Take the role of the Castilian hero and relive the path he followed on horse on his way to be exiled from Burgos to Valencia, as it is depicted in the Cantar de Mío Cid.
Feel like Charlton Heston embodying the Castilian hero while you follow this route that pays tribute to the pinnacle work of the Spanish medieval chanson de geste books: El Cantar de Mío Cid. The route begins in Lerma, with its outstanding Ducal Palace which houses the Parador, its Plaza Mayor, the ExColegiata de San Pedro, the Duke passageway or the Sta. Clara square, etc. You can buy delicious pastries and sweets in the numerous convents of the town and you can’t forget to try some tender roasted lamb paired with red wine from the DO Arlanza. In order to understand the story, you should visit Vivar del Cid, birthplace of the Campeador, and the monumental capital city of Burgos, where the supposed Jura de Santa Gadea that led to his departure took place.
Days 2 and 3
Monday and Tuesday.
Heading southwest, and with well-deserved stops in medieval Covarrubias or the Romanesque gem that is Santo Domingo de Silos, where you will listen to Gregorian chants, we arrive in Soria. A city of poets, Soria invites you to wander and discover the places that inspired Bécquer, Machado and Gerardo Diego. Some architectural gems are really worth visiting: the Santo Domingo church, the Concatedral de San Pedro, the Romanesque cloister of San Juan de Duero or two of its cultural references: the bucolic San Polo, former monastery of the Temple, and the San Saturio chapel with its quiet boardwalk along the Duero river. Once you have restored your energy with the local energy bars -the crispy and irresistible torreznos (rashers of bacon) or some other culinary delicacy -try to plan your trip during the fungi season-, you should head to the interesting Celtiberian site of Numancia, which passed into history for its fierce defence against the Roman siege. In the surroundings, it is worth visiting El Burgo de Osma, the entry to the Río de Lobos canyon.
On our way to the Levante coastline, we reach Sigüenza, the city of Doncel, which surprises with its beauty. An astonishing urban setting with a medieval and walled scheme chaired by the impressive castle, in which the Parador is located. In this town you can find places of interest such as the Cathedral -which houses the Doncel's tomb, one of the main sculptures of Spanish late Gothic-, the Plaza Mayor, the Casa del Doncel, the Façade of the Clarisas de Santiago, the Parish of San Vicente or the Parish of Santa María. There are squares and streets to discover, to know, to travel to a splendid past. It is a city to say goodbye in a special way to this route through La Mancha, through the lands of Don Quixote and Sancho. Within this municipal area, the salt mines of Imón are located. This town owes much of its past wealth to this settlement, as it was the one with the highest production in the Iberian Peninsula for many years. It is a set of high ethnographic interest that has been abandoned. By the way, you must taste the seguntino fine wine, which is a very refreshing local specialty based on soda, red vermouth and beer foam accompanied by one of its famous tapas.
Out next stop is Teruel, although you won’t regret taking a detour before to visit Albarracín, one of the most beautiful villages of Spain. It is a unique place where strolling through its streets, walking along its walls and entering its monuments is like having a route to the Middle Ages. Pay attention to the original wrought iron aldabas (door knockers)! Teruel is speaking about Mudejar art, a beautiful cultural and monumental legacy that has survived throughout the centuries, and also about the Lovers of Teruel, whose mausoleum can be visited and whose legend has given rise to a massive and romantic festival. The Mudejar art in Teruel, declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, embraces the Aragonese Islamic tradition, highlighting the tower of the cathedral, the tower of San Pedro, the tower of San Martín, the tower of San Salvador and the tower of La Merced... You must see the beautiful roof of the cathedral, made with great beauty and harmony. But the architecture of Teruel exists beyond the Mudéjar art and its Art Deco buildings are also especially noteworthy. Especially if you are travelling with children or you are a fan of Jurassic Park, you cannot miss Dinópolis, a theme park set in the world of dinosaurs. And there is no better souvenir than the Teruel Ham, which was the first with the Denomination of Origin in Spain.
Days 6 and 7
Friday and Saturday.
Our final destination is Valencia, one of the most attractive, modern and cosmopolitan cities of our country. Don’t miss out on visiting the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, designed by Santiago Calatrava, and wandering through the old town: the Lonja de la Seda, declared World Heritage Site, the Central Market, the Cathedral -where you can't forget to go up the “Miguelete”, the Palau de la Generalitat, the Marqués de Dos Aguas Palace, the Serranos tower or the Quart tower. Some unmissable cultural stops are the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM), La Beneficencia cultural centre and the Museum of Fine Arts to admire its interesting art collections and exhibits. You can’t leave Valencia without trying a good paella, discovering the famous urban beach of La Malvarrosa, enjoying its famous ice creams or having a real horchata with fartons. In the evening, few experiences can equal that of contemplating the beauty of a sunset during a boat ride through the Albufera. In the middle of the Natural Park, one of the most important wetlands in Europe and of great ornithological diversity, is the Parador, a must destination for golf lovers because of its prestigious course, integrated in the surrounding dunes and pine forest and with a majestic pristine beach right in front of it. And even though the trip has to continue the following day, the city boasts a very vibrant night-life, where the night meets the day without even realising. From the Parador de El Saler you will have the opportunity to discover one of the most attractive cities of our country. Don’t miss out on visiting the City of Arts and Sciences, designed by Santiago Calatrava, and wandering through the old town of Valencia: the Lonja, declared World Heritage Site, the Central Market, the Cathedral, the Palau de la Generalitat, the Marqués de Dos Aguas Palace, the Serranos tower or the Quart tower. Drop by the IVAM, the Beneficencia cultural centre and the Museum of Fine Arts to admire its interesting art collections and exhibits. You can also expect to enjoy golf, the spa at the Parador, the sea, the beach and a boat ride in the evening through the Albufera not to miss the beauty of the sunset.