Barranco de las Cinco Villas and Sierra de Gredos

Barranco de las Cinco Villas and Sierra de Gredos

Description

The ‘Barranco de las Cinco Villas’ (or canyon of the five villages) is a warm and fertile valley, home to five mountain villages, amongst others San Esteban del Valle. The Roman road that leads up to “Puerto del Pico” takes us to the mountain goat, golden eagle, the vulture…

The Sierra de Gredos Regional Reserve, is legally protected to preserve its wide variety of plant and animal species.

The landscape is very varied. The Sierra de Gredos mountain range starts at the Tietar river at 300 meters altitude, reaching almost 2,600 meters at the Almanzor peak. Due to the abundance of water and the protecting wall of the Sierra, the valley features almost impossible landscapes. In a space of a few kilometers you’ll find tobacco and paprika cultivations, orange trees or prickly pears, alpine scenery of the mountains, thick forests and valley meadows.

Due to the meadows in the upper part of the Sierra de Gredos, which are green all year round, and being an important junction, the Romans built here a road. Even if it’s almost two thousand years old, the road is in an enviable state of preservation and allows you to take a wonderful walk for one and a half hours.

Travel guide

How to Get There

You can approach the Barranco from the north (via Avila) and the south (via Talavera de la Reina)

From the north:
From Avila take N-110 toward Plasencia. After approx. 3 km take the left to continue on N-502 toward Arenas de San Pedro. When arriving on the Puerto del Pico pass you might stop and have a view from the viewpoint. Descending the pass you’ll cross twice the Roman paved road. When approaching Cuevas del Valle, turn left toward Villarejo del Valle. After approx. 2 km there’s a stop-sign, turn left. One kilometer left to San Estéban del Valle.

From the south:
Take the A-5 toward Talavera de la Reina and exit 123 toward Avila and Arenas de San Pedro (N-502). Continue to Ramacastañas and – without passing Arenas de San Pedro – toward Avila. At kilometer point 70 turn right toward Santa Cruz del Valle. Pass the village and after approx. 3 km you will get to San Esteban del Valle.

Coming from Madrid:
It takes approximately 2 hours to get there (173 km via Avila, 175 km via Talavera de la Reina). We recommend the route via Talavera, since it is faster. GPS usually gives a route via Pedro Bernardo, however we wouldn’t recommend it because it extends the care ride for more than 30 minutes (unless you have time and would like to see the village, which is quite beautiful).

Barranco de las Cinco Villas and Sierra de Gredos: Plan your journey by public transport

Railway station Avila

Service and trains toward Madrid, Galicia, Basque Country and France, Salamanca, Valladolid and others.

Madrid-Barajas Airport
Madrid – Barajas Airport is one of the main points of entry for tourists to Spain. The new extensions have consolidated Barajas as a “hub” airport where airlines can increase connectivity between Latin American, domestic and European markets. Making it a true bridge between Europe and Latin America. Madrid-Barajas has consolidated its leading position among world airports, being the fifth in Europe in numbers of passengers: During 2012 more than 45 million passengers used its facilities,  more than 123,000 a day.
Esquiladores Boutique Hotel also provides, if you wish so, transfer from and to the airport.

Barranco de las Cinco Villas and Sierra de Gredos weather forecast

Apr 20, 2019 - Sat
Pedro Bernardo, España
scattered clouds
53°F scattered clouds
Wind 5 mph, SE
Humidity 72%
Pressure 764.32 mmHg
sat04/20 sun04/21 mon04/22 tue04/23 wed04/24
scattered clouds
53/48°F
moderate rain
47/38°F
moderate rain
51/41°F
heavy snow
37/31°F
light snow
35/40°F

Places to go

Living Bee Museum and Toy Museum in Poyales del Hoyo

In the Living Bee Museum of Poyales del Hoyo you can safely observe the work of the bees, their reproduction, feeding, communication, etc.

TO SEE:
Museum of the Valley Bees
The museum’s director, who has been investigating the world of the bees for more than 30 years, offers guided visits that take 1:30-2:00 hours showing through direct observation, recordings, posters and other material the vital importance of the bees on our planet. The visit to the museum is complemented with an exhibition of ancient and modern beekeeping material: traditional hives, extractors, honeypots, smokers and other utensils.

Toy Museum “La Gigantea”
This museum houses an interesting exhibition of toys and papier mâché figures in a space that pays homage to the old traditional toys and games.

TO DO: Apart from visiting the Living Bee Museum and the La Gigantea Toy Museum:

Taste the honey products, buy local products like paprika and figs and take a bath in the natural pool of Arbillas.

