Soria - An Undiscovered Corner Of Spain

Published on 02/06/2008 in Holidays in Spain

Santo Domingo church in SoriaBelieve it or not, a country that receives over 55 million tourists a year and has mass development on its costas is also home to the least populated region in Europe. Soria, called by some the forgotten corner of Spain is that place. Forgotten by mass development and hordes of tourists, Soria has managed to retain its charm and beauty and offers her visitors an escape from the hectic pace of modern life.

The province of Soria lies on the most easterly limits of the autonomous region of Castilla y Leon, central Northern Spain. Its 10,000 sq km (3861 miles) of beautiful landscapes and diverse geography, act as a backdrop to the large concentration of medieval castles, Romanesque churches and timeless medieval villages. All of which are in close proximity to each other.

Known for pure clean air, due to its expanse of forests, nature parks, grazing lands and lack of heavy industry, it's the perfect place to slow down and reconnect with the natural environment.

The province has a population of approx 93,000, of which 40% live in its capital, also called Soria. With population density at 8.8 inhabitants per sq km compared with an average in Spain of 87.2 and 116 in Europe, Soria is one of the least populated areas of Europe and a fantastic destination to unwind.

With its abundance of charm and tranquillity, Soria beckons you to explore its nature, medieval castles, forests, history and gastronomy. Sorias attractions can be visited without spending your precious holiday time standing in queues or paying outrageously high entry fees with most museums, castles and hermitages charging only 0.60 to 2.00 euros per person for entrance, and to date we have never experienced a queue.

To the north of the province lies the 'Picos Urbion' mountain range, often snow capped in winter. This mountain range cradles the awe inspiring glacial lake Laguna Negra (Black Lake) and nearby the mountains give birth to the mighty Rio Duero (River Duero) which eventually ends its course on the coast of Portugal.

To the west the Rio Lobos (River of Wolves) has carved its way through the limestone to create the Canyon Rio Lobos protected natural park. The canyon walls rise to heights of 200 metres (656 ft) in places, and the sunburst red and cream hues add another colour to your surrounds. Take time to contemplate why the Knights Templar built their isolated hermitage here. The most recent wildlife census recorded over 200 pairs of Griffon Vultures in the Canyon, where you'll all so find Red Deer, Roe Deer, Wild Boar, Otters, Minks, Golden Eagles and many other species of flora and fauna.

To the South East the River Duero starts to mature and nourishes the first vines in the wine region of the Ribera del Duero, home of the highly prized Vega Sicilia wine. It was through these lands that the Castilian hero El Cid travelled. As these were the frontier lands of the 'Reconquista' (the re conquering of Spain), its not surprising this is where you will see the greatest concentration of medieval castles in Europe.

The land again changes as you head south and reach the medieval town of Medinaceli, another highlight with its mighty Roman arch, the only one of its kind in Spain. The weathered limestone formations nearby, with their intense red surface remind us of the spaghetti westerns that were filmed here, due to its similarity to the deserts of the North America.

Agreda to the east has its Arab and Jewish influences, the Jewish quarter still very much intact. It is here you find the highest mountain in Soria, Moncayo that rises to 2313m (7588 feet).

The Soria province and its city were the endless inspiration of many well known poets and romancers, like Machado, Diego and Bécquer, who were enchanted by its beauty and history. It was here the world famous 12 - 13th Century epic poetry, 'Cantar del Cid' (Lay of Cid) was written.

Film directors have also fallen for Sorias charm and beauty. Several films were shot in Soria. David Lean's classic Dr Zhivago for one, as well as Orson Wells's Shakespeare epic 'Chimes at Midnight', both making use of the quaint medieval village of Calatañazor.

Soria is developing as a rural destination for lovers of nature, history, leisure walkers and ramblers. Here you will find a network of over 500kms of walking tracks, where you can walk in the footsteps of El Cid, following along roman roads or routes connecting the Ataylas (Arab communications towers) or visit the inspirational places of Spanish poets, such as Antonio Machado.

In springtime the wild flowers are in full blossom and fill the countryside with colour. Wild Orchids, Iris, Peony as well as wild Thyme, Sage and Lavender carpet the grazing lands and fill the air with their heavenly scents. Summers temperatures tend to rise considerably though evenings are cool. During autumn the vegetation becomes an array of golds, browns and reds, wild deer can be heard bellowing and the wild mushrooms appear in abundance.

The best time of year to enjoy Soria is spring, summer or autumn; however the blue skies and snow of winter add a touch of magic to the landscape.

Visit my photo gallery if you'd like to see some pictures of this fantastic corner of Northern Spain.

Written by: Louise Astorgano

About the author:Louise & her husband Alfredo live and work in Soria, Northern Spain. Their business Spanish Footsteps provides walking holidays and guided tours to give visitors a real taste of the culture, history, nature and gastronomy of this often forgotten corner of Spain.

