The town of Zamora lies on a rocky hill in the northwest of Spain, near the frontier with Portugal and is crossed by the Duero river, which some 50km/30mi downstream reaches the Portuguese frontier. With its 24 Romanesque churches of the 12th and 13th centuries it has been called a "museum of Romanesque art".
The nearest commercial airport is Villanubla, located just a few kilometres out of Valladolid, the capital of the Castile-Leon region. Valladolid lies some 90 kilometres from Zamora. This small airport is served by flights run by Iberia, Air France and Ryanair. The low-cost carrier travels to and from London-Stansted airport, Brussels-Charleroi airport and Milan-Malpensa.
Long forgotten by all governments, no highways connected other capitals to Zamora until a few years ago. It is now possible to get to/from Valladolid (and therefore Madrid). The construction of other highways linking the town with Benavente, its neighbour Salamanca, etc. are now underway.
A wise stop before going sightseeing would be the local Oficina de Turismo', located halfway of one of the main arteries of Zamora, Tres Cruces Avenue. You can get free maps of the town, region, etc as well as directions and suggestions on where to go and what to visit.
For further information and pictures, check out the English Wikipage on Zamora.
As the local saying goes: "Zamora no se ganó en una hora" (Zamora was not conquered in an hour) so forget your car and take a stroll on Zamora. Shopping areas are mainly centred on Tres Cruces Avenue, Santa Clara Street and parallel-running San Torcuato. If you prefer Malls, the biggest one is the Centro Comercial Valderaduey, named after one the local rivers or as it is known by locals, Eroski. The other one is called 'Vía de la Plata'. Almost all shops in town accept major credit cards (Visa, Master Card, Spanish 4-B and 6000). There are plenty of Cajeros Automáticos or ATMs scattered around town.
Typical souvenirs include items featuring elements from Semana Santa or Easter. Local wines and cheese, as well as chickpeas from Fuentesaúco always make a good buy. If you're more into the vintage-style buying, check out the weekly mercadillo, a street market held every Tuesday morning. The traditional site was just outside the Train Station, now moved to the parking lot of the Football Stadium Vía de la Plata (either a good 30 minute walk from downtown Zamora or one of the only occasions where local transport would be worth it). The mercadillo is set to return to its original location outside the Estación del Ferrocarril, but no deadline is available as of May 2007.
The excellent raw materials used in the local cuisine really stand out. Staple ingredients include the pulses, the famous chickpeas from Fuentesauco or 'garbanzos', the exquisite cheese made from sheep´s milk, honey from Sanabria, asparagus from Guareña, peppers from Benavente, steak from Aliste, mushrooms, game, cold meats, cakes and sweets... Apart from the tasty roasts, also worth tasting are the rice dishes from Zamora. Traditional dishes include bacalao a la tranca (a cod dish), el pulpo a la sanabresa (an octopus dish), dos y pingada (two fried eggs with fried ham, usually served in Easter) and '"presas de ternera" (a veal dish). For dessert there is the rebojo Zamorano, a very tasty though hard type of bun, and "las natillas almendradas" (Spanish style custard with almonds).
Tapa culture in Zamora is deeply-rooted. To further promote it, the contest De Tapas por Zamora was established in 2006 and is held in May-June. Participating bars create a special tapa for €1 for the contest, and locals have to choose a winner while entering a raffle sponsored by local businesses.
The best-known tapa in town is the pincho moruno, grilled pork meat with herbs on a skewer, served at Bar Lobo, between San Torcuato Street and Tres Cruces Avenue. It has the ability of drawing people from all over the country merely to get a taste of it.
Another excellent stop would be Dolfos, with both loads of sweet and sour options to choose from. Just mind the steep flight of stairs on the way in/out.
The Toro wines (very dark, almost black, nowadays made using modern techniques - with a rapidly growing reputation for their taste and quality). Popular local brands include Colegiata, Bajoz and Fariña.
The city has 18 hotels, 4 of them in the four-star range.
E-mail: [email protected] Tel.: +34.98.0508262 Fax: +34.98.0533722
If you don't mind driving a bit, you can book a room at Hotel Convento I, a four-star accomodation in the nearby village of Coreses and experience the second-most luxurious hotel in Spain. Halls are decorated with paintings and furniture recovered from castles, convents, etc. One of them features a reproduction of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City, Rome (Italy). Spa facilities have been recently added to the complex. Don't be surprised if you find yourself having lunch next to a Spanish celebrity there. Tel: +34 980 500 422