View of the Esla River
|Source elevation||1,500 m|
|Avg. discharge||135 m³/s|
The Esla is a river in the provinces of León and Zamora in the northwest of Spain. It is a tributary of the Duero River which starts in the Cantabrian Mountains and has 286 km of length, crossing from north to south the provinces of León and Zamora. It is the largest tribuary of the Duero in terms of discharge; in fact, at its mouth, it has a greater discharge than the Duero itself does at that point.
This river was known as the Astura to the Ancient Romans, from which the Asturian people took their name, the ancestors of the modern inhabitants of Asturia and León, living on both sides of the Cantabrian Mountains. Many of the toponyms in the area owe their name to the river; for example, Villafalé ("Villa Fértil a orillas del Río Astura"), "Vega del Esla", "Mansilla del Esla", etc.
In the 19th century the Canal del Esla was built to irrigate the Vega de Toral.
The principal tributaries of the Esla are: