that opens before us allows us to play with our imagination, and see shapes on the rocks. This phenomenon is known as pareidolia, which is an evolutionary phenomenon that confuses our brain and makes us see shapes of objects we know. Here a large rock looks like a turtle, there another the face of a person, further away others remind us of ships in shipyards. We owe many names and legends to the imagination of the medieval shepherds who began to travel through these lands, for “Enchanted”, we can easily understand it, for “City”, we have to get into the minds of those shepherds and see that in some areas it seems that we are going to enter a walled enclosure, which in the mentality of a medieval shepherd can only be a City. We owe the fact that many of the names and legends have managed to reach our days to the oral tradition of the shepherds and to some authors from the late 19th and early 20th centuries who were interested in the karst landscape of the Enchanted City. One of the most famous forms of the Enchanted City is the figure of the Tormo Alto, often associated with the city of Cuenca itself.
Accompanying this curious geology, paying attention to the details, in the Enchanted City we will be able to find a very unique ecosystem, or rather, many. If you visit the Enchanted City you will be able to observe the peculiar formations that have left a great variety of ecological niches: in this esplanade the sun shines more, that corridor generates a space more protected from the wind, in that crevice freshness and humidity are always preserved. , that hole protects us from the coldest of winter... and all these small spaces are actually a different small ecosystem, with their plants and small animals such as beetles, butterflies, birds, lizards... that can thrive in them. All these small environments make The Enchanted City one of the places with the greatest biodiversity in the Serranía de Cuenca Natural Park, where you will find not only the Enchanted City, but also great natural jewels. If you want to know more, be sure to read the "10 essential places in the Cuenca range".
The Enchanted City is one of the natural treasures of Cuenca, one of those places that you have to visit, without a doubt, a natural space that makes you fall in love. And one of those places that we have to preserve and take care of, so we ask you please Cuenqueador that your footprint always be positive, let's practice sustainable tourism that is respectful of our environment, and of future generations.