If you are looking to rent a house in Spain you usually know what your looking for. The problem is knowing where to find it.
Salamanca is becoming more and more popular with tourists. It is a little off the beat and track and therefore until now has been relatively forgotten, people preferring the Spanish coastline or larger cities like Madrid or Barcelona. Salamanca however, really is a jewel among other smaller cites to be found in inland Spain. Like Segovia, Avila or Sevilla it has a beautiful town centre which really deserves to be seen and explored.
If you want to rent a house in Spain, why not make Los Abuelos rural house part of your journey. We accept a minimum stay of two nights, so if you're just passing through come and stay with us, or perhaps for a long weekend. Located between Salamanca and Avila you could easily see both cities while enjoying the relaxing countryside, and the peace and quiet at our house in Horcajo Medianero.
Let me tell you a little about Salamanca. Located about 30 minutes from the house, Salamanca sits on the river Tormes, an area which has recently been turned into an area of relaxation and enjoyment. The banks along the river have now been turned into walking and cycle paths, the views are beautiful and a cool drink could be waiting for you at the end of your walk.
The Cathedral is a combination of the new and the old. The New Cathedral was constructed between the 16th and the 18th century. Building began in 1513. The old Cathedral was founded in the 12th century and completed in the 14th century. The building is breathtaking and the view spectacular. Amazingly this is not the only fantastic church building to be visited whilst in Salamanca. The church often confused for the Cathedral, Iglesia del Espiritu Santo is a magnificent building just a short walk from the Cathedral, building began in 1617 and it is open to the public.
There are many more places to see in Salamanca, plazas, fountains, statues, even a bull ring and I will leave you to discover them, but one more site must be mentioned here and the is the great square or plaza Mayor. Simply one of, if not the most beautiful and grand central square in Spain. Construction of the plaza began in 1729 and was completed in 1755. The original use for the square was for bull fighting, but nowadays the square is full of sun lit terraces, cafés and shops. Everybody who visits Salamanca just has to spend an hour in the sun, sitting with a cold drink in the Plaza Mayor de Salamanca.
There are plenty of things to do in and around Horcajo Medianero, while you are staying at Los Abuelos.
Horcajo itself is a very typical rural village. It is quiet and and easily accessible from Salamanca, Avila and Madrid. Although small, the village has a small grocery shop and pharmacy. There are a number of village bars and two very good restaurants. The village also has its own swimming pool which is open to the public throughout the summer months, and it is but a few minutes walk from Los Abuelos. The pool area has spacious green areas, and a bar which is open all day.
Inhabitants and visitors to the village that like rural tourism make use of their stay by visiting the Ermita de Valdejimena. A beautifully maintained hermitage just a short walk on the outskirts of the village. On your way you can stop off and watch one of the few traditional brick makers making roof tiles and bricks with traditional methods and original kiln.
Just along the road in the next village you will find the Finca de Valverde. For the past 40 years the owners of the finca have been dedicated to the rearing of horses and dressage. These days there are over 60 horses on the finca, not to mention the bulls, the pigs and other livestock. It's a great way to pass the time in the summer sunshine on horse back trekking around the countryside and at the Valverde you not only get this pleasure but there are plenty of other things to do. For a few euros you can spend the afternoon in the fincas own pool. There is also a well maintained beer garden and a traditional restaurant.
Alba de Tormes is a short trip by car. In just 15 minutes you could find yourself sitting comfortably in the town square with a cool drink and a tasty snack called a Pincho. The town has plenty of interesting things to see like the Basilica de Santa Teresa and the castle of the Dukes of Alba.
If you want a little adventure you can visit the Reservoir of Santa Teresa. Again just a short drive from Los Abuelos, there is plenty of activity there, sailing, canoeing and many more.
Sierra de Gredos
The village of Piedrahita is but a 10 minute drive from Los Abuelos rural house in Horcajo Medianero. The village lies and the base of the Sierra de Gredos.
We are very glad to say that people are using Los Abuelos as their comfortable choice of rural house while they are enjoying the great variety of sports and entertainment the Sierra de Gredos has to offer. So what brings people from all over the world to Gredos. Well here, for the adventurous you have a great deal of sports to choose from. Skiing, Gliding, mountain climbing, hiking and walking, horse riding and mountain biking. There is archery and a lot more.
Natural countryside, accessible for walking and and hiking for the family with relatively easy routes or more strenuous routes. The Sierra de Gredos is an hour away from Los Abuelos. It is the perfect place for lovers of the great outdoors. Even though the area is some cases is quite difficult with steep hills and rocky areas like the Cinco Lagunas, a glacial circle of small lakes, Majalaescoba, Bajera, Doncella, Mediana and Cimera, it is a place that all the family can enjoy.
To get to the Cinco Lagunas ( 5 lakes) you will cross bridges, you will walk along a forest track, you will walk through uneven paths, always letting yourself be guided by the wooden signs that mark the route. Green meadows, streams and groups of horses, cows and goats will tell you that your path is the right one. Before you arrive at the Five Lakes you will see a well preserved stone shack with artisanal drinks that opens its doors to walkers. Rest here because the other part of the hill is harder and steeper, but at the same time more beautiful. I will leave it here, so you can experience the rest of the walk for yourself.
