Spending a holiday or enjoying a getaway combining luxury and nature is possible in the pine forests of Soria if you want a stellar experience at the Hotel**** "El Cielo de Muriel".
In a land where accommodations of the purest rustic style predominate, it stands out to find a modern establishment with very high sustainability standards. But what is most striking is that we are talking about a Starlight accommodation, something that differentiates it from the rest of the offer of the province of Soria and the bordering provinces.
Check-in and hotel tour
Our weekend experience began by orienting the compass in the direction of Muriel Viejo, a small and cozy town in the region of Pinares. With an ideal location because it has close to countless tourist attractions, both natural and cultural, which make 2 days insufficient to visit everything we would like so we will repeat stay.
You can check-in from 14 hours, we arrived in the middle of the afternoon to see the facilities quietly by the hand of Raquel, manager of the Sky of Muriel, who accompanied us during our stay. There is free underground parking so if you are one of those people who like to have the car safe, this is a very positive point to take into account.
We got the Swan room on the ground floor overlooking the Old Muriel River and a most relaxing sound. As a welcome detail we awaited a plate with fruits next to a kettle that all rooms have accompanied by a small assortment of infusions and soluble coffee, a success.
After leaving our luggage and checking with pleasure that the stay was very cozy combining elegance and comfort, our guided tour began.
At the reception Lorenzo was waiting for us to return our documentation previously delivered at the entrance. They have service from 8 in the morning to 12 at night and you can receive all the necessary information for your stay: schedules, services, what to see in the area … The transfer of tourists was latent and we were invaded by the desire to exchange information with them, but we left it for later.
The suite "From Muriel to heaven" was waiting for us right in front. It has a living room and capacity for 4 people, and the 2×2 bed immediately attracts attention.
We continue to discover this charming hotel that has raised so many expectations since the beginning of its construction and that opened its doors in April 2022. It has 14 double rooms with beds of different sizes: 1.60, 2×2, 2 of 1.05… As a good destination dedicated to astrotourism, each of them has the name of a constellation and inside a different night photo awaits us on the head of the bed that show us nearby places under a starry sky.
In addition, all rooms have exterior views, many of them are individual terraces ideal for stargazing.
On the other hand, the wide corridors have written on their walls inspiring phrases of famous authors and famous movies such as Gladiator. Of course this hotel is to leave there relaxed and motivated to continue with our day to day.
Already in the attic we discover another of the jewels of its facilities. This huge multifunctional room. Spacious, with sofas, a large table, terrace and decoration and lighting that make it an ideal space to meet, hold courses, make presentations …
We highlight the roof, a great idea that combines dark and light wood commissioned to a Soria company and is that this building has counted as much as possible with companies and resources in the area, something that says a lot in its favor Good for them!
A walk through Muriel Viejo.
Walking the streets of Muriel is to visit those small villages that preserve the essence of a prosperous past and struggle to survive depopulation. And in this town they succeed. We went to the Muriel bar and the atmosphere invited us to come in and have a drink. They have WiFi and a small food dispensary very fit. We were welcomed with the greatest of hospitality and treated as one more, especially by Alfredo who would become an exceptional guide.
There the young people meet to drink their beers and the people of the third youth have the base camp installed to throw their games of breeze and wink. It was approaching 8 o'clock in the afternoon and the hubbub began to boil. They told us that the torreznos and the fried kid stand out in this bar so we tasted some crunchy energy bars. The dessert was in charge of the women of the town, there is always something to celebrate, that day a birthday, so there was no lack of some delicious donuts to which we were invited. Thank you!
Before our incursion into the tavern we visited thechurch of Our Lady of the Assumption, patron saint of the town, dating from the seventeenth century and toured the place of San Roque with its homonymous hermitage and a source of the most original inside the tree.
There is also a small conditioned observatory, it shows that we are in a Starlight Tourist Destination where the qualities to admire the celestial dome are optimal and only recognized after rigorous controls. Nor can we leave without mentioning the charming laundry room next to the road and its sources of rich water.
The short light of day did not allow us to go to the Birch, but we had already been there in spring discovering the magic of that forest, so we returned to the hotel for dinner.
Dinner with stars.
