THE SILVER ROUTE: FROM SEVILLA TO MÉRIDA (208Kms)
In this section of the Via de la Plata, you will cover the first 208 kilometres, from Seville to Merida. During 9 stages, you will walk through Andalusian and Extremadura lands, between pastures and olive groves. Your path will take you through beautiful landscapes and you will discover some of the most historic villages linked to this ancient route.
*If you are interested in doing only part of this stretch of the Silver Route, merge stages of this stretch with others, or simply do not have so many days, do not hesitate to contact us and ask for your personalized budget.
Arrival in Sevilla
The city of La Giralda is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the south of the peninsula. The historic centre of the capital of Andalusia is considered the largest of the Spanish cities, and you can visit impressive heritage sites such as the Cathedral, the Alcazar or the Giralda. The Torre del Oro (Golden Tower) and the Plaza de España (Spanish Square) are also heritage elements not to be missed. Seville is a big city, so the possibilities about what to see and do in it are very high.
So, we recommend that if you only have one day to visit it, see the main heritage sites, and then relax and enjoy. Strolling through the city is a good way to get to know its reality, let yourself be seduced by its rich gastronomy in the form of “tapas” and by the art of its people.
Good Way pilgrims!
Sevilla – Guillema
You will begin your way leaving the city of Seville through the Puerta de Triana square and crossing the Guadalquivir river. When leaving Seville you will have the option of turning to Camas or continue to Santiponce, where you can visit the ancient Roman city of Italica. We recommend you to continue through Santiponce to visit the Archaeological Ensemble of Italica. Afterwards you will continue along tracks, crossing the streams of Los Molinos and Galapagar until you reach the end of your stage in Guillena. Guillena, located in the middle of Via de la Plata, has a great cultural and natural heritage.
We recommend you to visit the Cortijo Torre de la Reina, dating from the 13th century, which was a caliphal fortress for the defence of Seville and then the camp of King Fernando III the Saint. This Cortijo was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument in 1977. The Mudejar style church of Nuestra Señora de Granada and the Palacio de Parladé, among others, also stand out. Gastronomically speaking, this area has a very varied cuisine, but undoubtedly the star dishes are game meats.
Guillena – Castilblanco de los Arroyos
You will leave Guillena in the direction of the river Rivera de Huelva, which you will cross. Continue through an industrial area until you reach the Cañada Real de las Islas Cattle Track. On your way, you will find landscapes of olive and orange trees, running to the edge of the Sierra Norte de Sevilla.
In Castilanco de los arroyos, a city mentioned by Cervantes in his novel “Las dos doncellas”, you can visit religious buildings of Mudejar origin, such as the church of Divino Salvador. This small town on the way between the provinces of Seville and Cordoba, is located in the first foothills of the Pedroso mountain range. As far as the gastronomy of the place, the traditional recipes stand out like the rabbit in salmorejo, the venteras or the migas; very nutritious plates with which you will be able to replace forces.
Castilblanco de los Arroyos – Almadén de la Plata
During this stage you will cross fields dedicated to livestock until you reach the Natural Park of Los Berrocales. From here your path will continue between forest tracks and rural paths to the district of El Berrocal. Afterwards, you will continue walking to the Cerro del Calvario, from where you will reach wonderful views of the Cerro de los Covachas and the Almadén de la Plata mines. Finally you will descend until you reach the end of the stage in Almadén de la Plata.
Almadén de la Plata, located between the Natural Park of the Sierra de Sevilla and the mountains of Sierra Morena, is a village endowed with a natural landscape of great value and beauty. In fact, many routes of great natural and archaeological interest depart from here. As far as its cultural heritage is concerned, you can visit the Clock Tower and the medieval Castle, among others. The gastronomy of the place stands out for the hunting meat and the fishing.
Almadén de la Plata – Monesterio
You will start today’s stage leaving the village in the direction of Los Covachos hill, which you will descend to reach an area of meadows where you will walk along rural paths. You will cross a stream, which you will have to follow, until you reach El Real de la Jara, the last Andalusian town on your way. From here you will head towards Extremadura, passing through extensive pastures and fields of cultivation until you reach the hermitage of San Isidro. Finally, you will cross the port of La Cruz to reach the end of the stage in Monesterio.
Monesterio has an interpretation centre for the Silver Route which is undoubtedly worth visiting. On the monumental level, you can visit the Church of San Pedro Apóstol. This village, located in the land of ham and meadows, has a Ham Museum. In Monesterio you will enjoy a rich gastronomy based on game meat and Iberian ham.
Monesterio – Fuente de los Cantos
In this day, you will leave Monesterio by the national road, to enter through olive groves until the Dehesa stream. You will continue walking through extensive pastures and a very flat terrain until you reach the place of El Cerrillo. From here you will begin to descend until reaching the Bodión stream to arrive in a few kilometres at the end of the stage to Fuente de Cantos. Fuente de Cantos is the locality where the painter Francisco de Zurbarán, a Spanish painter from the Golden Age, who stood out for his religious painting, originated.
