La Ruta del Oro - El Bierzo & León

Guided walking, history, nature - small international group - Castilla-León

The lively city centre of the capital of the former kingdom of León... The 'extraterrestrial' landscapes of the Roman gold-mines of Las Médulas... The traditions and history of Ponferrada and El Bierzo... Walks among the high peaks of the Ancares and Montes de León...

ONE WEEK Activities: exploration of León province: 5 days with walks of 2-3h on (occasionally steep) paths; denivellations of up to +300m; visits to Astorga, León, Ponferrada and picturesque villages and cultural sites. Group 8 maximum.

EXCEPT 3 MEALS, in comfortable hotels in rooms for two (private bathrooms) in the historical centre of León city (2 nights) and on the Plaza Mayor of Ponferrada (5 nights).

DATES (Tuesday-Tuesday)
2022 10-17 May.

975 euros per person; single room supplement 185 euros.

RENDEZVOUS 16.45, León station; choose a flight arriving at Madrid airport by 13.00.
DISPERSAL León station for 12.15: choose a flight departing Madrid after 17.30.
We can book your train tickets in advance and send them to you. Please contact us if you wish to arrive and depart by bus or train, other than from Madrid.

Location of this programme:

TUESDAY: Mozarabic San Miguel de la Escalada. First evening in León.

WEDNESDAY: We visit Astorga, whose bishop's palace is a work of Gaudí. However, Astorga is best known under the name of Asturica Augusta, the Roman town at the north end of the Vía de la Plata and the entrance to their gold-mining areas. A visit guided by a local specialist gives us access to the remains uncovered by recent excavations: the trenches protecting the Legionary camp, a temple, baths, the forum and the cloacas. The Ruta del Oro through the picturesque villages of the Maragatería, with remains of (pre-)Roman forts and gold-mines.

THURSDAY: León: fabulous stained glass in the cathedral, and San Isidoro, a masterpiece of Camino de Santiago Romanesque architecture. Arrival at Ponferrada, in the heart of El Bierzo (5 nights).

FRIDAY: In El Bierzo, a fertile broad vale surrounded by the Montes de León: walk of the vineyards (local varieties red Mencía and white Godello) and Astur (pre-Roman) acropolis of Castroventosa. Visit to a bodega. Ponferrada Templar castle.

SATURDAY: The beautiful Valle del Silencio, surrounded by the peaks of the Montes Aquilianos. In the steps of San Genadio (C9) from the San Pedro monastery to Santiago de Peñalba, one of the best-preserved Mozarabic churches.

SUNDAY: Los Ancares mountain range, separating León from Galicia. The pallozas, curious dwellings whose ancestry can be traced to the Astur tribes.

MONDAY: The world heritage Roman gold mines of Las Médulas. You will be surprised by the most fantastic man-made landscapes! Cornatel castle.

TUESDAY: Morning transfer to León station.

For other holidays in northern Spain in 2022, see:
Escapade in Cantabria (September)
walking: '
Lozoya-Guadarrama-Duratón' (June), 'Mar y Sierra: Cantabria' (July),
Natural Parks Old Castile' (July & Sep), 'Duero Soriano' (Sep) & 'La Rioja' (Oct)
discovery: '
Ciudad Rodrigo-Arribes Duero' (May), 'Berlanga-Soria' (Sep),
Land of lakes & storks' (May-June) 'Rioja Alta' (Oct),
Candás-Costa Verde' (July) and 'Liérganes & Santander' (July).

Other discovery weeks: Almagro-La Mancha / Extremadura: Trujillo / Zafra
2 centre discovery: Campiña Cordobesa / Segura-Júcar-Mundo / Almería-Tabernas-Cabo de Gata
Huelva, land of mariners / Xmas Costa de la Luz / New Year Natural Parks Cádiz
walking: Andalusia / walking: Albarracín-Cuenca-Teruel / nature rambles / festivals
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