Salamanca: Home to one of the world’s oldest universities (Universidad de Salamanca was established in 1218), it is a city of magnificent monuments and academic structures showcasing Plateresque, Renaissance and Baroque facades in its historic section which remains remarkably intact. Beginning about 900 B.C., Salamanca’s fascinating history has been influenced by Celts, Romans, Visigoths, Moors, Christians, Jews and many others.
Upon arrival in Salamanca, visit the Plaza Mayor whose construction was ordered by Felipe V. The Churriguera brothers prepared the designs for the plaza, using sandstone as the primary building material. Bull fighting continued in the plaza until the mid 1800's. Continue on to the Old and New Cathedrals, the Casa de la Conchas or House of Shells for its unique facade. See the “Patio de las Escuelas”, the Patio of Schools, and the entrance of the University with it’s sumptuous plateresque design. The Iglesia Convento de San Esteban best known for the intricate work of its façade, was constructed by Juan Antonio Ceroni.
We will be happy to suggest one of our favorite restaurants in Salamanca for lunch (not included)
After lunch return to Madrid via Avila where you will stop for a short visit. Built on the banks of the Rio Adaja and surrounded by the vast Castilian plain, Avila’s old medieval city is surrounded by remarkably well-preserved ramparts from the 11th century. As the birthplace of St. Teresa of Avila, this small city has played a strong spiritual role in the evolution of both Castile and Spain as a whole.
After your visit return to Madrid (this is a 10-11 hour day)