Last week I was invited to work as a Teacher’s Assistant in a one-week, full immersion English course. Nothing new there (I’ve been working as an English teacher in Spain for a while) but what was interesting was the location: we were going to stay in Valdelavilla.

Valdelavilla is a village in the middle of nowhere – technically, in a valley close to Soria, in Castilla y Leon – that was abandoned by its inhabitants about 70 years ago. A short while later someone had a brilliant idea: why not make an exclusive hotel out of this tiny village? And so they did. For a while it served as the location for another English immersion program, but they recently backed out and a new organisation is trying to take root in this unappreciated site.

I spent a whole week in Valdelavilla. I arrived and I was hesitant; by Friday I was already asking if we could go back, and when! During my free time (which I have to admit was quite a lot) I explored (which is what I do best). The forest that surrounds the village is full of wildlife and the signs are all over the place: deer, roe deer, foxes, wild boar and, I discovered by talking to a staff member, genets. There are quite a few other sites with abandoned houses, and finding them while you walk in the wilderness…is somewhat magical. It was a great working holiday and I’d definitely consider going back: the hotel’s cook (who is also the manager) also helped with this conclusion!

They have a saying, which reminded me of a film I saw a while ago:

Llegas a Valdelavilla llorando y sales de Valdelavilla …llorando!

(literally: you arrive in Valedelavilla crying and you leave …crying!)

The entrance to Valdelavilla
The road leading to the forest
The main house at night
The little pond, frozen over
Hey, a nest box. Just what I needed to see!
The views were spectacular
Absolutely no light pollution at night
Beautiful, huh?
Walking around after the snow.


An abandoned house
A purple mushroom!!!
You can see why they say that under door frame is the safest place to be during an earthquake…
Mount Doom. (it has another name, but I can’t remember it for the life of me!)
Another abandoned village that I didn’t have time to walk to

One Comment on “Valdelavilla

  1. Pingback: Icy drops | Full Of Daisies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: