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Castilla y León guide

About Castilla y León

With wonderful castles, monuments and old cities, along with glorious summer weather, Castilla y León is an inviting retreat.

Castilla y León is the biggest region in Spain and is steeped in history and culture that remain untouched by tourism and the pace of modern life - ideal for those who are looking to get away from it all but there are still plenty of attractions to discover. The region has several beautiful World Heritage status cities including Segovia, Salamanca and Avilá. There are also some of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in Europe including the magnificent cathedral in the grand city of León and Burgos cathedral, which is one of the main stops on Europe's most important pilgrimage way, the Camino de Santiago, where the coffin of Christian military man El Cid el Campeador lies.

The ancient kingdom of Castilla (Castile) was first united with the neighbouring kingdom of Leon in the early part of the 11th century. It takes its name from the many castles built by the Christians as a defence against the Moorish invaders in the 8th and 9th centuries. In the early years of Arab occupation, the region was at the vanguard of the centuries-long battle to oust the Moors. Known as the 'kingdom of the castles' thanks to these many castles, Castilla y León wears it rich heritage on the face of its remarkable architecture - whether in the enchanting medieval villages or historic cities of the region, preserving the legacies of the Roman, Moorish and Spanish empires.

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Alongside all this history, Castilla y León is also an area of outstanding natural beauty - the Lago de Sanabria near Zamora is the largest lake in the country and has deep valleys and mountainous zones with amazing glacier lagoons that stretch as far as 20 kilometres. Marked footpaths are numerous in the surrounding nature reserve to take in the breath-taking countryside and abundant wildlife.

Cuisine of Castilla y León

Local specialities

Lechazo from Burgos, Spain's best tasting lamb. Roast suckling pig. Morcilla, a black pudding made with rice. Lazos de San Guillermo, bow-shaped pastries.

What's on the menu?

Head to El Barrio Húmedo in the city of León's 'wet quarter' where you will be spoilt for choice - just the variety of tapas will amaze you.

What to drink

Vega Sicilia from the Ribera del Duero region is reported to be one of the best red wines in Spain. El Bierzo near León produces excellent Godello whites and Mencia reds.

Why visit Castilla y León?

  • Castles and fortified towns and cities
  • Magnificent Gothic cathedrals
  • Camino de Santiago runs through region
  • Ancient Roman ruins and aquaducts

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Places in Castilla y León

  • Ávila guide
    6 out of 10, based on 52 ratings

    Ávila in Castilla y León is a magnificent walled city and is one…

  • Salamanca guide
    6 out of 10, based on 172 ratings

    Salamanca in Castilla y León is a cosmopolitan city that is home…

  • León guide
    6 out of 10, based on 53 ratings

    León in Castilla y León is an historical city, once the capital…

  • Burgos guide
    5 out of 10, based on 31 ratings

    Burgos in Castilla y León is a well-preserved medieval city…

  • See all places in Castilla y León

Attractions in Castilla y León

Where is Castilla y León?

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