If you enjoy great food, beautiful countryside and discovering historic locations, Salamanca holiday apartments would be perfect for you. The province has a handful of cities that are packed with Renaissance buildings from the 1500s, immaculately preserved and open to the public. If you're a foodie then you could come to an apartment in Salamanca to sample the wonderful Iberian ham, which is regarded as one of Spain's top delicacies. There's a wide choice of holiday homes in Salamanca, with locations that vary from remote and scenic countryside, to the magical heart of medieval walled cities, surrounded by all the amenities you could need.
-City of Salamanca. Considered one of Europe's most beautiful Renaissance cities, Salamanca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must for any visitor to the province. It's also known for its university, dating to 1218, making it the oldest and most prestigious institution of its kind in the country. Many of Spain's leading cultural figures spent their formative years here. Historic sights are numerous in Salamanca, but Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral are not to be missed.
-Bejar. South of Salamanca, this lovely city was also enriched with Renaissance architecture in the 1500s. See El Bosque Villa, an ensemble of buildings from this period, complete with a lovely garden. The Ducal Palace is another Renaissance sight - it was built on a Moorish fortress, elements of which are still visible today. For more traces of Bejar's Arab past, visit the city's medieval walls, which are still in a good state of preservation.
-Natural scenery. Crossing the Salamanca Province from north to south is the ancient Via de la Plata (Silver Way). It's a route established by the Romans, and these days you can drive, walk or bike along portions of it. In sparsely populated areas you'll witness a landscape that hasn't changed much since Roman times, with remnants from those days in the form of bridges, forts and stone way markers. In the southwest of the province is Las Batuecas Natural Park, where you'll find mountains, steep valleys and waterfalls.
-Gastronomy. The exceptional cured ham of Castile-Leon is a source of pride, and in the Salamanca province there's a special variety - Guijuelo ham has a designation of origin. Pigs farmed here graze at 1000 metres above sea level, and eat only acorns and grass. The beef is also highly regarded, derived from the distinctive Morucha cattle. Other regional produce includes cheeses, made from sheep or buffalo milk.
-Day trips. To the southwest of the province is Ciudad Rodrigo, a walled medieval city with Spanish "historic-artistic" designation. Within the walls, which were laid out by Ferdinand II in the 1100s, are grand squares, palaces, numerous churches and a stunning gothic-Romanesque cathedral. Within Las Batuecas Natural Park is the gorgeous village of La Alberca, full of pretty stone and timber buildings.
Salamanca holiday rentals are found in a part of Spain with a continental Mediterranean climate, making for hot summers and cool winters. In the warmer months the weather is tempered slightly by the province's elevation, as well as the low humidity. Between June and September the temperatures peak above the mid-20s climbing to around 30 degrees in July and August. Autumn and spring conditions are mild, while winters can be cold at times. December sees temperatures averaging around five degrees, with lows of zero at night.
If you're heading to a Salamanca holiday home from Britain, then the nearest international airport is in Valladolid (VLL), 120 kilometres from the city of Salamanca. It's a small airport handling a few charter or low-cost routes from the UK. Another option would be to fly to Barcelona (BCN) and then transfer to Salamanca's own domestic airport (SLM). At two hours by car from this area, Madrid (MAD) is also an option. You could also catch the train from Madrid to Salamanca with Renfe, for a journey that takes around two and a half hours.