If you love good food, fine wine, spectacular scenery, and magnificent architecture, head to Castilla y León this year, and enjoy a self-drive holiday through one of Spain’s most beautiful and unspoilt regions.
The ultimate travel destination for wine connoisseurs, Castilla y León is the home of Ribera del Duero, a Spanish Denominación de Origen, which is fast-becoming Spain’s number #1 wine region. With over 200 wineries and 20,000 hectares of vines to create world-famous wines such as Vega Sicilia and Pingus, award-winning wines such as Nexus, and popular brands such as Protos and Pesquera, Ribera del Duero really is the epicentre of Spanish wines, and if you are looking to escape touristy wineries that offer tours by the bus load, you might just think you’ve arrived in heaven!
There are just 2 seasons in Castilla de León, Inveirno (winter) and Infierno (hell or fire), and so you need to plan your travel dates wisely if you are to enjoy toasty temperatures! June and July are great months to visit.
Getting to Castilla y León
If you’re travelling from overseas, one of the easiest ways to get to Castilla y León is to fly to Madrid and pick up a rental car. It takes approximately 2 hours to drive to Valladolid, which is the perfect starting point for your gourmet adventure!
There are many historical sites worth a visit in Valladolid such as the Iglesia de San Pablo, Santa Maria la Antigua Church, and the Plaza de Mayor, and once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can head to La Parrilla de San Lorenzo for the typical dish of the region ‘Cordero Lechal’ which is tender oven roasted lamb that simply falls off the bone. If you are looking for a nice ‘traditional’ hotel to overnight, Marques de la Ensenada is a great choice, and it’s within walking distance from all the major attractions.
Is Burgos the most beautiful city in Spain? Well, it all comes down to personal taste, but I would most definitely rate it as a top contender. Spend at least 2 nights here, and after visiting all the spectacular churches, cathedrals, and monasteries, head to Cervecería Morito for the best tapas and house wine you have ever tasted. The NH Burgos Palacio de la Merced is the place to stay in Burgos, and again, it’s within walking distance of all the main attractions.
Ribera Del Duero
After a few days of culture, head inland to the winelands of Ribera Del Duero for a wine tasting extravaganza! Stay in the fabulous Castilla Termal Monasterio de Valbuena, a magnificent Cistercian monastery dating back to the 12th century that has been transformed into a luxury hotel and spa! From here you can do private day trips to all the famous wineries (advanced booking essential), where you can try the wines, dine in the most beautiful of settings, and appreciate the ‘real’ Spain without the stereotypes of the southern coast…
A truly spectacular self-drive holiday, Castilla y León really does have it all!