Geotourism Itineraries and Augmented Reality in the Geomorphosites of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park (Zamora Sector, Spain)


The geomorphosites of the Zamora sector of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park are presented and put forward as the basis for a geotourism proposal using augmented reality. The aim, on the one hand, is to make a valuable, natural heritage more widely known in an attractive, educational manner, and, on the other, to contribute to the sustainable development of a socio-economically depressed rural area by preserving this legacy. The methodology consists of a combination of field work, geomorphological analysis with attention to scientific, cultural, and management criteria, and the development of augmented reality resources. The result is the design of a geotourism itinerary through nine geomorphosites of granite structural forms. The georoute covers 46 km by road and 11 km along footpaths where the visit is equipped with various augmented reality materials. We show the potential of this tool for arousing the interest of visitors and providing enjoyment, learning, and interactive participation.

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  1. 1.

    The Spanish Royal Academy defines arribes as “steep slopes on both sides of the River Duero.”

  2. 2.

    This dam was inaugurated in 1961 under the protection of a hydroelectric project carried out on the international stretch of the Douro River based on the Spanish-Portuguese agreement of 1927. In addition to the Miranda dam, the Ricobayo, Villalcampo, Castro, Picote, Bemposta, Almendra, Aldeadávila, and Saucelledams were built. They are all accessible by road and offer the impressive walls of the river gorge.

  3. 3.

    This trail is a long-distance footpath (GR 14) that is part of the Natural Roads Network developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of the Government of Spain. It runs for 755 km from the source of the Duero river in the Picos de Urbión (province of Soria) to the Vega Terrón river pier (the Spanish-Portuguese border in the province of Salamanca). Divided into 42 stages, number 29—called “Asomados a los arribanzos”—begins in Mámoles and ends in Fornillos de Fermoselle (5.6 km) and provides an easy access route to geomorphosites No. 4 and 5.

  4. 4.

    The Royal Spanish Academy defines the term lastra as “a large stone neither carved nor sculpted, smooth, flat and not very thick.” In this geomorphosite, it refers to the rocky bed of the cascade, which has been subjected to the fluvial abrasion of the white-water rapids that have polished the granite surface.

  5. 5.

    The presence of ochre clays and kaolinites in some abandoned farms in nearby towns (for example, Fuente de Valdelanta in Zafara) testify to subtropical type paleoclimatic conditions during the Miocene, which must have intensified the alteration of the granitic plinth considerably. In this way, a regolith was configured which began to be dismantled from the Pleistocene onwards, after the definitive downcutting of the Duero river and the consequent decrease in the base level of the tributary river network.

  6. 6.

    The limestone present in this deposit was extracted in the past for calcination in a lime kiln in Pinilla de Fermoselle. The place name of the Teso de la Calera is the only vestige of this activity today.

  7. 7.

    The Carabineros Corps, created in 1829 and later integrated into the Civil Guard, was in charge, among other functions, of border surveillance. Among its main objectives was the repression of contraband, an illegal activity that had some of its main routes on the Iberian border in Arribes del Duero (Cruz-Sagredo 2010).


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We want to express our gratitude for the comments and suggestions made by the members of the Observatorio del Territorio (OT, Spain), which have helped to improve the manuscript. The English text was reviewed and revised by Robin Walker.


This study was financially supported by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness: Project CSO2017-84623-R.

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Correspondence to José Luis Marino Alfonso.

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Marino Alfonso, J.L., Poblete Piedrabuena, M.Á., Beato Bergua, S. et al. Geotourism Itineraries and Augmented Reality in the Geomorphosites of the Arribes del Duero Natural Park (Zamora Sector, Spain). Geoheritage 13, 16 (2021).

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  • Geomorphosites
  • Geotourism
  • Augmented reality
  • Sustainable development
  • Deprived rural areas