Let me start with a confession that my recent trip to Castile and Leon has completely overcome my initial expectations. I´m sure you´re waiting for more off-the-beaten-track places in Spain. So, here are the most unique places to visit in Soria that fans of the Undiscovered Spain Series will definitely want to visit.
Unique Places to visit in Soria
Preview: In this post I´ll be sharing all the amazing places to visit in Soria spoted during my lat trip to the Spanish Autonomous Community of Castile and Leon in August 2022. Together with my husband and kids, we were traveling by car through the Soria province for 3 days to explore all the hidden gems of this lesser-known part of Spain. For videos and views on the road, check my Soria Highlights, and Tiktok.
Did you know that Castile and Leon is an Autonomous Community in Northwestern Spain, known for the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites within one region of Europe?
While you might have occasionally discovered a few unique local landmarks before on the blog, like the Burgos Cathedral, Las Medulas, or The Roman Arch of Medinaceli, there are quite a few trips ahead waiting for me in order to explore Castile and Leon at its fullest.
Honestly, Castile and Leon got my attention a while ago, as it was on the way during my road trips to Northern Spain ( Asturias, Galicia, Cantabria, and The Basque Country). As the Numancia Archaeological site, was at the top of my Spain Bucket List for this year, I have set my eyes on the region of Soria. Also, it is the closest part of Castile and Leon coming from the Valencian Community (where I´m based). Therefore, Soria felt like a perfect place to start my explorations.
Why visit Soria
Soria is one of the lesser-known Spanish provinces for international travelers. It is an epic destination for history lovers due to its impressive Roman Ruins and fans of the Undiscovered Spain Blog Series, as you will find lots of hidden villages and secret museums you’ve never even heard of. Soria is also a great choice for those of you who have already seen most of the popular Spanish landmarks and looking for gems off the beaten path.
The climate also speaks in favor of visiting Soria, except for the winter months(if you don’t like cold) – the temperatures might drop below 0, although the average is 0/+6. But in summer the region is a great option to escape the annoying heat of Southern and Eastern Spain. Plus, you´ll avoid the overcrowdedness of the peak season.
Where is Soria
Soria borders with the Spanish Provinces of La Rioja, Zaragoza, Guadalajara, Segovia, and Burgos. The closest capital cities are Zaragoza (160km), Madrid (232 km), and Bilbao (230km).
What is Soria known for
Soria is known worldwide for the heroic resistance of Numantia to the Great Roman Empire: when after 13 months of siege, the Numantians decided to burn the city before surrendering it to the Romans. Also, its natural wonders are popular destinations in Spain for all the nature lovers – Laguna Negra de Urbion and Cañon del Rio Lobos.
Aside from its unique landmarks, Soria has given the world quite a few big names like Fray Tomas de Berlanga (advisor to the Spanish crown, the discoverer of the Galapagos Islands), and inspired numerous writers and poets, like Gustavo Adolfo Bequer, Gerardo Diego, and Antonio Machado.
Best Places to Visit in Soria
Let me share one by one all the amazing places to visit in Soria that I´ve personally enjoyed and could recommend you to visit.
1. Numancia Archaeological Site in Garray
Located only 8km from the city of Soria, Numancia Archeological Site is one of the most impressive ancient ruins in Spain, taking us back to the times of the Roman-Celtiberian wars.
Numantia is still one of the most legendary names in the war history of the Great Roman Empire. Back in 133 B.C, it was a regular Celtiberian settlement involved in the ongoing conflict with Rome since 153 B.C. But its heroic resistance to the Roman Empire made this town eternally famous. After 13 months of siege, the Numantians decided to burn the city before surrendering it to the Romans.
Even in modern Spanish, there is an expression “la defensa numantina” – describing the tenacious defense of one´s position to the limit, often in desperate conditions.
Numancia Archeological Site is located on the top of the hill, surrounded by rural landscapes of the Soria region. You can purchase and scan an audioguide to wander around these ancient ruins for a while by yourself. I also liked the reproductions of the ancient Roman and Celtiberian houses.
Note, that Numancia Archeological Site is closed on Mondays and Sunday evenings, while on Tuesdays you can get in for free.
Visiting Numancia was such a adventure for me that it ended up on my 2022 list of favorite travel experiences in Spain.
Other Roman Ruins in Soria
History lovers cannot miss a few other unique places to visit in Soria – Villa Romana La Dehesa, Tiermes Archeological Site, and Uxama Archeological Site. During my trip, we only made a stop at Villa Romana La Dehesa, located 23km from the city of Soria.
Tiermes Archeological Site is still on the bucket list. Back in Roman times, it was allied to Numantia during the Roman-Celtiberian wars. Historians claim that Tiermes had survived a few more years after the tragical siege of Numantia, but later became part of the Clunia region. The archaeological site of Clunia (or Clunia Sulpicia) is located in Peñalba de Castro (Burgos), within a 1h15mins drive from Soria.
