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Ruta del Duero

The Ruta del Duero is one of the most important cultural routes in the south of Europe.

80% of this route passes through Soria, Burgos, Valladolid, Zamora and Salamanca, 5 of the provinces making up Castilla y León. The route starts out in the Picos de Urbión in Soria and continues 572km through the region, ending in La Fregeneda (Salamanca) where the last section - 20% of the total - begins its route to Oporto ( Portugal).

The geographical location of this route becomes an important cultural point where almost 35% of the region's listed monuments are to be found. Over 100 hermitages, medieval and Roman bridges, palaces, castles, museums, 4 Cathedrals and some 20 convents and monasteries mark out this route which passes through almost 60 villages.

The river Duero was an important crossroads for the Peninsula in the past. During the time of the Reconquista, it became a border line. This would explain how a large number of its listed buildings, including the castles and monasteries that had been built, determined the future of the surrounding villages.

The Ruta del Duero takes tourists to areas of natural beauty that have been formed by the natural course of the river and become important environmental and fauna reserves. The river Duero is also responsible for irrigating the vineyards of southern Europe's most famous grape and wine growing area. It is also the ideal choice for aquatic activities as cruises along the river and water sports in the dams that have been constructed along the river. This route's itinerary splits the region in two and allows tourists to experience the nature, art and gastronomy that the area has to offer.

The Duero river rises in the province of Soria, at Duruelo de la Sierra, in the wild countryside of Picos de Urbión. In all, from its source to its mouth in the Atlantic at Oporto, it runs 897 kilometres.

80% of the land through which the Duero flows in Spain is in Castilla y León; the basin's catchment area extends to seven more authonomous regions. In its more than 97,000 km2 (79,000 km2 in Spain), it gives rise to countryside covered with wild vegetation and fauna that varies as the river runs through the various provinces of Soria, Burgos, Valladolid, Zamora and Salamanca.

The Duero's 897 kilometres include 572 that cross Spain, 213 through Portugal and 112 along the international stretch. The greatest use of water is in the latter part and creates some of the most important countryside along its course: the impressive Cañones de los Arribes (Zamora and Salamanca), which in turn mark the national border between Spain and Portugal.

The river Duero leaves Castilla y León at Fregeneda, at the river quay of Vega de Terrón under the Puente Internacional. The river becomes navigable here and the port connects the region to the sea.

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