Enjoying the river and gardens in Villafranca

We settled into the Parador at Villafranca del Bierzo for three nights and it was a wonderful stop – comfortable, quiet, friendly and with excellent food – highly recommended if you are travelling in the area. There are many historic sights in the town but I also enjoyed the river and gardens in Villafranca.

The town is built along the River Burbia. It is a major stop on the Camino, the only place apart from Santiago de Compostelo where pilgrims can receive a pardon if they are unable to complete the Camino. The path goes through the town and over an old stone bridge which has tiny entrance in the old town off the Calle Ribadeo.

Bridge over the river in Villafranca

The bridge over the river on the camino

Villafranca del Bierzo & the River Burbia seen from the Camino bridge

River in Villafranca

The main town of Villafranca on the River Burbia from the Camino bridge

River in Villafranca

The new bridge over the river, near the river park

River park in Villafranca

The river park in Villafranca

The Garden of the Alameda is a beautiful and large formal garden, laid out in 1882, on one end of the town, and I visited it every day, sometimes twice! It is surrounded by a treed walk around the hedged flower beds, and the central fountain apparently came from the Cloister of the Monastery at Carraceda, which, sadly, we failed to visit. The garden was just a delight and I hope the photographs convey my enjoyment and appreciation.

Gardens in Villafranca

The treed walk around the Alameda Garden

Gardens in Villafranca

The fountain of ‘La Chata’, 16C, in the centre of the Garden

Gardens in Villafranca

In the Garden at the end of the day

Gardens in Villafranca

The fountain in the centre of the Garden

Hedges around the beds, creating walkways in the Garden

Looking towards a treed walkway around the Garden

Looking towards the centre of the town

Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’

Gorgeous dahlias, still in full bloom

Gardens in Villafranca

In the Garden

Gardens in Villafranca

Old Plane trees along the walkway

There were beautiful window boxes everywhere, with massed petunias!

Window boxes in Villafranca

Window boxes in Villafranca

Window boxes in Villafranca

Window boxes in Villafranca

Window boxes in Villafranca

Window boxes in Villafranca

And quinces, walnuts and figs grow abundantly well here too. I saw these trees around most corners, squeezed into the spaces.

This is an enjoyable town in which to wander through the historic buildings. And the river and gardens in Villafranca give one space and time in which to relax, and then you can return to the comfort of the Parador!

Parador of Villafranca del Bierza

The Parador of Villafranca del Bierza