Castilla y León

The region has several beautiful World Heritage status cities including SegoviaSalamanca and Ávila. There are also some of the most impressive Gothic cathedrals in Europe including the magnificent cathedral in the grand city of León and Burgos cathedral, which is one of the main stops on Europe's most important pilgrimage way, the Camino de Santiago, where the coffin of Christian military man El Cid el Campeador lies.

The ancient kingdom of Castilla (Castile) was first united with the neighbouring kingdom of León in the early part of the 11th century. It takes its name from the many castles built by the Christians as a defence against the Moorish invaders in the 8th and 9th centuries. In the early years of Arab occupation, the region was at the vanguard of the centuries-long battle to oust the Moors. Known as the 'kingdom of the castles' thanks to these many castles, Castilla y León wears it rich heritage on the face of its remarkable architecture - whether in the enchanting medieval villages or historic cities of the region, preserving the legacies of the Roman, Moorish and Spanish empires.

Alongside all this history, Castilla y León is also an area of outstanding natural beauty - the Lago de Sanabria near Zamora is the largest lake in the country and has deep valleys and mountainous zones with amazing glacier lagoons that stretch as far as 20 kilometres. Marked footpaths are numerous in the surrounding nature reserve to take in the breath-taking countryside and abundant wildlife.