Section 17 - Castile and León

Zamora - Salamanca - 68Km

The ancient Vía de la Plata Route, along with its natural extensions, was an important highway connecting the Cantabrian coast with the lands of southern Hispania, transited by goods, armies, merchants and travellers over the centuries.

The Vía de la Plata Route, part of EuroVelo 1, cuts through the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca in Castilla y León. It is worth a leisurely ride to enjoy all its surprising tourist attractions. See the sights of its cities and towns, savour its unique cuisine and admire its variety of landscape, peneplains, vast horizons of wine and grains, and moorland areas.

This stage is long, but the terrain is quite flat. There are many villages along the route where you can recover your strength and learn about their heritage, such as Perdigón, which boasts the important Church of San Felix, with a tower from the time of the Catholic Monarchs and a 16th century temple. Amid vineyards and some small holm oaks, we arrive at Villanueva de Campeán. Before entering the town, we’ll pass the ruins of a Franciscan convent, and in the town, we’ll find the Church of Santa María del Soto (13th century).

Corrales del Vino has the beautiful Church of La Magdalena, from the 16th century, as well as the Church of Calzada de Valdunciel, also from the 16th century with subsequent reforms, and that of Villares de la Reina from the 17th century. Along the way, we can take a detour to Topas to check out the Buen Amor Castle-Palace, declared a National Monument in 1931. It is currently part of the Posadas Reales brand, a high-quality brand of rural tourism accommodations in Castilla y León.

This stage ends in Salamanca, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988 due to its extraordinary heritage. It is also a knowledge centre, boasting one of the oldest universities in Europe. Unamuno, Lope de Vega, Fray Luis de León, Columbus and Saint Teresa of Ávila are among the many historical figures who visited this city. It is equipped with all kinds of services and is an excellent transportation hub.

Points of Interest

Heritage: 9
  • This castle-palace in the north of the province of Salamanca is known as that of 'Buen Amor' and was built in the second half of the 15th century by Alonso de Fonseca, the Bishop of Ávila. It has a square ground plan with square towers with rounded angles on its corners and is currently used as a Posada Real (quality rural accommodation).


  • Salamanca has two cathedrals which adjoin each other. The New one is Gothic in style and the Old one is a fine Romanesque monument. It represents the 'last breath of Gothic style' because it was built just before the Renaissance. The New Cathedral of Salamanca is an artistic point of reference of the capital of the River Tormes and an example of a densely ornamented monument which contrasts with the sober simplicity of the Romanesque building alongside it. All in its interior constitutes the courting of several artistic styles: Gothic merges with baroque and the latter feeds on the Renaissance to materialise in the form of stones, figures, and glass.


  • The fifteen arches nearest the city are Roman whereas the remainder have been rebuilt. Alongside the bridge stands an Iberian stone bull as a representation of pre-Roman Salamanca art of Celtic origin. In the centre the bull which appears on the city's coat of arms survives; it is a granite sculpture of Celtiberian origin. This bull is also famous for the reference to it in 'El Lazarillo de Tormes', a classic work of Spanish literature.

  • An 18th-century plaza; its construction was initiated in 1729 by Rodrigo Caballero. The project was led by the architect Alberto de Churriguera, who was followed by his nephew Manuel de Lara Churriguera and definitively by Andrés García de Quiñones. It is located in the centre of the city and forms a rectangle; at the rear it looks onto the Plaza del Mercado. An effigy of King Fernando III the Holy stands out over the central arch of this enclosure.

  • This is one of the most important buildings in Salamanca and one of the treasures of the Spanish Renaissance. The university was founded in 1218 and soon became a point of reference together with those of Oxford, Bologna, and Paris. The most outstanding part of the building is its plateresque façade. It is noted for the classroom of Fray Luis de León, the Historical Library, the Sky of Salamanca, and its school patios.


  • This grandiose 16th-century building of Renaissance architecture has an interior noted for its baroque works such as the altarpieces and murals. It is a spectacular monument with a huge church, lovely cloisters, and numerous rooms still occupied by Dominicans. Famous students and masters passed through its classrooms. It was here that the School of Salamanca was founded and International Law was founded.


  • A visit to the Ieronimus cathedral towers of Salamanca is an experience not to be missed. The route through its interior allows us to contemplate the Old Cathedral with its splendid altarpiece and the New Cathedral from its inner platform; we can climb the belfry and enjoy the views of the city from the terraces and watchtower.


  • This is the most representative monument of civil art of the time of the Catholic Monarchs. It was built in the late 15th century and features a merging of Gothic, Moorish, and Italian elements. Its founder was Doctor Rodríguez Arias and shells are its ornamental motif; they are the symbol of the Order of Santiago of which the founder was a secretary.

Gastronomy and wine: 1
  • The hornazo is a traditional product of Salamanca, a delicious pie filled with fresh loin, chorizo sausage, and ham which is eaten all year round but in particular on the festival of Monday of the Waters.

Shops and cycling services: 1

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Comments: Section 17

Section 17

Zamora - Salamanca - 68Km: 68

  • Elevation
  • Heritage