The saffron of La Mancha is considered to be one of the best in the world and has been called “red gold” because of its value, given that it requires a very specific climate and a specific soil in order to grow. Alongside Greece, Spain is the leading producer of saffron in Europe. For just 1 gram of dried saffron to the public requires picking 150 flowers (locally referred to as “saffron roses”. We recommend doing this route during the flowering period, which takes place in the latter half of October and the first part of November. If you get the chance to visit during this period, you will see wide violet fields that inundate the plains of Toledo, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Albacete. If you go during the last weekend in October you will have the chance to attend the “Fiesta de la Rosa de Azafrán” (Saffron Rose Festival) and learn how to extract the stigmas from the flower as well as learn about the local folklore and traditions. Here we can visit castles, the famous windmills, follow the route of Don Quixote and enjoy the beautiful landscapes and picturesque towns of the region. We recommend combining this route with the Manchego cheese route, as both Manchego cheese and saffron are produced in the province of Castilla la Mancha.