This getaway has been chosen to take in the natural beauty, activities and historic monuments that the region of Galicia has to offer: lakes, thermal baths, castles, historic towns and cities, its gastronomy and people. It is an ideal trip to rest and relax and offers a variety capable of pleasing all kinds of visitors.
Zamora – Orense – Pontevedra – A Coruña- Lugo
One of our destinations is Sanabria, located just inside the region of Galicia. Here we can visit the 15th century Castle of the Counts of Benavente and the lake of Sanabria, which is home to 142 species of birds and therefore an ideal place for birdwatching. You can also visit the “castros de As Muradelas” a settlement that was inhabited in the Iron Age, located near the town of Hermisende an area inhabited as early as the third century B.C. The town of Sanabria is a quiet but interesting place to visit because of its natural surroundings and history.
Our next port of call takes us close to the famous Rías Baixas a series of four estuarine inlets located on the southwestern coast of Galicia. However, first we would recommend visiting the cities of Ourense and Pontevedra, both of which possess emblematic buildings and old quarters.
We are talking of the town of “Caldas de Reis” or “Caldas Reux” an ancient settlememnt dating form around 1500 B.C. Here not long ago a discovery was made of what has become known today as the treasure of Caldas de Reis the biggest discovery of treasure (27 kg in various gold artifacts) in Spain and one of the largest in Europe.
This area was valued by the Romans who named it Aquis Celenis due to its thermal springs. Later it was a place frequently visited by Queen Urraca and her son and later King Alfonso VII (of Burgundy). It is a town that was of such importance that it was named a free town in the reign of King Felipe II. It also possesses the first hydroelectric power station in Galicia in Segade. It was powered by the spectacular waterfall known as the “fervenza” but has since closed. We can reach this site by taking a picturesque walk along the Banks of the river Umia.
We recommend the Hotel Boutique Casa A Pedreira, a 10 bedroom mansion with a marvellous 8,000 m2 garden containing its own spring, where you can enjoy the peace and quiet of this tranquil region.
From Casa A Pedreira, we begin our trip to Rías Baixas, on this journey we also recommend visiting the peninsula of O Grove to see the isand of LaToja, which also boasts termal springs. You can also take a ferry to some of the islands which belong to the The Atlantic Islands of Galicia National Park, which are the archipelago of the Cíes Islands, the archipelago of Ons, and of Sálvora y and Cortegada.
We recommend staying in the Altaïr Hotel at our next destination, which is in Santiago de Compostela the capital city of Galicia. It is a city filled with history, the Catherdral of Santiago was built on the site where the remains of the Saint of the same name were discovered and the city itself later grew up around this catedral. The city is an emblem of the reconquering of Spain from the Moors and these days also a home to intellectuals and university students. Santiago is another place where a guide is highly recommended so as not to miss out on its history or any important monuments.
Santiago does not have any thermal springs, but we could say that it is a city that rose from a spring. According to legend when the oxen-pulled cart that the servants of the apostle were using to transport his body hit a rock in the path, a spring of water flowed forth from which they were all able to quench their thirst. They saw this as a sign and decided to bury the apostle on that very same site.
Finally, we travel to another destination which is steeped in hisory the city of Lugo or Lucus Augusti to give it its Roman name. We would highlight its old quarter surrounded by a Roman Wall which is more between 8 to 10 metres high, 4 metres wide and more than 2km in length. It has been declared a World Heritage Site and constitutes the best exisiting example of ancient Imperial Roman fortifications in all of Europe. This walled city is bordered by the river Miño, which if we follow it takes us to our accomodation which is called Casa Grande da Fervenza.
We leave Lugo to head to our final destination the Galician Cantabric coast to visit the As Catedrais beach. This beach is located in Ribadeo and is considered one of the best in the world. Its main characteristic are its cliffs some of which are in excess of 32 metres high and contain caves formed by strong tides. Alhough this beauty spot is far from any towns or cities it is easily accesible thanks to recent investment in roads and services.