Natural Park Hoces del Río Riaza

Natural Park Hoces del Río Riaza

Approximate length: 14,5 kilometers.

Duration: 5-6 pm.

Slope: maximum height 1149 m. Minimum height: 870 m.

Character: hiking and mountain bike in the entire route.

Places of interest:

  • Maderuelo
  • Ermita de moral de hornuez
  • Center of interpretation of the sickles of Montejo of the vega of the serrezuela valdevacas de montejo
  • Casuar Hermitage
  • Dam of the reservoir of linares del arroyo


  • Viewpoint of the high hill of valdevacas de montejo

Botanical notes:

  • Sabina albar (Juniperus thurifera)
  • Holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia)
  • Quejigo (Quercus faginea)
  • Ribera Forest:
  • Poplars (Populus sp.)
  • White willow (Salix alba)
  • Fresno (Fraxinus angustifolia)
  • Aromatic plants in the páramos

The Hoces del Río Duratón was declared a Natural Park in June of 1989. A few months later, in October 1990 was declared a ZEPA zone (Special Protection Area for Birds). The Sickles of the Riaza River were declared Natural Park in December of the year 2004. Previously in August of the year 2000 was declared a Special Protection Area for Birds and included in the proposal of Sites of Community Importance (SCI) for the Natura 2000 Network.

Anyone who drops by these two natural spaces will quickly understand why they enjoy, today, such protective figures. Its special orography, which favors the existence of a microclimate at the bottom of its canyons and its exceptional state of conservation have made possible the existence of a long list of animal and plant species that live adapted to this environment. The "Catalog of Vertebrates of the Sickles of the Riaza River", to give an example, is made up of 313 species; 11 of fish, 11 of amphibians, 15 of reptiles, 231 of birds and 45 of mammals (Junta de Castilla y León, Territorial Service of the Environment). As for the vegetation this is not going to lag behind, highlighting 4 well differentiated areas: the moorland, holm oaks and quejigares, those cut with some Iberian endemisms, and the bottom of the valley and canyons to which we must add a zone of pine resinero settled on sands of wind origin in the case of the Hoces del Río Duratón.

However, the undisputed king and lord of these sickles has been and is the griffon vulture. His haughty and powerful figure dominates the skies of these spaces at any time of the year dominating from height all his dominion. It was in the 70 decade of the last century that the raptor refuge of the Sickles of the Riaza River was created by one of the greatest communicators of nature in our country, Dr. Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente y ges - until today, by the WWF / Adena Spain World Wildlife Fund.

These two marvelous spaces were inhabited by man from very remote times as they are attested by numerous deposits from the Neolithic 3.000 years BC There are many factors that favored the settlement of human populations over time. However, there are special places where telluric energies are more powerful and manifest through very specific points that we now interpret as magical. San Frutos del Duratón and the hermitage of Casuar in the Hoces del Río Riaza are two of these points. In the same San Frutos has been speculated on the existence of a Roman temple. What was it that made a person retreat in such desolate spaces? Was the search for God through those energies emanating from the depths of the earth ?. We may never know for sure, but the emotions that take over my soul and my body every time I return to these safe places are not very different from those felt by those anchorites at the dawn of the 1000 year, at the dawn of the end of world.

Description of the itinerary

In this route that we propose for the natural park we will connect with several marked itineraries to reach the river riaza by a route of the most complete and beautiful of those that make up the network of paths of the park. But before setting foot on land, it will be advisable and almost indispensable condition to visit the Park House of Montejo de la Vega where, in addition to collecting various information, understanding the genesis that has originated the Sickles of the Riaza River, knowing the different plant and animal formations who live in this unique space, will inform us about the conditions of visit of the different paths and possible restrictions due to the breeding season of the birds.

