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Suggestion on specific towns along vdlp for spending an extra day

2020 Camino Guides

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
I am planning to walk the VDLP in May. Would like to add a break day, every 7-10 days. Any suggestion on specific town that are worth spending a day.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
My break days are in Merida and Zamora definitely, possibly another in Salamanca depending on progress. I haven't planned any for the Sanabres part of the route.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The problem with the Vdlp is that there are way too many nice places to stop. Caceres has an absolutely beautiful Renaissance old core, Merida has Roman ruins galore and a stunning museum, Salamanca has the University and the most beautiful (or one of the most beautiful) plaza mayor in the country, and Zamora has 26 romanesque churches. Ourense has its pretty parts and great public thermal baths, so you will have a hard time choosing. Buen camino, Laurie
 

Rajy62

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2013, Norte/primitivo 2014, vdlp (2015)
The problem with the Vdlp is that there are way too many nice places to stop. Caceres has an absolutely beautiful Renaissance old core, Merida has Roman ruins galore and a stunning museum, Salamanca has the University and the most beautiful (or one of the most beautiful) plaza mayor in the country, and Zamora has 26 romanesque churches. Ourense has its pretty parts and great public thermal baths, so you will have a hard time choosing. Buen camino, Laurie
I better read up on these places and select a few. Thank you.
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
For full R&R there is also the amazing recreation of a Roman spa just after Merida: www.aqualibera.com
I love Salamanca but you could get a good appreciation of it on a walk around in the evening, as all the buildings are illuminated at night. You could therefore leave it out as an extra day if time does not allow.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Salamanca and Ourense get my vote. Salamanca for its all round beauty - and because last time I stayed in a fabulous hotel, ate in a great restaurant and was totally enthralled by that amazing plaza. Ourense because I just loved taking a day to soak in the thermal baths. But Caceres, Merida, Zamora - would also be quite acceptable!
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Here are a few thoughts, in order of preference. I make no attempt to be objective in these rankings - If I have the good fortune to meet nice people and have a good meal, I tend to like a place. Is that fair? Of course not. What can I say?:
1) Merida - I spent three days enjoying incredible roman ruins, superb museums, and great food.
2) Salamanca - Definitely worth spending an extra night. Beautiful architecture, museums. The best wine that I had on VDLP was from Salamanca to Zamora. Albergue is good but limits pilgrims to one night. Fortunately, I found an excellent and cheap AirBnB with a helpful host, Raùl: (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/users/show/10163715)
3) Zamora - Incredible concentration of 10th to 12th century churches in one city. Awesome gallery of Balthazar Lobo - and several of his sculptures around the city. Albergue was good with the nicest Canadian hospitaleras (but they rotate every two weeks, so you could be lucky like me ... or not). I didn't enjoy the museums of ethnography and Holy Week so much.
4) Ourense (Camino Sanabres) - Nice enough city centre. Good food culture - My first pulpo gallego. The "Japanese" hot springs failed to match my expectations. If I were to go again, I'd just take a quick bath in the free springs.
5) Caceres - Incredibly well preserved medieval centre. Unfortunately, I found the albergue unfriendly and not terribly clean. I also had a dinner in the main square that didn't sit well inside me. This put me in the wrong mood to appreciate it.

A few places that don't merit a second night, but are worth exploring for a few hours
Puebla de Sanabria - Pretty old centre with interesting architecture and views
Baños de Montemayor - Hot springs in town are open until 8pm. Albergue is a museum.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Sorry to add to your list, but I think Zafra is well worth an extra day, although only 6 days out of Seville. The imposing castle of the local dukes is now a parador and well worth a visit, not just for its marble courtyard, but also pleasant gardens. The dukes are mostly buried in handsome tombs the nearby convent of Santa Clara, which also has several fine renaissance sculptures. Also nearby is Santa María de la Candelaria, which boasts an altarpiece by local lad Zurbarán - he was born in Fuente de Cantos, a day before Zafra on the VdlP.

It's quite a smallish town, but has a great atmosphere and I love wandering around the arcaded Plaza Grande and Plaza Chica watching the elegant paseo, and sampling a tapas or two, probably made using the local jamón iberico.
 

P Rat

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino VDLP april (april2019)
Here are a few thoughts, in order of preference. I make no attempt to be objective in these rankings - If I have the good fortune to meet nice people and have a good meal, I tend to like a place. Is that fair? Of course not. What can I say?:
1) Merida - I spent three days enjoying incredible roman ruins, superb museums, and great food.
2) Salamanca - Definitely worth spending an extra night. Beautiful architecture, museums. The best wine that I had on VDLP was from Salamanca to Zamora. Albergue is good but limits pilgrims to one night. Fortunately, I found an excellent and cheap AirBnB with a helpful host, Raùl: (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/users/show/10163715)
3) Zamora - Incredible concentration of 10th to 12th century churches in one city. Awesome gallery of Balthazar Lobo - and several of his sculptures around the city. Albergue was good with the nicest Canadian hospitaleras (but they rotate every two weeks, so you could be lucky like me ... or not). I didn't enjoy the museums of ethnography and Holy Week so much.
4) Ourense (Camino Sanabres) - Nice enough city centre. Good food culture - My first pulpo gallego. The "Japanese" hot springs failed to match my expectations. If I were to go again, I'd just take a quick bath in the free springs.
5) Caceres - Incredibly well preserved medieval centre. Unfortunately, I found the albergue unfriendly and not terribly clean. I also had a dinner in the main square that didn't sit well inside me. This put me in the wrong mood to appreciate it.

A few places that don't merit a second night, but are worth exploring for a few hours
Puebla de Sanabria - Pretty old centre with interesting architecture and views
Baños de Montemayor - Hot springs in town are open until 8pm. Albergue is a museum.
And spend a little time in Galisteo! Maybe not an extra night but a few hours definitely worth the trouble. As is Calzada de Bejár....UNESCO listed. Like another member said: too many quaint and interesting little places. Just don’t stand still for longer than a minute with a backpack on as the locals will bail you up and try to give directions to where the Camino is. 😊
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
The problem with the Vdlp is that there are way too many nice places to stop. Caceres has an absolutely beautiful Renaissance old core, Merida has Roman ruins galore and a stunning museum, Salamanca has the University and the most beautiful (or one of the most beautiful) plaza mayor in the country, and Zamora has 26 romanesque churches. Ourense has its pretty parts and great public thermal baths, so you will have a hard time choosing. Buen camino, Laurie
Caceres also has a really cool Semana Santa museum.
Merida is worth a two day layover, though I wouldn't stay at the albergue. I've heard several reports of packs that were left being broken into or stolen.
Aljucen has wonderful thermal baths - but you don't need to stay over to use them.
 

p_mci

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Inglés, Portugués (2014) Norte, Primitivo (2015) Vía de la Plata (2017) Mozárabe (2018)
Lots of great suggestions here.
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
If you like archaeology then definitely stay in Merida. Salamanca is a fantastic place if you like cities/university type towns, it can be very busy and noisy at weekends which might be cool/not cool depending on your point of view. Caceres and Zamora are smaller towns and less hectic.
 

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