Portray of the Destination
Zamora, located on the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula on the banks of the Douro River, is considered by tourists to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Autonomous Region of Castile and Leon. Throughout the province, we can find Romanesque works considered true jewels, such as the Colegiata del Toro – El Toro Collegiate Church-, the beautiful churches of Benavente, the Monastery of San Martín de Castañeda, the imposing ruins of the Monastery of Moreruela, the church of the ancient monastery of Santa Marta de Tera, etc...
It is not in vain that the city of Zamora preserves some twenty 11th and 12th century buildings which doubtlessly make it the city with more Romanesque remains within Spain. Known as the Romanesque capital due to the great number of monuments that border its streets and squares, including the beautiful Cathedral. Surrounding the city, at a very short distance, there are towns and villages with valuable monuments such as La Hiniesta, El Perdigón and important pottery centers like Pereruela.
There are also lands of vineyards and wine with luscious orchards: the gateway to one of the most splendorous mediaeval cities in Castile and León.
We would like to thank the Zamora City Council for the information and pictures provided.
The territory of the province of Zamora has a surface area of 10,559 sq. km and 198,524 inhabitants (2004 census). Its population is markedly ageing and in a process of demographic regression. Its main population centers are de capital of the province, Benavente and Toro. Other localities besides the above mentioned, are Villapando, Puebla de Sanabria and Alcañices. The important nature sites of the province are: Sanabria, La Carballeda, Benavente y los Valles Tierra de Campos, Tierra del Pan, Tierra del Vino, Toro y Su Alfoz; La Guareña, Aliste, Sayago and Tierra de Alba.
The province is bounded by the provinces of León to the north (N), Valladolid to the east (E), Salamanca to the south (S) and by the province of Orense and by Portugal to the west (W). Included in the Northern Subplateau, its territory features countless contrasts. A mainly mountainous area on the north, part of the Montes de León -León Mounts- , with peaks that reach an altitude of 2,127 meters (Peña Trevinca). On the western part of the province, the Sierra de la Culebra reaches an altitude of 1,243 meters (Peña Mira) and it shelters the National Hunting Reserve that bears its name, with an important herd of Iberian wolves (the most important within the Iberia Peninsula), deersand wild boars, among others.
In the southwest of the province, the Douro river flows along a gorge called “Las Arribes del Duero”, with uneven slopes of up to 200 meters, forming a natural boundary with Portugal. The central area, E and S, features the typical plateau plains. The province hydrographic characteristics are strongly influenced by the Douro, which crosses it from E to W, ant by its tributaries: Valderaduey, Esla, Órbigo, Tera, Cea, Aliste, Guareña, Tormes. The exception is the river Bibey, tributary of the Sil, which flows along the farthest northwestern area of the province. Dams have been built by the province along the course of the rivers Douro, Tera, Esla, Bibey and Tormes for the purpose of hydroelectric power generation, the largest reservoirs being that of Almendra on the Tormes and that of Ricobayo on the Esla. Particularly interesting are the Lake of Sanabria, the biggest of glacier origin in the Iberian Peninsula and the Lagunas de Villafafila, typical of the steppe, with great concentration of birds in certain seasons of the year. Zamora´s geographic diversity offers the traveler a variegated natural environment full of contrasts worth enjoying.
It varies from Atlantic climate in the north to Mediterranean in the east. During the summer, mainly in the months of July and August, the temperature is very high all over the country. The central areas of the Iberian Peninsula suffer the extreme temperature in summer and the dry and cold ones in winter. The average annual temperature is between 12º C and 13º C, since it is part of the north subplateau on the northern region of the peninsula.
When to go
Tradition and local customs necessarily go hand in hand with celebrations and festivities, and in the province of Zamora this aspect is incomparably rich and varied. No end of activities to share all year round, where you will find a welcoming environment in its streets and its people making it attractive to visit in every season of the year.
“Romería del Cristo de Valderrey” (Easter Monday). Great popular festivity in the woods of Valorio, in the outskirts of the city.
“Romería de la Virgen de la Concha” (Pentecost Monday), patron saint of the city.
