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How accurate is that slogan of "Soria ni te la imaginas". Because only Mother Nature could have sculpted such a throat. We are talking about that portentous canyon of the Lobos River, a beauty of about 25 kilometers carved over millennia, where this route begins through some of the natural treasures of the province.
The Lobos River Canyon
The route of Billidor Castle.SHUTTERSTOCK
The Natural Park of the Lobos River Canyon was declared as such in 1985 for its spectacular landscapes and, of course, also for its geological diversity and the variety of fauna and flora. Sabinares, pine forests, riparian vegetation draw a green and leafy picture where there is no pollution. Even water lilies float in the Lobos River. If we look up, in those cavities and stone cliffs you can guess all kinds of shapes and caves chiseled by time. Griffon vultures and peregrine falcons nest in them, and the grey heron, owl and lark live next to them. Although the star of the park must be sought in the very heart of the canyon. There, in the middle of this dazzling landscape, stands since the thirteenth century the hermitage of San Bartolomé, of Templar origin, and destination of a popular pilgrimage in summer. The Casa del Parque del Cañón del Río Lobos, located at the access of Ucero, introduces the visitor to all this wealth.
The black lagoon and the circuses of Urbión
The Black Lagoon.SHUTTERSTOCK
This mysterious lagoon of glacial origin is one of the most beautiful prints in the province. Embraced by infinite pine forests and granite walls, it is located at 2,000 meters high. Black is, indeed, because of its dark and gloomy appearance, and because there are many legends that accompany it. The best known is the one written by Antonio Machado in the poem La tierra de Alvargonzález in which his children are swallowed by the water of this "bottomless lagoon". The reality is that the lagoon is about 8 meters deep.
The juniper of Calatañazor
The juniper of Calatañazor.SHUTTERSTOCK
You know what tradition says, that "in Calatañazor Almanzor lost the drum". The fact is that in this medieval town of steep streets and half-timbered houses is one of the best preserved juniper forests on the planet. Much of the blame lies with the weather. Those intense and cold winters, late frosts and in general the strong temperature contrasts of this part of Soria are not for all species. But junipers (Juniperus thurifera) have grown here in their sauce. So much so that some specimens reach 14 meters in height, more than five in perimeter and about two thousand years of existence.
Natural water source of Fuentona de Muriel.SHUTTERSTOCK
Very close to the previous one, this Natural Monument is considered one of the essential places of Soria. Also known by the name of Ojo de Mar, we are facing the natural spring of karst origin where the Abión River is born. Although in reality it is not one, but a whole network of underground galleries that turn this natural environment into a space of high ecological value. In the town of Muriel de la Fuente we find the Casa del parque, the interpretation center of both La Fuentona and Sabinar de Calatañazor. It is the starting point of the walk that will take you along the riverbank to the very edge of this photogenic enclave.
We now travel south, on the banks of the Douro, where the longest fortress in Europe stands. The castle of Gormaz is a defensive feat that spreads along a hill in a key place on the border of Al Andalus. Hence, it was changing ownership, between Muslims and Christians, since its construction began, in the tenth century. With a walled perimeter of 1,200 meters, 446 long and 28 towers, the colossus of Castile is worth exploring.
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- Castile and Leon
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