The A-66 dual carriageway, known as the Silver way by car dual carriageway, runs from south to north or from north to south in the western part of Spain, starting in Seville and reaching Gijón for 810 kilometres.
The name Ruta de la Plata comes from the old Via de la Plata, a Roman road that covered the route from Mérida (Emerita Augusta) in Badajoz to Astorga (Asturica Augusta) in León and served as a commercial route and cultural expansion for the Roman Empire.
Silver way by car: Where will we drive?
Our journey through the Ruta de la Plata by car starts in the north of the peninsula and will take us to four autonomous communities: Asturias, Castilla y León, Extremadura and Andalusia.
There will be many towns and cities that we can visit on our way along the Silver way by car. We will be the ones who decide which to stop and which to leave for another occasion. Be that as it may, in all this Via de la Plata we will soak up culture, thanks to the Roman cities and vestiges that we are going to visit. Nature, with unforgettable landscapes, and gastronomy, with the delicious dishes and broths that we are going to taste.
What to see in Asturias in this Route?
In the 76 kilometers of route that we can do in Asturias, the shortest of all, there are several localities that we will be able to visit, in each one of them we will discover the culture, history, gastronomy and nature. Let’s start our journey along the Ruta de la Plata in Asturias.
in addition to enjoying its famous San Lorenzo Beach, we can immerse ourselves in more than 2,000 years of Roman culture by visiting the Archaeological Park of Campa de Torres, dated 490 BC.
The Villa Romana de Veranes or the thermal baths of Campo Valdés, a building from the 1st century A.D. We do not forget the most modern Gijón with its beautiful fishing district of Cimavilla where the Revillagigedo Palace and the collegiate church of San Juan Bautista, dating from the 18th century.
The birthplace of Jovellanos, the Palacio de los Jove Huergo and the Trinidad chapel await us. Before leaving, we will enjoy the sculpture by Eduardo Chillida, ‘Elogio del Horizonte’ in the Paseo de San Lorenzo, we will visit the Aquarium and the Botanical Garden to end our stay in Gijón.
Of the Roman vestiges that we can find in this zone they emphasize those that we found in the Provincial Archaeological Museum: the ara to the Lares Viales and the mosaic.
We will enjoy the 17th century Palacio de Villanueva, San Cucao and the 14th century Torre de los Valdés and the Palacio del Marqués de San Antolín in Sotillo de Villabona, all of which have been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
Ribera de Arriba:
Here we are going to enjoy Picullanza, a stretch of Roman road that served as part of the Camino de Santiago. In addition we will visit the Interpretation Centre of the Hórreo and its set of 47 of these buildings. Several routes await us, such as Soto Rei to Fuso la Reina or El Llosallin to Bueño.
The Roman road of La Carisa on its way through Ujo, the Ara votiva de Lucio Corona, the Ara de Nimmedo Seddiago and the Gayo Sulpicio stele, all of them in the Provincial Archaeological Museum. Mieres also has a special charm with 17th century buildings such as the Casa Duró or the Palace of the Marquis of Camposagrado. Its 12th-century Romanesque church of Santa Eulalia de Ujo is worth a visit, as are the baroque palaces of Santullano, Cuna and Cenera and Figaredo.
The Roman road and camp of La Carisa, the latter in Pico Curriechos and the Ara votiva de Jupiter in the church of San Vicente de Serrapio are the Roman vestiges that we will find in this area. The most spectacular of Aller are its landscapes in which the mountains and the green of its forests catch us. Don’t forget to visit the Xurbeo waterfall and the Natural Monument of Foces de El Pinto.
In addition to the Roman road of La Carisa, in the Provincial Archaeological Museum we will see the Mosaic of Memorana. In Lena it is worth visiting the funerary structures of the Neolithic period in Alto La Cobertoria. The dolmen of Mata’l Casar from the Bronze Age and the archaeological remains of the village of Mamorana, are must-see visits of this area along with the beauty of its natural landscapes.
What to see in Castilla y León?
The longest stage of our journey along the Ruta de la Plata is the one that takes us through Castilian-León lands along 330 kilometres. We can visit large and stately cities such as León, Zamora or Salamanca, but the towns and regions will make our trip a great adventure.