RECOMMEND: Visit the bee museum where you can also find all sorts of products made of high quality honey.
Visit the ravine and take a bath in the natural pool of Arbillas.
Visit the La Gigantea toy museum.

Barranco de las Cinco Villas: San Esteban del Valle

San Esteban del Valle is a pretty, little, quiet and sunny village, surrounded by olive trees, chestnut trees, grapevines and fig trees with plenty of history and local traditions.

TO SEE: San Esteban del Valle has currently 850 inhabitants. It still conserves remains of its traditional architecture and there is a strong tendency to recover this identity of the houses and “cotanos” (little squares). The landscape is magnificent due to its very fresh and varied flora: chesnut trees, fig trees, grapevines, olive trees, pines, oaks, cherry trees surrounded by the highest mountains of the Sierra de Gredos.

What to see in San Esteban: 17th century town hall; Church of San Esteban (15th century, Elizabethan Gothic Style), El Pilón (16th century fountain), Rollo or picota (emblem of the jurisdiccional independence of Mombeltrán, in 1693), Cuevas del Arroyo (caves in the subsoil of the houses; don’t miss out on the cave of Esquiladores Boutique Hotel which was excavated in 1813), local architecture.

TO DO: Nature lovers are being offered a large list of leisure time activities: If you like hiking you will be stunned by the amazing views you get in all directions and you’ll most probably come across a Spanish goat or an amanita cesarea mushroom and different kinds of wild flowers.

If you’re a hobby photographer you might enjoy coming in spring to see the cherry blossom.

What to do: Cycling, trekking routes (La Abantera, El Parralejo, the 5 Villas, El Vahillo), bathing in the natural pool, seasonal mushroom picking, mycological conferences in the Esquiladores Boutique Hotel and in the village.

The Vitor fiesta in honor of San Pedro Bautista (born in San Esteban del Valle) which has been declared of Regional Tourist Interest. One of its highlights is the nocturnal gallop on horseback up to the church and along the narrow Calle de la Cuesta street..

RECOMMEND: Enjoy the sunset from the square in front of the church. Taste the very special San Esteban del Valle Cooperative Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is produced on high terraces. Try the “pitarra” wine in one of the local bodegas and in Easter the traditional “cirigallote” pie or at Christmas the “nuégados” sweet.

Have a tapa at noon on Saturdays: Don’t miss out on the Patatas Peluchonas in the Naranjos Bar, the Torreznillos in the La Fuente Bar, the Orejas al ajillo in the Cuatro Caminos Bar, the typical Avila-style steak in the Oliver Restaurant and the delicious Cagarrias (a local mushroom, Sparasis Crisp).

At night, enjoy good music and have a drink at the Ojito al Romero Bar.

Miguel Gonzalez’s shop is a very interesting place to buy local handicrafts, made by him and others local artists.

Las Cinco Villas: the five towns

The Barranco de las Cinco Villas consists of five villages of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range. Each has its own personality and history, but they are linke by a circular road.

TO SEE:
In Mombeltrán: The Castle of the Dukes of Alburquerque (15th century), the Pilgrim Hospital of San Andrés (16th century), the Church of San Juan Bautista (14-16th century, has been declared a Historic Artistic Monument).
In Cuevas del Valle:  The Roman Road, the main street with flowery balconies.
In Santa Cruz del Valle: The viewpoint with magnificent views to the valley. In summer the Olive Oil Museum.
In Villarejo del Valle: The natural swimming pool.
In San Esteban del Valle: The Town Hall (17th century), the church (Elizabethan Gothic Style, 15th century), El Pilón (16th century fountain), the Rollo or Picota (17th century column), the Cuevas del Arroyo caves.

TO DO: Take a walk through the interesting villages apreciating the local architecture.
The Five Villages Walking Route is perfect to know all the villages and the Barranco valley.
Cycling, hiking.

RECOMMEND: Visit the El Pico Pass viewpoint and take a walk on the Roman Road.
Buy extra virgin olive oil in San Esteban del Valle.
Swim in the natural pool of Villarejo del Valle and have something to eat in its bar – for example grilled meat and “paella”.
Have lunch on the terrace of the ‘El Rincon del Angel’ restaurant and enjoy the beautiful views to the Sierra de Gredos.
Eat some grilled chestnuts at the “La Moragá” fiesta which takes place in autumn in the village of Cuevas del Valle.

