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7 reasons to visit Castile with Pura Aventura

Written by Pura Aventura | 5th June 2020 |

Category: Knowledge, Places, Spain

Spain burgos ebro canyon pesquera valdelateja

Castile's Ebro Valley is a place where nature predominates, quelling the uproar of modern life. A great river meanders its way through fertile plains and cleaves open steep canyons from which vultures rise on the thermals and waterfalls tumble off of the tabletop plateaus. And then there's you, in your walking boots, picking your way through it all.

Amid all this natural beauty, us humans have had to work hard to make our presence felt. 1,000 years ago, the Kingdom of Castile rose above the plains and pushed back the borders of Islamic Spain. Monastic communities came to work the land and establish its agricultural infrastructure and the Camindo de Santiago pilgrims brought new ideas and architecture. Add to that heritage some lovely places to stay, great company and delicious food and you have a walking holiday we are proud to call our own.

With our holidays to Spain likely to recommence from September, we thought we'd share seven reasons why we're particularly fond of this little peaceful pocket of rural Spain. If you'd like full details of our Castile Inn to Inn walking holiday, you need only ask.

#1. A view worth earning

ebro canyon viewpoint

"Some way below your feet, the Ebro River sweeps below the sheer limestone walls of thickly-forested tabletop plateaus in a picture-perfect horseshoe. From its source in the Cantabrian Mountains to the moment it spills out into the Mediterranean, we doubt the Ebro will carve its way through a more striking landscape. Sure there’s a car park you can rock up to. But we all know views are far better when they’re earned, when we’ve walked to them and seen them slowly develop and take form."

Read more: #1. A view worth earning

#2. Burgos, capital of war

Burgos cathedral

"Burgos was built on war. Not that you'd know it looking at the delicate spires of the cathedral and the lovely green ribbon of the Arlanzón River, bordered by a shaded promenade. But Burgos started life as a fortress on the Moorish frontier in 884. It was the birthplace of famous mercenary El Cid and the capital of the Kingdom of Castile for many centuries; indeed, the discovery of the Americas was announced to the King here."

Read more: #2. Burgos, capital of war

#3. Ebro Valley views

view over the plains of castile

"Below you, the valley of Valderredible presents a bucolic image of open pastures and small villages marked by tall church towers. Through that landscape is where you’ll spend the next few days walking in utter peace and quiet, where the hands of modernity have not yet reached. There are very few tourists in these parts, but there’s always a friendly nod from a villager as you pass through."

Read more: #3. Ebro Valley views

#4. Bed, breakfast & birds

Molino del Canto

"This converted watermill, on the edge of a medieval stone town, is the sort of place you instantly feel at home in. Sitting in the garden before dinner, with a drink in your hand and the sound of the river rushing by, might be one of the more unexpected highlights of your trip. Like all good hosts, Javier and Valvanera are keen to share their life and love for the place they choose to live in. In this case, this means birds. It's not for nothing that they describe their property as a 'B&B&B' - bed, breakfast and birds."

Read more: #4. Bed, breakfast & birds

#5. Film star looks

Orbaneja del Castillo

"Through the village, a waterfall runs down to natural karstic pools, whose surfaces shimmer a striking turquoise on sunny days. Below the houses, a vast canyon unfolds, cleaved open by the determind Ebro River. On the opposite side, eroded rocks rise into the form of two seated camels meeting with a kiss, a near-perfect outline of the African continent created in the void. All told, Orbaneja could probably look as much at home in a Western movie as in one set in the Middle Ages. Or indeed in Siberia, apparently..."

Read more: #5. Film star looks

#6. Middle Age monuments

Santa Maria de Rioseco monastery

"The Rioseco monastery housed a booming (in the peaceful monastic sense) spiritual and farming collective of over 100 people, monks and civilians. Together they developed the Ebro Valley’s agricultural infrastructure, with plantations of fruit trees, vineyards, wheat and flax, as well as numerous watermills and many herds of cattle and flocks of sheep. Walking through the ruins, with a little bit of imagination it is easy to conjure up monks dressed in white moving through these aisles, like ghosts of the past."

Read more: #6. Middle Age monuments

#7. Easy extension ideas

ebro valley vineyard

"Being located, more or less, at the centre of northern Spain, you are ideally located to keep on exploring in all directions. That might mean ending your Inn to Inn walk on the Basque coast or combining Castile with the mountains and high pastures of the Picos de Europa. Or the vineyards of La Rioja. Another consideration might be to sweep your way southwest to the Ribera del Duero and some of the best quality wines in Spain."

Read more: #7. Easy extension ideas

Self-guided Castile walking trip   Share your travel plans with us

Further reading

Spain rioja villabuena luis ca%c3%b1as winery vineyards worker c dmartin

7 reasons to visit Castile: #7 Easy extension ideas

Spain castile burgos ebro rioseco monastery ruins

7 reasons to visit Castile: #6 Middle Age monuments

Spain castile burgos ebro orbaneja sunse c diego

7 reasons to visit Castile: #5 Film star looks

Castile ebro molino del canto javier valvanera

7 reasons to visit Castile: #4 Bed, breakfast & birds

Spain cantabria ebro valderedible from valcabao viewpoint

7 reasons to visit Castile: #3 Ebro Valley views

Spain camino de santiago burgos cathedral c dmartin

7 reasons to visit Castile: #2 Burgos, capital of war

Spain burgos ebro lookout above valdelateja

7 reasons to visit Castile: #1 A view worth earning

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