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A journey to the sources of Spanish history, heritage, art, traditions and gastronomy

Avila, Salamanca and Segovia World Heritage Cities in Castile and Leon Let us propose a different journey to you. A special one. A comprehensive tour through the architectural and artistic jewels, which were at the source of the Spanish nation, and through the countryside and customs that have forged its character. A journey with the time to see, to learn, and to understand. Unhurried. From its Celtic and Vettone origins, passing through the remains of the Roman occupation and the grand Medieval fortresses; the luxurious civil architecture of the renaissance, visits to the principal centres of wisdom since the 13th century – such as the School of Salamanca–, and the magnificence of the Royal Estates with their summer palaces. A real immersion in the cities, towns and traditions that constitute the traditions that shape the spirit of Spain: discover the presence of nature on a botanical, zoological and ethnological walk through the Sierra de Gredos and a guided visit to the cattle ranches of the toro bravo or fighting bull in Salamanca. See traditional activities: artisanal cheese making, the Royal Crystal Glass Factory of La Granja, pottery, and wickerwork. And folklore: dances and traditional music. You will also visit grand Spanish wine cellars and vineyards, as well as the Museum-Castle of Wine, at Peñafiel. Characteristics: -7 days / 6 nights -Travel by coach throughout the tour -Accommodation at 3 star hotels (consult us if you need specific services). -Breakfast, midday meal and supper including local regional dishes (consult us if you need specific services)

-Visit with specialized guide (consult us if you require a translator or a specific language) -Free entrance to monuments and other installations -Free traditional artisanal workshops *(Travel to and from your place of origin to Madrid are not included in the price) Cost of the journey per person: 1020 Euros

-The price per person is calculated for a group of 20 people. If the number of visitors varies, the total cost may vary. -This brochure is an example. We are flexible and open to modifications in the programme, as well as throughout the duration of the trip, which could imply variations in the final price. / In cooperation with Viajes Polo Álvarez S.L. CIF: B37410388

Day 1

AVILA: spiritual fortress (1st-13th century). The city of three cultures 窶的slamic, Jewish and Christian- is the starting point for a journey through art and tradition. Its Vettone past presides over the culture of this city that is at once one and many. The mystic, Saint Teresa of Jesus, still walks the streets, her habit trails past the faテァades of the historic buildings of an old town that walks in a sober and audacious manner, towards modernity. Of all the cities of Castile and Leon, Avila is one of the oldest. The Celtic culture was the first to leave its traces: the granite boars are there, nearby the Castro de las Cogotas, epicentre of the Vettone culture. Rome also passed through and the Arabic culture occupied its land until it was finally reconquered by the Christians.

A walk along the walls and visit the Cathedral Visit to the courtyards of different palaces: Serrano, Verdugo, Bracamonte and Polentinos Lunch (local cuisine of Avila) Visit to the Caprotti Palace art gallery The Basilica of San Vicente The Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas The Convent of Saint Teresa The House of Los Dテ。vila Evening meal Evening stroll around the city

Dating back to the 11th century, the construction of the city walls took nine years and its design is attributed to the Frenchman Florín de Pituenga and to the Roman, Casandro. Around two thousand people participated in its construction, the majority captive Muslims. Hence, although the walls are of Romanic design, they have important Arabic features. Contemporary in its construction with the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, it is two kilometres and a half long, has nine gateways and over 2,000 merlons. Of interest are the Romanic churches of Saint Peter, Saint Andrew, Saint Stephen, Saint Segundo, Saint Nicholas, Saint Martin and the imposing Royal Monastery of Saint Thomas. Its Cathedral-like temple is considered a shining example of Spanish gothic architecture, with its outstanding main altarpiece, cloister and nave. Representative of the medieval and the renaissance periods in Avila are its palaces: Velada, Valderrábanos, Núñez Vela, Polentinos and Davila. Its noble homes are those of Águila, Bracamonte, Almarza, Superunda, Verdugo and Los Guzmanes. An evening stroll to contemplate them illuminated with spotlights is highly recommendable. An important centre of spirituality in the 15th century is the birthplace of Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint John of the Cross, two of the principal Spanish poets of all time and great reformers of the Catholic monastic orders. A contemporary of theirs, Tomás Luis de Vitoria, was one of the greatest composers of coral music of his age. Renowned writers such as Azorín, Pío Baroja, Miguel de Unamuno and Federico García Lorca describe the city in their writings.

Day 2

AVILA: tradition in natural areas The diversity of natural areas that the territory of territory of Castile and Leon conserves has made it a beacon throughout Western Europe as the region with the most uniform natural spaces. Its natural areas become in this way a first-class touristic destination, full of ecosystems, green valleys, autochthonous flora and fauna, landscapes and sites of incomparable beauty. And within that natural setting, we find vestiges of the earliest populations of artisanal foods, such as cheese and peppers and artists that maintain the ancestral traditions of music and pottery. Explore it on a second day in the beautiful setting of the Sierra de Gredos, where, guided by experts, you will discover castles, nature and popular wisdom.