Town of Arenas de San Pedro

Due to its extensive heritage and numerous monuments Arenas de San Pedro is one of the more important towns of the Sierra de Gredos.

TO SEE:
Castle of Condestable Dávalos
Also known as the castle of the Sad Countess or the castle of Don Alvaro de Luna. It was built in the 14th-15th centuries, during the days of Ruy Lopez Dávalos(1357-1428). The castle was burnt many times during the differents wars but most of it is conserved until these days. It was a prision and a cementery and houses now the municipal auditorium, a museum and an exhibition and congress hall. In 1931 it has been declared an Artistic and Historical Monument.

Royal Palace of Don Luis de Borbón y Fernesio
In 1780, the Spanish infant/prince Don Luis Antonio de Borbón ordered architect Ventura Rodriguez to build the palace on the highest part of La Montera. Due to the infant’s death, only the east wing was built, however it is still interesting to see the main façade with its granite arcade and six doric columns. Both, the Spanish painter Goya and the Italian composer Boccherini have been here.

Sanctuary of San Pedro de Alcántara
Brother Pedro de Alcántara ordered to build a little monastery where the monks could pray and live their life of penance. This was his last sanctuary. In 1972 it was declared an Artistic and Historical Monument. Nowadays it houses some museums: the Sacristy, the Alcantarina Hall, the Cloisters and the museum of Franciscan sacred art.

Aquelcabos Bridge
This is the eldest medieval bridge, built betwen the 14th and the 15th century.

The Canchal Neighborhood
This was a Moorish neighborhood. It still conserves the traditional lime architecture with its balconys and small windows. Many painters found here their inspiration. One street is named Media Luna (half moon) to honour Nazarite (a local writer).

Águila Caves
The Aguila Caves are 50 million years old. They have a marine origin. These are limy crystalline formations full of colours. They are amazing to see and the lighting is spectacular.

TO DO: Take a walk through the Canchal neighborhood, have a bath in the natural pool, visit the Castle of the Sad Countess (Castillo de la Triste Condesa), do horseback riding with Gaby from Gredos Ecuestre.

RECOMMEND: Have a good glass of wine and some incredible toasts at La Taberna de Boccherini.
The Yasta Restaurant at the Plaza de las Monjas offers excellent fast food.
Do horeseback riding for one and half or two hours with Gaby from Gredos Ecuestre.
Enjoy an ice cream at “Heladería La Artesana”.
Visit the Aguila caves.

Village of El Raso-Candeleda

Candeleda, between Tietar river and Gredos Mountains, is known due to its pepper production and the “El Raso” celtic fort.

TO SEE:
Celtic Fort “El Raso”
Belonging to the 2nd Iron Age of the Castilian Plateau (between 2nd and 3rd centuries B.C.) this is one of the most important Celtic forts of the Iberian Peninsula.

Parish church of “Nuestra Sra. de la Asunción”
Gothic rural building from the late 15th century. Don’t miss out on the Main Altarpiece (1570), the Ceramic Altarpiece (1540), the forge grille of Saint Anthony’s Chapel (16th century).

“Casa de la Judería” – house of the Jewish quarter
The building housed the head office of the Spanish Inquisition between the 15th and 16th centuries. Today it is a museum.

“El Sequero” – the Paprika Interpretation Center
The ‘sequeros’ (dryers) are a genuine and unique piece of the architectural heritage of the area of  Candeleda. In the seventeenth century, they were designed in order to dry fast (secar = to dry) peppers by smoke exposure.

TO DO: Visit the Celtic fort of “El Raso” and the Sanctuary of Chilla.
Take a walk through the old part, visiting the Jewisf quarter.
Have a bath in the natural pool in summer
Canoeing on the Tietar river, bird watching, play Golf.

RECOMMEND: Taste the local peppers and cheese.
Try some grilled Avila-style meat in the Casa Pepe Restaurant (in front of the Town Hall)
Do canoeing with Orlando from Vive Tiétar.
Watch birds in Foto Naturaleza

Águila Cave in Arenas de San Pedro

The approximately 3 million years old Cuevas del Aguila caves are located in the area between Candeleda, Arenas de San Pedro and Ramacastañas, region of Castile-Leon, Spain.

TO SEE: The Cuevas del Aguila caves are approximately 3 million years old. They are situated in the south of the province of Avila in the Tietar River Valley. This is a fairly extensive area, formed by highly folded crystalline limestone which the erosion of air and the wind reduced to some low hills over the Arenal and Avellaneda rivers.

