Optional Private Excursions available for purchase
Avoid the crowds and hustle and bustle associated with a group activity. For a memorable trip ashore, we invite you to consider a private shore excursion. Enjoy the undivided attention of your own driver/guide and the flexibility of experiencing the aspects of the local culture that most interest you. Below are just some samples of the private shore excursions we can arrange for you. Give us a call or email us. Let us personalize your experience!
3 hours tour
Morning or afternoon tour
Light physical activity
Pick up and drop off at the Hotel
Calle Zamora leads from St Mark's to the Plaza Mayor, one of Salamanca's jewels and one of the most important main squares in Spain. Arcaded in the Churrigueresque Baroque style, one of the main features is the so-called Pabellón Real (royal pavilion), decorated with a bust of Philip V. It contains numerous medallions, several of them of key figures associated with the history of the city, such as Friar Luis de León and Unamuno, and others representing writers and professors of the University of Salamanca. Emerging from amidst the eighty or so arches around the square, and designed in the same style, is the City Hall.
The route to the so-called Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), the Renaissance façade of which is adorned with more than 300 pilgrim shells (the symbol of the order that protected the pilgims' road to Santiago de Compostela), takes in Rúa Mayor. This street contains major Renaissance palaces, such as the 16th-century palaces of Salina, Orellana and Anaya, whilst situated nearby is the so-called Clerecía or monastery, a Baroque construction that now houses the Pontifical University. The University of Salamanca is situated only a stone's throw away. Founded in 1254 by Alphonse X, also known as Alphonse the Learned, it is one of the oldest such institutions in Spain. Construction of the present-day building commenced during the 15th century in the Gothic style, although the main façade is plateresque. It displays a medallion with the effigy of the Catholic Monarchs and the coat of arms of the Emperor Charles V. Local tradition dictated that the figure of a frog on a skull be found to guarantee academic success. An annexed building houses the so-called Escuelas Menores (Minor Schools).
Situated in the same Plaza de Anaya, together with the Anaya palace and the University, is the New Cathedral. Adjoined to this building, creating a complex of great beauty and balance, is the Old Cathedral. Commenced in the 12th century, the latter building combines Romanesque and Gothic elements. The most outstanding external feature is the Torre del Gallo (Tower of the Cockerel), a Byzantine-inspired gadrooned dome on a double tambour. The cloister leads to the Chapel of Santa Bárbara, where prospective Doctors of Philosophy would keep vigil the night before their final exam: if they passed they would ring the bells, whilst failure meant exit via the Carros door. The ground plan of the Old Cathedral was altered when the New Cathedral was adjoined. Commissioned by the Catholic Monarch, King Ferdinand, the New Cathedral is designed in the late Gothic style with Renaissance ornamentation, whilst the tower was constructed by the Churriguera brothers, the main practitioners of the Spanish Baroque style.