El Cielo de Muriel has an independent restaurant, that is, you can have lunch or dinner there, but always with prior reservation. During our stay we ate and dined snacking, but there is also a menu and menu that changes with the season. Needless to say, most of the products are from the surrounding villages. That night we ordered some croquettes of very varied flavors, a house salad and scrambled eggs with ham.
Before retiring to our chambers, on a tour of the surroundings of the building seeing its beautiful lighting, we verified that the sky had cleared so we took the opportunity to go to the garden and observe the stars with the spectacular telescope owned by the establishment. This can be used on demand and with the guidance of a professional, we, inexperienced in the field enjoy as children. If you are attentive to their social networks they announce astrotourism events that can even improve this great experience if possible.
We started the morning with a relaxing shower that got us ready to leave the room and start the plans for the day. We must say that the well-known brand of creams and soaps chosen by the establishment for the bathrooms is one of our favorites.
Breakfast was in the hotel's dining café. Spacious, with magnificent windows and the most original furniture and decoration. The schedule is from 8.30 to 10.30 and is buffet style. At the bar we were waiting for fruit, cereals, nuts, well-known Soria pastries, juices, various varieties of milk (lactose free, soy, oats …) toast, crushed tomato, sausage, coffee, cocoa … In short, everything you need to gain strength for a day full of nature and heritage to discover.
Tour of the Lobos River Canyon.
The luck of the Region of Pinares is that it has 2 Natural Parks: the Black Lagoon and the Glacier Cirques of Urbión and the Canyon of the River Lobos. Because it is somewhat closer to our location, we opted for the second.
There are several ways to tour the canyon, from its beginning in the Burgos area are about 25 km, from the Bridge of the 7 Eyes are 8 km to the hermitage of San Bartolo and then there is the option to start it from the other side, that of the Ucero area that was our choice. Depending on what you want to walk there are several car parks where you can leave your car, but first, a stop at the Mirador de la Galiana with spectacular views.
As we said, you can leave the car in different places. There is the Parking Engómez 3.3 km from the hermitage, which was our goal and that of most people. Then there is the Cueva Fria car park at 2.3 km and finally the Valdecea car park at only 1 km. In the months of greatest affluence access is regulated and you have to pay 4 euros for tourism if you want to access the last 2. As we had all morning we parked in the first one and walked along the Senda del Río.
We arrive at the Templar hermitage of San Bartolo, a place of pilgrimage for lovers of the esoteric that together with the Great Cave are a source of legends of knights, treasures and mystical energies.
We completed the visit by going up to the Balconcillo del Diablo and headed to the car to eat a delicious grilled meat in one of the restaurants in the area.
Then the Episcopal Villa of El Burgo de Osma was waiting for us.
Afternoon in El Burgo de Osma
Less than 20 km from the Lobos River Canyon is this town that is a heritage that can not be missed. The afternoon passed quickly. The first thing we did was visit the ruins of the Roman city of Uxama and see El Burgo and Osma from the Muslim watchtower.
Then we leave our cars on the exit road to La Rasa and go up to the castle of Osma, we have to walk up but with its recent consolidation, the walkways and the information panels, it is worth getting there.
The afternoon passed and we did not want to leave ourselves without seeing the Cathedral of the Assumption with its Romanesque origins and its robust baroque tower. As the autumn afternoons enjoy fewer hours of light our walk ended up along the Calle Mayor until we reached the Plaza Mayor.
We retraced our steps to walk again through its arcades and continue breathing that medieval air. Later we decided to make a snack based on torreznos and some more tapa that finally became our dinner.
Back at the hotel the body asked us to rest, we spent a while of gathering at the reception with a group of Valencian women who were spending their holidays there. There was a familiar air, it is not surprising that people repeat their stay after a few months because it is very easy to feel at home. Before leaving, we asked for professional binoculars at the reception so we could have another Starlight moment from our room. Large and very powerful, we had already been told that guests can ask for them to see the stars from their terraces.
The morning began like the day before, with a powerful breakfast buffet based on toast with ham, tomato and oil, juice, coffee, nuts and fruit to gather energy for the day ahead.
Although we had to check-out in a few hours, we had plans to discover the most immediate charms of Muriel Viejo and surroundings. After a while of chatting with our room neighbors, we left our bags in the car. But we did not say goodbye to the hotel and its people because we planned to eat again.
