The Guadiana was long believed to rise in the lowland known as the Campo de Montiel, where a chain of small lakes, the Lagunas de Ruidera (partly in Ciudad Real, partly in Albacete), are linked together by the Guadiana Alto or Upper Guadiana.
The northern part of Albacete belongs to the high plains of New Castile, the southern is generally mountainous, traversed by low ranges or isolated groups of hills, which culminate in the Sierra de Alcaraz on the borders of Granada, where several summits reach 5000 ft.
Besides many smaller streams, two large rivers water the province, the Segura in the southwest, and the Jucar in the north-east; both rising beyond the borders of Albacete, and ultimately flowing into the Mediterranean.
Wheat and other cereals are cultivated, with fruits of many kinds, olives, and vines which yield a wine of fair quality; while saffron is largely produced, and some attention is given to the keeping of bees and silkworms. Stock-farming, for which the wide plains afford excellent opportunities, employs many of the peasantry; the bulls of Albacete are in demand for bull-fighting, and the horses for mounting the Spanish cavalry.
Albacete (pop. 1900, 21,512), the capital, and the other important towns of Almansa (11,180) and Hellin (12,558), are described under separate headings.