River tourism in Castile-León: the sights and sounds of the river


Castilla y León

Spectacularly beautiful landscapes await you in Castile-León, in the heart of Spain. Taking a trip on a boat is an enjoyable and different way of exploring these beauty spots. Experience the joys of river tourism for yourself and find out just how easy it is to reach even the most inaccessible of places.

The rivers of Castile-León provide an attractive and alternative way of enjoying the local countryside: river tourism. Take a relaxing boat trip and marvel at spectacularly steep gorges, hundreds of metres high, and birds of prey circling majestically in the sky. Although these river routes can be done all year round, spring and autumn and perhaps the best seasons to enjoy them as the temperatures are milder and the colours of the countryside are at their most brilliant. You will also be able to find out more about the many attractions and points of interest along the route thanks to the guides who usually accompany visitors on each boat trip.

A natural spectacle

One of the areas you can explore by boat is the Arribes del Duero Nature Reserve in the south west of the Castile-León Region, in the provinces of Salamanca and Zamora. The reserve is home to some of Spain's deepest, longest canyons, with sheer walls rising over 200 metres high. There are several boat routes to enjoy on the Salamanca side, starting from the villages of Vilvestre and Corporario (both about 100 kilometres from Ciudad Rodrigo). The most popular routes lead to the Pereña Shrine or the dam at Aldeadavila. These take about two hours, although there are longer routes available too.

In the province of Ávila you can discover the Iruelas Valley by boat, home to one of the largest black vulture colonies in Europe. This nature reserve lies 76 kilometres from Arenas de San Pedro and extends all the way to Burguillo Reservoir. Other bird species such as the imperial eagle and the Griffon vulture can also be found there. As well as being the perfect location for a great day outdoors, you can also enjoy a one-hour boat trip around the reservoir.

Rivers with a history of their own

The province of Valladolid also has much to offer in terms of river tourism, including many places of historical interest such as the Castile Canal at Medina del Rioseco, built to transport grain and goods between this region and the north of Spain. You can also travel along the river to the city of Valladolid and explore the surrounding area from the river: a relaxing boat trip that takes in some delightful riverside scenery and the city's seven bridges.

We recommend you book in advance. The local tourist offices will give you all the information you need on the routes, the companies organising the trips, timetables and embarkation points, as well as advice on what to wear and take with you (comfortable clothing, sun cream, etc).

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