Soria, the land that inspired the poet Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. This beautiful province of Castilla y León is one of the most unpopulated of Spain, and also a place where you can enjoy the wild nature. Its rivers, its mountains, its rural landscapes and its small red stone villages have a unique charm that characterizes each one of its corners. Come and visit Soria with us.
This week the travel guide of Spain Life Exclusive takes us to Soria, its culture, its green mountains and its exquisite cuisine. It is a mythical place with beautiful traditions, where the historic Numantian war that confront the Roman Republic against the Celtiberian tribes that lived near the Ebro River. The courage of this people was transmitted from one generation to another, so the inhabitants of Soria are known for their bravery and stoicism. In this land the winters are especially cold and hard, so that their landscapes are stained with snow for many months. But that is not an impediment to enjoy the beautiful nature of this Spanish region. Today we show you all its corners.
How to get to Soria
Soria is not the city with the best transport connections in Spain. If you travel by car you have several national roads and highways to get there, such as the A-15 to go from Madrid or the N-111 if you go from Logroño. Although travelling by train is very convenient, its train station only has connections with Madrid, Calatayud and Barcelona. Soria is better connected through its bus service, being able to arrive from Pamplona, Zaragoza, Salamanca, Burgos… In addition, there is a bus with direct connection in two hours with the Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez Airport.
Where to stay
As usual in the Spanish localities, in Soria there are many accommodations where you can sleep during your visit. There you can find hotels from four stars, pensions, rural houses, tourist apartments, hostels and campsites. Many of the accommodations have rustic decor typical of the area. If you are only going to visit the city of Soria, it is best to choose a downtown hotel, but if you want to explore its spectacular surroundings, you can rent a rural house in one of the nearby towns.
The best restaurants in Soria
In Soria you will eat really well, there is no doubt. As it is a place of farming tradition, the dishes are really satiating. One of its most typical products is the torrezno or torrenillo, a marinated and fried strip of pork bacon which secret is to get its crust as crunchy as possible. Also the milk-cap, the boletus and the exquisite black truffles are very typical, as well as the migas de pastor (made with bread, paprika, lard and garlic), the roast lamb and the Designation of origin Ribera del Douro wine.
But where can you try these succulent dishes? One of the most famous restaurants in Soria is the Baularte (calle Caballeros, 14). They specialise in mushroom cooking and black truffles. Their traditional dishes with a signature touch are delicate and they take great care in the details. A whole experience! The Mesón Castellano (plaza Mayor, 2) is in the centre of Soria. It is a traditional Castilian restaurant —obviously— that stands out for its migas, its kid, its wines and its rustic dining room. In the restaurant La Lobita (avenida de la Constitución, 54, Navaleno) they offer you a wonderful tasting menu of black truffle from Soria. Its menu is very traditional and its chefs are inspired by forests for the artistic presentation of their dishes. It is about 50 kilometers from the center of Soria, but you can not miss the opportunity to surprise yourself with such innovative cuisine.
Traditional festivities of Soria
The Holy Week of Soria has recently been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. It is a religious festival in which its eight brotherhoods carry out processions in which the Passion, death and resurrection of Christ are told. The Carnivals also have a deep-rooted tradition in Soria, which begins with Lardero Thursday, when it’s typical to eat bread, chorizo and egg after lunch and before dinner .
San Juan festivities are also one of the most celebrated in Soria and were declared Festivities of National Tourist Interest in 1968. Around June 24 the city is decorated for five days to celebrate with wine, food and music the humility of the people of Soria. These festivities are divided into 12 groups, which are inherited from the old repopulating neighbourhoods. In this celebration parades, concerts, snacks in the meadow next to the Douro river and several activities related to bull are celebrated. Another party loved by the people of Soria is the one celebrated on October 2 in honor of San Saturio. Legend says that Saturio decided to distribute his possessions among the poor ones to retire to live and pray in a cave next to the Douro river. In 1628 he was named saint of the city and now he is remembered with religious acts, festivals, troupes of giants and big heads, sports competitions and concerts, among other events.
Cultural tourist attractions
The city of Soria is not too big, but it has a rich patrimonial, historical and natural wealth. If you like green spaces you can not miss the Park of the Alameda de Cervantes, better known as the Dehesa. It is a romantic place covered with vegetable vaults and a large meadow. Another lovely place is the Castillo Park, where you can visit the ruins of the old fortress.
Soria is also characterised by its large number of religious monuments and churches. In the centre of the city you will find the Romanesque churches of San Juan de Rabanera and Santo Domingo. In Soria you can also see beautiful Renaissance palaces, such as the Palace of the Counts of Gómara, and the Antonio Machado Institute, as well as the Plaza de San Blas y Rosel, where the shields of the 12 lineages of the city are located. Nor can you miss the streets of the old town. In the impressive Plaza Mayor you can see several amazing historic buildings, such as the Doña Urraca Tower, the fountain of the Lions and the temple of Nuestra Señora de la Mayor. And if you like history you have to visit the Numantino Museum, which was inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII in 1919 and is the history and archaeology museum of the city.
Outside the city is the Natural Park of the Cañon del Río Lobos, an impressive natural area that stretches between Soria and Burgos. An essential visit to stroll, enjoy the outdoors and be delight yourself by the wonderful Castilian nature. But if there is an essential visit in Soria it is a walk along the Douro River. You just have to cross a medieval stone bridge to dazzle with the beautiful Castilian landscapes that this city offers to all its visitors. There you will find the Templar monastery of San Polo and the beautiful shrine of San Saturio, built on the stone of the mountain. The mystic monastery of San Juan de Douro is also located there, famous for the geometry of its cloisters and its magnificent stone arches.