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Discovering Spain's medieval towns

  • Hondarribia Old Town. Guipúzcoa © Turespaña

    Hondarribia Old Town. Guipúzcoa © Turespaña

  • Tomb of the young knight, Sigüenza cathedral © Turespaña

    Tomb of the young knight, Sigüenza cathedral © Turespaña

  • Church of San Esteban in Sos del Rey Católico. Zaragoza © Turespaña

    Church of San Esteban in Sos del Rey Católico. Zaragoza © Turespaña


"If you're thinking of taking a cultural trip around Spain, then make a note of this idea. ..."

If you're thinking of taking a cultural trip around Spain, then make a note of this idea. The Medieval Towns and Villages Route goes from the Basque Country to Extremadura, and offers the chance to explore Spain from the very shores of the Cantabrian Sea to beautiful rural, inland areas, and to enjoy all the country's wide natural and cultural diversity.

All along the way there are towns and villages which are home to a stunning heritage and monuments, perfectly conserved over the centuries. You'll be enchanted by their medieval flavour.

The whole route comprises nearly 1,500 kilometres and is divided into nine parts. You can complete the entire itinerary or choose the stages that interest you most. The route is ideal to follow by car, and the destinations along the way are well worth visiting. Their shared history can clearly be seen in their streets, which are lined with medieval palaces, churches, monasteries and castles. Nevertheless, each one has its own personality and attractions, as you'll see as soon as you set off on your journey.

You can get underway in the Basque Country, in Hondarribia (province of Guipúzcoa ), right on the Basque coast. Amongst other things, you'll love its maritime atmosphere, its nearby beaches and its internationally-renowned gastronomy. In the same region, now inland in the province of Álava, you'll find Laguardia. Make a stop to stroll around its old town and sample the local wine with the internationally prestigious Rioja Alavesa Designation of Origin. Just 60 kilometres away, another essential place to stop is in Estella or Lizarra. At this town in Navarre you'll probably come across pilgrims, alone or in groups, with rucksacks on their backs. Don't be surprised. The Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route runs through here. It is the first European cultural route and also has the UNESCO World Heritage designation. Barely 100 kilometres further on, near the Pyrenees, in the province of Zaragoza, it is well worth making a visit to the historic monuments in Sos del Rey Católico.

The route now enters the Region of Castile. First to Almazán, in Castile-León, with the Duero River and its rolling fields of crops. And then further into the region of Castile-La Mancha. In Sigüenza (Guadalajara province), you can discover what life was like for medieval knights. Almost one thousand years ago, El Cid Campeador, a legendary hero of Spanish history, passed through this town. Further south, in Consuegra in the province of Toledo, you can see the windmills that call to mind the imaginary giants from the story of Don Quixote, the immortal creation of the writer Miguel de Cervantes.

The route finishes in the region of Extremadura, in the towns of Coria (province of Cáceres), and Olivenza (province of Badajoz ). They are very close to another, highly-recommended route –the Silver Route– that runs across Spain from south to north. There's quite a lot to see, don't you think? Enjoy this cultural adventure in Spain. Each of these towns offer the chance to take an exciting trip back to the Middle Ages as you learn about their history and traditions, and admire the surrounding countryside. And if you don't have time to see it all, don't worry. We'll be awaiting you on your next trip.

More information

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