Orientation Trips to Segovia, Zamora, and Toro!

Woohyun Kwen headshot
Woohyun Kwen
September 18, 2023
Look at the Gothic Cathedral of Segovia!

During my first few weeks in Salamanca, the IES Abroad Salamanca staff organized two orientation trips for all of us. These trips allowed me to explore cities outside of Salamanca and visit beautiful locations in Spain.


Our first trip was to Segovia, which is a city in Castile and León, right across the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range from Madrid. Once I got off the bus and looked around, I was immediately fascinated by the beautiful architecture and the natural scenery that welcomed me into the city. During the tour, I had the opportunity to see many exciting and ancient buildings and sites throughout the entire city.

  • Main Sights
    • Acueducto romano (Aqueduct of Segovia): As soon as I entered Segovia, this gigantic structure caught my attention. The size and beautiful patterns of the aqueduct mesmerized me and I couldn’t believe this amazing structure was built back in the 1st or 2nd century! People believe the aqueduct was built by Romans when they conquered the region, and it is considered one of the most impressive Roman structures left in Spain. It was designed and built to deliver water to the city, which is especially impressive since the Segovia lies at the high altitude and the water was brought from a lower region!
    • Alcázar de Segovia: The Alcázar is a medieval castle that was built in the 12th century and is absolutely a must-see sight in Segovia. This castle was used as a palace for the royals and also as a fortress, and all of its history is preserved through the remaining displays when entering the castle. 
    • Catedral de Segovia (Cathedral of Segovia): This gothic cathedral is a breath-taking building that can be seen on the walk from the aqueduct to the Alcázar. While I didn’t have the opportunity to go inside, I would love to next time.
  • Famous cuisines
    • Cochinillo de Segovia (suckling pig): I learned that one of the most well-known dishes in Segovia is the suckling pig, which is a young pig that is roasted and served whole. The main feature of this dish is that the pig is so soft that it can be cut with a plate!
    • Ponche Segoviano: This traditional Segovian cake that consists of layers of sponge cake filled with egg yolk. Another major ingredient is ground almonds, and I really recommend it!

Zamora & Toro

Our second orientation trip was to Zamora & Toro, and we got to see the ancient architecture of Zamora along with learning about how wine is made in Toro.

  • Zamora: 
    • Cathedral of Zamora: This Romanesque cathedral was really cool as we saw many similarities to the Old Cathedral in Salamanca. The dome of both cathedrals are very unique and similar, which was a fun connection to Salamanca. 
    • Castle of Zamora: This castle was built in the Middle Ages around the 10th and 12th centuries. We were able to enter the building and walk on the actual steps and stones. When we climbed to the top of the castle, I got to see a beautiful view of the city and also the cathedral. 
  • Toro (Pagos del Rey Wine Museum)
    • I really enjoyed the visit to the wine museum that talked about everything in wine making. We had a tour of the winery and saw traditional winery tools, along with learning about the modern techniques used today. In the basement, we got to see the barrels for aging the wine and I was just fascinated by this experience. It was very interesting to learn that Toro was well-known for its vineyards and wineries, and we even got to have a fun wine tasting at the end with the local sheep cheese and wine jam!

I had so much fun on these orientation trips with the IES Abroad Salamanca staff and fellow students, and stay tuned for more stories from Salamanca, Spain!

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Woohyun Kwen

Hi! I am a junior studying Education Studies and Psychology on the pre-health track at Amherst College. In my free time, I love to paint scenery, go on long walks, and sing my heart out to my favorite pop songs.

2023 Fall
Home University:
Amherst College
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