Pola de Gordón:
the Casares River Valley and the Alto Bernesga Biosphere Reserve already deserve a stop in this area. Its Ciñera beech forest, with a beech tree catalogued as a singular tree of Spain, is a natural wonder that must be known. In addition, the remains of the Roman road in Buiza and the Roman altar of the hermitage of San Lorenzo and the church of Santa Cristina de Lena of the ninth century which is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
this city is pure history and a magnificent place to spend a weekend. The Roman wall and crypts, the milestones in the City Museum, the impressive and beautiful 13th century Gothic Cathedral of Santa María de León with its colourful stained-glass windows featuring rose windows, Gaudí’s Casa Botines, the palace of the Guzmanes, its Plaza Mayor and the Plaza del Grano… are so many things that León hides that you have to discover them.
there are several museums waiting for us in this region, among them the museum of Las Alhajas, framed in the Vía de la Plata. Also the Interpretation Centre of the Bañezanas Lands, the Gold Route in Castrocontrigo, the Bishop’s Causeway, the Vizana Bridge or the Beans Museum, a product with Protected Geographical Indication (IPG), which we must try, are obligatory visits in this stop of the Via de la Plata by car.
of the Roman vestiges that we find in the area, here the Petavonium Roman camp in Rosino de Vidriales and the archaeological classroom of La Corona-El Pesadero in Menganeses de la Polvorosa stand out. In the city we will discover the 16th century Caracol Tower which has been converted into a Parador Nacional, the hospital de la Piedad with its Renaissance façade, the neoclassical town hall and the churches of Santa María de Azogue and San Juan de Mercado.
the Sayago cabins, the Roman mosaics preserved in the Zamora Museum, the fountains and tin piles in Almaraz, the funerary stele and the Roman boar of Muelas del Pan and the funerary stele of Villalcampo are the Roman vestiges of this area. In Zamora, the Duero Romanesque Cathedral stands out with a dome inspired by the Byzantines and the numerous Romanesque churches such as La Magdalena, San Cipriano, Santiago del Burgo or Santa María de la Horta. The old town, from the 11th to the 13th centuries, with viewpoints over the Duero River will leave us marvellous prints at dusk.
we cannot stop in this beautiful city where culture, history and student hustle and bustle come together. There are many monuments that we could see in the charra city but we stay with its imposing Plaza Mayor, the Casa de las Conchas, the two cathedrals, the new and the old, the University where we will look for its famous frog, the Casa Lis, the Clerecía or the Convent of San Esteban.
this locality, famous for the quality of its Iberian hams that, of course, we cannot miss, has a Roman road area and an interpretative park of the Calzada en Fuenterroble de Salvatierra as well as the Miliario de Valdefuentes de Sangusín y Valverde de Valdelacasa. Visit in Guijuelo the Museo de la Industria Chacinera and enjoy the landscapes offered by the mountain ranges of Béjar, Gredos and France.
the Roman road, the bridge and milestones of La Malena and the Ducal Palace and the Forest, these from the 16th century declared of Cultural Interest, together with the set formed by the medieval walls, the Plaza Mayor, the church of El Salvador, the church of Santa María la Mayor and several sculptures, are sufficient reasons to visit this locality. The oldest bullring in Spain, dating from 1711, and the Sacros and Mateo Hernández museums stand out as very interesting cultural visits.
What to see in Extremadura?
With 300 kilometres within the Ruta de la Plata we find cities and towns in which Rome is still very much alive. Mérida is, without a doubt, the epicenter of this stretch in which we follow the Via de la Plata but along the way we are going to find many towns and cities that will excite us.
The essential ones in the province of Cáceres
Baños de Montemayor:
From the first century we find the thermal baths and the Roman road and the bridge of the cube. The Calvary and Humilladero hermitages of the 18th century and the churches of Santa María de la Asunción and Santa Catalina of the 16th and 15th centuries, together with the Interpretation Centres of the Vía de la Plata, the Molinería, the Artesanía del Castaño and the Termalismo, will make this stop a great discovery. If you want to finish very relaxed, try a circuit at the spa.
nestled in the middle of nature, as if you had left your own land, in this beautiful village you cannot miss the Jewish quarter and the Pérez de Comendador-Leroux museum and the churches of Santa María de Aguas Vivas, the former convent and now the church of San Juan Bautista. In addition, its medieval bridge and the Templar columns together with the Automotive Museum will make for an unforgettable day.
a city full of culture and nature thanks to Los Pinos, one of the many green areas with a great diversity of birds that we will find in the town of Cacereña. The old and new cathedrals take us on a journey that begins in the first in the 13th century and ends in the second in the 16th; the Episcopal Palace, the Medieval Interpretation Centre, the Mirabel Palace or the Monroy Palace and several of its churches, such as Saint Nicholas, Saint Martin or the Hermitage of Our Lady of the Port, give us history and culture in equal parts.
