A route has existed in Spain since pre-Roman times that joins the north of the Peninsula with the south, crossing mountains, valleys and plains. This route is known as the “Ruta de la Plata” or the “Silver Road”, an ancient trade route that was used to transport merchandise from one region to the other and that, today, constitutes a tourist itinerary packed with history and sights.
The “Ruta de la Plata” begins in Seville. From there it heads towards Ancient Italica, the vanished city of Roman Baetica, of which only ruins remain today. The road continues on through Zafra and Almendralejo to Mérida, the “Rome of Hispania” that prospered in the era of the Roman Empire. Cáceres and Plasencia are our next stops, which bring us on to Béjar and Salamanca, also located along our route. By crossing fields of cereal crops we reach Zamora, one of the cities in which the remains of the ancient Roman road are best preserved. From there we go on to Benavente, Astorga, León, Oviedo and Gijón, which is where the historic “Silver Road” ends.
The name of this route derives from the mining wealth of the region, given that it was the precious metals from these local mines that led traders to christen the route with the name it still holds today. The importance of this route was such that, between the first and the nineteenth centuries, it served as the starting-point for an infinite number of other paths and drover’s roads, whilst also providing the reason behind the construction of entire towns and cities that sprung up throughout its length.
Today, the “Ruta de la Plata” is a route that preserves a considerable amount of historical and artistic heritage, given that it traces the history of Spain practically from the beginning and right up until the modern day. By following its course we come across Roman aqueducts, Romanesque churches, Medieval fortresses and Renaissance buildings. But we will also encounter examples of local and regional folklore, handicrafts and a great deal of history. A truly unique journey for all those who like history and sport.