The Refuge of Raptors of Montejo de la Vega de la Serrezuela was created in the decade of the 70 years due mainly to being one of the most important colonies of griffon vultures in Europe. Since then and thanks to the effort and enthusiasm of a large group of naturalists, ornithologists and scythe lovers, the refuge consolidated and increased the number of these birds that nested in their rugged rocks. However, the future of this species in the natural park of the river sickle riaza is far from guaranteed. The vertebrate census that year after year takes place in this space, has shown a decrease in the number of specimens of this species in recent times and is that there are numerous dangers that lie in wait for the vultures. Perhaps the most important are the descent of muladares or feeders where this species was fed, as well as a decline of the traditional livestock hut associated with the prohibition of abandoning dead animals in the countryside, poisoning, high voltage power lines and modern wind farms. . For this reason, this space recovers a fundamental importance in the survival of the griffon vulture, not only in the province of Segovia, but also nationally and internationally.

Once you make the visit to the house of the park we will go to the nearby and charming village of Valdevacas de Montejo located at just 4 kilometers. Once here we will follow the itinerary pr-sg- 8, of the network of paths enabled in the park and that will take us in just 30 minutes to the viewpoint of Cerro el Alto. Neila saws, cervera peaks and urbión are easily discernable from this strategic point. the verses of castilla fields by Antonio Machado travel down the hillside, making the landscape almost impossible to see. We will descend from the top of the hill retracing our steps to Valdevacas where we will now link with the prc-sg-7 itinerary that will lead us to the ruins of the Convent of Casuar by the place called valdecasuar. the path runs in a soft and pleasant descent, pointing as we lose altitude, in a spectacular landscape.

P. l. seguro llorente in his "Meaning of the names of the towns and depopulated of Segovia" postulates that casuar derives from cova suar, that is to say "cave of adsuar" and this one of the Basque adsuar. Quoting this same author, covasuar was donated by Fernán González to the Benedictine monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza in Burgos in the 931. Ancient texts tell us about a population around the monastery that was depopulated in the eighteenth century. Whatever the weather, it was a prey to its walls and what was once a place of worship and devotion today is a ruined building that has lost the roof of the main nave and is barely standing. Declared a cultural interest in 1.997, today it enjoys a magical and mystical aura that evokes in the mind of those who, through these canyons, penetrate past times lost in the nebula of the memory of men.

After letting ourselves be seduced by the charm of the place and having visited the hermitage, at this point we will connect with the pr-sg-6 itinerary or river path that as its name indicates follows the course of this upstream to the reservoir dam Linares del Arroyo. During this last section of our route we will travel through the valley floor, escorted in the first meters by a leafy oak vegetation. But this route still reserves another surprise for us and it is the contemplation of the impressive viaduct, which crosses the gorges, from the railway line from madrid to irún.

The wall of the dam of the marsh of linares stands before us, gray in all its immensity. Like the waters of the river, it cuts our steps towards the nearby town of Maderuelo. It is therefore inevitable to look back to flood our eyes, once again, the beauty of a unique space in the province of Segovia for its ecological, economic and social importance for the inhabitants of the region and that is everyone's responsibility, public administrations, visitors and inhabitants of nearby towns, protect.

  • Where. Until you reach the forest of La Vega de la Serrezuela you arrive from the a-1 (highway of burgos) taking the sg-v-9321 to the height of pradales, a narrow road and in not very good condition that will bring us a charming journey through the locations of villalvilla de montejo and villaverde de montejo. an itinerary to go unhurried and enjoying the beauty of the landscape.
  • When. In the house of the park of las hoces (phone 921 532 317 from 10 to 19 hours from 1 from June to 30 in September and from 10 to 18 hours from 1 from October to 31 in May) can inform us of the limitations and especially affected in the breeding season of birds and that we must take into account when planning our itinerary. On the other hand, any time of the year is advisable as long as we take into consideration the basic and necessary measures to face the route with comfort.
  • Who. Linear and descending and flat plot that make it affordable for anyone.
  • Mapping. Sheet 375-iv scale 1: 25.000 of the national geographic institute