San Pedro (29th of June). Fair and Festivities of Zamora, with countless popular activities in the streets. On those days the famous Traditional Pottery Fair takes place – where potters from all over the country participate – and the “Feria del Ajo” (Garlic Fair), garlic being the typical Zamoran seasoning.
The old city stands on top of a great cliff dominating the Douro and it is probably this privileged location that prompted its foundation in the remote past. It seems that at first it was a Vacceo settlement, and later it was mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary by the name of Ocellum Duri, as one of the “mansio” -lodging sites- that bordered the Roman road or Via de la Plata route, which crossed the Douro in Zamora, almost certainly on the same location where later, in the 12th century, a bridge was built, the remains of which are still visible today.
Certainly not many ruins from those days are left, only a gravestone with a carved inscription, found in 1504, which is now embedded on the main façade of the old consistory. Nevertheless the legend, probably more backed by history than we believe, supplies abundantly to cover what is lacking about Roman times, showing us the figure of the most popular Zamoran -citizen of Zamora- hero, Viriato, who fought and vanquished the dominators in a sequence of battles. His victories remain forever mirrored in the flag of the city. Viriato's bronze image, a work of Zamoran sculptor Eduardo Barron, stands in one of the most beautiful parks of the city and it has even given it his name, becoming part of the collective memory of the only city that has always remembered him.
With the Germanic invasions, Zamora became a Visigoth territory, and it is then that the name Semure appears in two coins of Sisebuto (610-620) and in the records of the Council of Lugo (year 569). Later on, the Muslims called the city Azemur “wild olive grove” and Samurah “city of the turquoise”, even though opinions are divided on this issue, until finally it is mentioned by its present name in the Salmanticense as one of the settlements regained from the Moors by Alfonso I.
“Very Noble and Very Loyal city of Zamora”, thus named in perpetuity by Enrique IV, rises on the right banks of the Douro, on the crags of Santa Marta, the famous ‘peñas tajadas’ (chopped crags), by which its boundaries were identified and on which the foundations of the first of its walls were laid on the year 893. The city was dominated by Almanzor a century later, though it returned to the Christian kingdoms some years after.
The religious calendar and the pagan cycle of the seasons are perfectly combined in Zamora, so as to offer us a continuous mosaic of festivities that can be followed along all the months of the year, The year begins with the festivities of the “antruejo” which end in Carnival. They come before Lent and naturally, they take place in winter.
These are followed by the “Romerías” -pilgrimages-, springtime festivities that favour the enjoying of the countryside and of the new flowering cycle. By the arrival of summer, the bull appears as a festive symbol around which many different activities having to do with bulls take place: “encierros” -running of bulls through the streets-, bullfights and other bullfighting events which in this province are certainly enormously varied depending on the region.
Thus, with autumn starts the grape harvest, and around the grapes and other local products the seasons festivities and “romerias” close the cycle of the seasons.
Special mention must be made about the Zamoran Holy Week, which reaches, in the capital city, its most elaborate celebration, which has earned it the status International Touristic Interest Festivity, while in cities like Toro or Bercianos de Aliste the festivity shows its local flavour springing from the roots of tradition.
The traditional Zamora cuisine is obviously not based on the sophistication of its recipes but rather on the utilization of high quality, unadulterated products. Being, as it is, an agricultural and cattle raising province, the produce of the land is the foundation of its gastronomy, which of course guarantees that the guest always “knows what he is eating”, with few exceptions.
