Six of the nine Cañadas Reales which have
existed in the Iberian Peninsula since the Mesta, pass through
the region of Castilla y León. These cattle tracks, considered
cultural heritage, are only to be found in Spain.
All except the Cañada Real Conquense and the Cañada del Reino de Valencia, pass through many of the region's provinces.
These silent paths leading off into the mountains, cross valleys, meadows and sheepfolds and legal authorisation allows them to pass through the city streets.They are the true reflection of farming and agricultural tradition, part of this region's cultural heritage, which has survived to this day.
These natural migratory tracks or paths connecting
north and south, have helped maintain the Peninsula's rich bio
diversity. Known as the Pasillos Verdes (green pasages) they enable
the spread of many different species of fauna and are still used
by large herds. Hikers, tourists and nature-lovers will find these
cattle tracks in Castilla y León sending them back in time
to a pleasant place where time has stood still.
Cañada Real de la Plata
A total of 500km make up this route. It begins in the Sierra de Gistredo, in the mountain village of Viganos, between Asturias and León and ends in Trujillo. It is also known as the Cañada de Vizano, the Cañada de Aliste, the Cañada Zamorana, the Cañada de la Mesta or the Cañada Mozárabe.
The route, in many sections, joins the Vía
de la Plata route. Passing through Las Omañas, then on
to Astorga, La Bañeza and finally Benavente where it proceeds
to the Tierra del Pan, crossing the river Duero on reaching Zamora
and then on to Salamanca. Before reaching the city of Salamanca,
the route passes through the area of La Armuña. From there,
the route passes through the Sistema Central via the Puerto de
Béjar where it meets the Cañada Real Soriana Occidental
in the district of Los Santos. Both routes from here, head south
towards Extremadura where they take their separate ways in Abadía.
The Cañada ends in Trujillo. The original section, measuring
500km has been cut short by 180km.
Cañada Real Leonesa Occidental
The 700km Cañada Real Leonesa Occidental
begins in León and ends in Badajoz. Very near the city
of León, the route's starting point, before crossing the
river Duero in the area around Tordesillas, it passes through
the Páramos de Valencia de Don Juan and Sahagún
before finally reaching Medina de Rioseco.
Once it leaves Medina del Campo, the route proceeds towards La Moraña in the province of Ávila and from Muñico on to the Puerto de Villatoro.This Cañada follows the Sistema Central through the Sierra de Gredos and from the Valle del Tiétar heads in a southerly direction towards Cáceres. Having left the region of Castilla y León the route draws to a close in the village Segura de León in Badajoz.
This old route meets the Cañada Real Occidental
Soriana in Gallegos de Altamiro in the Venta del Hambre.
The route is 150km shorter than its original length especially in the province of León, Valladolid and Cáceres.
Cañada Real Leonesa Oriental The 700km Cañada Real Leonesa Oriental route passes through five provinces in Castilla y León.
It begins in Valdeburón, north east of Riaño and passes through the province of León and the city of Palencia. In Tudela de Duero in Valladolid, it crosses the river Duero, where it continues in the direction of Coca and Villacastín in Segovia. After passing through Ávila, the cañada proceeds towards the surrounding area of Llerena in the Madrid direction, where the route ends.
Today the original 700km of the route have been somewhat cut short by the construction of dams. The Cañada Real Leonesa Oriental has not lost as many of the long sections situated in the outskirts of the city of Palencia. However, 20% of the original route's shorter sections have been lost.
Cañada Real Segoviana
This route is 80km shorter than the original 500km route. Most sections of this route can be found in the outskirts of Burgos and Segovia.
It begins in the Sierra de Neila in Burgos and ends in Granja de Torrehermosa in the middle of the countryside in the south of the province of Badajoz. In Aranda de Duero (Burgos) the route crosses the river Duero and proceeds towards the province of Segovia. It passes through the Sistema Central via the Puerto de Somosierra. From Madrid, the route continues towards Zújar in Cáceres where it ends.
Cañada Real Soriana Oriental
This 800km route is the longest of the Cañadas Reales network in Spain. It begins in Soria and ends in Sevilla and joins the Sistema Ibérico and Andalucía. It is the most southerly of the cañadas.
Its exact starting point is in Yanguas in Tierras
Altas de Soria and in Almazán it crosses the river Duero.
At this point it leaves Castilla y León and begins its
route from Guadalajara to Sevilla.
The Cañada Real Soriana Oriental is one of the best kept cañadas, going diagonally from north east to south east, unlike the typical southern route of the Cañadas Reales.
In the Sierra de las Cabrejas it meets the Cañada
Galiana in Soria. And likewise with the Cañada Real Segoviana
in Puerto de Somosierra and with the Cañada Leonesa Oriental
in the Sierra de Guadarrama. It also comes into close contact
with the Cañada Leonesa Occidental in the Venta del Hambre
(Ávila)and the cañada de la Plata in Los Santos
near Béjar (Salamanca).
Cañada Real Soriana Occidental
This 700km route diagonally crosses the northern part of the centre of the Peninsula, leaving Soria and passing through Valladolid, Segovia and Ávila and ending in Sevilla. As a result of its strange diagonal path, it meets other Cañadas along the way.
Its starting point is near Abejar in Soria where
it meets the Cañada Galiana in the Sierra de las Cabrejas.
In the Puerto de Somosierra, it meets the Cañada Segoviana and the Cañada Leonesa Oriental in the Puerto de Guadarrama. It also meets the Cañada Leonesa Oriental in Sancho Reja (Ávila) and the Cañada de la Plata in Los Santos (Salamanca). This route almost enters Portugal as it reaches Olivenza in Badajoz.
Due to its diagonal course from north east to south
east, unlike the typical southerly Cañadas Reales, the
route meets other Cañadas as it passes through Soria and
The Cañada Real Galiana begins in the south of La Rioja and passes through Castilla y León via the province of Soria, where it crosses the river Duero near Vinuesa.
The exact starting point of the route, also
known as riojana, is in the village of Cameros.The original length
of the route was 400km.