The caves were discovered by chance in 1963 and a year later they were opened to visitors. Don’t miss out on the Great Cave Room: Due to the continuous flow of water the stalactites and stalagmites continue their formation.

TO DO: Visit the caves.

RECOMMEND: Visit the caves as they are a magnificent spectacle and great to seethanks to their size and color.

Cherry blossom in the area of El Arenal – Hornillo – Guisando

Don’t miss out on the cherry-blossom-route in spring, enjoying the views of El Arenal, Hornillo and Guisando.

TO SEE: Cherry blossom in spring.
The Galayos (big granite needles)
Natural pools like “Charco verde” (green puddle) in Guisando
Local architecture of the villages
The Sierra de Gredos regional park interpretation center “La casa del parque” in the village of Guisando

TO DO: Trekking and climbing the Galayos
Aventure in trees: flying fox (in Guisando and El Arenal)
Take a bath in the natural pool

RECOMMEND: Do the route of the cherry trees in blossom if you happen to be there in spring.
Take a bath in the natural pools if you happen to be there in summer.
Ascend to “La Mira” from El Nogal del Barranco. If you’re an expert climber try to climb the  Galayos.
Have dinner in the “Lo Alto” Restaurant.
Enjoy yourself in the Adventure Parks “Gredos” in El Arenal or “El Risquillo” in Guisando.

North Face of the Sierra de Gredos: Hoyos del Espino, Navarredonda, Navacepeda

From the north face of the Sierra de Gredos you can access to the highest mountains and the glacial cirque (Circo de Gredos).

TO SEE:
La Plataforma de Gredos (the platform) gives access to the Almanzor Peak (the highest mountain in central Spain), the Galana Peak and the Mira Peak.
The former glaciers resulted in the the Laguna Grande and the Cinco Lagunas.
El Pozo de las Paredes and Las Chorreras – natural pools.
El Puente del Duque – the duke’s bridge.

TO DO: Trekking, rock/free climbing, taking a bath in the natural pools, hiking.

RECOMMEND:
Enjoy the silence of the Pozo de las Paredes and have dinner in the “El
Milano Real” Restaurant in Hoyos del Espino.
Have a coffee on the Parador de Gredos terrace
Rent your hiking or climbing equipment (if needed) at “La Galana” in Hoyos del Espino.

Roman Road-El Pico Pass

The El Pico pass and the Roman road are perhaps the two main attractions of the Sierra de Gredos since they combine the work of man for nearly two thousand years with the unique beauty of the surroundings.

TO SEE:
The Roman Road
This paved road has been built almost two thousand years ago to communicate both sides of the Sierra de Gredos. Although its name refers to the Romans and the style and architectural structure is consistent with this argument, there are still discussions whether it really were the Romans who built the road even if there is evidence that they did use it.  Since times of the Vettones (pre-Roman Celtic peoples of the Iberian Peninsula) up to our days the road is used as migratory route for livestock from one part of the Sierra de Gredos to the other. It’s part of the Cañada Real (royal cattle route) La Leonesa. Depending on the time of the year you can see wild goats (“cabras montesas”) that live in the area.

The Transhumancia (seasonal migration of livestock)
This is a thousand-year-old tradition which consists of moving the cattle from one side to the other of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range. Nowadays, just a few stockbreeders still do this because it takes several weeks to cover the distance of 250-300 km (which by truck takes only 2 days).

The Torozo
This is the name of the granitic formation that dominates the Barranco. There is a path that leads to the top where you can enjoy fabulous views, the aroma of the mountaineous landscape, the birdsong (vultures, golden eagles, falcons) and the silence.

TO DO:
Walking along the Roman Road picking mushrooms (depending on the season), appreciating the incredible views, enjoying the seasonal migration of livestock, riding donkies in summer and hiking the Torozo trail.

RECOMMEND:
Go up to El Pico along the old road that connects San Esteban del Valle with the pass as the views are of unique beauty and there is almost no traffic.
Walk along the Roman Road
Climb the Torozo (granitic mountain)
If you happen to be there during the migration of livestock, don’t miss out on observing the cattle on their way up and down on the Roman Road and have a chat with the shepherds.

Serranillos Pass

Enjoy the magic of the villages of the eastern Gredos massif: Serranillos, Navarrevisca, Navalosa and Hoyocasero.

