Rural Burgos: a getaway to the region of Pinares
Greenways, canyons, icy lagoons and ancestral caves. We cross the Burgos part of this natural region
On the route through the Burgos area of the Comarca de Pinares © iStock
Greenways, canyons, icy lagoons, ancestral caves and even cult movie locations are just some of the things it offers Pinares, natural region divided between Burgos and Soria.
We are ready to tour your part of Burgos on a busy weekend with enough activities to fill an entire month.
The staggered houses on the southern slope of the sierra de Neila welcome us to Quintanar de la Sierra, our base of operations.
Wood House © Quintanar de la Sierra
We will soon discover the parish church of San Cristóbal (17th century) or the Town Hall square, adorned with its music kiosk. Its viewpoint offers a great panoramic view of the area, with the ruins of the hermitage of San Martín on the outskirts and, everywhere, the pine trees that give name to the region, whose communal exploitation became one of its main commercial engines in the twentieth century.
The unnoticed bar The gazebo, which is reached by going down some stairs on one side of the square, it is the ideal place for Have a good beer. Dinner and bed await us at The Mayas, rural inn with charm and care for the detail that rises at the entrance of the town. The best: his black pudding from Burgos and his original torreznos cap.
We visited good morning Covarnantes, on the outskirts of Regumiel de la Sierra. Is about a cave originated naturally between huge blocks of stone which is reached by taking a short walk. The vegetation everywhere, the water falling in small waterfalls above the rock and the small pines that have managed to grow against all odds in its upper part give the whole a less curious beauty.
Through the hole in question, we will reach a gorge that acts as a viewpoint of the valley created by the Gumiel River. Its interior has served as a refuge for farmers (keeping 500 to 1,000 sheep heads), Muslims, Carlists and, according to the neighbors, Cura Merino himself, who would have used the niche dug in the rock to give mass.
IX century necropolis © Alamy
Going back to the main road and going up the river just five minutes away, the flora hide remains of the House of the Biscaynes, used in its day for logging and whose stone walls, eaten by moss, give it a particular photogenicity.
At Revenga comunero, shared land between Canicosa de la Sierra, Quintanar de la Sierra and Regumiel de la Sierra, proudly stands Timber house, place to which any lover of nature and environmentalism worth his salt should look out.
It's about a building built with wild pine trees that mimics the way they are stacked once cut. Its interior houses didactic classrooms, workshops and permanent and itinerant exhibitions on the world of wood and forestry. An elevator elevates visitors to its imposing upper terrace testing our vertigo, with a spectacular panorama.
We walk down the ramp that gives access to the rear to enjoy the pilgrimage that every Saturday of May takes out in procession to Our Lady of Revenga, carried in arms by women (dressed in regional costumes) while men carry the banners and the local band plays serranillas. The party is accompanied by various craft stalls, food, attractions and outdoor taverns.
Garlic Cart © Mesón Restaurante El Molino (Facebook)
Before following our route we look at the 9th century altomedieval necropolis, with 133 anthropomorphic tombs carved in a rocky outcrop.
Surrounded by nature and stork nests, on the outskirts of Vilviestre del Pinar, Mesón El Molino It is the place chosen to taste a local recipe as exquisite as surprising: road garlic (profession to which they were traditionally dedicated in the region).
Is about a stew of goat machorra (dead without giving birth) simmered with mushrooms, various vegetables and whole garlic heads for seven hours, getting a meat that one would expect to last lasts in the mouth. It is served inside a huge loaf of bread broken in half: the top is uncovered to serve the chicha next to a piece of bread from the bottom (impregnated with sauce) and covered again to keep the heat until the next round. The funny thing is that, unlike cooking, after the meat is served as a main course the soup that has come out of the same pot.
We cannot leave without visiting the small ethnographic museum that they have outdoors in the back, with cars, various farm implements and a huge forge.
Neila Lagoons © iStock
There is no better place to download such copious food than Hontoria del Pinar. In its suburbs we will soon find its old station of the greenway (Santander-Mediterranean Natural Road), converted into a hostel and adorned with a pair of apache tipis outside to organize summer camps.
After crossing the area that has been conditioned for the motorhome parking we access the access west to the popular Lobos River Canyon, a unique place dug by the erosion of the river channel on the limestone between Burgos and Soria that has achieved in its own right the cataloging of Natural Park.
We walked by Don Miguel's path until you reach the Chozo de Resineros, rebuilt to show the artisanal way in which the resin was extracted from the pines.
Back to the car, we go up to the Costalagos viewpoint to contemplate the Stunning panoramic views of the area. Its height allows you to see the horizon to the ski resort of La Pinilla (Segovia).
We finish the visit by spending a few pictures of our camera in the Bell Tower Bridge, which allowed Roman roads to save the Lobos river in the past.
The day ends back to Quintanar de la Sierra with a dinner at Casa Ramón, where we taste mycological delights like grilled boletus or scrambled dog.
Santo Domingo de Silos © iStock
The Waterfall Lagoon, fed by several torrents of water that arrive from various points of the rock wall where it is enclosed, It may be the most spectacular of the Neila Glacial Lagoons.
He Park of the High Lagoons It has several car parks available throughout your network of roads from which visitors can reach the various lagoons on foot, on routes ranging from 20 minutes to one hour.
The best panoramas will be found in the Laguna Larga and the Laguna Negra (not to be confused with that of Soria), housed at the top of the mountain range.
The magical reflections of the Laguna de los Patos and the long trees that are next to Laguna Brava (that may well remind us of ents from The Lord of the rings) also offer infinite possibilities to photographers.
They all have on their banks wooden shelters where to spend the night, previously contacting the town hall. Its origin dates back to the last glaciation, and it is the Ideal place for ice climbing enthusiasts.
The monastery, an essential visit © Getty Images
Before embarking on the return home, there are two reasons to enter the neighbor Sierra of the Demand. The first is the Sad Hill Cemetery, on the outskirts of Santo Domingo de Silos, where Sergio Leone shot the final scene of his most applauded film: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Although he repeated locations in Almeria and the Sierra de Madrid, the truth is that the teacher of spaghetti western recorded most of the final delivery of the Dollar Trilogy (starring a still unknown Clint Eastwood) in this Burgos mountain range back in 1966.
In 2014, as part of the celebrations that were being prepared for the 50th anniversary of the cult tape, various lovers of cinema and the area joined to create the Sad Hill Association in order to restore the cemetery, left all these years of the hand of God. The place is already visited, the film's best fans can put his name to one of the graves and the process has been shot in the documentary Sad Hill Unearthed, which will be released this October.
The second reason, obviously, is to visit the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos. But since it's time to eat and we can't leave without trying the lamb, we first enter the restaurant of Hotel Tres Coronas de Silos, where we will also taste at the end his own gin (Gin Silos) to help our digestive system, pushed to the limit throughout the weekend.
We access the guided visit to the monastery, which includes a tour of the ground floor of the Romanesque cloister and several adjoining rooms such as the chapter house, the apothecary (where a pharmacy of the early eighteenth century is preserved) or the museum (with an exhibition of images, paintings and goldsmith's pieces).
However, what this monastery is known on half the planet is for his famous Gregorian chants, who even hit the record ball in the mid-90s. People who want to go listen to the monks live just have to go to any of the daily celebrations in your church which, as liturgical ceremonies, are free to enter.
We return home in harmony, with less sleep, extra kilos and eager to return.