The province of Ourense, with so many rivers and so many springs, is the kingdom of thermal baths, as the Romans, great fans of hot waters, well knew. We can enjoy the benefits of hot springs in many places, whether in natural settings, in public facilities or in private spas, almost all of which have lodging services.
For example, on the banks of the Arenteiro River, which crosses O Carballiño, the waters that have given rise to the Great Spa of O Carballiño flow. The original building, from 1816, still standing although remodeled, of course, takes us back to other times. Here, the water flows at 26 ºC and is ideal for relieving liver, intestinal and ENT conditions. In addition to the spring pavilion, it has a bathhouse, built in 1900, and modern facilities. Outside, the gardens take us to a wilder nature following the course of the river, where we can walk the Senda del Arenteiro, which passes through many interesting points, such as the ethnographic park, Pena dos Namorados, and various mills and bridges.
The Gran Balneario uses the most important of the three springs in the municipality. In this thermal town, we can also take the waters in As Caldas de Partovia and in Bañiños de Arcos.
In the thermal town of Cenlle, in the region of O Ribeiro, we have several alternatives to take a good thermal bath. For example, the Barbantes Thermal Area, a free complex that has three swimming pools that take advantage of the sulphurous water spring, at between 21 and 28 ºC, very good for bones, joints and skin. In addition, it has a cafeteria, parking and motorhome area.
If we are looking for something more sophisticated, we have to approach Laias. The thermal waters of Laias have been used for centuries. It was even said that the King of León Bermudo II used to take baths here to relieve gout. A spa was built in the mid-20th century, later submerged under the Castrelo de Miño reservoir. Today there is a new spa, from 2001, renovated in 2015, which also functions as a four-star hotel. Here, the waters are hyperthermal, with medium mineralization and sulphurous. They sprout at 47.3 ºC, and it can be said that they put the body in motion (they are good for osteoarthritis, the recovery of athletes, stress, for people with motor limitations…). Near the facilities there are places of interest to visit, such as the San Cibrán de Lás castro or the Oseira monastery.
Bordering Portugal, in the middle of the Gêres-Xurés Cross-border Biosphere Reserve, is the thermal village of Lobios, a municipality bathed by the Caldo River, a tributary of the Limia. The name of the river already makes us think of warm, caldosa waters, that is, in hot springs. Precisely, in the area are the ruins of the Roman Mansio Aquis Originis, which already had a thermal complex.
In the Caldo river there are natural pools with waters with a spring temperature of up to 60 ºC. They are very good for the digestive and respiratory systems, skin problems, liver, rheumatism and arthritis.
The Lobios spa, also a hotel, specializes in cycle tourism, and is an information point for BBT Galicia. In the surroundings, in addition to entering the Parque do Xurés, we can visit the archaeological complex of Aquis Querquennis, the megalithic park of Muíños or the church of Santa Comba de Bande.
The Romans always took care to take advantage of the thermal waters. In Baños de Molgas, even the name they gave it has to do with the matter (Balneos Mollicas: soft and sedative baths). There, next to A Ponte Vella that crosses the river Arnoia, is A Burga de Baños de Molgas, a public hot spring with water between 28 and 29 ºC, indicated for arthritis, rheumatism and gout. Next to the Burga stands the Hotel Balneario, which has been standing since 1873. The spa takes advantage of the water from three springs: two hot springs, at 49ºC, and another more temperate one, at around 28ºC. From the building we can do many hiking trails along the river bank.
The thermal town of Verín is in the southwest of the province of Ourense, bordering Portugal. Precisely, together with the thermal town of Chaves, in Portugal, they constitute the first Water Eurocity. It is one of the areas with the highest concentration of thermal and medicinal waters in the entire peninsula. In the municipality of Verín there are five springs: Fontenova, ideal for digestive problems; Cabreiroá, with manures with a certain degree of carbon; Sousas, the best for the kidneys; To Fonte do Sapo, for respiratory, digestive and urinary conditions and the Caldeliñas spa, with the hottest water, very good for the skin and allergies. Many facilities have a bottling plant for drinking table water.
And we leave the capital of the hot springs for last: Ourense, the “City of As Burgas”. In the same urban nucleus, it has thermal facilities on both banks of the Miño, for all tastes and all pockets (there are paid and free).
In the center is the As Burgas spring, where the water gushes out at about 64 degrees. Following the river, the other hot springs follow one another, with recreational areas and varied services: A Chavasqueira, also at 64 degrees, the spring of O Tinteiro, somewhat cooler, that of O Muíño da Veiga, at 65.4 ºC that of Outariz , at 55.7°C; A Burga de Canedo, at 60.2 ºC and A Fonte de Reza, at 31.5 ºC. From all of them great waters flow to relieve skin conditions or the musculoskeletal system, mainly.