We are in the center of the Natural Park of Los Arribes del Duero, a huge natural area crossed by the Duero river canyon from north to south and was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2015 for its diversity of flora and fauna and that special granite landscape with its deep canyons that characterizes it.
From Casa Baltasara we can enjoy countless activities in the area, from hiking, visiting wild places, boat trips in the middle of the Duero river canyon, enjoy the Castilian gastronomy of the Sayago region or enter the world of wine through guided tours of the centenary wineries of Fermoselle.
In addition to the places and activities that we propose in this website, we would like to comment that the best information point of the park is located in the town of Fermoselle. It is the so-called Casa del Parque, inside the Convent of San Francisco. A very complete interpretation center with staff that will give you details of each option available in the area.
Hiking is undoubtedly the best way to get to know the Arribes del Duero Natural Park. The Great Route GR14 crosses it from North to South parallel to the border between Spain and Portugal allowing you to enjoy 9 stages through these landscapes together with an infinity of Small PR Routes that come out along the way to visit water mills, valleys, large meadows, streams, viewpoints and faults; and if luck permits we can also spot vultures, Bonelli’s eagles, golden eagles, partridges, foxes, roe deer and even some wild boar.
We recommend downloading the information and printing it out so that you always have it to hand. There are several brochures and maps that are very well documented. We have made a selection of walking tours that we like the most.
Starting in: Plaza de la Iglesia (Fornillos de Fermoselle)
Ending at: Plaza de la Iglesia (Pinilla de Fermoselle)
Distance: 5,74 km
: See route
This route runs along the old path that linked the villages of Fornillos de Fermoselle and Pinilla de Fermoselle. Forgotten for many years after the construction of the asphalted road, it has been restored and signposted to form part of the GR14. We will walk between curtains with stone walls and small valleys furrowed by streams, all surrounded by holm oaks, rockroses and junipers. It is not a flat route but its difficulty is minimal, ideal to go with the little ones or as a warm-up for longer walks.
Starting in: Plaza de la Iglesia (Pinilla de Fermoselle)
Ending at: Plaza de toros (Fermoselle)
Distance: 7,53 km
: See route
Perhaps one of the most spectacular routes in the middle zone of the Arribes del Duero Park, especially the first 4 km between Pinilla de Fermoselle and the La Ribera stream. This section opens out into one of the great meanders of the Duero River and leaves two centuries-old olive groves, El Olivar Nuevo and El Olivar Viejo at its foot.
It gives the impression that we are walking just a few metres from the river and that Portugal is just a stone’s throw away, but try throwing a stone and you will realise the magnitude of the canyon that the river has been carving out over thousands of years.
Route Ermita de San Miguel
(PR – Small Route / Pequeña Ruta)
Starting in: Casa Baltasara (Pinilla de Fermoselle)
Ending at: Ermita de San Miguel (Pinilla de Fermoselle)
Distance: 3,34 km
: See route
From the windows of the living room of the rural house we can see the Ermita de San Miguel in the distance, in the mountain. This is the destination of our PR (small route or “pequeña ruta”). We will leave the house and head towards the old school of the village, next to the threshing floors, we will set off in search of the Barrero fountain. Here we will be able to drink water by activating the manual water pump, the water is drinkable. If we continue on we reach La Cruz and turning left, following the path through holm oaks, broom and rockroses, we reach the Ermita de San Miguel.
The hermitage has a beautiful bell brought from Cantabria and handmade by the master bell ringer Abel Portilla, who engraved the image of the patron saint of the village, San Miguel Arcángel, which can also be seen if we look out of the tiny window that the hermitage has under the bell tower.
We suggest you do the semi-circular route, following the red marks on the map on the way back, which start at the cross we left on the right on the way out, and which will lead us back to the village.
