The protected mountain region of the Sierra de Francia marks the southern region of Salamanca province, with the most obvious target the captivating “national monument” village of La Alberca. It makes a good walking base for the surrounding hills and valleys, notably the stunning Valle de Las Batuecas, with its isolated monastery and ancient rock art. There are daily buses to La Alberca from Salamanca, but the area is otherwise best explored by car, in which case you’ll also be able to make a half-day’s circuit via the equally venerable hill-town of Miranda del Castañar.

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