We Visit The Ribeira Sacra, One Of The Treasures Of Galicia

We visit the Ribeira Sacra, one of the treasures of Galicia

On the banks of the river Miño and the Sil lies one of the greatest treasures of Galicia, we are talking about the Ribeira Sacra. This is a place where rivers are opposed to priceless Romanesque monuments that, together with its ancient vineyards, form this attractive destination that is worth visiting. Are you accompanying us to discover the Ribeira Sacra ?

The Ribeira Sacra, a paradise in Galicia

The Ribeira Sacra is located in the heart of Galicia, on the border between the south of Lugo and the north of Ourense. It is a land full of contrasts due to the union between the river Miño and the Sil that, in a fluvial duel, formed impressive canyons. And next to them, lush forests, ancient monasteries and spectacular vineyards, all dotted with the most varied legends.

Landscape of the Ribeira Sacra
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 monasteries that can be visited, wrapped in the 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 Denomination of Origin, well known in Galician gastronomy. There is a wine route, which is very popular with tourists and visitors.

What to see in the Ribeira Sacra

1. The canyon of Sil

Sil river canyon in the Ribeira Sacra
Sil river canyon – javarman

This gorge, formed by the erosion of the Sil river, is located near its 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 area of ​​ornithological tourism.

One of the best ways to get to know this place is on board 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 denomination of origin that even reach the water.

2. Santo Estevo Monastery

Monastery of Santo Estevo in the Ribeira Sacra
Santo Estevo Monastery – Alin Popescu

The Santo Estevo Monastery is one of the most impressive inns that exists in the Ribeira Sacra. It is considered the most important religious construction and a good starting point to know other places such as the Monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil.

3. Castro Caldelas Castle

Castro Caldelas Castle in the Ribeira Sacra
Castro 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 keep and the clock tower constitute the oldest part. It also has a parade ground, walls, three quadrangular towers and a lower patrol path. Visiting it provides a good opportunity to visit the old town of the town and currently houses the Ethnographic Museum and a library.

4. Royal road San Pedro de Rocas

If you like hiking, you have this path of nine kilometers and little difficulty, but where you can admire beautiful landscapes of the Ribeira Sacra and end the tour at the cave monastery of the same name. You can take advantage of the proximity and visit the beautiful village of dos Arcos.

5. Sober viewpoints

Ribeira Sacra
Ribeira Sacra, Galicia – Pabkov

Sober’s viewpoints are twenty kilometers long and allow you to admire views that will leave you speechless. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to visit Gundivos, an ancient town well known for its very peculiar pottery. The surrounding churches and sanctuaries, such as the one in Cadeiras, are also worth a visit.

6. Thermal bath in Augas Santas

These thermal baths are located in the Augas Santas Spa, in the municipality of Ferreira de Pantón. It is surrounded by beautiful Romanesque jewels such  as 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 Winery

Vineyards in the Ribeira Sacra
Vineyards in the Ribeira Sacra – E. Crespo / Flickr.com

If you like wine tourism, you cannot miss the Abadía da Cova winery owned by the Moure family, which since 1958 has produced the best wines from its vineyards, something that has been recognized with more than 150 international awards.

On this wine tourism route you will be able to get to know the winery, but you will also be able to discover what its winemaking processes are like and stroll through the imposing landscapes, such as the mythical meander of O Cabo do Mundo, with the island of Sernande.

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