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.
We left the car at the hotel parking and walk 5-min to reach the Plaza Mayor (Main Square).
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.
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.***
One-hour drive (90 km) through the countryside, passing some colorful fields …
… to reach beautiful Salamanca. A stroll around the old quarter of this formidable university city:
- The historic Universidad de Salamanca (1218) is the oldest university in Spain and the third oldest in the world.
- The Old (12 th -13 th centuries) and New Cathedrals (16 th century)
- The La Clerecía Building (17 th century)
- The Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells) (15 th century)
This 14th-century, restored monastery is now an absolutely gorgeous wine retreat.
All the rooms have a nice view and are spacious and beautiful.
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.
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
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 …
Definitely, a foodie’s paradise. Slow living at its best!
Stunning, well-preserved 2.5-km walls from the 11th century enclose the medieval atmosphere of this pinturesque town.
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.
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!
The Plaza Mayor (Main Square)
Enchanting Segovia, captured right on sunset
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.