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 Ávila. 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.

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.

Top places to visit

Ávila in Castilla y León is a magnificent walled city and is one of the oldest towns in the region.

Salamanca in Castilla y León is a cosmopolitan city that is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe.

León in Castilla y León is an historical city, once the capital of the Kingdom of León, and is full of interesting architecture in a mixture of artistic styles.

Burgos in Castilla y León is a well-preserved medieval city, famed for its spectacularGothic cathedral, and many other religious buildings that made it an important stop on theCamino de Santiago pilgrimage route.

Top things to do

A stunning example of Gothic architecture, Burgos cathedral is an unmissable landmark. Built by order of King Ferdinand in 1221, the cathedral is a remarkable sight with 2 beautiful towers crowned by spires and has 15 chapels...

An inspiration for Disney's Cinderella castle, the Alcázar of Segovia is a fairytale castle on a hilltop that was once the residence of the Royal Family during the 12th and 13th centuries.

Visit the Monasterio de Santo Tomas and discover the 3 beautiful cloisters of this wonderful 15th century monastery. Meander through the small and sombre Tuscan-style Cloister of the Novitiate, the respectful Cloister of...

The biggest draw to the Iglesia de San Pablo is it's spectacular Gothic facade created during the 13th century. A magnificent work of stone sculpture, the facade can be split into 3 parts.