Since the 7th century BC, the peninsula inhabitants established a route that went through the southwest to the northwest. This route would become a roman road used by the roman troops when moving to the north. After that it would be called “Vía Mozárabe”, the origin of the actual name. The Via de la Plata then became a commercial, artistic and shepherding route that ended up joining the Way to Santiago as well.
In this millenary route, we can find popular cities like Mérida or Salamanca. But if you do this route, you might also discover many little villages in the Vía de la Plata. These are some of our favorites.
Between Plasencia and Coria, we can find Galisteo. This is one of the villages in the Via de la Plata with a roman origin. Located in the mountain, the town has become an excellent viewpoint of the Jerte Valley. Named “Cultural Interest Spot” in 1996, in Galisteo you can visit the wall, the Asuncion church, the Picota castle-palace or the Mayor Square.
Granja de Moreruelas, Zamora
With 280 inhabitants, this is one of the most charming Via de la Plata villages. Its origin goes back to the Middle Ages and its main work activities are agriculture and the cattle industry. If you go to Granja de Moreruelas you should visit the Moreruela monastery, one of the ancient landmarks of the Cister Order. It was built in the 12th century. Nowadays, only some of its walls are conserved.
Baños de Montemayor, Cáceres
Baños de Montemayor is in Ambroz Valley, near Sierra de Béjar. It is the town of Vía de la Plata in Extremadura, which gives this village a special feeling. Its Roman past is still alive and not only because of the path. The hot springs of that ancient era are today an attractive spa. On the other hand, the mountainous environment is full of forests. It combines with Baños Reservoir to create a whole of great beauty. Also, magnificent Béjar is very close.
Villafranca de los Barros, Badajoz
Villafranca de los Barros stands among vineyards. This town and Almendralejo, both in Extremadura, are the most important in Tierra de Barros. Its main attraction is the Church of Our Lady of the Valley, of late Gothic style. It has a nice, traditional, atmosphere. There you can taste excellent wines and, for example, excellent pork. With all these pluses, it has become another of the villages of Vía de la Plata that is worth visiting.
If you stumble upon this littile village of 67 residents, you could discover one of its big treasures. The Grimaldi castle was property of the Grimaldi dynasty. It was built in the 14th century and now is the most important symbol of the village. It was relevant during the Middle Ages because its asylum rights, granted by the kings Alfonso X and Sancho IV.
Text: Fátima González-Besada Gómez