The land of lakes and storks NEW
Discovery, walks, nature, history and traditions - Zamora province, Castilla-León, western Spain - small international guided group
The mountain lakes of Sanabria, Los Valles [the Valleys] and the plain of the Tierra de Campos. Wolves, great bustards, storks... the biggest glacial lake in Europe (and biggest natural lake in Spain) on board a unique solar-powered boat... fields with numerous pigeon cotes of original designs... a hill tunnelled by hundreds of little wine cellars... dolmens, a giant protohistoric site, Roman mosaics and mediaeval monuments... and a museum with 500 musical instruments from all over the world.
ONE WEEK Activities: 5 days with walks of 1h45-3h15 (denivellation max +150m); catamaran trip on the Lago de Sanabria; visits to a bodega and numerous historical and natural sites as outlined below. Group 8 maximum.
FULL BOARD in rooms for 2 with private bathrooms:
- 3 nights in a comfortable hotel on the shore of the Lago de Sanabria; the glassed-in hotel dining room overlooks the lake, and 4 nights in the charming posada of Villalpando, with a hydrotherapy pool
- delicious Zamorano gastronomy: marinated quails, trout, excellent beef, local habones, cecina, lacón; wines from Toro and Benavente.
PRICE 1095 euros per person; obligatory single supplement 225 euros.
RENDEZVOUS at Puebla de Sanabria station & DISPERSAL at Zamora, accessible from Madrid Chamartín by ALVIA high-speed train. If flying to Madrid, you should take a plane scheduled to arrive by 13.00, and the last day, one departing after 16.00. 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:
MONDAY: Short transfer to Ribadelago, on the edge of the Lago de Sanabria, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, 369Ha and 53m deep, in the Sanabria Natural Park.
TUESDAY: Boat exploration of the lake, a UNESCO biosphere reserve: we observe its underwater flora, fauna and geology via a biologist diver who carries a radio and camera. Walk on the traditional tracks where ox-carts once circulated amid the forests and between the villages of Sanabria. The tragic story of Ribadelago Viejo.
WEDNESDAY: The high lakes of Los Peces and Las Yeguas (1795m), with numerous cows and horses grazing. Summits with heather and brooms in multicoloured flower, and here and there a patch of snow.
THURSDAY: Bucolic landscapes of the Sierra de la Culebra. Wolf reserve. Historical centre of Puebla de Sanabria: castle, noble houses, churches, sentry walk. Arrival at Villalpando with its surprisingly rich architecture.
FRIDAY: Los Valles, the lands between the rivers Orbigo and Tera, have been inhabited at least since Neolithic times, as we see from the dolmens, the Astur fortified village of Arrabalde and the Camarzana Roman villa, as well as the C10 church of Santa Marta de Tera. Walk of the 400 wine cellars of Morales del Rey. A bodega of wines of the denomination 'Valles de Benavente'.
SATURDAY: Grandiose landscapes of the Duero and the Tierra del Vino near Toro. Visit to this historic town with its mudéjar brick churches and unique romanesque colegiata.
SUNDAY: In the Tierra de Campos, we visit the delightful walled village of Urueña and its 'Lombard' chapel, then the salt-lakes of Villafáfila, home to numerous water birds, as well as great bustards in the surrounding steppes. The imposing ruins of Moreruela, first Cistercian monastery in Spain.
MONDAY: Transfer to Zamora station.
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Discovery: Almagro-La Mancha / Berlanga-Soria / Candás-Costa Verde / Liérganes-Santander
Ruta del Oro / Lozoya-Guadarrama-Duratón / Almería / Huelva, land of mariners / nature rambles
Bienal Flamenco Seville / Jerez Flamenco Festival / Almagro Theatre Festival / historical journeys
Semana Santa in Granada / Xmas on the Costa de la Luz / New Year Natural Parks Cádiz
walking: Andalusia / Old Castile / Duero Soriano / Madrid-Segovia / Albarracín-Cuenca-Teruel / Cantabria
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