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The water in the Arribes, as we accompany the Duero River through Zamora or Salamanca, is the most striking element and the common thread of this Spain of overflowing nature. We see them every time we look at their vertigo viewpoints, their dams and hydroelectric jumps to discover spectacular canyons and waterfalls.

A record dam

The Arribeño landscape can leave the traveler stunned. You just have to look out over the so-called sea of Castilla y León from the Almendra dam, which contains the waters of the Tormes River in the Salamanca part of the Arribes. With a height of 200 meters, the dam holds the Spanish record. The enormous engineering work is obvious, but the most impressive thing is what is not seen: a tunnel dug into the rock of 15 kilometers in length that carries water from the dam to an underground plant.

The dam of the Almond.M. G. H.

Paraje de Ambasaguas

From Almendra, the Tormes follows the last chapter of its course by boxing itself between rocky walls. In Villarino de los Aires, nature lovers should not miss the place of Ambasaguas, the place where the Tormes riverbed joins the Duero between a festival of vegetation and old terraces where there are still olive trees, almond trees and vineyards. There is also a party in the water, this time starring barbels, bogas and carps. Back in Villarino, it is worth approaching the viewpoints on the Douro that we find in the same urban area. On the other side of the river, the landscape is the same, but it is already Portugal.

Paraje de Ambasaguas.M.G.H.

Well of the Fumes

The locals know that the Pozo de los Humos "from the viewpoint of Masueco is heard, but from that of Pereña it is seen". We go to this last town to contemplate this captivating waterfall, one of the most beautiful in Spain. Unamuno, excited, fell at the foot of this veil of about 50 meters, where the waters of the Uces River rush through the rock forming a magical cloud. However, it should be remembered that the Uces is very seasonal. It will only bring water in the rainy months so you have to inform yourself before going lest we do not see smoke, or waterfall, or anything.

The Well of Smoke.SHUTTERSTOCK

Friar's Viewpoint

The next objective is to visit the viewpoint of El Fraile, inaugurated last year about five kilometers from the town of Aldeadávila de la Ribera. This corten steel platform stands out in the landscape defying the void. Many, many meters below, the canyons of the Duero and the Aldeadávila dam shake the traveler and his stomach again. This photo is not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo, but for those who do not resist capturing a great sunset.

The new corten steel viewpoint.M. G. H.

The Iron Road

This time we walked to the edge of the canyons of the Águeda River. The Camino de Hierro, reopened in 2021, is the hiking route that follows the tracks of the old railway of the Douro Line, created in the late nineteenth century and abandoned since 1985. Along its 17 kilometers, the walker crosses 20 tunnels, 10 bridges of enormous height and a breathtaking landscape. The route starts at the old station of La Fregeneda and ends at the river pier of Vega Terrón, just where the Águeda merges with the Duero.

One of the bridges of the Camino de Hierro.SERGIO GONZÁLEZ VALERO


ARRIVE. The AVE arrives in Zamora and from here in an hour by car we reach the Arribes del Duero Natural Park.

SLEEP. Posada Doña Urraca (www.posadadonaurraca.es). Rustic hotel with restaurant and family service in Fermoselle. The House of the Arribes (lacasadelosarribes.es). Four stone cottages restored and located in the village of Fornillos de Fermoselle. With salt pool and Zamorano donkeys and Castilian black hens in the garden.

EAT. Restaurant Spain (Fermoselle). The cod at the tranca prepared by chef Mar Marcos is a must. Restaurant Santa Cruz (Masueco). Traditional riverside cuisine. You have to try the roasts in the oven.

SAIL. Environmental Cruise Arribes Europarques. Tickets: www.europarques.com/es

MORE INFO. On the website of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park (www.losarribesdelduero.com) and the Arribes Wine Route (rutadelvinoarribes.com).

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