ZAMORA

Zamora with your dog

Did you know that you can enter a Visigoth church in Zamora with your dog and stroll with them around the majestic ruins of a Cistercian monastery? I invite you to find out about this land replete with reservoirs, rivers, lakes and natural spaces, which boasts genuine jewels like the Arribes del Duero and Sanabria Lake Natural Parks.

I was in Zamora on the third stage of my Spanish tour and I must say I really enjoyed this land that preserves extraordinary historical heritage and is a reference point in terms of natural heritage conservation. Sometimes eclipsed by neighbouring Salamanca or Ávila, Zamora definitely deserves to be discovered. 

In Zamora provincial capital there were three hotels that accepted pets at that time. I stayed at a guest house in a historic building overlooking the Stone Bridge, just a few metres away. And on my previous visit, I stayed at a functional modern hotel in the outskirts (I’ll leave you some suggestionsfor dog-friendly hotels that we have put together from your contributions made via social networks at the end of this text). 

The situation regarding pet-friendly restaurantsis similar to that of the hotels, although there is a bit more choice in the case of tapas bars (check the list at the end of this report).

The Municipal Bylaw governing Pets expressly forbids “animals from entering and remaining in public establishments such as bars, cafeterias or similar, unless they are equipped with a place set aside exclusively for such purpose or express authorisation is granted via a visible sign at the entrance, in  addition to at public, sporting and cultural events, swimming pools and beaches”. The reality of the situation during our visit was that the owner of any given establishment is the one who decides whether dogs are admitted or not.

Zamora is a city ideal for strolling around. The historic centre preserves part of its walls, churches, museums, palaces and parks – specifically, the  Castle Park is one of my favourites. We dogs are free to walk around unleashed, but if there is any risk of our bothering anyone, then we need to be on a leash. After cooling off in the park, we visited the Castle, where small dogs are allowed if they are picked up or in a rucksack – and, like always, well-behaved dogs are welcome. Being located on a hill, the views over the Duero are magnificent.

By the way, the town hall has recently expanded the green spaces where dogsare allowedunleashed:Los Pelambres, Bajada de San Pablo, el Parque de la Frontera, Las Vistillas, el Bosque de Valorio, el Parque de Olivares, the area between the Iron and Stone Bridges, and la Isla de las Pallas.

Wandering around the streets of Zamora and contemplating its Romanesque churches – albeit from the outside – is an absolute pleasure. And the fact is that…did you know the city of Zamora boaststhe largest concentration of Romanesque art of any city in Europe?My favourite place is the Church of St. John and, beside it, the original Merlu Monument (depicting two brothers from the Brotherhood of the Nazarene who were responsible on Good Friday for gathering together the other brothers for the Easter procession).

I also really enjoyed the new dog-friendly barge that linksthe two sides ofthe Duero: Los Pelambres with las Aceñas de Olivares.

By the way, in the gastro department, your human companion will enjoy a very typical dessert from Zamora: thepastry “cañas” filled with custard.

TOWARDS LOS ARRIBES DEL DUERO

30 minutes by car from Zamora, in El Campillo on the way to Arribes del Duero, is the Church ofSan Pedro de la Nave, dating from the late 7thcentury. We dogs can enter if our human companion picks us up or we are in some type of bag. Don’t miss its outstanding transept capitals, depicting scenes of Isaac and Daniel’s sacrifice to the lion’s den – a wonderful example of Visigoth art. The church was moved in the 1930s when the Ricobayo Reservoir was built.  The cafeteria at the Interpretation Centre is also dog-friendly (unless some customer should happen to protest). Nearby, about 13 kilometres away in Ricobayo, there is a riverside beach with a picnic site, restaurant and jetty, where dogs can swim with their owners. 

Now in the Arribes del Duero Natural Park, we come across a lot of viewpoints  (miradores). I stopped at Mirador de las Barrancas to contemplate the splendid views over the canyon, It’s 500 metres away from the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Castle, in Fariza. From there you can see Griffon vultures, Egyptian cultures and black storks, etc. – and this spot is known as “the Castilian Fjords”, as it is an amazing place with impressive waterfalls in spring and granite walks up to 400 metres high. By the way, the refuge in Fariza is dog-friendly.

