Castile and Leon
Castile and Leon is the largest of the seventeen autonomous regions of Spain. The area is located in the northwest and is surrounded by land.
The capital of the province is the Roman city of Valladolid. Although this city was once founded by the Celts, nothing of this civilization can be found. In the nearby Padilla de Duero, where the Celtic town of Pincia once stood. Valladolid is known among Spaniards as the place where the purest Spanish is spoken. The accent of the inhabitants of the city is called “Vallisoletanos”.
Castile and Leon is literally littered with castles and is also called “the land of castles”. The fortifications have been built over the centuries by the Celts (taken over by Romans), Moors and Christians and form tangible memories of various rulers of the region. A castle you cannot miss is the Peñafiel castle. This 15th-century castle of white stones is located above Ribera del Duero, the valley known for the extensive wine production that takes place here. The town of the same name, Peñafiel, is entirely dependent on wine production and organizes an annual harvest festival, which is freely accessible. In October you can also experience harvest festivals in other wine-producing villages.
The second name giver of the region is the city of León. This lively city on the plateau has recently been completely renovated. The town is of modest size but offers a beautiful old centre with historic buildings such as the Cathedral of León and the Basilica San Isidoro. You can also find here the Gaudí designed Casa de Botines. In addition to León, the world heritage cities of Ávila, Salamanca and Segovia are places that you should not miss. In the beautiful medieval Ávila, the birthplace of Saint Theresia, you can take a walk on the city walls. In Segovia, you can see many Roman and medieval monuments, such as the Aqueduct of Trajan, which runs partly through the centre. Salamanca is a city where you can easily enjoy yourself for several days. This university city has a lively, international atmosphere because of the many students, but it also has its traditions. On the Plaza Mayor, the domain of street artists in the evening, you will find images of Columbus and Cervantes, among others. The Casa de las Conchas is decorated with scallops in honour of the pilgrim route that runs through the city. The courtyard is also beautifully decorated.
Nature in Castile and Leon
In Castile and Leon, you will find a wide variety of nature reserves. Here lies the northern Meseta, or Spanish plateau. This consists of a plateau of 600 to 1100 meters above sea level, formed by the erosion of the first mountains that stood there. This is the oldest part of the Iberian Peninsula. The plateau is surrounded by ridge mountains and is drained by the Douro river. The area is dry and warm, which has not always made it easy for the locals. For tourists, however, Castile and Leon is the area for beautiful views. Recommended for a nice walk is Las Médulas, the sizeable open-air gold mines from Roman times.