“Amanece, que no es poco” in Albacete

In the extreme south of the province of Albacete, between the provinces of Murcia and Jaén, lies a very special region, famous for its natural landscapes and rich cinematographic history: the Sierra del Segura. It is a captivating destination that combines beauty, history and culture. That’s why we suggest you travel there with “Amanece que no es poco” (1989), the cult film by José Luis Cuerda that has generated an endearing fan phenomenon: the “amanecistas”. 

Before we start our getaway, let’s put you in the picture. Albacete is one of the most charming and attractive provinces of Castilla-La Mancha for the audiovisual industry, as this region has a huge variety of locations that allow the Castilla-La Mancha Film Commission to attract and facilitate filming of all kinds. In this case, their support for the Amanecista phenomenon is total and, thanks to them and the association that pays tribute to this film, we are going to show you the best route to discover the Switzerland of La Mancha.

The Sierra del Segura, surprising setting for a cult film

Charming villages, mountains over two thousand metres high, fertile valleys, lush forests and deep canyons are waiting for you on the slopes of the Sierra del Segura. With an exceptional cultural legacy and an attractive offer for any type of getaway, this region is already one of the benchmarks for screen tourism in the whole of Spain. Still don’t know why? 

As we said, the key to screen tourism in the Sierra del Segura lies in a feature film that has left a strong mark on this landscape. The La Mancha-born director Jose Luis Cuerda immortalised the villages of Aýna, Liétor and Molinicos for the history of cinema in his now legendary film “Amanece, que no es poco” (1989), whose cast was full of actors who are part of the history of our cinema: Antonio Resines, Luis Ciges, José Sazatornil, Chus Lampreave, Gabino Diego, María Isbert, Miguel Ángel Rellán, Pastora Vega…

Source of the Mundo River, a must-see place in Albacete / Castilla-La Mancha Film Commission

Before arriving at the exact locations of the film, there are many charming villages that you will want to visit. Yeste, with its imposing castle of Andalusian origin, or Letur, the village brimming with water, also of Muslim origin. Reserve time for nature activities, as in Riópar, you can enjoy adventure sports such as canyoning or climbing, as well as visiting the source of the Mundo River, in the Los Chorros cave. On the other hand, in Nerpio you can enjoy one of the largest concentrations of cave art in the country and a World Heritage Site.

Amanecista Route

Once in the specific area where the filming of Cuerda took place more than 30 years ago, we suggest you visit the villages where the plot unfolds: Ayna, Liétor and Molinicos. In 2010, the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha inaugurated the thematic route of “Amanece, que no es poco”, providing it with information panels placed in the locations where the scenes were filmed, commemorative elements, such as the sculpture of Jimmy and Teodoro’s Vespa with sidecar, and an interpretation centre in the old Ermita de los Remedios de Aýna.

Aýna is the village with the most visible locations in the film. If you are a fan, you will remember the scenes of “A motorbike with a sidecar”, “The town councillor par excellence”, “Cursillo acelerado para aprender a besar” or “Amanecer”. These locations are so iconic that it is common to see fans of the film approaching them to take a selfie or even reminisce about the scenes during the annual meeting organised by the Amanecista association. But Ayna is much more than the “Amanecista” route, it is a picture postcard village, known as the “Switzerland of La Mancha”, due to its mountain scenery. In fact, the Mundo river canyon forms a spectacular landscape that the municipality has taken advantage of, providing magnificent balconies from which to admire the views, such as the Mirador del Diablo viewpoint, or the Rodea Grande viewpoint, where you will find the mythical sculpture of the Vespa with sidecar that pays homage to the film.

Monument to the sidecar of “Amanece, que no es poco” in Aýna

The chapel of Belén de Liétor is where mass scenes such as “The Yellow Rose of Texas” or “The Priest is the Star” were filmed. This beautiful village also sits on a cliff overlooking the Mundo river, ensuring a panoramic view. It was also nominated as one of the most beautiful villages in Castile-La Mancha and we can assure you that both its location and historical heritage justify this nomination. We recommend you wander through the streets, contemplating the old façades and noble coats of arms until you reach the viewpoints overlooking the Mundo river.

The viewpoints over the Mundo river are a unique attraction in Liétor / Castilla-La Mancha Film Commission

Molinicos is the heart of the Sierra de Segura. This enclave is littered with locations from memorable scenes in the film, such as “Cantando a trabajar” (Singing to work). Many of the sequences shot here were on location and it is very easy to recognise the streets, the main square or the balcony of the town hall. In fact, one of the main attractions of the village is the mural dedicated to this film. Like the other two municipalities, Molinicos overlooks the Mundo river canyon offering spectacular panoramic views.

Tribute mural to “Amanece, que no es poco” in Molinicos / Castilla-La Mancha Film Commission

Morning meeting

“Amanece, que no es poco” is one of those films that, with time, has become bigger, becoming a very special reference in our cinematography. It has given rise to one of the most original fan phenomena in Spain, the “Quedada Amenecista“. The event, organised by its own association, is one of the most peculiar events you can attend. Take note because it is usually held in June every year and in 2023 it has already reached its 11th edition, attracting many lovers of Cuerda and his cinema.

Moment of the Quedada Amanecista / Amanecista Association

The Quedada is an immersive activity, as many of the villagers who took part in the film continue to collaborate today, sharing images of themselves during the filming and commenting on anecdotes with visitors. During the weekend there are various activities related to the film, visits to the villages and, of course, re-enactments of the scenes. As the three villages are close to each other, it is easy to get from one to the other. Moreover, being in the Sierra del Segura, there is no shortage of good food and good humour. This is a very authentic and fun event, so make a note in your diary for the next edition and, in the meantime, warm up your engines with a trip to Albacete.

The Sierra del Segura awaits you with open arms, whether you decide to participate in the “Quedada Amanecista” or to explore it on your own. Thanks to the suggestions of the Castilla-La Mancha Film Commission, you will be able to organise the best screen tourism plans, both in Albacete and in the rest of the region.

By Víctor Cervello

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