A visit to the Tourist Interpretation Centre of the Castros Vettones The Chamartín Castro Mombeltrán Castle Museum of bees and artisanal cheese Lunch (local cuisine) Botanic, zoological and ethnographic foods Visit the caves of Águila

Day 3

SALAMANCA: cradle of renaissance wisdom (Golden Age 13th – 17th


Salamanca is a joy to the senses. All sorts of artistic expressions overpower its streets, it is home to the oldest university of Spain that is at present in existence, and people of all origins walk its streets, thanks to its student life. A city filled with history; always young, magic and enjoyable. The rich heritage is found at every corner in its historic centre; it is quite rightly the capital of the most embellished Spanish Plateresque style, which is found in the gilded stone of Villamayor, its principal architectural jewel. Romans, Visigoths and Arabs lived in the city before the university was founded in the 13th century.

Main Square. House of the Shells The Clergy and the Pontifical University Façade of the University Historic library of the University Lunch (local cuisine) School Courtyard Palace of Anaya and the Cathedral Towers and roofs of the Cathedral Roman bridge House of Lis, Small courtyard Calixto and Melibea gardens Cave of Salamanca

Day 4

SALAMANCA: cradle of renaissance wisdom (Golden Age 16th to 17th


Salamanca has two cathedrals, twenty-three monumental churches, five convents, twelve monumental houses, four historic university colleges and nine palaces. The astounding Main Square, today as ever the gathering place of the citizens of Salamanca. Neighbours, tourists and university students and staff frequent it every day as a place to walk around, meet up to talk things over, rest, enjoy and read. There you will find the traditional cafĂŠs of the city that stand next to the portico of the great square designed by Churriguera, defying the passage of time and hosting the literary life of the city.

Convent of the Poor Clare Sisters Dominicans. Abrantes Tower, Palace of Orellana, Clavero Tower Palace of La Salina, Abastos Market and the portico of the main Square Casa de las Viejas and Casa de la Tierra (Regional Film Archive and Chamber of Commerce ). Palace of Saint Baudilus, Church of Saint Mark Lunch (local cuisine) El Corrillo Square, Maldonado Palace Monterrey Palace House of the Dead, Convent of the Ăšrsulas, Miguel de Unamuno. Convent of the most pure Saint Elizabeth Fonesca Palace

Salamanca has been associated with Universal History through a series of events and personalities that came to mark the development of western society: the creation of the first Castilian grammar in 1492 by Antonio de Nebrija, the preparations of Cristopher Columbus for his first voyage of discovery to the Americas, the first woman universitarian in the world: Beatriz Galindo, “la Latina”, and also the first female university professor in the world, Lucía de Medrano in 1508. Hernán Cortés studied in this city before leaving to conquer the Aztec empire and scholars from the School of Salamanca with him went who defended the rights of the natives of the New World for the first time. Mathematicians from the University of Salamanca were the ones who proposed the calendar in use today throughout the world to Pope Gregory XIII and the first salaried librarian of history in the old library of the University of Salamanca. The oldest conserved book on modern chess in print, Repetición de amores y arte de ajedrez [Repetition of Love and the Art of Chess], was published in Salamanca in 1496. And after his stay in the city, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the author of El Quijote, the work in which the Bachelor Sansón Carrasco appears, wrote other works in which the city features: La Cueva de Salamanca [The Cave of Salamanca], La tía fingida [The Pretended Aunt] and El licenciado Vidriera [The Lawyer of Glass]. Salamanca has an important architectural heritage, among which its two cathedrals stand out, the Old and the New Cathedral, the House of Shells, the Main Square and Saint Stephen’s Convent. Its Holy Week has, since 2003, been declared a festive event of International Touristic Interest. The Main Square, built in the Baroque style, designed by the architects Alberto and Nicolás Churriguera, is the most important of its public spaces, at the heart of the city. The University is home to a set buildings that include the Major and Minor schools and the Hospital del Estudio (the current rectorate). These buildings are located around the square known as the Patio de Escuelas [School Courtyard].

Day 5

CAMPO CHARRO: cattle herding tradition, forging a character Campo Charro is the name given to the countryside of the province of Salamanca. Its characteristic landscape is the dehesa: a land covered by holme oak and pastures, in which brooks and small streams abound, where the lifestyle is based on herding fighting bulls and Iberian pigs grazing freely under the trees. Some of the most famous herds of fighting bulls are found in this land. Ciudad Rodrigo, a municipal town on the border with Portugal, is a walled city home to churches and noble mansions steeped in history. It has been granted the titles of Old, Noble and Loyal and prominent among its rich heritage is Avila Palace, its fortress –at present a Nacional Hotel or Parador-, and a beautiful historic centre.

Visit to the pastures of the bulls: Botanic, zoological and ethnographic ramble Visit to a cattle ranch of fighting bulls Exhibition of doma vaquera [dressage] Degustation of local products Lunch (local cuisine) Visit to the grazing ground of the Iberian pig Botanical, zoological and ethnographic ramble Visit to an Iberian pig ranch. Visit to a pig factory. Degustation of Iberian products Visit to Ciudad Rodrigo.