Casar de Cáceres:
we cannot stop at this town where its famous Torta del Casar, a cheese with Protected Designation of Origin, will delight any palate. But not only for this, which is already a lot, we will have to stop here. The Roman road, the remains of milestones in the hermitage of Santiago and in the old way of the Silver way together with the church of Nuestra Asunción in which we will enjoy the beauty of its altarpiece, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, will complete our visit.
one of the Spanish cities in which we will enjoy the cultural mix that the different civilizations have bestowed upon it throughout the centuries. Founded by the Romans, in its old town we will see represented the Gothic and Renaissance style, with the Moorish wall surrounding the city and its thirty towers with storks as spectators of luxury. The Tower of Bujaco, the Museum of Cáceres, the Gothic Cathedral of Santa María and the Palace of the Golfines de Abajo, a very special fortress house, are worth seeing.
Aldea del Cano:
in addition to the church of San Martín and the festival of El Tuero on 15 August and 24 December, the Aldea del Cano is home to a milestone and the oil presses used to produce the oil.
The essential in the province of Badajoz
We arrive at the emblematic city of this Via de la Plata: Emerita Augusta. In it we find many ‘meridas’ in only one, the Roman, the Visigothic, the Arabic, the medieval and the current one. The famous theatre and amphitheatre, the circus, the aqueduct, the temple of Diana, the Arch of Trajan, thermal baths or the National Museum of Roman Art are preserved from the Roman period. The basilica of Santa Eulalia or the Xenodoquio represent the Visigothic Merida, while the Arabic is evident with the citadel. Mérida, a city to get lost in each of its streets for which we recommend that you spend a couple of days.
Los Santos de Maimona:
the central axis of this village is its church of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles from the 16th century, the Palacio de la Encomienda from the 16th century and the hermitage of San Lorenzo next to the hospital-convent of the Purísima Concepción. Do not miss the monument Capricho de Cotrina that reminds us of Gaudí’s Barcelona.
around the locality we will find several Roman remains, many others we will see integrated into the buildings of the village itself. Impressive is the Palace of the Dukes of Fair of the fifteenth century or the collegiate church of La Candelaria where we find an exceptional collection of paintings by Zurbarán. The squares Grande and Chica joined by the Arquillo del Pan, the gate of the wall and its churches, hermitages and museums make Zafra an indispensable stop.
Calzadilla de los Barros:
just for contemplating the Mudejar Gothic altarpiece of the Parish of the Divine Saviour from the 15th and 16th centuries, declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument, the stop is obligatory. Don’t forget to eat a lamb stew sprinkled with the wines of Tierra de Barros.
Fuente de Cantos:
here we will visit the pre-Roman settlement and enjoy the Castillejos I and II sites, which bring us closer to history from the Neolithic to the Imperial period. Religious art with numerous churches and hermitages from the 15th to the 18th century is another attraction to enjoy this area.
Roman necropolis of Val de Cuerna and a Corinthian capital that now serves as a baptismal font in the church of Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción. Those are the Roman vestiges of this area. The hermitages of Montemolín, all of them from the 15th century, Santos Mártires San Fabián and San Sebastián, San Blas and San Benito, and we can see the medieval bridge of Gallicanta and the ancestral homes in which the noble coats of arms stand out along with its castle. Be sure to try the game dishes and some sweets such as perrunillas, gañotes or flowers.
What to see in Andalusia?
We arrive in Andalusian lands to travel the last 115 km stretch in which two cities, Carmona and Seville, await us. In both we will perceive the presence of the Romans and we will enjoy their constructions, many of which have crossed our borders.
Main axis of this locality is the Via Augusta where, in addition, we will enjoy the necropolis, a set in which they emphasize the tombs of the Elephant and Servilia, its amphitheater of century I a.C., the Plaza Arriba that formed part of the Roman forum, several mosaics in the City council, the door of Cordoba or the Roman Bridge. Santa Clara, a 16th century Mudejar convent and the church of San Pedro with the ‘Giraldilla’ stand out.
we arrive at the end of our particular Silver way and there is no better end than to finish in Seville. There, from the Roman period, which has guided us to the capital of Seville. We find the Casa Pilatos. Palaces as Lebrija and Dueñas. The famous Giralda has roman stones as well as the columns of the Alameda de Hércules. Dont forget to visit the temple on Calle Mármoles and the remains of the Caños de Carmona aqueduct.
In Seville we find the Cathedral and the Giralda, the Real Alcázar and the Archivo de Indias, three monuments declared World Heritage by UNESCO. In addition to this, a walk through the city will take us through its streets full of sunshine to the Real Maestranza. Torre del Oro or Plaza de España. An end to the journey with the Guadalquivir as a silent witness of the passage of civilizations through this beautiful Andalusian city.
Practical information of the Silver way by car
To finish, we leave you a file that you can download with all the information of each one of the cities and towns of this Route of the Silver, its parties, typical foods and purchases that we can do.
In addition, in this section we leave you a direct link to the map of the Silver way by car with the cities and towns that we can visit and their tourist offices.