Ribera Sacra (Galicia) Route
RIBEIRA SACRA (GALICIA) ROUTE (RUTA POR LOS CAMINOS DE LA RIBEIRA SACRA)
Starting and finishing very close to the border with Portugal, this route combines the rural beauty of Southern Galicia, the serenity of two historic monasteries and the spectacular setting of Baiona on the Atlantic coast.
Suggested access airports: Oporto/Santiago de Compostela
7 NIGHT ITINERARY
First Night: Parador de MONTERREI
The history of this region focuses on the fortress of Monterrei, a centre of culture in its time, first controlled by the monastery of Celanova, and subsequently coming under control of the crown. This historic area is made up of the 16th century Condes Palace, Santa María Gracia Church and the keep, dating from 1482. Among the oldest archeological finds in the region, of special note are the remains of Neolithic pottery found in Santa Ana, as well as dolmens and mámoas, types of burial mound. The sculptures of Abedes provide very good examples of cave art in the region. Also of interest is the nearby Do Invernadoiro Nature Reserve.
IMPORTANT: This Parador only has double-bedded rooms on this ruta
Second Night: Parador de MONFORTE
Celebrated historians such as Pliny and Strabo place the origin of Monforte between 900 and 600 B.C. The town has a wealth of cultural heritage, with highlights including the Benedictine monastery of San Vicente, the Count’s Country House (Pazo Condal), the Old Bridge (Puente Viejo), and Santa Clara and San Jacinto convent among others. Other points of interest are Tor Pazo, and examples of rural Romanesque architecture such as the churches of Rivasaltas and Valverde. Monforte is an excellent starting point for visiting the Ribeira Sacra region and enjoying its natural beauty and scenery. Among spectacular cliffs and leafy vegetation, you will discover the many religious sites which were based here during the Middle Ages, giving the area its name, Ribeira Sacra, or Sacred Riverbank.
Third and Fourth Nights: Parador de STO. ESTEVO
To discover the origin of the name RIVOYRA SACRATA, we must go back to the year 1124, when Doña Teresa of Portugal used this term to refer to the abundance of chapels, convents and monasteries of different sizes located along both banks of the course of the lower Sil River. Saint Martín Dumiense and Saint Fructuoso de Braga founded the first religious bases along the banks of the Sil at the end of the 6th century. Today we can enjoy this area best with catamaran trips down the Sil, through routes linking the many monasteries and convents. Passing over a hundred wineries, you can hike along former royal roads, leaving the hectic commotion of modern life behind at the holy spots in which hermits took refuge during the late Middle Ages.
Fifth Night: Parador de BAIONA
The town of Baiona is filled with history. Its origins dating back to the Roman era, although the most notable date in its history is 1 March 1493. On this day the Pinta caravel sailing ship arrived in the port, and Baiona became the first town in Europe to receive news of the discovery of America. In this lovely coastal town there is much to see, including Sta. Maria de Baiona Church; Monterreal Fortress, home to the Parador; the Trinidad stone cross; the magnificent old quarter; and the seaside esplanade with its marina. The surrounding area also offers a number of beauty spots such as Mount A Groba, from which the rias of the Rías Baixas region first start their journeys, and also the Cape Sillero and the nearby Cíes Isles.
Sixth and Seventh Nights: Parador de TUI
Tui is a border town: Portugal can be reached by just crossing a bridge. The town is filled with lovely spots such as the fortress/cathedral, built on the highest area of the city, constructed in 1120. Not to be missed are the ancient temple of Santo Domingo or the more modern San Francisco. The convent of the Clarisas (nuns of the Order of Saint Clare), the "Encerradas" and Misericordia Chapel are also worth a look. The Portuguese baroque style can be seen in the church of Saint Telmo, the town’s patron saint. A visit to Portugal on the other bank of the Miño River is also a must.