Castile-León by motorcycle
If motorbikes are your passion, then make sure you bring yours when you come to Spain. In the inland part of the country there are many routes for bikers to explore the Castile-León Region. Travel by road, mark your own route, and discover landscapes, towns and villages in your own time... Sounds good, doesn't it?
The Region of Castile-León occupies a large part of the northern half of Spain. Here you will find cities rich in monuments, old fortresses, archaeological sites, internationally famous wineries and vineyards, and stunning nature areas. Discovering the huge diversity of this Region is easy if you do it by motorcycle. You just have to follow the motorcycle routes in existence. Here we present four itineraries, each divided into three stages. You can explore them all or dedicate several days to one in particular according to your interest and the time you have available. It is a journey over quiet roads, taking your time and enjoying the surprising landscapes.
Arribes del Duero-Sanabria Route: spectacular countryside
This itinerary will take you to the provinces of Salamanca and Zamora, and you will see two of Castile-León's most emblematic nature areas: Arribes del Duero and the Sanabria Lake Nature Reserve. The route covers 375 kilometres starting in the city of Ciudad Rodrigo and ending at Sanabria Lake, the largest glacial lake in Spain. The Castle and Cathedral in Ciudad Rodrigo are the first monuments you will come across. On the way, options include hiking in La Fregeneda, exploring the Duero River canyons by boat from Vilvestre, admiring historic sites such as Puebla de Sanabria, and practising water sports on Sanabria Lake itself.
Gredos-Hoces del Duratón Route: art and nature
350 kilometres running through the provinces of Ávila, Salamanca, Valladolid and Segovia; from the village of Barco de Ávila to the Hoces del Duratón Nature Reserve. The route starts taking you through the Gredos Mountains, with their stunning gorges, crags and lakes; you then visit towns with valuable artistic heritage such as Tordesillas, Medina del Campo and Cuéllar. It is especially worthwhile stopping in Salamanca, to enjoy its university atmosphere and historic centre, which has the World Heritage designation. Once you get to the Hoces del Duratón area of canyons, you can explore the stunning landscape by kayak.
Atapuerca-Ponferrada Route: the first Europeans
This itinerary will show you some of Spain's most important monuments. It runs for 365 kilometres in the provinces of Burgos, Palencia and León. It starts at the Atapuerca site, where Europe's oldest human fossils were discovered. It has the UNESCO World Heritage designation, as does Burgos Cathedral, which you can see at your next stop, just 25 kilometres further on. The route now continues to historic locations such as Frómista, Carrión de los Condes, Sahagún or Astorga, amongst others. When you get to León, once you have seen the Cathedral and the MUSAC Museum of Contemporary Art, have some tapas in the popular Húmedo Neighbourhood. The itinerary finishes in Ponferrada, where you should not miss a visit to the 11th-century Templar Castle.
Ribera del Duero Route: wine culture
This route crosses the provinces of Soria, Burgos and Valladolid, and will take you to the region's main points of interest, where the famous Ribera del Duero wines are produced. It runs for some 210 kilometres and will take you into the world of wine production, with visits to vineyards and wineries throughout the route. It gets underway in El Burgo de Osma and finishes in the city of Valladolid. Continuing on this route you will also come across major fortresses such as Gormaz Castle and Peñafiel Castle. If you can, stop for lunch in Aranda de Duero, famous for its roast meats. Once in Valladolid, visit the Patio Herreriano Museum, an old Renaissance monastery with an interesting collection of contemporary Spanish art, with works by artists such as Chillida, Tapiés and Barceló.
This is just a brief idea of everything that Castile-León has to offer. Travelling by motorcycle in Spain is an excellent way to make sure you don't miss a thing.
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