If you’re looking for a peaceful and authentic Spanish experience, Soria is the perfect destination for you. Located in the region of Castilla y León, Soria is a small and charming city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nature. In this guide, we’ll show you the best places to visit, the most interesting routes to take, and where to eat and sleep during your 3-day stay in Soria. Let’s get started!
What to See in Soria
Soria is a city full of surprises. Despite its small size, it boasts an impressive collection of historical and cultural landmarks, as well as breathtaking natural landscapes. Here are some of the most important places you shouldn’t miss:
- Numancia: This ancient Celtiberian city was besieged by the Romans in 133 BC and eventually destroyed. Today, it’s a fascinating archaeological site that offers a glimpse into the past of the Iberian Peninsula.
- Santo Domingo de Soria: This impressive Gothic church is the most iconic landmark of the city and a must-see for anyone visiting Soria. Its intricate façade and soaring bell tower are truly awe-inspiring.
- San Juan de Duero: This former Cistercian monastery is another jewel of Soria’s architecture. Its Romanesque cloister, with delicate sculptures and intricate arches, is a true masterpiece.
- El Mirón Viewpoint: For a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding landscape, head to this viewpoint located on a hilltop. It’s especially beautiful at sunset.
- La Laguna Negra: This natural park, located about an hour’s drive from Soria, is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers. Its main attraction is a dark and mysterious lake surrounded by dense forests and rocky peaks.
Routes in Soria
Soria’s natural surroundings are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. Here are some of the best routes to explore the city and its surroundings:
- The Duero River Route: This route follows the course of the Duero River, passing through charming villages and beautiful landscapes. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste some of the local wines produced in the region.
- The Castles Route: Soria is home to several medieval castles that tell the story of the region’s turbulent past. This route takes you to some of the most important ones, such as the Castle of Gormaz and the Castle of Berlanga de Duero.
- The Black Lagoon Route: This route takes you to the heart of the Natural Park of La Laguna Negra, where you can admire the beautiful landscapes that inspired legends and tales for centuries.
Where to Sleep in Soria
Soria has a good selection of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. Here are some of the best:
- Parador de Soria: This historic hotel, located in a former 12th-century monastery, is the most luxurious and exclusive option in Soria. Its rooms and suites offer spectacular views of the city and the surrounding landscape.
- Hospedería Santuario de San Saturio: This charming hotel is located in a 17th-century building next to the famous hermitage of San Saturio. Its cozy rooms and its restaurant, specializing in traditional cuisine, make it a great option for a romantic getaway.
- Hotel Leonor Centro: This modern hotel is located in the heart of the city, just a few steps away from the most important landmarks. Its comfortable rooms and its rooftop terrace with panoramic views make it a great option for a city break.
- Hostal Ruiz: This budget-friendly hostel offers simple but clean and comfortable rooms, located in the city center. Its location and affordable prices make it a great option for backpackers and budget travelers.
Where to Eat in Soria
Soria’s gastronomy is characterized by its simplicity and authenticity. Local products such as lamb, mushrooms, and truffles are the stars of the traditional cuisine, which combines Castilian and Riojan influences. Here are some of the best places to taste the local flavors:
- Asador Mariblanca: This traditional restaurant, located in the city center, is famous for its roasted lamb and its homemade desserts. Its rustic and cozy atmosphere makes it a great option for a family meal.
- Restaurante La Chistera: This modern and elegant restaurant offers a contemporary twist to the traditional cuisine, using local products in creative and innovative ways. Don’t miss the chance to try their truffle risotto or their black pudding croquettes.
- Bar Restaurante Los Villares: This friendly and unpretentious bar serves some of the best tapas in town, such as grilled mushrooms, garlic shrimp, and crispy pork ribs. Its lively atmosphere and affordable prices make it a great option for a night out.
Free Tours in Soria
If you want to explore Soria with a local guide and learn more about its history and culture, you can join one of the free walking tours offered by the tourism board. These tours are led by knowledgeable and passionate guides who will take you to the most interesting places in the city and tell you fascinating stories and anecdotes. Some of the most popular tours are:
- The Historic Center Tour: This tour takes you to the most emblematic landmarks of the city, such as the Cathedral, the Main Square, and the San Juan de Duero Monastery. It’s a great introduction to Soria’s history and architecture.
- The Legends and Tales Tour: This tour explores the mythical and mysterious side of Soria, visiting places that inspired legends and tales for centuries, such as the Black Lagoon and the San Saturio Hermitage.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to visit Soria?
The best time to visit Soria is during spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and the landscapes are at their most beautiful. Summer can be quite hot and crowded, while winter can be cold and snowy.
Is Soria a safe city?
Yes, Soria is a very safe city with low crime rates. However, as in any other city, it’s always advisable to take basic precautions such as keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding isolated areas at night.
Do I need a car to explore Soria?
While having a car can be helpful to explore the surrounding areas and natural parks, it’s not strictly necessary to visit the city itself. Soria is a small and walkable city, and most of the landmarks are located within a short distance from each other.
Is it easy to find vegetarian or vegan food in Soria?
While traditional Castilian cuisine is not particularly vegetarian-friendly, most restaurants and bars in Soria offer some vegetarian or vegan options on their menus. Some of the best options for vegetarian food are the local mushrooms and vegetables, which are usually cooked in a simple but flavorful way.