Salamanca Cultural Tour

29th May – 3rd June 2018

Image : Salamanca cathedral

There is no lovelier place to be in late May than the golden sandstone city of Salamanca in central Spain. Add its loveliest hotel (indeed one of the best family hotels in Spain) and you have six days fit for a king!

The historic centre of Salamanca is the finest 16th-century city in Spain and one of the finest in Western Europe. It boasts, among many other delights – TWO great cathedrals standing side-by-side, a stunning 18th-century square, Spain’s oldest university and a handful of splendid churches. It has dozens of literary and cultural connections. It witnessed the birth of the Spanish novel; its university produced many of Spain’s foremost cultural figures; its exquisite gardens and turrets provided the back-cloth for the Spanish Romeo and Juliet. In fact, Salamanca is so much more than a city – it is an EXPERIENCE. The beauty of its streets and squares, the atmosphere of its cafés and bars, the exuberance of its ’Plateresque’ façades and cloisters – all combine to create a unique and unforgettable effect.

On Day 4, we ring the changes and journey out to the spectacular landscapes of the Sierra de Francia and the unspoilt medieval charm of the village of La Alberca.

DAYS 1, 2 & 3 : Flying into Madrid is an easy two-hour journey to our home for five nights, the outstanding Hotel Rector. Built in the classic golden sandstone of Salamanca, the Rector is a family hotel of great beauty and comfort; a perfect base for our visit.

We start our exploration with two outstanding monasteries – San Esteban and Las Dueñas. Here we find the finest Plateresque architecture in Spain – the sandstone of Salamanca is perfect for the intricate designs. The monumental altarpiece of San Esteban is a quintessential example of the other architectural style that has shaped the city, the ‘Churrigueresque’ (a bit of a mouthful – it is applied to the 18th-century designs of the Churriguera family). Our attention then turns to the great cathedrals, both glorious buildings epitomising four centuries of architecture from early to late Gothic.

From the monastic to the academic. Day 3 is devoted to the fascinating collection of buildings that house the principal elements in Spain’s oldest place of learning. The university, as well as being a place of great beauty and elegance, is redolent of the achievements of its distinguished alumni, which include the writers Calderón and Cervantes. the philosopher Unamuno and the Father of Spanish Democracy, Adolfo Suarez.

Our visits to the cultural monuments of this UNESCO World Heritage city will be complemented by the haute cuisine of Salamanca’s finest restaurants, coffee in its incomparable main square and aperitifs in its atmospheric bars.

DAY 4 : We leave the city and go up into the unspoilt beauty of the mountains of the Sierra de Francia and in particular the medieval village of La Alberca, whose rustic architecture has resisted all change and which is always on the list of the ’10 Prettiest Villages in Spain’

DAY 5 : A highlight of our last full day in the city will be the Casa Lis – the only museum in Spain devoted entirely to Art Nouveau and Art Déco and a formidably wide-ranging collection. On Day 6 we return to Madrid.

Tour details

Tour dates : 29th May – 3rd June 2018

Number of days : 6

Price : £2150 (Prices are per person based on 2 sharing a twin or double room).

Single supplement : £210

Fully inclusive : Flights, transfers, accommodation and meals are all included.

Number in party : 12 – 16

Tour leader : Chris Pollard and Moses Laachiri

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