TO SEE:
The Serranillos Pass and its views
Puente Morisco (Moorish bridge) over the Alberche river in Villanueva de Avila.
The typical straw houses of Navalosa (‘chozos’ and ‘corrales’)
La Chorrera del Horco (a stream fall which in winter is completed frozen) in Serranillos
The Navalosa natural pool in summer
The autum colours
The pine forest of Hoyocasero

TO DO:
Trekking
Rock/free climbing
Swimming in the natural pools
Hiking
Picking mushrooms

RECOMMEND:
Stop in Serranillos and have dinner at the “Mari Nieves” restaurant, they offer the best cuchifrito (a dish consisting of pork meat cooked and then fried with olive oil, garlic etc.) that the owners of Esquiladores Boutique Hotel have ever had.
Locate the most characteristic ancestral straw constructions (chozos) in Navalosa.
In summer take a bath in the Poza de Navalosa natural pool.
In autumn pick mushrooms in the pine forest of Hoyocasero

Routes

Crossing Sierra de Gredos Mountain Range

Crossing Sierra de Gredos mountain range from north to south in the region of Castile-León, Spain.

This route will take you across the Sierra de Gredos mountains, from north to south. In the Northern part you will enjoy the alpine zone and 1000 meters downwards you’ll find the almost Mediterranean area of southern Gredos. The route can be done by car or hiking, using the traditional paths of the seasonal migration of livestock.

Possibility of spending the night in a hotel of Boutique Hotels, El Milano Real, on the north side and Esquiladores Posada Real on the south side. We also organize transfers of luggage and provide self-guided or guided routes.

Points:
Sierra de Gredos mountains

El Vahillo hiking tour

Circular route of medium-high difficulty along the El Vahillo stream with amazing views and landscapes of the Sierra de Gredos Mountains.

This is a circular route of medium-high difficulty (due to altitude). The Mazardones stream waters the El Vahillo meadows that were used by ancient shepherds of San Esteban to feed their livestock. You can still see the ‘majadas’ in ruins that served as shelter for the livestock at night. There are also some fruit trees already virtually unexploited. You can ascent to this area from any direction on a well maintained trail that borders fams and crosses pine forests. At the top of the path, you’ll enjoy superb views of the Barranco de las Cinco Villas with the Gredos mountains in the background.

The best seasons are fall or spring, always wearing appropriate clothing and shoes.
Signposting: Concentric circles in yellow and red.

Distance/Time:
Distance: 5.2 km
Time: 3-4 hours
Points:
In San Esteban: main square, town hall, Pilón (fountain), church, sports centre
El Vahillo stream, the “majadas” shelters.

Tour through five villages of the Sierra de Gredos

Circular tour through the five villages of the ‘Barranco’ where you’ll get to know its people and the local way of life, the traditional architecture and the amazing landscape of this area.

This circular tour passes the 5 villages of the Barranco: San Esteban, Santa Cruz, Mombeltrán, Cuevas and Villarejo. You can start the tour in any of them and in any direction. You’ll walk on farm roads/paths, however in some occasions you have to cross main roads.

Walking along this path you will discover a place where man and nature have cooperated to achieve a harmonious mosaic of farmland and natural vegetation: olive groves, vineyards, chestnuts, orchads, grazing meadows, river bank vegetation along its streams, ash-trees, poplars, willows… You will see a castle, churches, traditional homes and narrow old streets.

The difficulty is medium due to the length of the path which has drop of about 385 meters. The minimum altitude is 520 meters and maximum altitude 870 m having a slope between +7.4% and -6.9%.

We recommend to always wear comfortable clothing and shoes/boots. In summer avoid the afternoon hours – the heat may be excessive.

The path is indicated by beacons (PCR-AV49) in white and yellow. In the villages, you’ll find the signs in the gutters of the houses.

Along the tour you’ll find 8 sources of water suitable for consumption.

Distance/Time:
Distance: 16.80 km
Average time: 5-6 hours
Points:
San Esteban del Valle, Santa Cruz, Mombeltrán, Cuevas, Villarejo

El Pico Pass – Sierra de Gredos

On this route through the Gredos mountain range you’ll enjoy magnificent views, Roman archictecture, natural pools and local gastronomy.

This route can be done at any time of the year, however autumn maybe the best season due to the magnificent colours of the Sierra de Gredos mountain range.

Ascend to the El Pico pass on the old road (in perfect conditions) and enjoy the beautiful views. The pass is 1395 meters high and a very importante place during the seasonal migration of livestock. The Roman Road achieves here its greatest splendor. We’d recommend to take a walk on the road or even climb the Torozo peak (a granite mountain).

Back on the N-502 road head toward some of the “Ventas” which are traditional restaurants where you can have a typical dinner: Avila-style meat, stews, etc. If you’re not hungry, just have a drink and a chat with the local people.

