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Salamanca: Excursions

The surroundings of Salamanca were important already at the times of ancient Romans, who called the region Helmatica. It was located in the South of the important "Ruta de la Plata", the way that connected the mines and ports of the North with the South of the country. Its limits are the high mountain ranges Sierra de Francia and de Bejar in the South and a granite canyon, Los Arribes, which forms the frontier between Spain and Portugal, in North-East.

Between the rivers Tormes and Tajo there is the perhaps most characteristic area, Campo Charro, with wide meadows and oak-woods, known for bull breeding.
La Sierra de Francia
Photo At the mountain peak Peña de Franciaof 1.723 meters height, a very popular destination of excursions, you may enjoy of a great view.Photo In the green and romantic valleys there are villages like Las Batuecas, located in a wild-life preserve where exist still lynxes and some rare mountain-goats. The Monastery of San José del Monte Photo offers the opportunity for a peaceful and spiritual stay. By the way you can sleep there, not for a fixed price but for what you are willing or able to give.

Nearby you should visit Alberca, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain and the first that was declared national Monument, in 1940. The population conserves interesting customs of pagan tradition.

More places worth to visit are Sequeros, Mogarraz and Miranda del Castañar, Photo a very beautiful village. Female visitors in particular will enjoy a visit at February, 5th. This day takes place the traditional festivity of "Santa Agueda", when men have to obey women.
La Sierra de Bejar
Bejar, formerly well-known for its textile production, was of importance specially at the times of Moors and Renaissance. Its bullring, Plaza de Toros, is among the oldest of Spain. More sights are are the Ducal Palace of 17th century and the remains of the Moorish fortifications.

Candelario is picturesque with its stone houses and impressively inclines streets. The sausages ("Chorizo") produced here are of high reputation.
Along the river Duero
The most interesting town in this region located along the river Duero is Alba de Tormes, a place of pilgrimage conserving several relics of Saint Teresa. The Saint's body is in the Convento de las Carmelitas. Other interesting buildings are the 12th century Church of San Juan, several Mudejar-style churches, a medieval bridge and the tower resting of the Duke of Alba's castle.
El Campo Charro
Ciudad Rodrigo, Photo located 86 km from Salamanca, is a medieval town enclosed by walls. It is the most interesting place in this region, with its Romanesque Cathedral, its Town-Hall of 15th and 16th century, the Gothic house Casa de los Aguilas, and several palaces: Castillo de Enrique II, Palacio de Moctezuma, Palacio de los Castro and Palacio del Principe.

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