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      February 2011 > Explore ancient Castile - by bike, on foot or even with a donkey

Explore ancient Castile - by bike, on foot or even with a donkey

The Alcazar, Segovia, Castile-Leon, SpainOn our Inspirations page we describe ten of the very best days on two wheels - our top ten highlights from our wonderful selection of cycling holidays - from an easy ride through the Loire Valley to a dramatic cycle through the mountains of Switzerland though one of the most popular forms part of a journey through the lesser-known heart of Old Castile in northern Spain.

The ancient kingdom of Castile-León lies on Spain’s vast central meseta, bordered to the south by the impressive Sierra de Guadarrama, where peaks soar to over 2,000 metres. This region has been at the heart of turbulent Spanish history for centuries, but now you can explore the peaceful tableland on foot, by bike - or even with a donkey.

Our cycling holiday (right) takes you from the beautiful city of Segovia to the extraordinary medieval town of Sepulveda to discover the Castles and Canyons of Old Castile. Discover one of Europe’s most monumental landscapes, revealing countless well-kept secrets, from a superbly preserved Roman aqueduct and a magical castle to the deep and dramatic Duratón Canyon.

Cycling in Castile-Leon, SpainWhen writing our cycling notes for this holiday, our Spain expert, David Lanfear recalls how “the sheer drama and beauty of the Duratón Canyon (below) brought us to an abrupt halt, when scores of vultures riding the thermals suddenly appeared from out of the depths and soared around our heads.” You can read David's full diary of his trip to get a real flavour for this fascinating region, its history and its customs.

Alternatively, you may prefer to explore this region on a memorable family holiday that features four days of gentle walking accompanied by your very own donkey, which the children will love leading - and riding on! On this easy route, you’ll pass through magnificent woodland, across expanses of wild grassland and along ancient transhumance routes travelled since the Middle Ages by huge flocks sheep in search of fresh pastures.

Duraton Canyon, Sepulveda, Castile-Leon, SpainFollow these Trails with a Donkey through the Foothills of Castile, then end with two free days to explore the region’s many cultural and natural treasures with an included hire car. A unique experience, as Mrs W. of London, recalls: “The highlight was simply being in the fresh air and sunshine, enjoying plenty of exercise and getting to know our donkey.” This holiday is also available as a 4-night short break - with or without the donkey.

But what’s it like to travel with a donkey? After Clover Stroud and her family had enjoyed this holiday, she wrote of her experiences for the Observer: “The air is clean and clear, scented with thyme and rosemary and, as the sun dips, we stop to paddle below the perfect little fortified town of Pedraza.” You can read her full article here.

Walking with a donkey in Castile-Leon, Spain

Posted: 23/02/2011 16:59:47 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: cycling, heritage, nature, Spain, walking, wildlife

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