Take advantage of Ryanair´s direct service from London Stansted to Valladolid, Spain (flights are not included) and discover the magnificent province of CASTILLA Y LEON.
Castilla (derived from the word castle) is what many people would consider the "real" Spain. The land of Don Quijote, vast plains, sweeping sierras and oasis-like cities steeped in history rising up from the heat haze. Naturally, as one would expect, the region is also famous for it castles of which there are many.
Our suggested 7 night Self Drive Tour includes a stay in the PARADOR DE TORDESILLAS from where you can discover VALLADOLID, home to some of Spains best Renaissance art and architecture. Valladolid has witnessed innumerable important events throughout history including the death of Columbus in 1506 and, at one time, the great Spanish writer Cervantes lived here.
Discover also SALAMANCA (European City of Culture 2002) which apart from being Spain´s most famous university city is also its finest exponent of Renaissance and Plateresque architecture. Salamanca has so many interesting sights to see and at night the city hums with social activity enhanced by the numerous national and international students that come to study here.
The Plaza Mayor (main square) in Salamanca is one of the most beautiful in Spain. It is the perfect place to begin one´s evening as some of the best bars and restaurants can be found here.
From Salamanca continue to the remarkable city of SEGOVIA. Here there are countless vestiges of the past to be seen including the amazing Roman aqueduct which towers over the town and the Alcazar; said to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney´s fairytale castle.
En-route to Segovia stop off in AVILA; another important UNESCO Heritage town with very well preserved medieval walls, for lunch. Or perhaps visit the MONASTERIO de SAN LORENZO de EL ESCORIAL the spectacular monastery-palace which stands in the Sierra de Guadarrama to the northwest of Madrid. Its artistic wealth includes important works of the royal Habsburg collections and over 40,000 books in the library, which ceiling is decorated with frescoes by Tibaldi. Of special interest are the Royal Pantheon and the Museum of Art.
Finally return to the Parador de Tordesillas for your last night.
The accommodation we have included consists of a pleasant mixture of quality 3* and 4* hotels plus a Spanish Parador