Day 6

RIBERA DEL DUERO and SEGOVIA: where the vines sprout and

kings and queens rest

Ribera del Duero is a Denomination of Origin label that can be awarded to vineyards situated along a corridor of the river Duero basin in Castile and Leon (Spain), Its wines are fundamentally red, although rosé wines also exist. The variety of the most characteristic grape is called Tempranillo, which constitutes over 90% of the production. According to the regulations of the Regulatory Board, to be labelled a Denomination of Origin wine it should be elaborated with at least 75% Tempranillo grapes. In all, no less than 95% of the grapes should be of the Tempranillo, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec varieties. The Garnacha and Albillo grape varieties are permitted, but in small quantities. At present it includes the most prestigious wine cellars of the country, which have won numerous international prizes, among which Vega Sicilia, Bodegas Protos, Dominio de Pingus, Zifar, Tinto Pesquera, and Arzuaga. The tour will take us through beautiful vineyards, designer wine cellars and historic monuments such as Peñafiel, where the Coso Square is found, from the 14th century and the Castle –Museum of wine, from the 11th century. We will visit the historic towns of Sepúlveda and Pedraza. We end our tour in Segovia, a city with important Roman remains and a stronghold of kings.

Peñafiel Visit to the historic centre and wine museum. Visit and degustation at a Ribera del Duero wine grower’s cellar. Lunch (local cuisine) Sepúlveda Pedraza Segovia: Roman aqueduct, House of the Picos, Plaza Mayor, Visit to the Alcázar

Segovia was populated many centuries ago. A Celtic castro once stood at the place that the Alcรกzar now occupies. It was, even in Visigothic Spain, the episcopal palace of the Catholic Church. It is believed that the city was abandoned after the Islamic invasion. After the conquest of Toledo, the repopulation of Segovia began in 1088. Towards the end of the late Middle Ages it enjoyed a reign of splendour, with an important self-governing community of Jews living under Christian rule; laying the ground for a powerful weaving industry, it developed splendid Gothic architecture and was the court of the kings of the House of Trastรกmara. Alfonso X the Wise renovated the Alcรกzar as a royal residence and Isabel the Catholic queen was proclaimed Queen of Castilla, in 1474, in the Church of Saint Michael. Within the setting of the old city, various civil and religious historic buildings were built, and not only Catholic but also Jewish, such as the neighbourhood occupied by this minority that reminds us of the different cultures that passed through the city. One of the best examples of that cultural diversity is represented by the ancient synagogue, at present the Convent of Corpus Christi, and by the Jewish cemetery. The aqueduct of Segovia, found in the emblematic Azoguejo square, is the distinctive symbol of the city; the date of its construction is unknown, perhaps at end of the 1st century, and it is the most important civil engineering work of Spain. It was built with 25,000 ashlar granite blocks without any sort of cement, has a length of 818 metres, over 170 arches and is over 29 metres high at its crest, its height in Azoguejo square, its most frequently visited viewing point. The Alcรกzar of Segovia, a royal palace situated on a rock between the Eresma and the Clamores rivers, appears in documents for the first time in 1122, although it is possible that it existed at an earlier age. It was one of the favourite residences of the Kings and Queens of Castile, constructed in the transition of the Romanic to the Gothic, and in which the Mudejar decoration of its large chambers is prominent. The building was arranged around two courtyards and it has two towers. It was the favourite residence of Alfonso X the Wise and Henry IV of Castile, and Isabel the Catholic monarch departed from it on the way to her coronation as queen of Castile. At present it houses the General Military Archives of Segovia and the museum of the Royal College of Artillery. Other monuments of interest are the Royal Monastery of Saint Anthony with elaborate roofs decorated in the Mudejar style, and the walls of the city.

Día 7

LA GRANJA OF SAN ILDEFONSO: Royal sites. The history of this village, located at the foot of the Guadarrama mountain range, is closely linked to the Royal Palace. Prior to the construction of that Palace, another already existed in the nearby village of Valsaín. This municipality has therefore boasted a palace since the Trastámara dynasty. La Granja has been the scene of historic events such as the wedding between Charles IV of Spain and María Luisa de Parma, the signing of various treaties and the mutiny of the quartermaster sergeants of the Palace in 1836 that forced the regent María Cristina de Bourbon to re-establish the Constitution of 1812. The Royal Palace was commissioned by Felipe V and its construction began in 1721. It has been a summer residence of the Bourbon royal family and is famous for its Versaille-like gardens complete with precious fountains, and for the Real Fábrica de Cristales [Royal Factory of Crystal Glass] (a glassworks of great historical-monumental importance founded in 1727, with the objective of reducing importations and with it the costs of luxury glass crystal pieces, at the same time as protecting national manufacturers). At present it houses the National Foundation of Glass, including the Museum of Glass and the School-Workshop of Glass.

Visit to the Palace and the gardens Visit to the Royal Factory of Crystal Glass Visit to the historic centre of the village Lunch (local cuisine) Return home

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