The next route is to the Cirque de La Hoyade las Berzas, where you will have to climb a wall to reach Bajera. Continue uphill and after a climb you will see the Medianera lake, going up, going up with the Laguna Doncellao La Galana; and you will have to go up even more to see the Laguna Cimera, the largest and highest of this particular natural landscape reserved exclusively for mountaineers.
Another glacial circle is the Circo de Gredos, one of the most important places in the Regional Park of the Sierra de Gredos, on your way you will see Laguna Grande, in the centre of the circle.
You will need clothes, shoes, water and other equipment according to the season if you want to visit this beautiful glacier circle, we recommend you to go by the Laguna Grande route, which is two hours and a half from the Gredos Platform in the Hoyos del Espino area.
Aliseda de Tormes is a typical mountain village north of Tormes where you can enjoy the flight of the eagle or the vulture, or fishing in the river; the highest and most beautiful summits, Almanzor and Galana, from Sierrade Gredos are in Zapardiel dela Ribera. Another typical mountain village with constructions in stones and wood is Navalperal de Tormes, within its municipal area is Laguna Grande.
For activities such as skiing, paragliding, mountaineering, hiking you can visit Navacepeda de Tormes. Another main tourist destination of Sierra de Gredos is Navarredonda de Gredos in the heart of the Regional Park where you can go hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, archery, rappel, zip line, paragliding, canoeing, orientation and mycological walks.
Avila, is the second historical city close to Los Abuelos. In under an hours drive you can be in one of the most beautiful cities in Castilla y Leon. Nobody can visit this city without being totally impressed by the first sight of its outstanding medieval wall that surrounds the old town. Travelling from Los Abuelos it is the first thing you see as you arrive.
Avilas most famous tourist attraction is of course the wall. Constructed in brown granite in 1090, the wall includes 88 towers and 9 gateways into the old town. There is a gothic cathedral integrated into the cities defences which was built between the 12th and 14th centuries which contains many interesting sculptures and paintings. If you are interested in history, Avila is a great place for you. The churches of San Vincente, San Pedro and San Segundo are main features to visit. The gothic monastery of Santo Tomas 1482 is also noteworthy.
Today a great way to spend a day in Avila is a tranquil stroll around the old town, taking in the many sights and sounds that Avila has to offer. Of course modern day Avila has plenty to offer the visitor. The excellent gastronomy for example. The city has plenty of bars and restaurants where you can sample the local cuisine. Roast piglet or lamb is a local speciality as well as the Avila T-bone steak. Take a day off from cooking at Los Abuelos and treat yourself, to not only a great city to visit, but lunch or an evening meal in Avila.
The city of Avila was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO in 1985.
El Mirón and Piedrahita
El Miron, is located on the border between the province of Ávila and Salamanca, it has as its most precious jewel the old castle that is located on the outskirts of the town. Also known as the Castle of the Moors, El Mirón Castle stands on a hill top on the borders of the Corneja Valley. The castle dates back to medieval times and its location allowed it to watch the roads as well as control and defend the boundary of the Kingdom of Castile and León.
The only part of the castle that remains standing and that is open to the public, is The Tower of Homage, located at the top of the castle, from here you will get impressive panoramic views of the Corneja Valley including the mountains of Salamanca, Sierra de Béjar and Sierra de Francia. Near the castle you will find a Mozarabic church whose existence dates back to the 12th century.
Your rural tourism in El Mirón can continue with the parish church of the village dating from the fifteenth century, in front of it is the Cruz del Rollo, a tree with 4 heads in the shape of a cross for the purposes of torture during the Holy Inquisition.
There is also the hermitage dedicated to Our Lady of the Callejas. To relax you can go for some drinks and tapas or participate in the customs of the town like the slaughter of the pigs, playing bald, which is an ancestral game similar to bowling but with a wood called bald that is stuck in the ground and must be derived with a morillo (stone or oval iron).
Piedrahita is another very traditional town, but 10 minutes by car from Los Abuelos. Situated at the foot of the Gredos Mountains, this small town has a lot to offer for a day visit. It is also the best town to stock up on those necessary groceries for your stay at Los Abuelos. There are a couple of medium sized supermarkets, where you can get just about everything you might need, but there are still plenty of traditional butchers and fruit shops to choose from. Practice your Spanish on these very friendly shop owners and buy your fresh meats, fruits and vegetables.
Spend a few hours in the morning or early evening in the town square. There are plenty of bars and restaurants with terraces to enjoy. What better way to spend an evening in Piedrahita than with a nice chilled glass of Spanish wine and a tasty tapa.
There are plenty of events that take place from time to time in the town and you will sometimes find that the square is taken over by a collection of classic car or motorbike owners, stopping off for a relaxing time on their journey through the countryside of Castilla y Lyon.
