It is easy to spend a week in Zamora which is a very old walled town on a promontory overlooking the River Duero. The border with Portugal is about an hour away. The town is filled with pleasures of all kinds and the days spent there were delightful.
The Cathedral and Castle
The cathedral and the castle date from the beginnings of the city although both have been altered over the centuries. We decided to trace the three sets of walls on foot – a slight thing to do but something which produced surprises and many interesting sights.
There are at least twenty four Romanesque churches in Zamora which date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Somehow we managed to see many of them, including two wonderful churches just outside the walls. Many of the churches have lost their Romanesque simplicity. They are filled with ornate altarpieces and Baroque ornamentation. Sometimes there was no atmosphere, but in a few of the churches you were clearly in a spiritual building, and in these places there was always someone sitting quietly, contemplating.
The Cheese Festival
Fromago was the International Cheese Festival which took place in Zamora during our visit. There were hundreds of stalls, people milling around in the streets, and the smell of cheese everywhere. The aim here was to promote Zamoran sheep cheeses in particular. And there was always the sound of regional music.
Corners in Zamora
Wherever you walked there was always a view, a detail, and usually a church!
Burnt Basque cheesecake – quite unlike any other cheesecake and absolutely delicious! There is a little cafe near the paradore which bakes on site and its cheesecake was very naughty indeed. And of course there were several restorative glasses after long walks!
Paradore of Zamora
We stayed in the The Paradore in Zamora (Hotel Condos de Alba y Aliste) and it was just marvellous! I felt thoroughly pampered! The building was once the 15th century palace of the Counts of Alba de Aliste. The interior courtyard is glassed and with carved shields high on the walls. The courtyard is used for receptions and during our visit it was in continuous use in association with the Cheese Festival.
The week in Zamora was a delight and I would happily return. We had a wonderful room in the Paradore which made the stay very comfortable indeed. The car stayed in the car park under the hotel and we walked everywhere. Now, sadly, it was time to move on.