Soria with your dog
Soria is worth a visit if only to immerse yourself in the enigmatic Laguna Negra or walk through the Río Lobos Canyon. But on top of that, visitors travelling with dogs will find around 200 dog-friendly places to stay throughout the province. The decent handful of bars, restaurants and cafés that offer a warm welcome to we mutts should not be missed.
I was in Soria in November 2018. I stayed at a cosy rural hotel in Garray, 6 km from the provincial capital, which also has a restaurant offering local dishes, and headed off from there to explore the area.
I started off by taking a trip along the Ichnites Route to the north – an area where there are many dinosaur footprints and reproductions of those creatures that ruled the Earth millions of years ago. All of this can be visited at the sites located in the heart of nature. The most spectacular reproduction is the one you can see in my video and the photos on this page, located right in the countryside in La Fuentes de Magaña. This makes a great family plan.
50 km from Soria city itself, I got the chance to immerse myself for the first time in a snowy place – the enigmatic Laguna Negra, at 1,753 metres above sea level. This is a spectacular spot, as the lake is high up in the mountains, nestling between granite walls and surrounded by huge pine trees.
You can get there by car, except in summer, when the final two kilometres are cut off to traffic and you have to continue on foot or by bus. I also walked this part because the summit was covered in snow and there was ice on the road (just as well I had my Trixie winter coat with me). It’s a beautiful walk through nature and the reward you get when you arrive makes it worthwhile. Oh! And if you’re heading there on the first Sunday in August, you’ll see the famous Travesía a Nado swim across the lake, in which a large number of intrepid sportspeople take part.
As this is a nature park, we dogs must be “controlled” as stipulated by the Junta de Castilla y León in Soria: “This means supervised at all times and provided dogs comply with orders not to cause any disturbance” . Otherwise, we’ll need to be on a leash.
RÍO LOBOS CANYON
I was also able to visit the Río Lobos Canyon, a huge limestone canyon formed by erosion from the river that flows for over 25 km into the province of Burgos. It’s 75 km from the provincial capital and before entering the canyon, I suggest you drive up to La Galiana viewpoint (5 minutes by car up a very bendy road). There you’ll be able to see and feel the vultures soaring just a few metres above your head – amazing!
Returning to the canyon, I didn’t end up hiking the whole 25 km, although I wouldn’t have minded. The place is incredible and you really must visit it if you’re planning to go to Soria. You can see it on my video.
I stopped in El Burgo de Osma on the way to the canyon and also in a delightful medieval walled village housing the ruins of an old castle: Calatañazor. As it’s built on a crag, the view from the village is extraordinary. I advise you to take a photo from the hillside opposite, and if you want to get your strength back afterwards, the bar in the main street allows well-behaved dogs. In fact, you can even stay at the guest house there, and if you have time, visit the nearby lake of La Fuentona.
PLACES WHERE YOU CAN “LOSE YOURSELF” IN THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL
There are several places for we doggies to enjoy. The stroll along the Duero river is beautiful and if you cross the bridge when you come to the chapel of San Saturio and climb the hill on the other side, we dogs are allowed to be off the leash in the area around Cerro de los Moros.
Right in the centre of Soria city, in Alameda de Cervantes, there is another unfenced area where you can run around freely. By the way, in this central park you need to take the mandatory photo of the Mastín(mastiff), a sculpture by Carlos Sanz Aldea in honour of migrating shepherds (it reminds me of Gaudi’s lizard in the Parque Güell in Barcelona). You’ll be wondering whether we dogs are allowed to enter some tourist attraction, but I’m afraid the answer is no. Unlike other provinces in Castile and León, this step hasn’t been taken yet, according to the information provided in the Tourist Office.
However, just a stone’s throw from Alameda de Cervantes you’ll be able to unwind with your human companion at a handful of dog-friendly bars, restaurants and cafés (SEE THE GUIDE TO PLACES BELOW).
SORIA DOG-FRIENDLY GUIDE
The following guide has been put together using information provided in November 2018 by the Tourist Office of Castile and León in Soria and by the Soria Perruna association.
WHERE TO SLEEP IN THE PROVINCE OF SORIA
H*** CAMPOS DE CASTILLA (LAS CASAS, A 2 KM DE SORIA). TELÉFONO: 975 22 66 00.
HS** VENTA DE VALCORBA (CARRETERA NACIONAL, 122, KM 147). TELÉFONO: 975 220 625
H*** CADOSA, A 5 KM DE SORIA; TELÉFONO: 975 21 31 43
HSR** AREVACOS; (SORIA); TELÉFONO: 975 21 28 32
HS** CASONA DE LA MESTA (ALMAJANO): 975 05 29 07
HR** ARCOJALÓN; (ARCOS DE JALÓN); TELÉFONO: 975 32 07 88
HS** HOSPEDERÍA EL FIELATO (EL BURGO DE OSMA); TELÉFONO: 975 36 82 36.
HS* SAN ROQUE; (EL BURGO DE OSMA); TELÉFONO: 975 34 12 21.
HSR** LA CERÁMICA; (MEDINACELI); TELÉFONO: 975 32 63 81
HSR** TORREMAR; (LODARES - MEDINACELI); TELÉFONO: 975 32 60 50
HS** SAN MARTÍN (MOLINOS DE DUERO).TELÉFONO: 975 378 442
HS* LA TABLADA (NAVALENO). TEL. 975 37 41 92
HS* ANTONIO; (NOVIERCAS); TELÉFONO: 975 38 51 45
HSR** VIRGINIA; (VINUESA); TELÉFONO: 975 37 85 55
RURAL HOUSES AND HOTELS