Continue toward Hoyocasero passing Navalosa which is a particular village where you can see the original “chozos” (straw houses). They remind celtic houses. Navalosa also has a beautiful natural pool: in winter it is completely frozen but in summer you can take a bath.

Head toward Navarrevisca, which is also a place full of local color, and then toward Serranillos well kown for a typical dish: “cochifrito” (consisting of pork meat cooked and then fried in olive oil, garlic etc.).

The Serranillos Peak is with 1575 meters the highest mountain of central Spain and it offers amazing views.

Distance/Time: 55 km approx.
Points:
San Esteban del Valle, Puerto El Pico, Roman Road, Torozo, Hoyocasero, Navalosa, Navarrevisca, Serranillos, Puerto Serranillos, San Esteban del Valle.

Lower Tiétar Valley

Trip to some of the most interesting places of the lower Tiétar Valley in the Sierra de Gredos mountain range.

This route shows you the most interesting places of the lower Tiétar Valley:

In Mombeltrán, the Castle of the Dukes of Albuquerque occupies a viewy location in the valley.

In Ramacastañas, the Cuevas del Águila caves offer a great sight of colors and beauty. You’ll see stalactites and stalagmites in continuos formation.

The route continues towards Candeleda, an area known as the Andalusia of Ávila. This village, on the border between the regions of Castilla y León and Extremadura offers several well worth seeing places:
– The Celtic castle and pre-Roman village of El Raso (ruins of the 5th and 1st century BC).
– In summer you might like to take a bath in the natural pools of El Raso, the ravine of the Alardos river, in Madrigal and Villanueva de la Vera.
– The sanctuary of the Virgen of Chilla.
– The church’s 16th century altarpiece made of Talavera de la Reina ceramics.
– The Jewish quarter in the old part of the village.
– The ‘Casa de la Judería’ (former head office of the Spanish Inquisition).
– The interpretation hall of the cultivation of peppers and production of paprika, El Sequero.

In Poyales del Hoyo: the Living Bees Museum (where you can safely observe the work of the bees, their reproduction, feeding, communication, etc.), the Gigantea toy museum and the ravines of the Muelas, Arbillas and Guisandillo rivers.

In Arenas de San Pedro you might want to visit the fortified tower of the ‘Castle of the sad countess’ (Castillo de la Triste Condesa) and the “Del Canchal” area in the old town.
From there the route continues back to San Esteban del Valle.

Distance/Time: Depends on the time you spend with each activity. But, not hurrying and seeing most of the suggested places, it will take 3 to 4 hours.
Points:
San Esteban del Valle, Mombeltrán, Ramacastañas (Cuevas del Águila caves), Candeleda, Celtic castle of El Raso, Madrigal and Villanueva de la Vera (in summer), Poyales del Hoyo, Arenas de San Pedro

Upper Tiétar River: Cherry Trees and natural swimming pools

Route visiting the villages of the Upper Tiétar River enjoying the cherry blossom or taking baths in the natural pools.

You can do this route all year round but the bests seasons are spring and summer. In spring you will see the cherry trees in blossom, in summer you can take a bath in the natural pools with clear water from the Gredos mountains you will find in almost every village.

Leave San Esteban toward Mombeltrán and from there toward El Arenal. From this road you will have beautiful views to the Barranco de las Cinco Villas and Mombeltrán’s castle (from the 15th century).

Upon arrival in El Arenal, park your car at the parking space at your right and then walk approx. 200 meters to find the first natural pool.

Then, cross the village toward El Hornillo. On both sides of the road you’ll see cherry, almond, walnut, chestnut and pine trees. In El Hornillo you’ll finde two special places where to take a swim: The Charco de los Apaladeros and the Charco de la Tabla.

Back on the road, head toward Guisando a lovely village surrounded by water, mountain and pine forests. The streets are very narrow and steep. Guisando’s natural pool “Charco Verde” is maybe one of the most beautiful lagoons with cool water coming from the Gredos Mountains.

Again on the road head toward Arenas de San Pedro. At the entrance of this small town you’ll find the largest natural pools and plenty of space where to take a rest.

Continue toward La Parra and merge on the N-502 toward Mombeltrán and San Esteban del Valle.

Distance/Time: 41 km approx.
Points:
San Esteban del Valle, Mombeltrán, El Arenal, El Hornillo, Guisando, Arenas de San Pedro, La Parra, Mombeltrán, San Esteban del Valle.

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