River sources: a spectacle of nature
Arribes del Duero
Witnessing the birth of some of Spain's rivers is a real spectacle. These rivers spring forth in areas where the landscapes and nature speak for themselves. Don't miss the chance to visit them. Requirements: comfortable clothing and footwear, and the desire to do some exercise. Not forgetting the camera, of course. Shall we get going?
Nature has been generous with Spain, Europe's second most mountainous country. Here we suggest a visit to some of the beautiful springs that are the sources of our rivers. Apart from winter, any time of year is good to visit these places, although during the spring months they are at their most stunning. The sound of running water, the scent of damp earth, and a hundred and one shades of green accompany you on the way. This is, for sure, a magnificent moment to feel all the magic of nature.
In general, the routes that lead to river springs are well signposted, offer little physical and technical difficulty, and can be covered without a great deal of effort. As with any walking route, however, some simple precautions should be taken: wear appropriate footwear and sports clothes; carry water and some food; never forget a waterproof if it is cloudy or looks like rain; apply sun cream, especially in summer. Pop into one of the tourist offices, where staff will help you resolve any queries you might have before going on the excursion. These are some of our recommended itineraries.
Source of the Ebro River
This major river has its source in Fontibre, a small village in Cantabria, in northern Spain. The setting is absolutely idyllic. Small stone houses with traditional architecture amidst the mountains of the Campoo Valley, an area of stunning natural beauty with abundant forests and deep gorges. An easy, narrow trail will take you to the source of the Ebro River. The walk is through woods, accompanied by the peaceful sound of newly running river water. On the way there is a small sculpture of the Virgen del Pilar, along with the shields of the regions through which the river flows. Make the most of the occasion to discover this part of inland Cantabria - there are a host of leisure options available: hiking, skiing at the Alto Campoo resort, fishing, hunting, and water sports on the Ebro Reservoir.
The Cuervo River: a fairy-tale setting
The spectacle now moves to the central part of Spain. In the Castile-La Mancha Region you will find the Cuenca Mountains. Here, just a few kilometres from Tragacete the source of the Cuervo River awaits you, a simple walk with fairy-tale surroundings. Leaving behind an area with restaurants, car parking and a camping area, a signposted dirt track sets off, following the river upstream. The sound of running water is everywhere and the trail runs past springs and waterfalls, canyon walls covered in deep green moss, pools of crystal clear water... At the end, in a quiet grotto alongside a rock, the water gushes forth: this is the source of the Cuervo. A stunning spot of unsurpassable beauty. Rest assured. Make the most of the occasion to visit Beteta, a beautiful village with pretty streets and houses, and have a relaxing, health-giving bath at the Solán de Cabras Spa Resort.
The Tagus River: silent mountains
In this same area of mountains, but this time in Frías de Albarracín, on the slopes of Teruel, to the south of Aragón, Spain's longest river, the Tagus, is born. The route (outward only) is 13 km long, but it is easy. Part of the route is even asphalted, and you can drive as far as the monument dedicated to the source of the river. This is where the walk really starts, although, if you prefer, you can also do the route by bike. The path runs between pine-clad mountains, with juniper and low-lying vegetation. Only the sound of the wind breaks the complete silence to be found here. Finally, you get to Casas de Fuente García, a small valley, home to the famous spring at the source of the Tagus. This is just one of the things you can do in the area surrounding Albarracín. Outings, cultural visits, gastronomic routes, outdoor sports... you will find all these and more.
The Mundo River waterfalls
We are in the Castile-La Mancha Region once again, this time in the mountains of Albacete, home to the source of the Mundo River. The mountains surrounding the village of Riópar are the setting for stunning spots where water is ever-present. It is a green, rugged area, criss-crossed continuously with waterfalls that carve out strange landscapes. The sound of the river accompanies you on the way. There are also caves, underground streams, networks of tunnels, lakes... This area is known as Los Chorros, a succession of waterfalls, springs and pools of crystal clear water, birthplace of the Mundo River. A stunning spectacle, well within reach. If you like fishing, then this is the place for you - its waters are rich in trout.
These are our suggestions, but there are many other possibilities. They do all have some common factors, however: nature, fun and respect for the environment.