Castilla–La Mancha Relief

The Meseta is the dominant landscape unit of a great part of the territory of Castilla–La Mancha: a vast, uniform plain with little relief.

The west-to-east Montes de Toledo range cuts across the meseta separating the (northern) Tagus and the (southern) Guadiana drainage basins. The most outstanding peaks of this modest mountain range include La Villuerca (1,601 meters (5,253 ft)) and Rocigalgo (1,447 meters (4,747 ft)).

In contrast, a more mountainous zone surrounds the Meseta and serves as the region’s natural border. In the north of the Province of Guadalajara, bordering Madrid and Segovia, is a mountain range forming part of the Sistema Central, among which can be distinguished the mountain ranges Pela, Ayllón, Somosierra, Barahona and Ministra, with the headwaters of the rivers Jarama, Cañamares and Henares. The Sistema Central also penetrates the northwest of the Province of Toledo: a southwest to northeast sub-range known as the Sierra de San Vicente, bordered on the north by the Tiétar and on the south by the Alberche and the Tagus, rising to its maximum heights at the summits of Cruces (1373 m), Pelados (1331 m) and San Vicente (1321 m).

On the northwest is the Sistema Ibérico, where there is important fluvial and especially karstic activity, which has given rise to such landscapes as the Ciudad Encantada, the Callejones de Las Majadas and the Hoces del Cabriel.

In the southeast is the ridge of the Sierra Morena, the southern border of the Meseta Central and the region’s border with Andalusia. Within the Sierra Morena, distinction can be made between the Sierra Madrona, Sierra de Alcudia and Sierra de San Andrés. At the other southern extreme of Castilla–La Mancha, the Sierra de Alcaraz and Sierra del Segura form part of the Sistema Bético.

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