HR Sickles of the Duratón River it refers precisely to the gorges that the river makes in its middle section and which are located in a natural area of great ecological value. This space was declared a natural park in 1989 in order to protect the species and flora of the area, making this compatible with agriculture and tourism development.
If we are going to visit this place, which is located in the Segovia province, We must bear in mind that it is a natural park and that therefore, like other protected areas, it has its rules. For the rest, we can enjoy a very beautiful natural environment in which to relax while discovering areas of great beauty.
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How to get to the Hoces del Río Duratón
These river sickles are located in the middle of the course of the waters, which have excavated these sinuous forms in the limestone rock of the area, creating a beautiful landscape that reminds us of the beautiful Sil canyons in Galicia. This place is between the populations of Sepúlveda and Burgomillodo in Segovia. The Duratón river is born in the Community of Madrid near Somosierra. The gorges are about 25 kilometers long and at the end we find the Burgomillodo reservoir. It is easily reached from Segovia, since they are only about 70 kilometers away. You can go by the road from Lastras de Cuéllar to Cantalejo and by the CL-603.
The importance of the natural area
In the Hoces del Río Duratón we not only find very beautiful natural spaces and a river to travel by kayak. One of its main attractions lies precisely in its great ornithological wealth, with the largest colony of griffon vultures, with hawks and even golden eagles. Its great wealth was what led the community to declare it a natural park in order to protect it from agricultural or tourist exploitations.
What to see in the Hoces del Río Duratón
In this stretch of the river there are various points and viewpoints which are also very well known. It is important to have a certain notion of what we are going to see and also bear in mind that the vast majority of points are reached on foot. There are some dirt tracks where you can use a tourism but we will have to be willing to do a beautiful walking route through the area.
Hermitage of San Frutos
To get to this point, which is the most famous of the natural park, you have to go to Villaseca and from there take a dirt road that is signposted and that leads to a parking lot. From the car park you have to walk along a path to reach the hermitage, which is just over a kilometer away. It is better to go to this hermitage in the morning or at noon, since in the afternoon, due to the position of the sun, few good photos can be taken and the area is of great beauty, so it would be a shame not to be able to take advantage of it. In the small path that goes to the hermitage It is already possible to find a few viewpoints, some of them without much security, but with spectacular views of the river gorges and gorges. The hermitage is usually closed and nearby there is a small cemetery where you should go, because from this point you can see small groups of griffon vultures in the gorges, which are one of the most precious assets of this natural park.
Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels de la Hoz
Right on the other side of the river we have another point to enjoy the views. The downside is that there is no bridge to cross, but you will have to go back on the path of the hermitage, take the car and make a journey of half an hour to get to the monastery, which is in ruins and little cared for. I know found on the edge of the gorge And it is a slightly less touristy place than the hermitage, so if you want to find the most crowded place you may like to go to the monastery more. This side of the river is also where we find the offer of tours to see the river in canoes, a very beautiful experience. From the monastery you can continue to discover different viewpoints in the area. One of the best times we can go to this area is at dusk, because the light allows us to take beautiful photos of the place. It is possible to approach the top of the monastery and see it from different points in the nearby viewpoints.
Cave of the Seven Altars
Near the bridge that crosses the Duratón river is this cave, which is considered the oldest Christian temple in the province, where there are seven altars dug directly out of the rock. To see it inside, you have to find out when it opens, since its hours are not very long.