One of the most common spots of the route to Santiago is Benavente, a town located in the province of Zamora in Castille and Leon. In here, you will find one historic and charming hotel, the Parador de Benavente, which is housed in an old castle with a well preserved Caracol Tower and features elegant decoration, comfortable guest rooms, a swimming pool and lovely gardens.
In Benavente and its surroundings, you will find exactly the dose you need of history and nature. This town, situated in the northwestern part of the peninsula has become an important spot of various pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela and a great destination for getting immersed in history and relaxing surrounded by nature.
Without a doubt, the first thing that you have to see in Benavente is the Castle of La Mota, or at least what is left of it, the Caracol Tower. Lucky for you, the Caracol Tower is connected to the Parador de Benavente, which is located on the site of the former castle of the counts of Benavente. Also, right next to this astonishing tower, you will find La Mota Gardens and a viewpoint to admire the beautiful views of Benavente.
Afterwords, walk to the historic center of Benavente and visit one of the most emblematic monuments of the town, the Church of Santa María del Azogue. This beautiful religious monument of the XII century represents the Romanesque art style. The beauty of this church make it worth it to admire it both from the outside and the inside. Besides, there are other religious monuments that deserve a visit, such as the hermitage of La Soledad and the Church of San Juan del Mercado.
The Hospital of La Piedad is another important monument in Benavente where you have to admire the façades. Also, don´t miss to walk along the streets of the historic town and visit other sights such as the Reina Sofia theatre, the Plaza Mayor and its buildings, the town hall, and the many squares and famous houses of Benavente.
Nature in Benavente
The natural landscapes of Benavente include water, gardens and valleys. It´s so beautiful that you will want to spend some time enjoying them. One popular activity is birdwatching in the natural reserve of the Lagoons of Vilafáfila, located 27km away from the Parador de Benavente and easily accessible by car taking the A-6 and ZA-704 roads. In here, there are 3 main lagoons and other smaller ones and this is the perfect place to admire the clear sky and watch many bird species.
The gardens of La Mota are the main Green landscape in the town of Benavente. Located right in front of the Parador, this is a great place to relax and disconnect from the everyday stress. Get lost strolling along the paths of the garden and admiring the mixed and varied types of vegetation available here. Also, don´t miss to get to the viewpoint of this park and admire stunning views.
Also, if you are into hiking, there are many routes avaible in the surroundings of the Parador, for example the route of the Tera Valley, the route of the Sierra de la Culebra, the route of Tierra de Campos and more.
What do you think about visiting Benavente? Get immersed in history by visiting all the monuments and enjoy the nature of this area of Spain. At the Parador de Benavente, you will definitely have a great time!