Segovia Natural Spaces
Hoces del Río Riaza
The river Riaza has excavated the hard limestone of the Segovian plains to create one of the largest collections of gorges, canyons, cliffs and ravines in the Iberian Peninsula.
In addition to its spectacular landscape, this isolated geographical region is the home of an important concentration of birds of prey, most notably 200 pairs of Griffon vultures. The hillsides and rocky escarpments are covered with woods of incense junipers, a real living fossil of the Tertiary epoch. In an opening of the canyon, one can visit the solitary Romanesque remains of the convent of El Casuar.
Built amongst the surrounding gorges, there is a series of small villages that still maintain their rural heritage and purest traditions: Maderuelo, with its walled country house; Montejo de la Vega de la Serrezuela, with its ethnological museum and rural activity centre; and Fuentelcésped with its unique dancers. This zone also boasts gastronomy of the highest quality: roast lamb and the red wines of Ribera del Duero.
Hoces del Río Duratón
The Parque Natural de las Hoces del río Duratón is situated to the northeast of Segovia, downstream from the town of Sepúlveda. In this area, the river has settled inside a deep canyon which in some places has over 100 metre drops. To the landscape's beauty and interest we must add the great archaeological and historic richness contained inside the gorge.
Up in the rocks presiding the gorge, almost 250 pairs of Griffon vultures have built their nests, accompanied by a large number of Egyptian vultures, golden eagles and peregrine falcons.
The area's natural value is also enhanced both historically and artistically by the Romanesque sanctuary of San Frutos, caves with paintings from the Bronze Era and the architectural collection of Sepúlveda. In this town, it is almost obligatory to taste the delicious local roast meats.
Hayedo de Riofrío de Riaza
The beech woods of the Segovian side of the Ayllón massif are the southernmost forests of this species in Europe, along with those in Madrid, Guadalajara, Tarragona and Sicily.
Their great bio-geographical interest, along with the beautiful landscape in which they grow, make these pine woods an important area of investigation and an obligatory visit for those wishing to understand the world of flora in the Iberian peninsular. Mountain ash, oak, holly, birch and yew grow alongside the beech trees, further enriching this privileged natural space. Very nearby is the beautiful town of Riaza, immersed with the typical flavour of popular mountain architecture.