The magical “route” between ancient chestnut trees to one of the most surprising hermitages in Zamora

We are facing a place of pilgrimage, pilgrimage and authentic devotion dedicated to the Virgin Mary. And located in an idyllic place, featuring some impressive natural monuments, some of them more than a thousand years old.

This magical corner where the chestnut trees of San Justo, hundreds of years old, submerge, They enclose the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Alcobilla.

And the rarity of these trees, which captivate the traveler and especially the little ones, due to the whimsical shapes that the passing of the years have given them, attract hundreds of curious people every year, especially in the spring months. and summer.

Some chestnut trees that cangar at a height of up to ten meters with branches intertwined from one tree to another. A joyful walk that lasts no more than ten minutes and next to it is another chestnut tree with younger specimens.

The ancient chestnut trees that surround the sanctuary of the Virgen de la Alcobilla
The ancient chestnut trees that surround the sanctuary of the Virgen de la AlcobillaAlonso Iglesias/Tourism CyL

A place located between the towns of San Justo and Rábano de Sanabria, in the heart of the Zamora province, and where we also find this magnificent hermitage. A tall bell tower welcomes us from a distance and, as a curiosity, it has a picturesque dome finish as well as a niche above a door, where you can see a stone sculpture of the Queen of Heaven.

They say that the name of alcobilla It is a degeneration of “escubilla” and that comes because in the surroundings there are uA lot of brooms, very traditional in these parts.

And the legend also underlies these lands. It is said that a shepherd who was plowing his land suddenly came across a figure of Saint Mary. And it was in this place, where it is believed that the Roman city of Alcobilla Lliucencia was located, where the current sanctuary was built.

La Alcobilla is located at a crossroads between the towns of San Justo, Coso, Barrio de Rábano and Rábano, and every September 8 and 9, a great pilgrimage is celebrated, one of the most important in the region. The surrounding towns raise her virgins, the Assumption and the Pilgrim, apart from their banners to honor her.

In short, everything in a magical and unique place for the delight of attendees.

And since we are in Sanabria, more recommendations, starting with Puebla de Sanabria. It is well worth it to walk through the cobbled floor of this Sanabria town, which undoubtedly takes us to remember the Middle Ages. Some rocky stone buildings, marked by large balconies flooded with flowers with panoramic views that invite us to visit different places that await us with open arms. Upstairs, at the highest point, its little castle, in perfect condition and which will delight the little ones. Built in the mid-15th century by the Counts of Benavente, it offers a privileged position. A castle fortress with a central tower and Torre del Homenaje and with different exhibition rooms to learn about the rich heritage, fauna and ethnographic history of these Sanabres places.

Tera River in Puebla de Sanabria (Zamora)
Tera River in Puebla de Sanabria (Zamora)“X”“X”

Both in summer and winter it is truly wonderful to enjoy the idyllic setting of Lake Sanabria and its Laguna de los Peces is also a must-see.

One of the most authentic routes that can be done in the heart of the Sanabria Lake Natural Park is located in Sotillo de Sanabria. Although it is seven kilometers through green, leafy landscapes where the sound of water marks the path, the truth is that some sections are a bit complicated, especially when we reach the real treasure, the waterfall.

Crystal clear waters in Lake Sanabria
Crystal clear waters in Lake SanabriaJ.B.

And we close our journey with the Iberian Wolf Center of Castilla y León – Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente is an educational and socioeconomic revitalization resource linked to the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan in Castilla y León. A Center that has two large main fenced enclosures, of about 3 hectares each, in which several specimens of Iberian wolf are housed in semi-freedom, so that they can be observed by visitors.