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In Roman times, and especially during the reigns of the emperors Trajan and Hadrian, a grand access route was created that linked the western Cantabrian coast with the southern parts of Hispania.
Goods, troops, traders, and travelers moved in continuous transit along this trail, which favored the spreading of Roman culture, language, and way of life, at the same time as facilitating the control of the territory by the administration of the Roman Empire.
This trail continued to be used over the centuries, by Moors, Arabs as well as Christians during the Middle Ages and went on to play an important role in the communications network of the Iberian Peninsula.
Today, this way is still in use to feel a real Spain like no other: cities and villages of great charm and untouched beauty will unveil their secrets as you travel along.
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From Sevilla to “Small Sevilla”Pick up our rental car in Sevilla, either at the airport or at the railway station, and start the journey northwards crossing the Sierra de Aracena Natural Park. Soon you’ll get to Zafra, the “small Sevilla”, where you can let our imagination flow when entering your Parador, located in a 15th-century castle. Zafra carries a rich past dating back to pre-Roman times, where Lusitanians and Vettones would inhabit the wealthy valley. It was probably around the 11th century when the city claimed the strategic Via de la Plata, which privileged them in trade. Today, you can still see some parts of the old walls, the two squares that used to be the souks of the city, and some very beautiful churches. If you feel like discovering more, the Portuguese border and the interesting city of Evora with nice Roman ruins is just a 1-hour drive away.
In Search for Roman HistoryAfter a great breakfast, you’ll drive to Plasencia in the heart of the Jerte Valley, where the best cherries of Spain are hand-picked and delivered to remote places like Japan or Saudi Arabia. On the way to Plasencia, make a stop in Mérida to admire the impressive city with a vast Roman past. Visit one of the best-preserved Roman complexes of Spain, including a theater, which still hosts annual drama performances of Classic pieces during the Summer, amphitheater, museum, forum, and more. Continue your drive to your Parador to celebrate your well-deserved dinner.
Architectural GemsNext to lovely Plasencia, the “noble, bold, and haughty”, founded in the 13th century, is the great city of Caceres, whose old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ruled by powerful rival factions from the 14th to 16th century. Impressive testimonies of the past splendor are fortified houses, palaces, and towers. Another interesting option for the day would be to visit the nearby National Park of Monfragüe, crossed by the Tajo river on its way to Portugal. Return to Plasencia for dinner and overnight. Your Parador, the old Santo Domingo monastery, shares the walls and rooms with the holy and not so holy Dominican friars, who inhabited the building by the express and generous will of Count and Countess of Zuñiga.
Discover Amazing UNESCO SitesOn your journey towards León you’ll find many reasons to stop. Salamanca, a UNESCO Heritage Site, with one of the oldest universities of Europe, and a historic center with a kaleidoscope of Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque monuments. Ávila, with best-preserved middle age walls and home town of St. Teresa. Astorga, the old Roman Asturica Augusta with one of only two buildings created by the genious architect Antoni Gaudi outside Catalonia. At the UNESCO Site Las Médulas, the Roman Imperial authorities exploited gold deposits, using a hydraulic power technique. After two centuries of exploitation, the Romans withdrew, leaving a devastated landscape, today used for agriculture. Expect the greatest surprise on arrival in León, as you’ll check into your unique Parador, the Hostal de San Marcos, a 5* accommodation with an unforgettable Renaissance façade.
Discover the Hidden Corners of LeónLeón is well worth to spend the day and discover its hidden corners. Explore the great cathedral, the “humid quarter” and nourish both, your spirit and your stomach. León is also a city on the Camino de Santiago (St James Way) and has always afforded a warm welcome to pilgrims and travelers. Dinner at one of the countless restaurants will help to wind down after a busy and exciting day.
Destination GijónAfter breakfast, you’ll face your last journey through the scenic landscape, as you enter the greenest part of Spain with great mountains, rivers, and valleys en-route to Gijón on the Cantabrico sea. Picturesque villages like Mieres, Aller, Lena, or Riosa invite for a memorable stop, where you can savor local cheeses, home-made cyder, or an incredibly tasty stew. After check-in into your Gijón Parador, you can go on a stroll through the lively streets. Take a look at the centenary mill inside a park, which emits a warm and relaxing atmosphere.
Hasta La Vista!After breakfast at your Parador you can delve deeper into the beauties of Gijón. Even Roman authors dedicated some lines to the Asturs, whom they called “highlanders”. Here you find a fragment from the Geography of Strabo (75 BC - 20 AD), in which he discusses the customs of the northern people, including the Asturs: “All the highlanders are sober, they drink water, sleep on the ground and wear their hair long and loose, as is the custom of women, although when they fight, they tie a band around their foreheads” Return your car at the railway station or continue to the near airport of Oviedo for your flight to the next destination.
Accommodation in selected hotels during 6 nights with Breakfast, half or full board included. Also, you can decide to add extra nights in any of the cities along the itinerary as you wish
Car rental group E (automatic BMW series 1, or similar) during 7 days with unlimited mileage, basic insurance, and airport, city surcharges included, pick up Sevilla and drop off Gijón.
All travel documents
24/7 telephone assistance during the trip
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