The works of Francisco de Zurbarán are framed in the baroque style and in the village you can visit the Museum – House of Francisco de Zurbarán, to learn more about him and his work. Fuente de Cantos has an important historical site, linked to the religious heritage. You can visit the pre-Romanesque and Romanesque archaeological sites of “Los Castillejos” and the parish church of Nuestra Señora de Granada, dating from the sixteenth century, among others.
Fuente de los Cantos – Zafra
You will leave Fuente de Cantos in the direction of Calzadilla de los Barros, from where you can make a small detour to visit the church of San Salvador. From here you will continue towards the Rivera River, which you will cross and continue along the Vereda de la Plata. Your journey will run through agricultural fields, vineyards and streams, and you will have to cross the train tracks and a road to get to La Puebla de Sancho Perez and then Zafra, end of stage.
Zafra is a town that lived the Reconquest from a strategic position. A good example of this is its medieval defensive remains, still preserved today. The medieval town of Zafra was declared a historical-artistic site, as it has a wall of which three gates and an extensive heritage are still preserved. We recommend you to visit the Alcázar de los Duques de Feria, the collegiate church of Candelaria or the Casa del Aljímez, among others. To have a moment of leisure, food and rest, you can go to the Plazas Chica and Grande, the area with more atmosphere of the village.
Zafra – Villafranca de los Barros
You will start your journey from Zafra, towards the Sierra de San Cristóbal, walking through mountains full of vines, olive groves and fruit trees, until you reach Los Santos de Maimona, the last town with services until the end of the stage. From here you will cross the bridge over the Rivera de Robledillo and continue along the path to Ribera del Fresno, until you reach Villafranca de los Barros. Villafranca de los Barros is a town known as the “City of Music”, in fact, they celebrate every year a festival called Gastromúsica.
This place has a Historical-Ethnographic Museum that is worth knowing, which treats music, history and the vehicle as relevant themes associated with this place. In terms of religious architecture, you can visit the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Coronada.
Villafranca de los Barros – Torremejía
In this stage you will set course for Torremejía, walking along roads and paths surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, until you reach a crossroads where you can choose whether to continue directly following the national road to Torremejía, or take a detour of just 4 kilometres to visit Almendralejo. If you decide to do the second option of the itinerary, you will be able to visit the city of romanticism with its main points of interest and taste some of its wines Denominación de Origen de la Ribera del Guadiana.
Torremejía is known for having been the place chosen by Camilo José Cela to set the scene for his novel La Familia Pascual Duarte. You can visit the church of the Purísima Concepción and enjoy the wonderful gastronomy of Extremadura, with its typical sausages, hams, cheeses and meats.
Torremejía – Mérida
In this stage we recommend to leave early, to get to Merida about noon and be able to take advantage of the day in the city. You will leave Torremejía along a path that runs next to the national road, until you cross the railway line and begin to descend along a path towards Merida. You will access this beautiful city by the Paseo de Roma. Merida is a very historical city that was founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus in the 1st century BC. The Archaeological Ensemble was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1993.
Due to its Roman origin, the city possessed many monuments of this culture throughout its history, some of which still exist today very well preserved. We recommend you to visit among others: the bridge, the theatre, the circus, the amphitheatre or the arch of Trajan. If you are also passionate about art and history, you are in the perfect city; here you can visit the Museum of Roman Art and the Museum of Visigothic Art.
In Merida you will end a path that may well be the beginning of many. This last day will dawn with a road more in your lives, but not a road of miles, but of experiences, emotions and new friendships.
We encourage you to continue the Via de la Plata to Santiago de Compostela!
*After leaving the accommodation, end of service.
THIS TRIP INCLUDES
- 11 days / 10 nights of accommodation
- Backpack transfer service (1 package – máx. 20 kg.)
- Credencial (Pilgrim’s passport)
- Telephone assistance service 24/7
- Travel assistance insurance
- Single room supplement: 230€/pax
- Extra night in Santiago: 55€ ind. / 70€ double
- Breakfast: 70€/pax
- Half Board: 185€/pax
- 565€ pax en hab. doble
Accommodation in hostels, guesthouses and/or rural accommodations
The accommodation in Hostels and Guesthouses has double, triple or quadruple rooms, always with private bathroom. They are simple and comfortable room ideal for sleeping and resting.
* For individual bookings, it is necessary to pay a supplement.
Alojamiento en Hostales, hoteles y alojamientos rurales
El alojamiento en Hostales o Pensiones cuenta con habitaciones dobles, triples o cuádruples, siempre con baño privado. Son habitaciones sencillas,confortables y sin grandes lujos, pero muy acogedoras, ideales para dormir y descansar.
*En el caso de una reserva individual tendría un suplemento.