Valmayor was a small village near Valdemorillo that seemingly once had a significant population. However, the village was hit hard by the plague in 1600, and in 1648, the village was considered deserted and its church became a hermitage.
Legend has it that the Virgin of Hope once appeared to some shepherds here and asked them to build a chapel in her honour. They went on to build the church that is now the Ermita de Valmayor.
Of the original hermitage, the chancel and the belfry have been preserved in good condition. The rest of the building is modern and has recently been restored.
The church consists of a nave with a gabled roof and stone walls and a chancel with a cross-vaulted ceiling.
The belfry is situated at the foot of the church, separate from the building. The doorway has a pointed arch and features Isabelline Gothic spheres.
Inside, the Barroque altarpiece from the 18th century features a modern sculpture of the Virgin of Hope, which replaced the original one that disappeared in 1936.
Every year, in May, the virgin is carried to the town. Then, on the first or second Sunday of June, a procession is held to carry it back to the hermitage.
It is possible to enjoy a lovely walk through the countryside from the town towards the hermitage, enjoying the surrounding nature and taking in the views of the sierra. Then, once you arrive at the hermitage, you could enjoy a nice picnic in the surrounding fields or continue on towards the Valmayor reservoir.
You can take this route by following the directions on a mobile app recently created by the Concejalía de Juventud de Valdemorillo (Valdemorillo Youth Council).