Get your backpack ready, because we’re going to take you on a tour of the great tourist routes that cross Castilla y León.
Castilla y León is the largest autonomous community in Spain, yet it’s also the most unknown. However, fact that it is not the most fashionable region does not mean that there is nothing to see there. On the contrary, in four days you can see a good part of it, but not nearly everything it has to offer.
Although it’s rather difficult to get to know all the historical heritage of Castilla y León on a short route, this car journey is jam-packed with amazing sites to document what is sure to be an unforgettable trip.
Our itinerary starts in the province of Segovia so you can visit the aqueduct and Granja de San Ildefonso, discover Valladolid and Peñafiel, visit the cathedral of Burgos, admire the city of León and the nature of Las Médulas, end up in the university city of Salamanca and return home feeling satisfied. Enjoy a historical, cultural and gastronomic route through Castilla y León.
As you’ll be spoilt for choice between all the gorgeous destinations to take in, the hard part will be deciding whether you stop for just one day or a whole weekend!
Days 1 and 2: Segovia and La Granja de San Ildefonso
For the first two nights, we recommend that you stay in Segovia and spend a day or a day and a half in Segovia to see the city at your leisure and the rest of the day in La Granja de San Ildefonso.
Visiting this city means going back in time, and we can’t begin our journey through history without its most emblematic monument, the Roman Aqueduct, built at the end of the 1st century.
The Royal Palace is located in the municipality of Real Sitio de San Ildefonso in the Sierra de Guadarrama, just over 13 km from Segovia, a visit with a good walk through the gardens can be done in about 2 hours. You can easily spend the whole day here, as the gardens are immense – an essential stop on this route through Castilla y León by car!
When passing through, don’t forget to try the local delicacy of suckling pig, the typical dish you have to try in Segovia.
Day 3: Vallodolid
It’s essential to spend a whole day seeing the city and tasting Vallodolid’s excellent tapas.
Also, did you know that Valladolid is known in Spain as the city of books? Many of the founding fathers of Spanish literature such as like José Zorrilla, Jorge Guillén, Rosa Chacel, Miguel Delibes have dedicated lines and stories to the city of Pisuerga.
In Valladolid, you can find everything from an unfinished cathedral with a curious history, to churches with spectacular façades such as San Pablo or La Antigua.
What’s more, the cuisine of this province is really delicious. We recommend you try its lechazo, made from “cordero lechal”. The meat used is from unweaned lambs, making it similar to Segovia’s cochonillo.
Days 4 and 5: Peñafiel – Burgos
From Valladolid, head towards Peñafiel to visit this historic town for its 10th-century castle and the Plaza del Coso square. For you wine lovers out there, you can stop off at one of the wineries in the Ribera del Duero and end the day admiring the beautiful illuminated cathedral of Burgos.
If there is one thing that characterises Peñafiel, it is the silhouette of its castle on the top. The origins of the castle date back to the 9th century, although we owe its current appearance to Don Pedro Téllez Girón, who built it in the 15th century.
The next day in Burgos, you can visit the interior of the cathedral, cross all the arches of the city, walk up to the castle and enjoy the views.
This small and beautiful city is much more than a place where it only snows and it is very cold. Did you know that Burgos has not one, not two, but three cultural assets declared World Heritage Sites? Of course, the Cathedral and the historic centre is one of them. The next to receive this distinction was the French Way of St. James that crosses the city of Burgos. And finally, the Atapuerca archaeological sites were included in 2000.
When you find yourself in Burgos, make sure to try the local speciality dish of morcilla de Burgos, a blood sausage which is slow-cooked made with Bomba rice, with notes of imported Spanish Pimenton, black pepper, and warming spices in a natural beef casing.
Days 6 and 7: León
Just outside Burgos, you can stop at the monastery of Las Huelgas at the start of the day. At midday, you can be in León to taste the botillo (pork sausage) and then visit the Royal Collegiate Church and, the next day, visit the unmissable interior of the Cathedral as well as the rest of the points of interest.
If there’s one thing you’ll never forget about León, it’s its unbeatable atmosphere. The square of the Plaza del Grano is extremely peaceful, nestled between the Carbajal monastery with its Pax monastery and the oldest porch in the city.
Plus, León’s nature is incredible. Lovers of the countryside and fresh air have many different areas in which to enjoy a good walk, a hiking route or a day on a bike. Laciana is one of the best known, and we are sure that it is a safe bet, but there are other areas, such as the Valporquero cave or the Médulas that are really recommendable.
In terms of gastronomy, we also recommend Leon’s morcilla, as well as its cecina, which is meat that has been salted and dried by means of air, sun or smoke.