El Bierzo is an historic region within León, surrounding the pretty Medieval town of Ponferrada. Known for being one of the ancient world's great mining areas - the Romans were at it here and you can still see the spectacular remnants, these days it's also big in wine production, and for it's position on the Camino de Santiago.
The best places to stay in El Bierzo range from vineyard estates turned country house hotels to quaint hotels in charming medieval towns.
The Romans who mined here were looking for gold, but over the intervening centuries much more has been drawn from the ground of El Bierzo. While the landscape has been changed the Roman impact is still impressive, you can see one of their old gold mines at Las Médulas, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The mines finally closed in the 1980s and since then the region has turned to its other Roman introduced industry - wine making.
Also worth considering for your El Bierzo to-do list are Ponferrada's vast Templar castle which covers about 16,000sqms and was built to help protect the pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, the El Bierzo Museum and as many of the regions ancient churches as you can manage.
As well as being a wonderful place for walking pilgrims and other walkers, El Bierzo is also ripe for bike exploration - there are several easy-to-follow routes.
Leon, El Bierzo
A chic little hotel in a Medieval town. Contemporary rooms with white painted bricks, large bathrooms, quirky wallpaper and exposed beams. Excellent regional cuisine and a warm library with a fireplace. Activities of the region on the doorstep. A cosy and stylish choice for a weekend away.