Photo Post: Santiago de Compostela’s Sarela River Trail

Sarela River Trail, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Old stone bridge

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the countless parks and green spaces that surround Santiago de Compostela make the city such a great place to call home. From the Alameda, where you can see and be seen (or just go jogging), to Belvís, where you can lay out on the hillside and have a picnic, Santiago is truly blessed with pleasant public spaces where you can escape the noise and demands of the city and breathe in some fresh air.

Sarela River Trail, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Spring flowers

No part of town gives you a better connection to the natural world than the footpaths that follow the course of the Sarela River. Trailblazed several years ago, the Paseo Fluvial do Río Sarela traces a tranquil creek as it trickles down the western edge of Santiago from the north to the southwest.

Sarela River Trail, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
An abandoned tannery

This riverside walkway takes you through calm wooded areas, past country homes, over monumental stone bridges, and around historic tanneries that once harnessed the Sarela River’s power. In springtime, the trail passes under fragrant vines of wisteria, while wildflowers bloom on hillsides and ornamental magnolia trees blossom in backyards. If things aren’t too muddy, the Sarela River Trail is usually teeming with folks going out for a run or on their daily paseo.

Sarela River Trail, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Creekside trail

Whenever I’ve shown visiting friends around Santiago, they’ve quite naturally gobbled up the fresh, delicious seafood, been awed by the cathedral, and enjoyed traipsing down the magical, puddle-strewn granite streets of the old town. But often the highlight of their visits has been a stroll along the banks of the Sarela River, a peaceful getaway from the expected churches, museums, and cafes of a city trip. Sometimes the simplest things are in the end the most refreshing.

Sarela River Trail, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
The Galician countryside near the trail

What was your favorite photo from this post? Do you try to go running or workout while you travel or do you tend to throw all your routines to the wind? Share your thoughts below in the comments!

Sarela River, April 19th, 2015

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