Vía de la Plata Stage 4: Salamanca to Zamora

Photo by Melanie Radzicki McManus

Starting the last half of the route

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The stretch from Salamanca to Zamora isn’t very long — just over 40 miles (about 70 km) — but features some of the prettiest scenery along the VDLP.

A tricky start

You begin with a hike out of Salamanca that can be a bit tricky. There aren’t many markers, for one. And as the path out of town is along some busy thoroughfares, it can be easy to miss the ones that are out there. So here’s where to go:

* Walk across Plaza Mayor and exit to the left onto C/Consejo, which will become C/Zamora.

*After walking through two roundabouts, the road becomes Paseo del Doctor Torres Villarroel. Keep heading straight. (You’re heading north.)

*At the third roundabout turn left onto N-630a. There’s no marker here, but signs point left to Zamora. There’s also a bullring straight ahead. Once you make this turn, the Camino markers resume.

Most of the walk out of Salamanca is urban and unexciting. But soon you’ll be in Aldeaseca de la Armuña, where you can refill your water stores, if necessary.

Stunning sunflowers

The highlight of your hike from Aldeaseca to Castellanos de Villiquera, and then on to Calzada de Valdunciel, will be the stunning sunflower fields. They line both sides of the path and have a certain beauty even after their brilliant yellow blooms have faded. Markers are scarce on these legs; once you’re pointed down a path, simply stay on it until you see another marker instructing you to turn. Keep an eye peeled for the unusual dice-topped gate. (You never know what you’ll see along the Camino!)

The next town up is El Cubo del Vino. The Camino markers here change to yellow arrows on white posts, and sometimes to yellow triangles on wooden posts. The signage can get a bit confusing in spots, namely when you’re walking along the west side of N-630 and A-66 and are directed to hike under a viaduct, onto the east side of the highway, then back under a viaduct to the west side again.

El Cubo – a good pit stop

El Cubo is about halfway to Zamora, and makes a nice pit stop. The town offers an albergue, plus lovely rooms (and food) at Albergue Turístico Torre de Sabre.

The stretch from El Cubo to Villanueva de Campeán is a pretty one. After the first few miles you’ll make two sharp turns and suddenly be treated to expansive views of rich farmland, painted in eye-popping hues: adobe, butter, emerald and sky-blue. If this isn’t enough, after walking a few more miles and making a few more turns you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the valley below.

Your final leg, Villanueva to Zamora, has positives and negatives. The positives: lots of flat or downhill stretches, good footing, scenic views, plentiful markings. The negatives: no shade, a steep hill or two and the sight of Zamora in the distance long before you get there.

Pay homage at the Pilgrim memorial

Make sure to stop at the pilgrim memorial a few miles before you hit Salamanca.

Salamanca to Zamora by the Numbers

Salamanca’s altitude: 2,595.1 ft / 791 m
Zamora’s altitude: 2,106.3 ft / 642 m

Cumulative distance hiked for this route: 43.6 mi / 70.2 km
Cumulative distance hiked for entire trail: 362.9 mi / 584.1 km

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