Right arrow icon Send to friends   Right arrow icon Printer friendly version    Right arrow icon Submit your own article


Only registered users can comment on this article. Please Sign In or Register now.

Comment Using Facebook:

Related articles in this category

10 Good Reasons To Visit Spain

10 Tips For First Time Holidaymakers In Tenerife

2010 Holiday Choices - Tenerife

2010 Vacations On The Costa Blanca

5 Great Theme Parks in Spain

A Golf Delight at La Manga Club

A Holiday in Benidorm

A Spanish Winter

A Visit to Oasys Mini Hollywood in Almeria

Adopting The Spanish Timetable During Summer

Almuñecar Tourist Information

Altea Tourist Information

Assimilating Spanish Style?

Balearics - Fun in the Sun on Stone Age Islands

Beach Or Pool?

Beautiful Barcelona on a budget

Bonalba Golf Course In Costa Blanca

Cabo Roig - A Great Holiday Destination on the Costa Blanca

Caleta de Fuste in Fuerteventura

Car Hire From Jerez Airport

Chipiona Tourist Information

Costa Blanca - What A Lovely Region

Costa Calida a Driving Adventure in Spain

Cycling In La Manga Spain

Day Trips From Granada

Different Things to Do on Your Holiday to Ibiza

Discover The Beauty Of Valencia In Spain

Easter Holidays in Port Aventura

Eastern Europe Fail To Hit Traditional Spanish Holidays In 2007

Escape for Holiday Fun in Murcia Spain

European Flight Delays - Your Rights

Excess Baggage Charges And How To Avoid Them

Finca Cortesin Golf Course

Galicia - Try Something Different

Garrucha Tourist Information

Golf Holidays in Majorca

Great Day Trips From Tenerife

Great Places To Eat In Murcia Spain

Holiday in Seville

Holidaying in Rural Spain

Holidays in Almuñecar, Costa Tropical

Holidays in Orgiva, Andalucia

Hopeless Integrators

How To Save Money Traveling In Europe

Is The End Nigh For Low Cost Airlines?

Kids in Barcelona: A Tourist Guide for Parents

Lanzarote Tourism Defies Credit Crunch

Lanzarote Tourist Numbers Tumble In December

Love Affair With Costa Del Sol May Be Over

Majorca - The Ticket to the Ultimate Sports 2008 Golf Vacation

Menorca And The Twilight Game Of Golf

Menorca Holidays

Menorca Or Mallorca? Which One To Visit?

Murcia Car Hire Guide

New Airport Boost For Andorra Ski Holidays And Property

New Jeep Safaris On Menorca

No Rain in Spain!

Oliva Tourist Information

Perched On A Cliff In Catalonia

Personal Safety in Spain

Planning your Holiday in Javea Spain

Play Golf In Murcia

Pottery, Fino and a Little Silver Renault

Priests’ Spanish holiday

Skiing in Sierra Nevada

Soria - An Undiscovered Corner Of Spain

Spain Confident For 2008 Tourism Numbers

Spain Draws 15 Million Tourists For First Half Of 2008

Spain Paradores - Surrender to the Enchantment of These Magnificent Accommodations

Spain Woos Emerging Markets of India and China

Spain's Most Superior Holiday Destination?

Stunning Mountain Biking Route in Marbella

Take the Drive of a Lifetime in Northern Spain

Tarragona Tourist Information

Tasty Churros - A Funny Story

Ten Essential Things To Do When You Visit Barcelona

The 5 Must Play Golf Courses of the Costa Blanca

The 5 Must Play Golf Courses of the Costa Brava in Spain

The Beautiful Beaches of Alicante

The Best Beaches In Spain

The Best Things to See on Holiday in Aragon

The Canary Islands Holidays

The Flight Fiasco That Reduced Monarch From Kings To Clowns

The Lighter Side of Spain - Laughing Donkey

The Pueblos Blancos of the Serrania de Ronda

The State of Tourism in Málaga in 2013

Things To Do In Palma De Mallorca

Things To Do In Spain

Timeshares: The Law And Practice

Top 10 Alicante - Summer 2009

Top 10 Attractions In Spain

Top Summer Festivals in Spain 2009

Tourist Numbers Down Again In Lanzarote

Traditional Tenerife

Walk the Balearics

Walking the Camino de Santiago

Wandering Wild In Majorca

Where to Eat Out in Style in Marbella

Why it's no Longer Plane Sailing with Monarch to Murcia

Why Murcia Is Perfect For Theme Park Developers

Why Puerto de la Duquesa?

Click here for a list of all the articles from our magazine 

Spain insurance services

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x