Hola amigos, Stuart here from Spain Speaks. Today I’m in Leon in the north of Spain, a smaller city fantastically located in the mountains in Castilla y Leon on the French route of the Camino de Santago.
It is a wonderful city with a very good quality of life for the people living there, and a must visit city. In my top 10 recommended, and very easily accessed from other parts of Spain too!
It is well connected by roads and trains, and there is also an airport so it is easy to access from other cities in Castilla y Leon and beyond. Walking along the tram track it is easy to see there are not a lot public transport options; there are buses and taxis but no bike scheme, and the tram currently doesn’t go into the centre.
However, it is a very walkable city as it is very flat and you could easily get around on a scooter or bike. Leon is landlocked, with the nearest coastline being in Gijon. The river is not for swimming, but it is a popular place to go fishing.
It is in the mountains so surely there is a place to swim up there, maybe a lake or dam to escape the summer heat. Leon is a place where you will find all four seasons, with very hot summers and cold winters.
Outside of the centre barrios can be very similar, with blocks of similar looking apartments and shops, much like any other city in Spain. However, in the centre we have the old historic centre, very popular with tourists as there are a lot of good bars and restaurants.
The Barrio Humido in particular is full of quaint tapas bars where you are given plenty of food, making it easy on the wallet too.
There is a very good nightlife scene as it is a university city, injecting plenty of life into the city.
The is no shortage of monuments and churches, with many beautiful architectural delights. You can
even find some Gaudi architecture.
Early in the morning there are very few people in the streets, which make it the best time to visit the sites. You can explore the streets without the masses, especially in summer months.
Down by the cathedral every corner you take you’ll find a plaza where you can sit down and relax. The cathedral itself is spectacular, and really leaves am impression. All roads lead to the plaza mayor, where there are lots of places to sit, drink and people watch - a typical plaza mayor in Spain.
The people are very accommodating and are always happy to serve you in a bar or restaurant. Stopping to ask for directions is no issue and they are more than willing to help.
The regional cuisine is fantastic, with local chorizo, salchichon and particularly morcilla. Every year there is a large morcilla festival in November.
A fantastic little-known gem in Spain, visually spectacular with a great quality of life and all the food
and drink you would need.