Monasteries and convents
Hidden in the Salamancan landscape, places of secret beauty are ideal locations for convents and monasteries. It is even possible to stay in some of them to make up for lost tranquillity.
Sometimes, they are hidden in isolated places away from the hustle and bustle, as is the Carmelite convent of San José (Saint Joseph) in Las Batuecas valley, within the Natural Park of Las Batuecas - Sierra de Francia, declared Biosphere Reserve; sometimes they find shelter at the hilltops, like the sanctuary of La Peña de Francia; and sometimes between the oak groves, like the monastery of Porta Coeli in El Zarzoso.
Many others disappeared long ago and their remains evoke a life devoted to work and contemplation. This way, visitors can be surprised at the magnitude of the so called Casa Baja in El Maíllo, a winter inn of the aforementioned Peña de Francia hill; the remains of the convent of Nuestra Señora de Gracia (Our Lady of Grace), next to San Martín del Castañar, or the ancient Basilian convent of El Santo Niño de Belén (The Holy Child of Bethlehem) in Herguijuela de la Sierra.
The tour is completed by other, former major monasteries of noble importance, such as the monastery of La Caridad (The Charity) in Ciudad Rodrigo, San Leonardo (Saint Leonard) in Alba de Tormes and San Francisco (Saint Francis) in Béjar.