A DOG-FRIENDLY MONASTERY ON THE SILVER ROUTE

From there we headed north to Granja de Moreruela, to see the remains of the Moreruela Abbey (12thcentury), one of the first and most important Cistercian monasteries on the Iberian Peninsula. It once had 200 monks, lands and priories, and its transept is one of the most photographed places around Zamora. Dogs are allowed if on a leash.

SANABRIA LAKE NATURAL PARK

100,000 years ago, a huge glacier was the origin of the current Sanabria Lake and today, this is the larges glacial lake on the Iberian Peninsula. Pets are allowed in the park buildings (at Monte Gándara –Rabanillo – and at the former Monastery of San Martín de Castañeda). In them you can find documentation about the Natural Park and about other protected areas in Castile and Leon, making it possible to plan your visit with the help of monitors. Hardly any restaurant in the area allows pets to enter, although I went to one in the main square in Ribadelago Nuevo (see list below).

We dogs are not allowed to swim in Sanabria Lake, but we can stroll around its banks if we are on a leash to enjoy the leafy oak forests, where they are some great little refreshment stands. Very close by, climbing up from San Martín de Castañeda, the mountain summit affords the best views of Sanabria Lake and leads the  way to the incredible Laguna de los Peces, where we can run around off the leash along its countless paths.

Ah! And if you have any time left over, go to this beautiful beach at the Valparaiso Reservoir - Cional beach - where both humans and dogs can swim. And more suggestions: the tower of the San Salvador de Tabara Monastery allows dogs. This monastery enjoyed great cultural prestige thanks to its "scriptorium" specialising in the drawing up of enlightened codices such as the Tabara Beatus.

ZAMORA DOG FRIENDLY (TIPS BY LOCALS RECEIVED THROUGH @PIPPERONTOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS):


TO SLEEP:
HOSTERÍA REAL DE ZAMORA (ZAMORA)
HOTEL REY DON SANCHO (ZAMORA)
HOTEL TREFACIO (ZAMORA)
CABAÑAS MADARSU (VIGO DE SANABRIA)
CABAÑAS VALLECINO (MANZANAL DE LOS INFANTES)
CASA BALTASARA (PINILLA DE FERMOSELLE) 


TO EAT:
RESTAURANTE NAJORO GRILL (Calle Reina, 6. Zamora)
RESTAURANTE EL MAJO (Plaza de España, 6. Ribadelago Nuevo)
 
TO ENJOY TAPAS AND DRINKS
EL PORTILLO DE LA TRAICIÓN (@barportillodelatraicion en Facebook)
THE PATIO BY CANALLA (@thepatiocanalla en Facebook)
BORA CAFÉ BISTRO (@BoraBistroCafe en Facebook)
BAR TRIBAL (@tribalzamora en Facebook)
CAFÉ PUB GRAN CAFÉ JALISCO
IL CAFETO (Plaza de Santiago, 3. Zamora)
TABERNA URBANA LA ROSA (Calle Zona los Herreros, 25. Zamora)
PUB EL JUMA (Calle de los Herreros, 13. Zamora)
BAR BAYADOLIZ (Calle de los Herreros, 7. Zamora)
LA PERLA NEGRA (Calle Balborraz, 37. Zamora)
CAFÉ MICHELOS (C/ Toro, 2. Zamora)
LA BODEGUILLA ROCK (Calle De Los Herreros, 35. Zamora)
DEPICOTEO TAPAS Y VINOS (Calle Rúa los Notarios, 3. Zamora)
BAR EL DORI (Avenida Federico Cantero Villamil, 7. Zamora)
BAR LA CABAÑA (C/ Alcalá Galiano, 19. Barrio de Los Bloques. Zamora)
BAR ALBA (Av. de Víctor Gallego, 34. Zamora)
 
TO TAKE COFFEE:
PASTELERÍA BARQUERO (Calle de la Feria, 6. Zamora)
PASTELERÍA TORREHERMOSA (Calle San Torcuato, 45. Zamora)
PASTELERÍA ALVARO ARTESANOS (Av. de Víctor Gallego, 3. Zamora)
 
OTHER
SAGASTA PELUQUEROS (Calle Santiago. Zamora)
ALMACENES VICTORIA (San Torcuato, 1. Zamora)
LIBRERÍA MIL HOJAS (Calle San Torcuato