- Difficulty: Moderate
- Category: Walking, self-guided
- Duration: 7 nights, 8 days
- Recommended time of year: 1st April - 31st October
Take a step back in time on this walking holiday through the very heart of rural Spain and discover the stunning Unesco World Heritage Site of Salamanca.
- Discover the breath-taking historic city of Salamanca full of architectural treasures and reputedly the most beautiful 'plaza' in Spain.
- Visit one of Spain's oldest universities, la Universidad de Salamanca, founded in 1218. Soak up the centuries of learning, wisdom and history!
- An area steeped in myth and legend with deep ancient roots -prehistoric cave paintings, Medieval churches, 12th century villages and castles... a photo opportunity at every turn!
- A walking holiday for the discerning traveller far away from mass tourism and totally immersed in local culture, history and traditions while enjoying typical architecture and gastronomy.
- Delightful walks through the remote rugged countryside of the 'Sierra de Francia Natural Park', an area of special protection for wildlife.
- Wander the cobbled streets of the enchanting village of La Alberca with it's genuine local architecture and family-run rural museums.
- Tiny olive groves, local vineyards, tempting cherry ochards and charming terraced vegetable gardens accompany you through vast oak and chesnut forests on this very special walking tour!
Which airport should I fly to? Madrid International Airport.
How do I get to the Starting Point? Catch a bus from the airport to Salamanca (approximately 22€, takes 2hrs and 45mins).
How do I get back? Bus service from San martin to Salamanca (5€, takes 1 hr) and from there take a bus back to Madrid airport.
Day 1: Arrival to Salamanca
Arrival at the Unesco World Heritage City of Salamanca and begin your city tour.
Day 2: Salamanca and La Alberca
You have all morning to explore this truly impressive city, explore its beautifully preserved historic centre and enjoy its many fabulous sights and monuments before your taxi transfer to Sierra de Francia in the afternoon. Take time in the evening to stroll through the cobbled streets of La Alberca. Look out for its curious resident 'San Antón', the resident, free-range pig!
Day 3: La Alberca - Las Batuecas
Brace yourself for the spectacular, breath-taking views that accompany you on today's route. Descend into the beautiful Batuecas Valley with its isolated Monastery, then take the meandering riverside path to the prehistoric cave paintings. You won't be able to resist taking a dip in the crystal clear waters of the river Batuecas! A taxi transfer will take you back up to La Alberca. This evening you could visit the charming 'Museo del traje' or 'Casa Juanela' both little museums illustrating village life from a bygone era.
12 Km / Ascent: +260 m and descent: -725 m
Day 4: La Alberca - Mogarraz
Today's route takes you through lush oak and chestnut woodland, passing by several typical mountain villages and finishing off in the picture-perfect, 12th century village of Mogarraz. Here you can enjoy the singular street-art exhibition of portraits which reflects a former age, past but not forgotten!
19 Km / Ascent: +800 m and descent: -1100 m
Day 5: Mogarraz - Miranda del Castañar
Today's beautiful walk follows the river Francia through leafy aromatic woodland and among the locals' terraced orchards and vegetable gardens. You then reach the charming medieval town of Miranda del Castañar where you can visit its castle and take a dip in the natural riverpool in summer time.
10 Km / Ascent: +267 m and descent: -400 m
Day 6: Miranda del Castañar - San Martin del Castañar
A walk taking you though the south facing slopes, cultivated with vineyards and olive groves and surrounded by strawberry tree and oak woodland. You will walk past two traditional mountain villages to reach the wonderful village of San Martin del Castañar. Don't miss its ancient bullring at the top of the village and be sure to take the opportunity to lose yourself in the enchanting cobbled streets of this historic place.
12 km / Ascent: +741 m and descent: -524 m
Day 7: Peña de Francia - San Martin del Castañar
Today we take you up to the dizzy heights of 1.727 m... by taxi! The lofty peak of “Peña de Francia” will offer you breathtaking 360º views of the surrounding countryside. You will have time to explore the monestry and chapel. From here your walk winds through open mountain landscapes, aromatic pine forest and later through beautiful woodland of oak and chestnut on the lower slopes of this singular mountain. Return to San Martín del Castañar where you can reward yourself with a traditional dinner in one of the village's excellent restaurants.
17 km / Ascent: +395 m and descent: -1200 m
Return home today or why not treat yourself to an extra night or two in Salamanca or Madrid!
Day 1: Salamanca
A comfortable modern ***hotel on the fabulous main square.
Day 2 and 3: La Alberca
Family-run rural hotel just a few minutes walk from the village centre.
Day 4: Mogarraz
Small rural hotel in a lovingly restored traditional village house.
Day 5: Miranda del Castañar
Modern rustic style hotel with stunning views from its roof-top terrace.
Day 6 and 7: San Martin del Castañar
Little rural hotel located just beside the river in a very quiet corner of the village.
- Price: 623€ per person
- Single supplement: 143€
- Solo Traveller supplement: 242€
- Half Board / dinners: 115€
- 7 nights´ accommodation.
- 7 breakfasts.
- Local transfers from Salamanca to La Alberca on day 2 and from San Martin del Castañar to Peña de Francia on day 7.
- Luggage transfers between hotels.
- Detailed maps with your trail clearly marked.
- Itinerary description, full of recommendations for things to do and places to visit, advice and suggestions and information about your accommodation, etc.
- Emergency support.
- Activity insurance.
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Walking Sierra de Salamanca