Paragliding and hang gliding is incredibly popular in the Gredos mountains. Piedrahita has become a great centre for gliding enthusiasts. If you are an adventure sport enthusiast, Los Abuelos makes an excellent choice of accommodation. There is plenty of space to store your equipment, and just a short drive from the Peña negra platform. Spend the evenings in peace and comfort after a long day in the mountains in our garden patio where you can eat and have a drink in peace.
What is there to see and visit in the town. Well you have the Palacio de Los Duques de Alba, The church of Asunsion, plenty of walking routes, horse riding and much more.
Continue your rural tourism with a visit to Béjar and just 72 kilometers from your rural house in Salamanca, Los Abuelos.
Situated atop an elongated hill you will find Béjar, the areas lush and humid environment has a great monumental heritage.
Legend has it that by the 11th century, when Béjar was occupied by Berbers, Christian men dressed in moss, taking advantage of the green of the Sierra de Béjar, attacked and took control of the Muslim fortress of Béjar.
A wonderful town, Bejar has plenty of sights to visit, for example the IV Duke of Béjar ordered the construction of El Bosque, Renaissance garden, in the sixteenth century. Now declared of Cultural Interest, El Bosque has a palace, a pond and a statue.
The patron saint of the municipality of Béjar is the Virgen del Castañar, they say that the plague suffered by this town ended thanks to her, when a shepherd found her inside a wooden box next to a chestnut tree. In honor of her the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Castañar was constructed that dates from the s. XVIII.
The oldest church in the city is the Church of Santiago dating from the twelfth century. Inside you will see the recumbent Christ and a picture of the Virgin of Antigua. You can also visit the Jewish Museum "David Melul" and the Museum of the sculptor Mateo Hernández of good prestige in Spain.
If you enjoy skiing, La Covatilla, the ski resort of the Sierra de Béjar has 20 ski slopes and 19.5 kilometres at your disposal!
If you come between the end of spring and the beginning of autumn, we recommend that you visit El Calvitero. To get there you must go through Candelario, a picturesque village in the Sierra de Bejar where the El Travieso Platform is located. From here you will have routes to the Calvitero mountain, the Canchal de las Cejas and the Agujas. We advise you wear a coat, boots and a raincoat because temperatures are low even in summer. To visit Béjar is to taste its rich typical dishes like the calderillo, a stew of potatoes and veal meat seasoned with red pepper and laurel; the zorongollo, salad of red peppers and tomatoes peeled into pieces; salad with lemon, orange, egg and chorizo; we recommend you try the hornazo, a pastry stuffed with chorizo and other meats.
Everything is richer if you accompany your food with a wine from the elaborated Rufete grape, in Béjar.
And for the cold climate of Béjar we recommend the typical sweet called Perrunillas with a good coffee. Delicious!
Only a short trip away from Los Abuelos by car there is a wonderful natural valley. A clear fresh water mountain river runs through the middle of it surrounded by wonderful oak tress, chestnut trees, and the most beautiful, fields and fields of cherry trees. Most famous in Spain, the Jerte Valley is visited by many people each year to take in the wonderful views of the Cherry tress in full bloom.
There are plenty of things to do on a visit to the Jerte Valley. Walking and hiking along the many routes there are to choose from. There are also plenty of routes you can choose by bicycle and horseback. Fishing is also very popular and for the more adventurous, gliding.
If you're visiting the area in spring, make Los Abuelos rural house your base and take the opportunity for a day visit to the Jerte Valley. During the spring months the trees are covered with cherry flowers and from the many view points along the route you can enjoy the most unique sights. Whilst up in the mountains you can pull your car over quite safely in many view points and experience the beauty of the valley. Down below you can take a relaxing walk through the fields of cherry trees close at hand.
There are two very colourful events that happen every year in the valley. The first only happens for a couple of weeks each year at the end of March and the beginning of April. The cherry trees blossom and coat the valley in white, depending on weather conditions. The second is in June and July, when the landscape changes its color, this time to an intense red, as the cherries are ripe. A natural spectacle which as well as a wonderful sight.
This is an ideal time of year for a trip through the valley. Starting from the Puerto de Tornavacas. Visit the Museo de los Cerezos, (the cherry museum), and don’t miss the Garganta de los Infiernos, named a natural reserve in 1994.
The Gargantuan de los Infiernos consists of an abundance of waterfalls and rapids over massive rocks and deep pools driven out of the earth by natural water erosion. The variety of the ecosystem in the valley as a consequence offers a wide range of fauna and flora, birds and animals.
Cabezuela de Valle the most populated area in the valley has four natural swimming pools, open from June to September. Without opening or closing hours or lifeguard, so go along and enjoy the fresh clean water at any time.
So take a drive through the Jerte Valley. Stop in one of the many villages along the route. Enjoy a lovely meal and perhaps some of the local wine or beer, but most of all experience the beautiful landscapes and the beautiful fields of cherry trees in full bloom that view the valley has to offer.