Castile and León, alternatively called Castile-León or Castile y León, is an autonomous community and historic region of north-western Spain. The region was formed due to the union of two ancient kingdoms: Old Castile comprised of the cities of Ávila, Burgos, Segovia, and Soria, while the Kingdom of León comprised of the provinces and cities of León, Zamora, Salamanca, Palencia, and the region's capital, Valladolid. The two kingdoms separated and reunited several times, for the first time during the First Spanish Republic in the 19th century, and then were finally constituted in 1983. Occupying an area of 94,223 square kilometres, Castile and León is the largest autonomous community in the country and the third largest region of the European Union.
What to see & do
Aqueduct of Segovia - The Aqueduct of Segovia, or the aqueduct bridge, is a very impressive Roman aqueduct and the foremost symbol of Segovia. The aqueduct is one of the most significant and best-preserved ancient monuments still standing in the Iberian Peninsula. The sheer size of the structure makes it such a striking landmark, and according to tourists, photographs do not give justice to the bridge's magnificence.
Colegiata de San Isidoro - The Basilica of San Isidoro in León is situated on the site of an ancient Roman temple. There was initially a monastery for Saint John the Baptist erected on the grounds in early 10th century, but in 1063, the basilica was rededicated to Saint Isidore of Seville. The basilica itself was built mostly in Romanesque style, but the styles of the major additions during the succeeding centuries varied. The basilica's museum showcases many examples of early medieval art, such as works of ivory and precious metal and jewelled chalices. There is a library that contains 300 medieval works, numerous manuscripts, and a Mozarabic bible dating from 960.
Pico Almanzor - Pico Almanzor, located in Ávila, is the highest mountain in central Spain. Almanzor, also known asPico de Almanzor or Moro Almanzor, peaks at 2,592 metres high.
How to get around Castile and León
The rail network serving Castile and León is quite extensive, and the important lines from Madrid to Cantabria and Galicia and from Paris to Lisbon cross the region. Castile and León is northern Spain's land transport hubs, with several main road connections from Portugal and the south of Spain to the rest of the continent. The two major ancient routes that cross the region are the Way of St. James and the Roman Via de la Plata, or the Silver Way. The centre of Valladolid, as with most of the cities in the region, can easily be navigated by foot. Valladolid is also served by good bus lines.
How to get there
The nearest major airport to Castile and León, though not directly serving the region, is Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport. Barajas Airport provides Spain with plenty of connections throughout the world, but currently does not have direct connection to Castile and León through public transportation. León Airport is the main commercial airport in the region with scheduled flights, and is served by Iberia Regional to provide frequent connections to and from Barcelona. Salamanca-Matacán Airport, situated in the province of Salamanca, is served by Air Europa and Iberia and provides connections with Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. The airport also operates international charter flights.