The same thing happens with the wines of the land, specially those of Toro; frank and with a great personality, not hiding the quality of the fruit that makes them different: the red grapes from Toro. The Zamoran cheese also shows its own identity, in a land where the herds of sheep almost blend with the landscape…
Yes:si. No:no. Hello:hola. Good bye:adios. Good morning:buenos días. Good afternoon:buenas tardes. Good night:buenas noches. Please:por favor. Sorry:lo siento. Thank you:gracias. Doctor:médico. Pharmacy:farmacia. Numbers: 1:un. 2:dos. 3:tres. 4:cuatro. 5:cinco. 6:seis. 7:siete. 8:ocho. 9:nueve. 10:diez. 11:once. 12:doce. 13:trece. 14:catorce. 15:quince. 16:dieciséis. 17:diecisiete. 18:dieciocho. 19:diecinueve. 20:veinte. 21:veintiuno. 22:veintidós. 30:treinta. 40:cuarenta. 50:cincuenta. 60:sesenta. 70:setenta. 80:ochenta. 90:noventa. 100:cien. 1000:mil. Days of the week: Monday:lunes. Tuesday:martes. Wednesday:miércoles. Thursday:jueves. Friday:viernes. Saturday:sábado. Sunday:domingo. Common words: big/small:grande/pequeño. Hot/Cold:caliente/frío. Open/Clossed:abierto/cerrado. Good/bad: bueno/malo. New/old:nuevo/viejo. Push/Pull:empujar/tirar. Entrance/exit:entrada/salida. Ladies/Gentlemen:señoras/señores. Far/near:lejos/cerca. Left/Right:izquierda/derecha. Taxi:taxi. Bus:autobús. Meals: Breakfast:desayuno. Lunch:comida. Dinner:cena. Menu:menú. Wines:vinos. Dessert:postre. The bill:la cuenta. Common sentences: Do you speak English?:¿Habla inglés?. I don´t understand:no entiendo. where is it?:¿donde está? How much is it?:¿Cuánto es? What time is it?:¿Qué hora es? Could you help me?:¿Puede ayudarme?
Euro, divided into 100 cents. The bank notes are: 500, 200, 100, 50, 20,10 and 5 Euros. The coins are: 1 and 2 Euros and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
1 Euro (EUR) = 1,20 Dollar (USD); 1 Euro (EUR) = 0.68 Sterling Pounds (GBP).
Compared to other countries of the European Union and maybe due to its strong emphasis on tourism, Spain is one of the less expensive countries when travelling. Prices obviously vary depending on the time of the year, being higher in the summer and lower in the winter, that is to say, out of season.
64,891 inhabitants (2004 census)Political Regime
Constitutional MonarchyPublic holidays
January 1st: New Year. January 6th: Epiphany. May 1st: Labour Day. June 29th: St. Peter. October 12th: Festivity of Our Lady of El Pilar. November 1st: Festivity of All Saints. December 6th: Spanish Constitution Day. December 8th: Festivity of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. December 25th: Christmas Day.Religion
Though most of the people of Zamora are practising Catholics, many other religions have their own places of worship in the territory.Religion
90% Catholic, 8% Muslim, 2%JewsArrival / Departure
Ever since remote times, Zamora has been a strategic location due to the many important roads that cross this area of the country. Infrastructures such as the N-525 (A-52) highways connect the central region of Spain with the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula. Besides other highways and motorways, national and regional railways lines like the AVE high speed train also operate in this area, connecting the city to different destinations in Spain such as Madrid, Avila, La Coruña, Pontevedra and many more transfers with varied schedules. We must also mention public transports: buses with scheduled routes to every destination in Zamora and interurban lines. And, of course, taxis can be found all over the city. Safety
Taking into account the fact that tourism is of great importance for Spain, the security of travellers is a real priority in the country. Nevertheless it is still necessary to apply the general advice given to tourists who travel everywhere. Thus, it is recommended, when strolling, to carry with you only the money needed for each outing and not all your funds, as well as being extra careful in crowded places to avoid purse snatching. Visa
The European Union tourists do not need visa to enter into Spain. Neither those citizens of the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the rest of the Latin American countries, though a return ticket must be bought. Travelers from Australia, Anguilla, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, South Korea, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Saint Helena, Singapore and Turk & Caicos do not either need visa provided that they do not stay more than 90 days in Spain.Clothing
It is recommended to carry warm clothes in both winter and summer, since in the evenings the weather usually becomes chilly. Electricity
220 volts, 50 mhz. Sockets are usually for two round pin plugs.Radio and Television
The main radio stations in Zamora are: Cadena Cien Zamora / Zamora / 94.9
• Cadena Dial Benavente / Benavente / 93.7
• Cadena Dial Zamora / Zamora / 100.8
• COPE Benavente / Benavente / 105.1
• COPE Zamora / Zamora / 1.269 AM
• Europa FM / Zamora / 105.8
• Los 40 Principales Zamora / Zamora / 89.8
• M 80 Radio / Zamora - Toro / 93.9
• Onda Cero Radio / Zamora / 99.7
• R C Radio / Santa Colomba de las Monjas / 89.5
• Radio Alabanza / Zamora / 107.5
• Radio Benavente / Benavente / 90.5
• Radio Maria / Zamora / 102.5
• Radio Municipal de Benavente / Benavente / 107.5
• Radio Nacional de España / Various / Various
• Radio Sintonia Municipal / Miles de la Polvorosa / 107.1 /
• Radio Toro / Toro / 107.8
• Radio Zamora / Zamora / 1.584 AM 103.1.
