A boat trip through the Gorges of the Duraton River
Just over an hour from Madrid, you can find a truly unbelievable landscape: the Gorges of the Duraton River. A trip along the peaceful waters of this deep gorge carved out by the river is an experience that you cannot afford to miss, not only for its exceptional beauty, but also for the great ecological wealth that it represents, as it is one of the largest nesting grounds for birds of prey in all of Europe.
Close to Madrid, just an hour and twenty minutes away, lies the Gorges of the Duraton River Nature Reserve, in the province of Segovia. Over thousands of years, the river has carved out an incredible canyon, creating a unique setting made up of sharp curves, huge cliffs and rock faces that rise to over 100 meters at some points. The fascinating contrast between the ochre limestone and the lush green of the riverside vegetation is just one of its many attractions. Indeed, this region is an important environmental reserve for birds of prey, as well as being one of the largest nesting grounds in Europe. Live the adventure and let yourself drift along the quiet waters of the Duraton River as you explore this natural treasure steeped in magic and mystery.
The entrance to the Nature Reserve is located in Sepulveda, which can be reached by coach from Madrid or Segovia every week from Monday to Saturday. Once there, the best option is to visit the Tourist Information Center, where you can obtain details on companies that organize boat trips from the nearby town of Sebulcor, where the navigable stretch of the river begins. Sepulveda lies 15 kilometers away, but don't worry if you do not have your own car for the journey: you can contact the company by phone and they will pick you up and take you to the meeting point in Sebulcor. Once the limited places have been filled and you have received instructions on how to maneuver the canoe, the monitors will drive you to the starting point and then the adventure really begins.
The journey takes about three and a half hours and, during the winding, 25 kilometer trip there will be stops at the most interesting points so that the monitor can explain their history, legends and characteristic details. The tranquil journey allows you to enjoy the abundant vegetation, spectacular rock faces, the remains of the 13th century Hoz Monastery, or the majestic flight of birds of prey. The many species of birds include griffon vultures, golden eagles and peregrine falcons.
After stopping off to walk up to the 12th century Romanesque shrine of San Frutos, you continue back along the river to the initial starting point, where your journey ends. A final word of advice: come prepared with water, food, comfortable clothing and some spare socks and footwear; and on hot days, a towel, swimming costume and t-shirt in case you fancy a refreshing swim. Enjoy a unique experience in close contact with nature, delighting in the spectacular beauty of this grandiose location.
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