Pico de San Vicente and Mirador de Peñota
If something has the villa murielense is a beautiful wooded and mountainous environment. The village is located at the foot of an imposing mountain with a large flag of Spain and a telephone tower at the top. They call it Pico de San Vicente and we plan to go up there. The ascent road started a couple of streets higher and you have to be in shape. It took us half an hour to climb at a leisurely pace, the distance is about 2.5 km.
You have to go by forest road not suitable for any car since it was full of potholes and loose stones. However, the beautiful views that we were enjoying as we ascended served as an impulse to continue walking. When we reached the top the panoramic view was spectacular with the town at our feet and the area of Pinares and Urbión on the right.
Our next goal of the morning was the Mirador de Peñota. We had to retrace the path and once down take the track to our left with a long uphill. It is very easy to get there and when in doubt Google Maps gives us a hand. There is at the top a fire watchtower and a shelter. And it is that its 1,230 meters of altitude make it the ideal place to monitor the mountains of Soria and the bordering provinces. Such is the visibility, that on clear days you can see the castle of Gormaz or the tower of the cathedral of El Burgo de Osma. After a long time scanning the horizon we started the 3.5 km that was back to the village.
Our weekend in El Cielo de Muriel comes to an end and we do it with a meal in the garden surrounded by nature. They always put a complimentary starter, that day a rich cream of zucchini from the garden. For the rest we let ourselves be advised by our waiter Nil.
So we tasted a board of sausages (Sorians, of course), prawns, clams with a delicious dressing and secret based on chips. For dessert we shared an Idiazabal cheese roll with quince, chocolate coulant and cinnamon ice cream. The curious note was put by the infusions, they have 12 different varieties from the classic flavors to the most original.
We leave you here the menu they have, although it varies very often there are permanent dishes and you can get an idea of the prices:
Walk through the Natural Monument of Fuentona
There is next to the neighboring town of Muriel de la Fuente a funnel-shaped spring that gives rise to a lake of the most mysterious. It is there where the Abión River is born and is known as La Fuentona. It is the ideal place to end our getaway. From the hotel car park there are about 13 km. The final part is a dirt road but valid for all vehicles. Next to a shelter, we reach the end of the road where the parking lot is. In summer and holidays you have to pay 4 euros. From there it is a walk of 800 meters accessible to all audiences. The crystalline colors of the waters that accompany us contrast with the darkness of the deepest part of La Fuentona.
*El Cielo de Muriel's Eco Friendly Policy
We do not want to finish without highlighting a very important aspect of the charming and cozy hotel restaurant in which we have spent a few pleasant days. El Cielo de Muriel is an establishment committed to the environment, respect for nature and the future of the planet.
They produce their energy for air conditioning through aerothermy, a renewable source. They have an air renewal system that allows to recover more than 95% of the interior heat which means a great saving. In addition, they use water from the springs that are under their facilities and return them to the environment once purified.
On the other hand, the consumption of products of km 0 prevails, that is, of farmers, ranchers and businesses in the vicinity, contributing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and boosting the economy of the area. To learn more about this field you can look here.
A hotel with a lot of movement!
In addition to being a place to relax and disconnect to connect with oneself and with nature, the establishment aims to put the Pinares Region and all the possibilities it offers on the map. Thus, the client can hire the services of adventure tourism companies (via ferrata, caving, rope parks …), make spiritual retreats and personal growth workshops, forest baths, discover the rich cultural heritage and, of course, enjoy one of the best skies in Spain.
As if that were not enough, El Cielo de Muriel plans to continue growing. In the future , an open-type gym will be installed. A chill out space will also be conditioned and the parts of its terrace and garden will continue to be conditioned to squeeze them to the maximum. There are many more plans that little by little will be revealed, the palace things …
Acknowledgements to Muriel's Heaven
Our stay in this Starlight accommodation would not have been so stellar, and never better said, without the accompaniment of Raquel and the warm welcome of all the staff who work there forming a team. From Lorenzo at the reception to Nil in the restaurant, without leaving behind the cleaning supergirls who have everything perfect 24 hours a day. Thank you finally for the hospitality of all the people of the town and your warm welcome, especially Alfredo and Sandra. We will soon return to Muriel's Heaven.
See you soon Muriel's Sky!