Soria Natural Spaces
Sierra de Urbión
The Picos de Urbión are mountainous escarpments belonging to the Sistema Ibérico, that rise proudly at the borders between Soria, Burgos and La Rioja. They are famous because the river Duero emerges within these mountains, and they also contain an interesting collection of lakes of glacial origin. Particularly interesting among the multitude of small natural lakes is La Laguna Negra ("The Black Pool"), which is surrounded by a splendid mixed forest of Scots pines and beech trees and also cloaked in popular legends and traditions.
The only way to reach the heart of the Picos de Urbión is to walk through their beautiful landscape. The end of the asphalt road which climbs from Vinuesa - the first town through which Castilla y León's main river flows - is the starting point of a path that takes us, in just a few minutes, to the bank of the Laguna Negra. This path is also the start of the climb to the top of La Muela de Urbión, which, with an altitude of 2,300 metres, provides marvellous views over one of Spain's largest and most important forest regions.
From the small fisherman's hut, the visitor can follow the edge of the lake round to the left, until reaching a lively stream. After crossing this, we find a path signed in the direction of the pass, which gives access to the upper shelf of the cirque. From above, the traces left by quaternary glacial activity are clearly visible, and looking at them, it is easy to understand why this scenery has been a source of such inspiration in local legends and traditions. We have to follow the edge of the cliff for several 100 metres until reaching a path with leads to the Laguna Larga ("Large Pool"), following an old glacial valley. From this point, we simply have to climb the signposted gulley to the summit of la Muela de Urbión. The very first waters of the river Duero emerge close to the summit.
Sabinar de Calatañazor
The Sabinar de Calatañazor is one of the best preserved junipers woods on the planet. Located on flat calcareous terrain at 1,000 metres above sea level, this wood contains some trees of remarkable age and stature: 14 metres high, more than five metres in diameter, and over 2,000 years old.
In the area surrounding the juniper woods, we find the evocative medieval silhouette of Calatañazor: one of the most beautiful and inspirational villages of the whole region. Surrounded by an impressive precipice and overlooked by the imposing profile of its castle, Calatañazor's narrow stone streets contain houses with porticos built of adobe and thick juniper wood beams.