The Spectacular Roman Ruins in Spain No-one is Telling You About

September 9, 2019
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There's a place in the region of Palencia where you can take a trip back to Roman times: the Roman Villa of La Olmeda, a must for any art and history lover out there. These spectacular Roman ruins are not the most famous in Spain but they surely deserve your attention.

ROMAN RUINS IN SPAIN: VILLA ROMANA LA OLMEDA

The Roman Villa of La Olmeda was discovered while doing some agricultural work at the beginning of the summer of 1968. After years of archaeological work, the remains of a Roman palace emerged. Despite being known by few, this rural mansion of the Late Roman Empire (4th century AD) is one of the most important Roman ruins in Spain.

La Olmeda may not be as famous as the roman remains in Tarragona or Merida but this roman site has won international awards or mentions; namely the one made by National Geographic magazine, which considered it one of the 12 greatest discoveries of modern archaeology. The most impressive part in my opinion are the amazing polychrome mosaics which are excellently preserved. Many believe that these are the best Roman mosaics in Spain.
villa romana olmeda palencia roman ruins spain
villa romana olmeda palencia roman ruins spain
villa romana olmeda palencia roman ruins spain
villa romana olmeda palencia mosaic roman ruins spain
villa romana olmeda palencia roman ruins spain
villa romana olmeda palencia roman ruins spain
villa romana olmeda palencia roman ruins spain

ROMAN RUINS IN SPAIN: THE VILLAGE NEAR THE VILLA

Saldaña is the closest village to the Roman Villa of La Olmeda and it houses a museum where you can see everything that was found in the excavations that took place at the Roman site. The museum is located in the Church of San Pedro.

More things to see in Saldaña:
  • The crooked house. This unique house is now a restaurant.
  • The statue of Javier Cortes, the owner of the land where the roman ruins were found and the man who started the excavation work.
  • The stately houses with beautiful coats of arms. The one next to the museum is a rural house you can stay in.
  • The remains of a castle: Castillo del Infantado
casa torcida saldaña palencia españa
casa rural saldaña palencia españa
villa romana olmeda palencia museum roman ruins spain
iglesia san pedro saldaña palencia

ROMAN RUINS IN SPAIN: WHERE TO STAY & EAT

There are many lovely places to eat in Saldaña but we had made reservations at Monasterio San Zoilo in the nearby village of Carrion de los Condes.

This monastery turned hotel/restaurant is very similar to the Paradores hotel chain. It is located along Camino de Santiago (St. Jacques Way) and has its origins in the 10th century. Monasterio San Zoilo is a haven of peace. As soon as you enter you feel relaxed. You can spend hours in the cloister just wandering around immerse in your thoughts and there's also a park in front of the building great to unwind while reading a book or playing some games.

The food at the restaurant is out-of-this-world delicious. You can feel they use great ingredients and wonderful cuisine with every bite. Despite the ancient surroundings, the restaurant serves a modern take on traditional Spanish food.

monasterio san zoilo menu restaurante carrion condes palencia
monasterio san zoilo menu restaurante carrion condes palencia
monasterio san zoilo menu restaurante carrion condes palencia
monasterio san zoilo menu restaurante carrion condes palencia
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claustro monasterio san zoilo carrion condes palencia
claustro monasterio san zoilo carrion condes palencia
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ROMAN RUINS IN SPAIN: GUIDED TOURS, TICKETS & OPENING TIMES

The Roman Villa is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm

If you speak Spanish, I highly recommend the guided tour. Advance reservations are required for guided tours. People who do not belong to a pre-booked group can join a guided tour, subject to availability. Information and booking phones: (+34) 979 119 997 / (+34) 670 450 143 / info@villaromanalaolmeda.com

The ticket to visit the Roman Villa allows you to visit the museum of La Olmeda in Saldaña. General admission is 5€.

Free admission: Tuesdays from 3pm to 6.30pm (not guided tours). May 18th, International Museum Day.

ROMAN RUINS IN SPAIN: HOW TO GET THERE

There are two options to get there from Madrid:
  • A-1 to Burgos / A-231 towards León / Carrión de los Condes / C- 615, km. 55th.
  • A-6 to Tordesillas / A-62 to Valladolid, Palencia / A-67 to León / A-65 to León and take exit 8th / C-613 to Palencia / C-615 towards Riaño, km. 55th.
Google Maps

If you are in the area for a few days, I recommend you visit my hometown: Leon. It's a small city full of historical sites and with great food. It's one of the few cities in Spain that serves tapas for free! You can read my complete guide to Leon here.

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10 comments

  1. Those mosaics are definitely cool! Amazing that they've lasted this long.


    Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2019/09/a-visitor.html

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  2. Wow I always want to go to to Spain when I see your pictures! You always have the best shots!

    http://www.ruthyannie.com

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  3. Tom The Backroads TravellerSeptember 11, 2019 at 2:13 AM

    ...thanks for showing me around, I would be able to see them for myself!

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  4. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comSeptember 11, 2019 at 5:44 AM

    So gorgeous!

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  5. Thank you for this post- I love to know what to do and where to go when I travel and you have shared some great idea.

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  6. My favorite thing about blogging is learning things like this! Your photos are awesome.

    Thanks for your link on 'My Corner of the World'! It's lovely to see you this week!


    My Corner of the World

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  7. I love Spain, so many amazing things to see. Thanks for sharing this dear!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  8. Your wrap skirt is so pretty and what incredible ruins - the mosaics look like they are in such great condition! it's a shame we have nothing like that in Australia!

    Hope that your week is going well :)

    Away From Blue

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  9. So stunning! Thank you so much for sharing these amazing pictures!

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  10. Wow! That is really amazing and beautiful. TFS!

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