Today, as the weather begins to hot up, we thought we’d tell you about an alternative to our city swimming pools (more about them coming soon…). This alternative is located on the banks of the River Tormes and is called Puente del Congosto (Congosto Bridge).
It is a small village, only half an hour from the city, which has just 500 inhabitants, although its numbers swell as temperatures rise.
It is little wonder that the area adapted for swimming alongside the well-known bridge – from which the village gets its name – has become one of inland tourism’s biggest summer attractions. It is the province’s best example of a river beach and, like any other beach, there are a number of refreshment stands along the river bank where you can sample local delicacies such as Iberian cured meats and, most especially, the delicious local air-cured ham.
Another option is to take a picnic and enjoy the countryside. To make sure it lives up to the occasion, we recommend the gourmet version: Our friends at El Alboroque can prepare hampers with cold cuts, cheeses and other delights, such as Bizarra, a craft beer made in Salamanca, as well as homemade conserves, which are the perfect alternative to any restaurant.
Near the “beach” is another of the area’s attractions: an impressive, perfectly conserved 16th century Gothic-style castle, whose walls enfold some essential parts of Spain’s history. Although now privately owned, it was originally built for the Dávila de Cespedosa nobles. Both Isabella the Catholic and Emperor Charles V lived there temporarily. In 1809 it was acquired by the Duchy of Alba and later captured and controlled by the French for two years.
So, as you can see, Puente del Congosto is the perfect spot for combining adventure, fun and history.