Enjoying the river and gardens in Villafranca

We enjoyed a three-night stay in the Parador at Villafranca del Bierzo and it was a wonderful stop. The hotel is comfortable, quiet, friendly and with excellent food. I highly recommended staying here if you are travelling in the area. There are many historic sights in the town but I also enjoyed walking along the river and in the gardens in Villafranca.

Villafranca is built on 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

River Burbia

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
New bridge over the river, near the river park
River park in Villafranca
River park in Villafranca

Garden of the Alameda

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! A treed walk surrounds the park with its 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
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
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

Flowers in the town

There were beautiful window boxes everywhere, with massed petunias!

Window boxes in Villafranca
Pink and white petunias!
Window boxes in Villafranca
Petunias in window boxes in Villafranca
Window boxes in Villafranca
Window boxes in Villafranca

Fruit and vegetables

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