Silver Route III

Northern stretch of the legendary route running from Seville to Gijón, which starts in the meadows of Salamanca and reaches the Cantabrian coast.

Day 1
Departure. Sunday.
We begin in the Salamanca region, next to the Portuguese border. Ciudad Rodrigo, a beautiful town full of history, welcomes us. The Parador, located in the castle of Henry II of Trastámara, overlooks the village with its elegant Torre del Homenaje from as high as an eagle's nest over the plain of the Águeda river, offering wonderful views to the Campo Charro landscapes. The monumental village, declared Site of Historic-Artistic Interest, offers some wonderful architecture of Roman and medieval origin. In this completely walled city, you will be able to go for a walk, get lost in the streets full of palaces and stately homes, discover the Plaza Mayor with its 16th-century Town Hall and the imposing cathedral from the 12th century. From the heart of the region you will be able to visit special places such as La Alberca and other villages of the Sierra de Francia with labyrinthine streets, stone houses with wooden balconies, beautiful squares and fountains, where time seems to have stood still. Another example would be Almeida, in Portugal, a walled complex made of a former defensive fortification in the border between the two countries.
Days 2 and 3
Monday and Tuesday.
We reach the capital city of Salamanca, a university and lively town, full of historical buildings and spots. Heritage and beauty radiate from every corner. Head to the centre of the Baroque 18th-century Plaza Mayor, open your eyes, be seduced by its harmonious beauty and enter its cosy and charming cafés and taverns, such as the old Novelty, to have a drink. Discover its many monuments such as the 15th-century Casa de las Conchas, known for its façade decorated with hundreds of shells, the 13th-century Old Cathedral and the New Cathedral dating from the 16th to the 18th century. Go up to its outdoor terraces to walk among gargoyles and bells. Discover the University as well, the oldest in Spain dating from the 16th century, whose façade contains an iconic frog, which you can try to find to make a wish of yours come true. And of course, you can’t leave without experiencing the magic of the Huerto de Calixto y Melibea or discovering the Casa de Lis, a modernist palace with colourful stained-glass windows. In a city where the bustle of the university beats in non-stop cultural activity, going out for tapas is a must, a fundamental part of culture. You can’t leave the Parador without trying the morucha beef, the farinato (sausage made from bread crumbs, lard and spices) or the Iberian ham from Guijuelo.
Day 4
Wednesday.
The Camino de Santiago takes a break in Villafranca del Bierzo to give a sneak preview of what awaits in the Galician capital. The historic capital city of the Bierzo region preserves its ancient stately appearance and walking through its streets will allow you to understand why it is considered one of the most beautiful villages of Spain. The Santiago church, the famous neighbourhood of Los Tejedores, the La Anunciada building -built on the ruins of an old pilgrims’ hospital- and La Colegiata church are just a handful of the emblematic places of the area. Located in a geniune orchard, you can taste the rich cuisine of the Bierzo: trouts, cold meats, pies, peppers, chestnuts and the increasingly known and precious botillo (meat dish). Don’t forget about the local wines. Good places to try some of them are the lively wineries of the Agua street, which crosses the entire area of Villafranca following the Jacobean route and where all the palaces and stately houses are located. Beyond the village, nature will offer you some wonderful landscapes. A 20-minute drive away you will discover the impressive reddish lanscape of Médulas de Carucedo, a former gold mining site in Roman times, declared World Heritage Site.
Day 5
Thursday.
We reach the Cantabrian coast and arrive in Ribadeo, a fishing village in the province of Lugo, located in the border between Galicia and Asturias. At the end of the route, it provides us with the necessary rest to discover places of great beauty and several beaches, including As Catedrais beach, one of the most spectacular in the world due to its set of cliffs over 32 meters high that, sculpted by the wind and the sea, form arches and vaults, and it was declared a Natural Monument. It must also be noted the Ribadeo estuary, included in the Eo River Biosphere Reserve, Oscos and Tierras de Burón, a natural cove of great ecological and environmental importance, and it is also great for all kinds of nautical and sports activities. We also suggest visiting the Fuerte de San Damián fort, the Puente Do Santos bridge and the nearby town of Castropol. You can treat yourself by tasting great creations and products of the north with typical dishes from the traditional Galician cuisine, such as seafood, empanada, lacón, broth rice with lobster from the Cantabrian Sea, hake from Puerto Celeiro or delicious suckling beef tenderloin with Cebreiro cheese sauce.
Days 6 and 7
Friday and Saturday.
In the opposite direction along the Camino del Norte, we end our journey in Gijón: historical, commercial and industrial, where the sea, the rolling mountains and the big city come together to create one of the most attractive cities in the north of Spain. Its mild climate invites you to enjoy it all year round. The San Lorenzo beach, the seafront promenade, the marina, the Semana Negra literary week, the social life and the party atmosphere make you want to get to know the city. You have to walk by the fishing neighbourhood of Cimadevilla and go up to the hill of Santa Catalina, where you will see the sculpture of Chillida "Praise of the Horizon", and from where the Cantabrian coast offers a beautiful panoramic view. Among its many attractions, Gijón has a museum network and diverse cultural offerings: International Film Festival, Salón del Libro Iberoamericano book festival, the Railway Museum, the International Bagpipe Museum, Jovellanos’ birth house, the Nicanor Piñole museum, the Revillagigedo palace, the Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura... And if you have not yet succumbed to its charms, it is time to taste a hearty fabada or other Asturian dishes such as cachopo or its unbeatable rice pudding. On the way to Galicia, Avilés is well worth a stop to visit the Niemeyer Museum and typical fishing villages such as Candás, Luanco and Cudillero. Pay attention to the majestic Indian mansions placed throughout the territory!