Ciudad Rodrigo & Arribes del Duero
Walking, history and nature - small international guided group - western Spain
Parador accommodation for 3 nights
This discovery holiday begins at Toro, a charming little town perched on bluffs above the River Duero, and famous for its red wines and chocolate(!). From here we go southwest into the Arribes del Duero, a natural park with deep, wild gorges, on the border between Castile and Portugal. This area shows many signs of early human occupation, such as Paleolithic engravings and the fortresses and enigmatic verraco statues left behind by the Vettons.
We continue to Ciudad Rodrigo. The walls of this micro-city enclose a maze of alleys and tiny squares, with splendid historical buildings. It is sur-rounded by the gentle scenery typical of the dehesas of holm oaks of the Salamancan Campo Charro, in which much livestock is pastured, with to the south the summits of the Sierras of Gata, Hurdes and Francia.
ONE WEEK Activities: 5 walks of 1-3 hours; a boat excursion on the Duero; varied visits. Group 10 maximum.
FULL BOARD EXCEPT 3 BREAKFASTS AND 2 DINNERS, in rooms for 2 with private bathrooms, at the Parador of Ciudad Rodrigo, formerly the C14 castle of Enrique II (3 nights), at a charming posada in the village of Saucelle in the Arribes del Duero (2 nights), and the first two nights at Toro, in a well-known hotel on the square of the Colegiata, overlooking the Duero. Delicious local gastronomy featuring the pata negra pigs and cordero lechal of the Campo Charro dehesas, excellent sea-food and original tapas and pinchos.
2018 29 May-5 June.
PRICE 945 euros per person; single supplement 195 euros.
RENDEZVOUS 17.50 at Zamora station; choose a flight arriving at Madrid by 14.30.*
DISPERSAL before 11.00, at Salamanca bus station, for departure of the direct bus to Madrid airport (arr 13.30 [T4]/ 13.45 [T1]).*
* We can book your tickets in advance and send them to you. Salamanca is also well connected by bus/train with central Madrid, Valladolid and other cities. Ask us for further information.
Location of this programme:
TUESDAY: Transfer from Zamora to the nearby historical centre of Toro (2 nights), a town with its own denominación de origen for wine. Tapas evening.
WEDNESDAY: A subterranean bodega, and the Romanesque and Mudéjar monuments of Toro. Ramble along the banks of the Duero, which flows at the foot of the town.
THURSDAY: The Visigothic church of San Pedro de la Nave. Via the impressive Presa de Almendra we enter the Arribes del Duero. Castro de las Merchanas and the Salto de Saucelle. arrival at Saucelle village (2 nights in a posada), evening stroll.
FRIDAY: The spectacular Duero gorge by boat, 4WD and on foot.
SATURDAY: Wanderings in the steps of the Vettons: Castro Saldeana. The mediaeval citadel of San Felices de los Gallegos. Arrival at Ciudad Rodrigo: frontier city of Extremadura and Castile, which englobes the charms of both: the Extremaduran sense of welcome, elegant Castilian architecture, and a cuisine inspired by both regions. Its walls, cathedral, palaces and plaza Mayor take us back to the Middle Ages.
SUNDAY: Typical Campo Charro landscapes of the Dehesa de Espeja: black pigs and merino sheep, azure-winged magpies, ponds with terrapins. The Siega Verde: UNESCO world heritage paleolithic engravings on rocks on the bank of the río Águeda.
MONDAY: The río de la Vega, a new walk in the Sierra de Gata. San Martín de Trevejo, with a dialect shared by only 3 villages. Modern exploitations of pine resin. Extremaduran tapas and wild mushrooms on the plaza mayor of delightful Gata.
TUESDAY: Morning transfer to Salamanca.
Ciudad Rodrigo Theatre Festival / Xmas 2018 at Cordoba / New Year 18-19 at Trujillo
Discovery: Almagro-La Mancha / Berlanga-Soria / Jaén / Candás-Costa Verde / Liérganes-Santander
Two centre discovery: Ruta del Oro / Extremaduran Kaleidoscope / Al-Andalus (Cordoba patios)
Bienal Flamenco Seville / Jerez Flamenco Festival / Almagro Theatre Festival / nature rambles
Walking: Andalusia / Extremadura / La Rioja / Old Castile / Albarracín-Cuenca-Teruel / e-mail us
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