Peña del Cura viewpoint
(PR – Small Route / Pequeña Ruta)
Ending at: Peña del Cura viewpoint (Pinilla de Fermoselle)
Distance: 1,51 km
Difficulty: Very low
: See route
This walk takes us from the centre of the village to one of the park’s great viewpoints, La Peña del Cura. From this enclave we can see the Duero canyon and in front of it the Portuguese vineyards down to the river. If the streams run full, you will see two large waterfalls, the Cascada de Las Gorbias and the Cascada de La Ribera. On a clear day it is very likely that we will see groups of vultures nesting on the walls of the canyon gorges as well as a pair of golden eagles or a pair of Bonelli’s eagles, one of the few surviving specimens in Spain.
Going from CASA BALTASARA to the viewpoint of Peña del Cura is more than a route, it is an ideal walk to do with children or by bicycle. We like to extend it a little longer and go down to a granite rock that offers incredible views of the meander of the Duero River. But if you go with children or people with reduced mobility it is better to stay in the upper part next to the information panels, without a doubt a beautiful place to enjoy during the day or at night if there is a full moon.
Finally, just as you reach the Peña del Cura car park, there is a stone fountain with drinking water. And as an anecdote, next to the fountain, there is an informative poster with several photos of people from the village, among them and next to an olive tree are Benjamín Rodríguez and Baltasara Laguno, who has given the name to our rural house CASA BALTASARA.
What to see
La Casa del Parque
The Casa del Parque is the largest interpretation centre in the Arribes del Duero Park. As well as visiting this beautiful 12th century convent and watching an excellent projection of the surroundings, you can get information about the park, activities to do and routes to follow.
Casa del Parque, San Juan Street 89, 49220 Fermoselle
980 613 384
Casa del Parque, Convento de San Francisco
Marmalade shop “Oh, sauco”
This small artisan jam factory is well worth a visit. Its shop, integrated in a beautiful stone house, is worth a visit in itself and if you add to this the quality and variety of jams made in a traditional way and with seasonal and organic products, it is one of our obligatory stops on every trip to the Arribes del Duero.
This small company started its project in 2004 with the mission to spread our love for delicious jams to apply them to infinite recipes. They support small local producers, offering a wide selection of jams adapted to every palate with the best raw materials.
Fornillos de Fermoselle
629 62 54 60
Almendra Reservoir Dam
From our point of view, one of the most spectacular places in the area due to its grandeur is the Almendra Reservoir Dam, also known as Salto de Villarino.
It is a work of the 1960s inaugurated in 1970 and in both its design and its conception we could classify it as “pharaonic”. It is not an ordinary hydroelectric dam with a dam and turbine-alternator groups below it. Here the water is diverted through a 15 km long tunnel with a diameter of 7.5 m to the power station in Villarino. With this construction, a difference in elevation of more than 400 metres is achieved. In addition, the turbine-alternator groups are reversible and can function as a pump-engine, making use of the surplus energy in the network that is produced during the night and thus pumping water from the Aldeadávila (Duero) reservoir in the lower part to the Almendra (Tormes) reservoir in the upper part.
River Douro Boat Cruise
Another way to see the Arribes del Duero is from inside the canyon itself and the best transport is by boat. In Miranda de Duero, just across the Portuguese border travelling from Spain, we can take a wonderful boat trip, very well organised, with a guide in two languages, a bird of prey exhibition on the way back and Portuguese wine tasting. They usually organise two daily departures and practically every day of the week, but this depends on the time of the year.
We recommend that you check their website and buy your tickets in advance on the website to ensure you have a seat on the date and time you want.
Miranda do Douro (Portugal)
(+34) 980 557 557
Where to eat
Restaurant ‘Posada de Doña Urraca’
Here we have it clear, it is the best place to taste the traditional dishes of the Sayago region. This restaurant in Fermoselle has it all: the building, a completely restored former Civil Guard barracks, the meat dishes, the interior design from the entrance to the huge but cosy dining room and the quality of the service.
The owners, who also run one of the butcher’s shops in the village, gave their all to build this business. It is a restaurant and rural hotel by rooms.
If you like meat, we recommend two main dishes: the grilled Sayaguesa beef with foie gras and boletus and the Zamora’s beef cheek stew. And for those who like fish there is no doubt about it: the border roast cod loin, which is why we are only 10 km away from Portugal.
Requejo street number 272, Fermoselle
980 613 473 // 679 995 602