When the Romans came to Spain, and especially during the reigns of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, they built a roadway; a grand access route, from the city of Seville to the seaport of Gijon. The road crossed through the fine Autonomous Communities of Andalusia, Extremadura, Castilla y León and Asturias. Goods, troops, traders and travellers moved in continuous transit along this trail, which favoured the spreading of Roman culture, its language and way of life, at the same time as facilitating the control of the territory that the administration of the Roman Empire required. After a time the road became known as the Via de la Plata or Silver Way. Nowadays, it constitutes a rich and varied itinerary possessing several World Heritage Sites.
This route, along which merchandise and war, settlements and peace were exchanged, still describes one of the most exciting itineraries in Spanish geography. From Gijón to Seville many different cities, towns, villages and landscapes are encountered each with a unique personality and special flavour.
Arrive in Seville. Accommodation of your choice in the city.
Seville is the capital of Andalusia and has a chequered history having been ruled by the Romans, the Visigoths and the Moors before the Christians finally reclaimed it in the 13th century. The city’s character reflects this particularly in the architecture of Moorish, Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque style, which can be seen.
Seville is a compact maze of narrow streets with an incredible choice of places to visit. The medieval Jewish quarter and the Barrio Santa Cruz are fascinating by day or night with flower-lined streets, houses adorned with exquisite wrought iron and seemingly endless restaurants and taverns. In Santa Cruz, Seville’s old Jewish quarter, we find the Cathedral, occupying the site of a great Mosque built in the late 12th century and the adjacent Giralda Tower actually a minaret from the original Mosque. Nearby is the Reales Alcazares, royal residence of Spanish kings for centuries.
In the area of el Arenal is one of Spain’s oldest bullrings, the Plaza de Toros de la Maestranza which dates from the 18th century. Also the 13th century Torre del Oro (Gold Tower), built in Moorish style to protect the port and now containing a small maritime museum. Further to the south of the city is the magnificently tiled Plaza de España which is surrounded by the lush gardens of the Maria Luisa park. Accommodation of your choice in Seville.
Leave Seville and continue north to visit Zafra in Extremadura, with a fine old quarter declared a Spanish National Historic Monument. Visit the Alcázar, now a Parador, and both the Plaza Grande 18th century and the Plaza Chica 16th century. Next stop is Merida, a monumental city with a Roman Theatre. Then make your way to Caceres, officially declared by UNESCO as “City Heritage of Mankind”. Accommodation of your choice in Caceres.
Contine to Plasencia, that contains the largest Cathedral in Extremadura, and still has preserved the ramparts to the aqueduct. From here visit Bejar and see the Arab Ramparts and the Roman Milestone. Afterwards continue to Salamanca. Accommodation of your choice in Salamanca
Visit Salamanca, which apart from being Spain's most famous university city is also perhaps its finest exponent of Renaissance and Plateresque architecture. It has two Cathedrals in different styles; the new 16th century cathedral which stands right next to the old 12th century Romanesque one. The University, one of Europe’s oldest, features a stunning Plateresque façade. The Main Square, or Plaza Mayor, is without doubt one of finest in Spain. Other sights include the Baroque Town Hall, the 16th century Casa de las Conchas or House of Shells and others too many to mention.
Later proceed north to Zamora, visiting the Cathedral and the Castle. Accommodation of your choice in Zamora.
Moving north you reach Astorga, which is about 30 miles west of León at a junction where the Silver Route and the Road to Santiago are linked. Astorga has two principal monuments, one beside the other: the superb 15th century Cathedral (mixing Baroque and Gothic styles), and the Bishop’s Palace by Gaudí; his second work in the province of León.
Continue to Leon. Leon, as capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages, played an important role during the Reconquest of Spain from the Moors. It´s most important building is the Gothic Cathedral with stained glass windows. San Isidoro Basilica is another important building containing the Romanesque Royal Pantheon, superbly decorated with 12th century frescoes. Renaissance architecture is finely represented by the Hostal San Marcos, nowadays a 5 star Parador Hotel. Gaudí also left his mark on the city of Leon when he was commissioned to design the Casa de los Botines, now a bank. Accommodation of your choice in Leon.
Next to Oviedo the charming capital of Asturias and a University city. Just north of the city are two of the most magnificent Pre-Romanesque churches: Santa Maria del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo. Within the city itself be sure to visit the old quarter with its Gothic Cathedral (14th century) and the San Tirso Church.
Proceed to Gijon, last stop on the silver route, and Asturias’ largest city with several lovely beaches. One of its most remarkable buildings is the 18th century Palacio de Revillagigedo. Here you also find Roman spas and the Museo de la Gaita (Bagpipe Museum). Accommodation of your choice in Gijon.
If you like the look of the above Suggested Tour we will gladly prepare a quote for you. The itinerary is not rigid and can be modified to suit your needs.
Below is a selection of the accommodation we would recommend for this tour. Click on the Hotel Code or symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property. If you have registered to use our Spain Travel & Holiday Planner, you need only click on to insert it into your itinerary.
|Spain´s Roman Silver Route - From Sevilla to Gijon||Hotel Code||Classification||Information|
|2 nights in Seville||AND07||Country House w/ pool|
|1 night in CACERES||PAR15 PARADOR||Paradors|
|1 night in SALAMANCA||CYL24||Central Hotel|
|1 night in ZAMORA||PAR77 PARADOR||Paradors w/ pool|