Sierra de Francia
This is one of the destinations that the visitor cannot miss when they come to Salamanca. It is one of the most famous places due to its natural and cultural values. The most part of its land is situated in Las Batuecas – Sierra de Francia Natural Park and the Biosphere Reserve and its villages are so charming that the visitors cannot help falling for this beauty.
You can start in Peña de Francia, from where we can see all the province. In the south, the valley of Las Batuecas invites the visitor to meditate among chapels and prehistoric paintings.
There are six villages declared Historical Sites, due to its cultural assets: La Alberca, Mogarraz, Miranda del Castañar, Sequeros, San Martin del Castañar and Villanueva del Conde. But there are also other interesting villages, such as Linares de Riofrio, which is the entrance to the Sierra or the medieval village of Monleon.
There is an interesting proposal, Caminos de Arte en la Naturaleza (Land-Art Footpaths), which allows us to enjoy the natural park among sculptures. It is also possible to visit the old Roman gold mines in El Cabaco, or walk along the wide net of paths.
The area can also be proud of genuine colourful celebrations and the valuable costumes and jewelry.
In Las Batuecas, a charming valley in the south of the province (near La Alberca) we can find one of the regional reserves in Castile and Leon.
When the visitors arrive in Sierra de Francia, they immediately distinguish the unique profile of this 1723 metres high mountain.
Las Batuecas is a magic valley, situated in the south of the province, near La Alberca. Due to the fact of being an intricate area surrounded by the mountains of the Sierra de Francia, Las Batuecas is the refuge for the local fauna and some hermits.
The village of Mogarraz stands out in the middle of thick oak forests. It is one of the places in the Sierra de Francia that has been able to preserve its traditions.
The name of the village makes reference to the times of the Gascon repopulation which took place in the Sierra de Francia in medieval times.
Miranda del Castañar, declared Historical Site, stands out over a stony hill, in the middle of the Sierra de Francia.
La Alberca is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the Sierra de Francia and the fist village in Spain which was declared Historical Site in 1940.
In the middle of the Sierra de Francia, on a slope which faces the midday, the village of Villanueva del Conde stands out, and it is also anoher village declared a Historical site.
Right in the main square of a village that is a museum in itself, the visitor will find a simple yet attractive display focused on the most representative craftwork in Sierra de Francia mountains.
The “Saturjuanela” House Museum in La Alberca is a private initiative which pretends to dignify the traditional way of life of the village, which was economically humble but rich in values and symbols.
Although traditional clothing in La Alberca dates back to the Middle Ages, today's conception follows 18th- and 19th-century patterns.
The designation of origin “Sierra de Salamanca” is located in the south-east of the province, with a production surface of about 500 km2. This is the last Protected Designation of Origin registered in Spain and one of the smallest ones.
Fruity, dense, with an intense fragrance and spicy touches. This is the extra-virgin olive oil elaborated in the natural parks of Las Arribes and the Sierras de Francia and of Béjar, which adds singular notes to the prized olive juice.
If there is a fruit that identifies Salamanca, it is the cherry. Most of the villages, as Madroñal, Villanueva del Conde, Sotoserrano, Garcibuey or Cepeda, have small familiar exploitations that in 2007 led to the creation of the Certification Mark, Cherry of the Sierra de Francia.