The ‘Cañada Real Soriana Occidental’ is one of the nine main drovers roads found on the Iberian Peninsula. This magnificent drovers road is fundamental to the rest of the network spanning the Iberian Peninsula, as it stretches from the southwest-most point of Portugal, Los Campos de Ourique, all the way to the mountains of Rioja and Aragón in the northeast.
Once in Spain, it crosses the Guadiana river as it passes through the city of Badajoz, arriving from the dehesas of Olivenza and Valverde de Leganés, to then cross the Sierra de San Pedro via Villar del Rey and Puebla de Obando, running down into the valley of the province of Cáceres, a key refuge for great bustards and other steppeland birds.
The road crosses the monumental city of Cáceres and the Almonte and Tajo rivers on the backs of the Alconetar bridges, passing through the Los Castaños mountain pass and crossing the Jerte river via Galisteo, hugging the city’s ‘almohade’ walls. After this, it crosses the Ambroz river, running alongside the ruins of the Roman city of Cáparra and its iconic arch.
Crossing Zarza de Granadilla and nearby Adabia, one would’ve historically been able to find the royal mountain pass there. The road then climbs Sierra de Lagunilla, crossing the Cuerpo de Hombre river via Montemayor del Río and, after following beside ‘Cañada de La Plata’ for one league, continues on its way through La Sierra de Tonda and Guijuelo, crossing the Tormes river on the Congosto bridge.
From here it skirts around the Central System mountain range, rounding the walls of Ávila after crossing the Adaja river and the Eresma river between the city of Segovia and La Granja de San Ildefonso. Through Riaza, Ayllón and El burgo de Osma this drovers road reaches the woodlands of Spanish juniper in Calatañazor, branching out in two separate paths: one leading towards Covaleda and Montenegro de Cameros; the other heading towards the city of Soria where it connects with the ‘Cañada Soriana Oriental’ (the “Soriana Oriental” drovers road), which comes in from the mountain passes of Oncala and Piqueras.
Photo gallery of the ‘Cañada Real Soriana Occidental'
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