Visit the Route of the Faces (Ruta de las Caras) in Buendía, SpainNestling around the Buendía Dam in Cuenca Province, Castilla la Mancha, Spain is a unique and fascinating hiking route. Along the way, many carved faces and bas-reliefs can be seen, sculpted into the natural façade of the rocks, and dotted within the natural landscape.
Located close to Spain’s capital, Madrid, Buendía Dam nestles among the outcrops of sandstone and dense pine forests. While beautiful in its own right, a number of sculptors and artists have made their mark here in the form of many different faces. While strolling the pathway through the beautiful landscape, hikers are taken on a cultural and artistic journey of spiritual discovery.
The Route of the Faces is perfect for nature lovers and art lovers alike, as the trail takes art out of the traditional, stuffy museum into a natural and serene landscape. The sculptures give hikers the chance to see the relationship between art and nature itself.
Collaboration of artistsThe Ruta de las Caras comes as a result of collaboration between a number of artists over the years. Each artist has added their mark to a striking collection of sculptures, which range in size from one to eight feet in height. Meanwhile, each sculpture has a religious or mystical meaning behind it and reminds visitors of Pharaonic Egypt. However, the artists themselves have claimed they were inspired in their work by pre-Columbian cultures.
About the area around BuendíaWhile the Route of the Faces is a must-visit, Buendía and its surroundings offer a number of enjoyable hiking trails. Heading through the beautiful scenery, some are shorter for families with children. Moreover, a one-hour scenic trail takes visitors through the area, including the sculptures.
For those with more stamina, a more trying route takes hikers past the Buendía Dam and swamps, and alongside the Sierra de Altamira Mountains, offering spectacular, panoramic views of the landscape.Meanwhile, the dam and its nearby waterways offer several popular water sports, including fishing, boating, jet skiing, sailing and in some areas, bathing. As for dining, Buendía offers varied and delicious gastronomy in its restaurants. Among the dishes are the famous Cuenca roast lamb, pickled partridge, chicken with garlic and crawfish. Meanwhile, the starters include migas (a traditional breadcrumb dish) and gazpacho (a vegetable soup served cold). Moreover, the restaurants also serve a selection of very tempting local desserts.
An artistic stay in Buendía, SpainWith so much to see, do (and eat!), Buendía is a perfect excursion from Madrid and where better to stay than an artistic Bed & Breakfast? Casa Rural las Médicas in Buendía is a charming Bed & Breakfast offering accommodation, a restaurant and bar and free Wi-Fi throughout. What makes it unique is that each room is decorated with its own unique artwork.
Take time out from your Madrid vacation and spend a long weekend in beautiful Buendía, exploring the Route of the Faces and everything else the town has to offer. If you can’t make it this year, enjoy a video about the Ruta de las Caras here: