One of the greatest treasures of Galicia is hidden on the banks of the Miño and Sil rivers, we are talking about the Ribeira Sacra. This is a place where the rivers are opposed to Romanesque monuments of incalculable value that, together with their ancient vineyards, form this attractive destination that is worth knowing. Do you accompany us to discover the Ribeira Sacra?
La Ribeira Sacra, a paradise in Galicia
The Ribeira Sacra is located in the heart of Galicia, on the borders between southern Lugo and northern Ourense. It is a land full of contrasts for the union between the Miño River and the Sil which, in a river duel, formed impressive canyons. And next to them, lush forests, ancient monasteries and spectacular vineyards, all dotted with the most varied legends.Ribeira Sacra - E. Crespo / Flickr.com
The territory of the Ribeira Sacra is considered to have the highest concentration of Romanesque jewels in Europe. Here you will find 18 visitable monasteries, wrapped in solitude, silence and calm of a nature of green and ocher, beautiful vineyards and calm waters.
Another reason to know this place are its wines with Designation of Origin, well known in Galician cuisine. There is a wine route, which is very popular with tourists and visitors.
«The river runs forming lazy meanders, the vineyards recapture the mountains. Tall vineyards, under which women walk with baskets on their heads. The mountains have sowing steps. I think bitterly how I will manage to walk around here. Because one thing is to look at the landscape, and another to walk it.
What to see in the Ribeira Sacra
1. Sil canyonSil river canyon - javarman
This gorge, formed by the erosion of the Sil River, is near the eastern junction with the Miño River. It has an area of 5,914 hectares and has been declared a Site of Community Importance, with special interest in the ornithological tourism area.
One of the best ways to get to know this place is aboard a catamaran, from where you have fantastic views of the most beautiful landscapes. You can see the walls that form the canyons and vineyards of the Ribeira Sacra designation of origin that even reach the water.
2. Santo Estevo MonasteryMonastery of Santo Estevo - Alin Popescu
The Monastery of Santo Estevo is one of the most impressive hostels that exists in the Ribeira Sacra. It is considered the most important religious construction and a good starting point to get to know other places like the Monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil.
3. Castro Caldelas CastleCastro Caldelas Castle - Roteiros Galegos / Flickr.com
This castle belonged to the counts of Lemos and was one of the few that was saved from the Catholic Monarchs. It was built in the 14th century to be a military fortress and in the 16th century it was transformed as a palatial residence.
It consists of several bodies or buildings where the tribute tower and the clock tower constitute the oldest part. It also has a parade ground, wall canvases, three quadrangular towers and a lower round road. Visiting it offers a good opportunity to visit the old town and currently houses the Ethnographic Museum and a library.
4. Camiño real San Pedro de Rocas
If you like hiking, you have this nine kilometer road and little difficulty, but where you can admire beautiful landscapes of the Ribeira Sacra and end the tour in the cave monastery of the same name. You can take advantage of the proximity and visit the beautiful village Dos Arcos.
5. Sober viewpointsRibeira Sacra, Galicia - Pabkov
The Sober viewpoints are located over twenty kilometers and allow you to admire views that will leave you speechless. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to visit Gundivos, an old town well known for its very peculiar pottery. It is also worth approaching the surrounding churches and sanctuaries, such as Cadeiras.
6. Thermal bath in Augas Santas
These thermal baths are located in the Augas Santas Spa, in the town of Ferreira de Pantón. It is surrounded by beautiful jewels of Romanesque like the church of San Miguel de Eiré, the church of San Fiz de Cangas and the convent of Bernardas de Ferreira. It also has a spectacular golf course.
7. Abadía da Cova WineryVineyards in the Ribeira Sacra - E. Crespo / Flickr.com
If you like wine tourism, you cannot miss the Abadía da Cova winery of the Moure family, which since 1958 take out the best wines from their vineyards, something that has been recognized with more than 150 international awards.
In this wine tourism route you will be able to know the winery, but also you can discover how their winemaking processes are and stroll through the imposing landscapes, as the mythical meander of O Cabo do Mundo, with the island of Sernande.