Get to know the Ribeira Sacra

When going to Galicia, one of the essential places to visit is the Ribeira Sacra, a natural complex that seduces its visitors, not only because of its beauty, but because it allows them to disconnect and live unique experiences such as balloon rides, hiking trails, gastronomic options, viewpoints and much more.

Local tourism offers options that are often unknown to the people who live near each area, who miss out on the wonders that their own city or country offers. However, this is changing, as more and more people are interested in entering the interior of the provinces and discovering their proposals for recreation and entertainment.

Thus, in the community of Galicia, the wonders of the Ribeira Sacra, a large territory located in the northern area of ​​the province of Orense and the southern area of ​​the province of Lugo, can be discovered. These are various riverbanks along the Sil, Cabe and Miño rivers. 

Regarding the history and origin of this natural and cultural beauty, there are no completely accurate data. It is said that its name of ribeira is due to the geographical characteristics of the area, and the name of sacra is attributed to the monasteries that are part of its territory. Another version indicates that the name is inspired by the oak vegetation that populates this beautiful area.

In any case, the most important thing to be clear about is that the organized excursions to the Ribeira Sacra are very diverse and options can be scheduled for the visit in a day or even a week, since the activities to be carried out in this place are varied. 

The tourist guides of the region have prepared various routes through the Ribeira Sacra designed for each type of visitor. In this way, excursions can be made from the towns of Vigo, Santiago, Lugo, Pontevedra and Ourense.

Therefore, here we present some very attractive tourist spots that are mentioned in response to the question of what to see in the Ribeira Sacra:

The Pears

It is one of the starting points of the hiking route through the Ribeira Sacra and is considered the place where it begins, since in this area the Sil River and the Miño River are combined. Over the river crossing there is an emblematic iron bridge whose architectural structure has features associated with the Eiffel style. 

Os Peares is a small town that, in addition to being the meeting point between the rivers, also serves as an area where four municipalities converge, corresponding to the two provinces that the Ribeira Sacra occupies .

Saint Benedict Fountain

It is a small spring that has become famous among locals and foreigners, since it is believed that the waters that circulate through it have healing effects. This can be attributed to the whole religious atmosphere that surrounds the area. This place is reached through the so-called Camino Real, in charge of joining the municipality of Esgos with the San Pedro de Rocas monastery, considered the oldest in the entire community.

Santo Estevo Monastery

It is perhaps one of the most important attractions on the route, due to its high historical and cultural value. Its construction is attributed to the 6th and 7th centuries, between the transition from classical to medieval times.

It is an imposing structure that is made up of three cloisters. Its façade flaunts a Baroque style , while inside you can see features of the Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

Santo Estevo Pier 

Those who are interested in taking a river ride should then go to the Santo Estevo pier, which is where the river rides depart from and the beautiful natural view of the canyons can be appreciated from a closer angle. Thus, in this tourist spot it will be easy to find options for catamaran tours of the Ribeira Sacra.

Viewpoints from Parada de Sil

There are many viewpoints of the Ribeira Sacra, since different natural beauties can be appreciated on a larger or smaller scale and from different access points. In this case, we will mention two viewpoints from Parada de Sil. 

First, we have the Mirador de Cabezoás, one of the best known, since it allows us to have a special view of the Sil canyons. Its height level is about 850 meters and it is located just in front of the Cotarro das Boedas.

Another option is the Mirador de Castro, which becomes a little more secret, since its access is through the A Mirada Másica campsite, or by a side path. Its height is about 628 meters and it consists of two walkways where you can take a tour of the canyon.

Viewpoint of Santiorxo

If you enter the Ribeira from the town of Sober, through the province of Lugo, then one of the options to delight your eyes may be the Mirador de Santiorxo, which will offer an impressive general plan of the canyons from about 538 meters Tall.

In the same way, you can also get a view of the Santa Cristina Monastery, another of the emblematic religious sites in the area, whose construction dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, and is another example of Romanesque architecture .

Balconies of Madrid

This tourist spot is another of the most outstanding among the Ribeira Sacra inns, as it offers unique panoramic views of the Sil River and also of the immense canyons that surround them. It is recommended as a suitable place to visit with the family and it is very attractive due to its ease of access.

Monforte de Lemos

If you are wondering what to see in Monforte de Lemos, the capital of the Ribeira Sacra, you should know that the options are diverse. You can visit some of its most emblematic restaurants, visit the Roman bridge that has medieval elements, stroll through the streets of the town, which has been declared a Cultural Asset, visit the San Vicente del Pino Monastery and the Colegio de los Escolapios.

As you can see, the options are really very wide, and we have listed them all. If you decide to make a camping route, do not forget to take your hiking backpack with all the essential elements. Also, consider looking for a balloon flight service, as they are frequent in the area. The idea is that you enjoy your visit to this wonderful place as much as possible.

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