Excursion: Montefrío

FTR Montefrio Round Church 2According to National Geographic (2015) Montefrío is in the top ten of the best views in the world, which is not to be sniffed at! Quite apart from the views in the town itself, the surrounding area has a lot to offer, too:

Sendero Arroyo de los Molinos (PR-A 246)
Once you get to Montefrío, park your car and head for area known as El Enrea. There’s a small hotel there with that same name, so if you do plan to spend more that just a day, there’s this obvious choice. The hotel is a converted flour mill. I have stayed there with my wife once, when we visited the town around 2010.

GRA Hotel MontefrioSo, the hotel is the starting point of this popular hiking route, which is well marked out. The walk will take you through olive plantations and pine forests as you make your way to the Torre de los Guzmanes.’Here you can either turn back or take the second hiking route that begins at that point. However, the second route is steep so be prepared for mountain-goat mode.

FTR Montefrio WaterfallNow, the routes will take you along the river, where there are pools in cascades (where you can soak your steaming feet).There are also three abandoned flour mills.

There are two striking features within the village and on is the Iglesia de la Encarnación, which is the only round church in the whole of Spain. The foundation stone of the church as laid in Carlos III’s reign on the 11th of November, 1786 and finally finished on the 12th of August, 1802.

The design was inspired by the Panteón de Agrippa in Roma and is considered one of the most important Neo-Classical-style churches in the country. It’s 30m-high dome gives it a very special acoustic quality.

FTR Montefrio Church on the RockThe other landmark is the church on the rocky outcrop. The building was originally a Moorish castle built in 1352 which guarded the north-western frontier with Christian Spain. Three times Christian armies tried to conquer the fortress with it falling on the last attempt. Like just about all major Moorish buildings, they were converted into churches. In the case of Montefrio, it was completed in 1507.

So, what about the local cuisine and where to eat… One of the typical Montefrío dishes is called Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes). The most common preparation in Spain involves shredding the leftover meat from a cocido, and then pan frying it with paprika and chickpeas.

Here are three local restaurants with their details, where you can eat on your visit:

Restaurante Casablanca
Plaza Pilillas No 4 (in front of the round church)
Tel: 615 421 874
Open 06:00h to 23:00 everyday except Mondays when closed.

Restaurante EL Pregonero
Plaza Espana 3
Tel: 605 989 263
Open every day for Lunch. Dinner is only served on the weekends

Restaurante Atalaya Montefrío
Calle de Huelva Nº. 4
Tel: 958 336 710.

Finally, the hotel (see photo above), where you can also eat, obviously:

Email: info@laenreahotel.com
Tel: 958 336 662 – 958 336 796

So, you’ve got walks, monuments to visit, somewhere to stay the night and where to eat!

(News/Feature: Montefrío)

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