10 Breathtaking Spots in Leon Photographers Shouldn't Miss
The province of Leon gets eyeballs of photographers from all around the globe. If you are obsessed with photography and need to discover a brand new spot, this is your next destination. Leon also welcomes tons of culture-lovers with its profound cultural treasures and ancient history. If you want to forget about any touristic swag and simply enjoying the luxury of tranquility, take a stroll through the following spots in Leon that will take your breath away.
1. Los Picos de Europa
Pathways to Nature
The Picos de Europa (Los Picos de Europa) is surrounded by Asturias, Cantabria and Leon. The name literally translates into “Peaks of Europe”. Attention, it is the entire Europe we are talking about. A hike into the mountains reveals a fantastic view of the mountains. While making you way up, there will be tons of horses, cows and bulls to keep you company. Chasing behind them and snap a great shot might not be a bad idea, but be careful-don't let them get your camera!
2. Palacio Episcopal de Astorga
Admiring Antoni Gaudí
The name of the architect only is enough to attract tourists from all around the globe. The Episcopal Palace of Astorga (Palacio Episcopal de Astorga) is one of the only three architectures built by Gaudí outside of Catalonia. It has now been turned into a museum of religious art. While admiring the gorgeous architecture, you will also be overwhelmed by the rich collection of artworks inside.
3. Cuevas de Valporquero
The Making of Miracles
Located about only thirty miles away from the capital city of Leon, The Caves of Valporquero (Cuevas de Valporquero) wows its tourists with the power of Mother Nature. The open route for visiting is almost a mile, connecting six halls with marvelous views-Pequeñas Marvavillas, Gran Rotonda, Hadas, Cementerio Estalactitico, Gran Vía, and Maravillas. With a little imagination, you will see a lot more than you think!
4. El Camino de Santiago-La Bañeza
León in the “Camino”
Known to many Americans via the movie The Way by Emilio Estévez, The Way of St. James (El Camino de Santiago) attracts many to take the pilgrimage themselves. The province of Leon plays a significant role in the “camino” by contributing over 120 miles of the route. Following the yellow arrows serves as a magnificent way to experience Leon in depth. Reaching Santiago de Compostela from Leon might be a one-month journey-but it's worth it!
5. Procesión de los Pasos
The Holy Week of Leon
The tradition of Leon's Holy Weeks traces back to the sixteenth century. If you want to see this tranquil city getting packed, this is the time to visit. During the ten-day celebration from Friday to Sunday, various processions could be seen every single day. The one that gets more eyeballs seems to be The Procession of the Pasos (Procesión de los Pasos) where thousands of penitents carry thirteen “pasos (Religious Statues)” all around the city. Plaza Mayor and the Cathedral of Leon are both great spots to take a peak of this grand moment.
6. Plaza de la Encina, Ponferrada
The Luxury of Tranquility
With a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, you can easily sit here for an entire afternoon. Talking about running away from the hustle and bustle of metropolis or simply healing your travel fatigue, there are absolutely no better choices.
7. Castillo de los Templarios, Ponferrada
Escaping to the Past
A glimpse of the classical antiquity of The Castle of the Templar Knights in Ponferrada (Castillo de los Templarios de Ponferrada) satisfies all your imagination of the ancient history. The castle today stands still for the glory of Spain's past and is enriched by several facsimile editions of works by Leonardo Da Vinci.
8. La Plaza del Grano, León
Searching the Locals
Perhaps the best way to blend in is to sit around with Leoneses. It is known to many tourists as Plaza de Santa María del Camino, but the Leoneses stick to the name of Plaza del Grano. Hiding inside the center of the city, it has the medieval look of a tiny village. Be sure to look down to the ground, it is filled with precious stones that are absolutely original.
9. Parador de San Marcos
Pearl of the City
Together with the Cathedral of Leon, it is one of the spots in Leon that you absolutely can't miss. There are two fantastic ways to encounter Parador of San Marcos (Parador de San Marcos)-jogging all the way along the river until you hit it; staying one night inside-Yes, you read it right. It is now a luxury parador hotel. By the way, the food there also tastes amazing!
10. La Catedral de León
The Gorgeous Landmark
The Cathedral of Leon (La Catedral de León) might be the first place to know when you first arrive in the city of Leon, and the last place you were before you hop on a train and leave. Sitting on the benches, you can admire this Gothic Style masterpiece and watch the people flow at the same time. Still not satisfied? Then think about joining a mass on a Sunday or going all the way up for an amazing night view of the city!