The Sierra de Francia is a beautiful region that is located in the province of Salamanca, in Spain. It is a place that has natural attractions and towns of great beauty, which offers a unique and exquisite gastronomy and which always offers the best of itself to the traveler who wants to know a little more about this area. Dare to visit this magical corner!
Las Batuecas-Sierra de Francia Natural Park
Located in the western part of the Central System, the Sierra de Francia is a Biosphere Reserve. Here you can see high peaks, which exceed 1,700 meters in height and valleys below 500 meters.
A space of great natural and scenic wealth. Oak, beech, chestnut, cork oak and rockrose cover a place, inhabited by species such as badgers, marten, otters and wild boars.
It is also a growing area, especially the lower part of the park, where you can find fields of vineyards, olive trees, cherry trees and chestnut trees. In fact, there are even Mediterranean crops that do not belong to that latitude, thanks to truly unique climatic characteristics.
For lovers of nature and hiking, there is a wide network of trails of different length and difficulty, but perfectly signposted. Two are worth highlighting: the “Route of the Centennial Chestnuts” and the “Camino del Agua”.
But, in addition, this natural park has great cultural and artistic value. Here you can find areas with cave paintings, ancient monasteries, mines of Roman origin and even hermitages.
The wonderful villages of the Sierra de Francia
The Sierra de Francia stands out for its landscapes and its natural wealth, but also for the wonderful villages that can be found. Villages that have managed to preserve their traditional architecture and that deserve a quiet visit.
La Alberca: a trip to the past
Its steep and cobbled streets hide ancient stories. And is that La Alberca is like a live museum. In this beautiful town you can see the most typical architecture of the area in all its splendor. A type of construction in which the porticoes with wooden or stone columns, the beautiful balconies adorned with flowers and the wooden frameworks on the facades stand out.
La Alberca is a place to taste good wine, excellent ham and cheese and caramelised almonds. And the typical dishes are unbeatable, do not hesitate to taste the hornazo or one of the stews that have pork or morucha beef as the main ingredient.
San Martín del Castañar, a unique town
Another town with a strong mountain flavor, with a traditional and picturesque urban case in which time seems to have stopped. With just 300 inhabitants and an absolute tranquility in the environment, it is perfect to spend a few hours or a few days almost away from civilization.
The highlights of this town are its parish church and its bridge, both in Romanesque style; the castle and the hermitages of Socorro and Humilladero, which are very well preserved.
In addition, you cannot leave San Martín del Castañar without trying its excellent typical food, such as kid, tostón and lamb, accompanied by a unique wine from these lands.
Miranda del Castañar
It is another of the villages of the Sierra de Francia that is almost a must-see. A wonderful corner that stands out in the middle of a beautiful landscape and that offers wonderful traditional architecture.
As a curiosity, Miranda del Castañar boasts of having the oldest bullring, since it rises in what was the parade ground of the medieval castle. Old … and curious because, it is square. The wall, the fortress, the Night Watch or the church are other points of interest in this beautiful town.
As you can see, the Sierra de Francia has a lot to offer. A perfect place to enjoy a getaway in the middle of nature, to visit beautiful villages and taste a forceful, but delicious cuisine.