Through Castilla y León: Valladolid-Salamanca-Avila-Segovia

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View from the Alcázar, Segovia

After the delightful wine tour through the Rivera del Duero–all detailed in my Sneak Peek Curious in the Rivera del Duero)–we continued with a fascinating road trip through the lands of Isabel I de Castilla y León, also known as Isabel la Católica (1451-1504).  Almost in her footprints, this is a route for foodies who also have a weakness for history.

Day 1 –  We drove 45 m (57 km) from Peñafiel to Valladolid.  We stayed overnight at Hotel Mozart.  It is a renovated hotel set in an 18th-century building, right in the heart of the city.  The staff was friendly and helpful, and the room comfortable and clean.

***ValladolidIsabel I and Fernando II got married here in 1469.***

img_1000-2We left the car at the hotel parking and walk 5-min to reach the Plaza Mayor (Main Square).

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Casa Consistorial (Town Hall)

A short stroll through Calle Santiago, the city’s main pedestrian street.  The city bars were busy with the large number of students invading the night scene.  This time we were too tired to hang out.  Just one nightcap, which comes with a tapa, of course, and back to the hotel.

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Day 2 – We woke up early and walked directly to Chocolatería y Churrería El Castillo, which was a few steps from the hotel.  I could finally indulge and satisfy my craving for churros!

We took the car and drove 25 min (30.5 km) to Tordesillas.

***Tordesillas – Here is where the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) was agreed between Castile (Spain) and Portugal, dividing between them the “New World” with a line.  As a consequence, Brazil is the only South American country with Portuguese rather than Spanish as its official language.***

Back in the car to Medina del Campo (20 min, 27 km) with the solely purpose of visiting the Castillo de la Mota (Castle of la Mota), this impressive, medieval fortress.

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***Juana I, the Catholic Monarchs’s daughter, was locked up once in this castle.  Isabel I spent here here last days.***

One-hour drive (90 km) through the countryside, passing some colorful fields …

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… to reach beautiful Salamanca.  A stroll around the old quarter of this formidable university city:

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  • The Old (12 th -13 th centuries) and New Cathedrals (16 th century)

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  • The La Clerecía Building (17 th century)

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The well-deserved break could not have been in a better place:  Hacienda Zorita, a stunning, wine and spa hotel in Valverdón, just a 20-min (13 km) drive from Salamanca.

This 14th-century, restored monastery is now an absolutely gorgeous wine retreat.

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All the rooms have a nice view and are spacious and beautiful.

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The perfectly organized in-house tastings are professionally conducted in a neat area.  We were offered the chance to try their wines  (Marqués de la Concordia) as well as their organic products like olive oil and ewe’s cheese.

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From the tasting space, we could admire the wonderful cellar.  There, 1,366 oak barrels age the wine under an impressive roof that looks like an inverted ship’s hull–a homage to Columbus, who stayed here whilst raising funds for his transatlantic expeditions.

@ Wine & Dine Bar

Cheese Room

Vinotherapy @ the Wine Spa – We are not the spa type of guys, but Hacienda Zorita offers it.  We were delighted with the CHILL OUT option …

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Definitely, a foodie’s paradise.  Slow living at its best!

Day 3 – After the unforgettable stay at Hacienda Zorita, we drove 1h15 (123 km) to Avila.

Stunning, well-preserved 2.5-km walls from the 11th century enclose the medieval atmosphere of this pinturesque town.

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Stop at the Cuatro Postes (Four Posts) for the best views of the Avila’s medieval walls.

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Soul Kitchen – We tried this casual, contemporary, wine restaurant, offering tapas, bruschettas, salads, meat and fish dishes.  Their ground floor is more like a bar, coffee shop and on the upper floor you will find the restaurant.

Could not leave Avila without getting some local sweets.

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We reached Segovia, our last stop of the day, after one-hour drive (68 km).  Perched on a rocky hill, this city is for romance, or may be it just felt like that!

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***In 1474 Isabel I was proclaimed queen in Segovia.***

The Plaza Mayor (Main Square)

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The Cathedral

The Monasterio del Parral

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The Alcazar

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Enchanting Segovia, captured right on sunset

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The Ancient Roman Aqueduct  by night …

Overnight we stayed at the well-located, comfortable Palacio San Facundo.  The main city sights are within walking distance.

Day 4 – Just a few snapshots of the Aqueduct by day before heading to Madrid (1h15, 93 km).   Check my Sneak Peak Curious in Madrid, describing some really good, foodie spots in the Spanish capital.

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2 thoughts on “Through Castilla y León: Valladolid-Salamanca-Avila-Segovia

  1. Thank you Patty for this interesting article full of historical background, lovely photographs and travelling inspirations. We visited Madrid some years ago and also went to Segovia, I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cristina, for your lines. It is good to know that you enjoyed reading the post. I agree with you, Segovia is beautiful. There are many sights in the region that are breathtaking.

      Like

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