Also, you might love The Arch of Medinacelli, another unique Roman sight to visit in Soria. It is the only triple Roman arch still standing in the whole of the Iberian Peninsula. The arch is around 13 m long, 2 wide, and 8 m tall. Besides this, the ancient city gateway is located on the top of the hill and you get a beautiful panorama of the region. We did not make a stop in Medinacelli this time, as we have already visited The Arch of Medinacelli during our road trip around Madrid.
2. Laguna Negra de Urbion Natural Park
Laguna Negra de Urbion is one of the top places to visit in Soria for nature lovers. Once you arrive at this National Park you must leave your car at the parking (which costs 4 euros) and either take the bus up towards the lagoon (which costs 1,50 euros) or take a 2,2-km-long hiking trail Senda de Bosque through the local forest. We opted for the second and loved it. This hike has currently made it to my list of Top Spanish Hikes.
You have more trails in the Laguna Negra de Urbion Natural Park, including the route to Urbion Peak (2228 m), one of the highest in the Iberico Mountain Range.
3. The city of Soria
While it was not my first time in the city of Soria, previously I have never had a chance to explore local landmarks. As I´ve already confessed to you – this time Soria has completely overcome my initial expectations. I seriously regret I have never made a weekend gateway to Soria before.
Parque la Dehesa
First of all, the local central park Parque la Dehesa is amazing – full of refreshing greenery, including 127 types of trees and bushes.
Los Arcos de San Juan de Duero
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Soria is Los Arcos de San Juan de Duero, the impressive arches of a medieval monastery.
Ermita de San Saturio
My biggest surprise in the city of Soria was our evening walk along the Duero River to visit the local cave church – Ermita de San Saturio. We left a car at Parking acceso Ermita San Saturio and walked 15min towards the cave church by the river at sunset. It was an easy walk, but the area looked so beautiful and peaceful. There were lots of locals renting small boats, jogging, or having picnics.
Iglesia de Santo Domingo
Iglesia de Santo Domingo or The church of Saint Dominic is a Romanesque Roman Catholic church in Soria. Originally it was built in the XII century, but since then only its tower has made it till nowadays. In 1556 the Church of Saint Domenic has become a part of the Dominican monastery.
4. Catalañazor & Charming Villages of Soria
If you love exploring old secret villages in Spain – Catalañazor will be one of your favorite places to visit in Soria. This tiny small town will make you travel back to the Middle Ages. Some say the name Calatañazor comes from the Arabian Qal´at an-Nusur meaning “the castle of vultures”. After taking a stroll through the main street Calle Real, you can visit the ruins of a local castle Castillo de los Padilla.
If you have some extra time around Catalañazor, don´t miss one of the prettiest natural settings of Soria La Fuentona de Muriel.
El Burgo de Osma
Officially, the nearest El Burgo de Osma is considered the most beautiful small town in Soria. But it´s hard to recommend you something that in my case turned out as a disappointment. Our visit in August overlapped with local celebrations and it was such a chaos everywhere, no parking, in addition, the streets were really dirty. We went to a local restaurant Restaurante Casa Marcelino for lunch and literally left after waiting 30 min for someone to approach us with a menu. If we would have had a whole week to explore the small towns of Soria it might not have been such a big deal. But wasting time in El Burgo de Osma took away a chance to visit another place instead.
More small towns to visit in Soria
In case, you are a fan of charming small towns in Spain, you can add more local villages to your Soria itinerary: Vinuesa, San Esteban de Gormaz, Moron de Almazan, Rello, Medinaceli, Yanguas, Fuentebella.
5. Parque Natural del Cañon del Rio Lobos
Parque Natural del Cañon del Rio Lobos is a natural park in Soria known for its hiking trails, San Bartolome Chapel, and a flock of griffon vultures. We only visited the local viewpoint Mirador de Las Gullurias to enjoy the landscapes. Hope to test hiking trails on my next trip to Soria.
6. Bosque Magico
Bosque Magico (or the Magical Forest) turned out to be one of the most surprising places to visit in Soria for all us, especially traveling with kids. This forest is located nearby the small town of San Leonardo de Yague. The entrance is free and you can enjoy lots of tiny houses of fairies and gnomes.
It was definitely a highlight of the trip for our kids.
After visiting Bosque Magico, we could not miss a chance to try torreznos, the most typical dish of Soria, in San Leonardo de Yague. Torrezno is a crunchy bacon snack made of pork belly. One of the local bars, Bar El Hogar, is known for some of the best torreznos in Soria.
7. Berlanga de Duero
Berlanga Del Duero is considered one of the prettiest small towns in the Soria region and is known for its beautiful medieval architecture and castle. One of the most unique sights to visit nearby is La Ermita of San Baudelio, a small chapel with Pre-Romanesque architecture and Mozarabic elements.
So, what do you think of Soria? Have you ever been to this Spanish Province before?