Founded by a Celtic tribe before the Roman Empire, Salamanca was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 due to the beautifully preserved buildings in its Old City. Though large enough to offer the amenities of a modern city—including the oldest university in Spain—Salamanca retains the intimacy of a traditional Spanish village and can be explored on foot. It is a living museum that takes visitors back to the Middle Ages, yet it is a cosmopolitan, multicultural city with a large population of international students.
Viking guests ride through the Iberian countryside to Salamanca, then spend some time exploring the shops and cafés of the Plaza Mayor (Main Square). Lunch is at a local restaurant and features an unforgettable flamenco show. A guided city tour in the afternoon takes guests to the the 13th-century Salamanca University and other sites such as the Gothic House of Shells and the New Cathedral, built from 1513 through 1733. The Old Cathedral is still there and can be visited during free time, along with numerous other icons of Spanish architecture such as the 15th-century Tower del Clavero, the 16th-century Monterrey Palace and many beautiful churches and convents.
Because the local dialect is considered the purest form of Spanish, Salamanca is popular with tourists endeavoring to learn or practice the language.