Regarding television channels, besides the national channels such as:Televisión Española TVE1; Antena 3; Telecinco TV5 and Cuatro, the area has its own regional channels: Canal 44UHF TV Zamora; Canal 34 Cetelmón TV and TV Zamora.
The Spanish phone code is 34 and the Zamora code is 980. To make a phone call to another country you must first dial 00 and then the international code of the country you would like to call to and finally dial the subscriber phone number. For phone calls within Spain a special code is not required. The mobile phone technology used in the Spanish territory is GSM but, in many cases, it is not compatible with some of the technologies used in other countries like the United States and Japan, for example.
The most important mobile phone operators are Amena – www.amena.es
-, Movistar/Telefónica Móviles -www.movistar.tsm.es
- and Vodafone-www.vodafone.es
-. Telephone booths are very common along the streets and they work with coins or phone cards. There are also the called locutorios, they are establishments with many phone booths, where coins or cards are not needed, just pay in cash the phone call after the conversation. In many of this kind of places it is also possible to send and receive faxes and there are computers with internet connection as well. Police
080Tourist health care services
112Newspapers and Magazines
All of the main Spanish newspapers and press are available in Zamora, but it is also important to mention the regional newspaper “La Opinion de Zamora”.Postal Service
The Spanish Postal service is efficient. Letters within Europe usually take between three and five days. Sending a registered letter costs no less than 2.5 euros. The post office is open from 8.30 AM to 8.30 PM; Saturdays from 8.30 AM to 1.00 PM. www.correos.es
International postal service such as Fedex or UPS is also available. Health Care Services
The health care system in Spain is generally good. To that respect, there is no alert whatsoever. Visitors must just be careful with the sunshine, which can cause sunstroke. It is worth mentioning, however, that Spain has a wide network of health centers which provide medical service in both primary care and specialized assistance. Airport
There is no airport in Zamora. Public Transport
The main means of transport in Zamora is the bus, since the town is located at the intersection of various roads which connect it to the rest of the villages and towns all over the peninsula. Also worth mentioning are the railway services and taxis that will be at your disposal any time you wish to pay a visit to the city. You can also contact the taxi station in the following address: Camino Espíritu Santo, 2 Province: Zamora. Municipality: ZAMORA 49026 Telephone: +34 630 630 630 Railway
The RENFE railway station is at Ctra.de la Estación, s/n. Zamora. Telephone: +34 902 240 202Bus
The Bus Company of the City of Zamora provides information on schedules and routes at
Av Alfonso Peña, s/n , Zamora.
Telephone: +34 980 521 281
Located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, Zamora is connected by road with different localities such as Madrid, at a distance of 248 km, Salamanca: 62 km, León: 135 km and Valladolid: 90 km. It is also connected to other Zamoran towns such as Colegiata de Toro, 32 km away, Campillo: 20 km, Arcenillas: 7 km, La Hiniesta: 7 km, Castillo de Alba: 35 km, Tabara: 47 km, Granja de Moreruela: 36 km, Fermoselle: 62 km. Car Rentals
Address of the main car rental offices:
Avda. de Manoteras, 32 – Edificio C,
Tel: +34 902 480 354,
Tel: +34 902 180 854,
Fax: `+34 902 180 760,
Tel: +34 902 248 824
Fax: +34 913 480 220.
Hertz: Tel. +34 917 499 373, Fax:+34 (91)509-737, open from Monday till Sunday from 8 AM to 11 PM.
It is not possible to reach Zamora by this means of transport.See climatewww.worldweather.orgCurrency converterwww.xe.com/uccA dinner
Between 25 and 30 eurosA coffee
1 euroThe Bus
0.37 euroThe taxi