Autumn arrives and it seems that the body asks us to step on dry leaves making noise with our feet, in landscapes that change their suit. Well, let’s go for a walk through one of these places where we still feel part of nature, walking to the rhythm of the season, despite climate change.
Queguas route. If we are into heights, this tour is great. It is one of the signposted routes of the Baixa Limia-Serra do Xurés Natural Park. It is circular, and goes through the mountains of Leboreiro and Queguas, in the middle of low vegetation. It leaves Queguas and passes through Os Carríns, As Cortes de Carballeira, where we can visit the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Ascensión, and A Gurita. Towards the end, we find the Casa da Moura, in the Entrimo dolmen.
Bidueiral de Gabín, Montederramo. Here we have a unique forest in Europe, because you don’t see so many birch trees together so far south. There are also oaks, holly, heather… in short, a botanical treasure. It is another high altitude route, in this case, on the north face of the Mamede mountain range, in A Ribeira Sacra. It is circular and runs along 9.4 km through forest tracks and dirt roads. And be careful, better that night does not fall on us, because Romasanta, the Galician werewolf from the end of the 19th century, used to walk around here, doing his thing… If we extend the route a bit, it is worth visiting the monastery of Santa Mary of Montederrama.
Teixadal de Casaio. We continue with another unique forest, in the parish of Casaio, in Carballeda de Valdeorras. It belongs to the ZEC (special conservation area) of Pena Trevinca. It turns out that the yew trees, so independent and solitary, appear together in this area, in a group of 300 or so. Don’t even touch the berries, just in case, we won’t get poisoned… There are also holly, alder, ash trees… The forest is dense and sheltered, and it also has two small waterfalls that come down from Penedo and Pena Surbia.
Sil Canyon – Santa Cristina de Ribas do Sil. It is one of the most famous routes of the Ribeira Sacra. It is circular and leaves from Parada do Sil. It passes through Sardela, Entrambosríos, San Vitorio, Fondo de Vila, O Fental, As Fontiñas, Portela, A Galiña, Castro, Chamoso and Parada do Sil again. Through cart paths and paths we get into oak and chestnut groves, always with the spectacle of the canyon and the vineyards present. We can leave the route for a moment and visit the monastery of Ribas de Sil, which is very close. The route covers 18 km, but if we take the variant, at the height of Fondo de Vila, we can leave it at 700 m.
Arnoia river route. It is a linear route of 11 km in the municipality of Gomesende. It is not very extensive, but it has a bit of everything: ascents, descents, waters, mountains, forests, art… It begins in Escudeiro, at the Cachón dam, the old path of the hydraulic canal. After passing A Bomba and the Coto de Seoane, and climbing through good forests, the course of the river is resumed, with the Mills of Chancela on the opposite bank. In the village of O Viso we can visit the chapel of Las Angustias and, after continuing to climb the O Seixival mountain range, we are surprised by the baroque sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de O Val, which was on the old Camino de Santiago between Porto and Celanova .
Mills of San Miguel. The route starts from A Rebulleira, in Santa Mariña de Congostro, in the municipality of Reiriz da Veiga, in A Limia region. It is a journey of dirt roads, in which we come across several mills, some restored, and hórreos, until we reach the village of San Miguel. Here, a path takes us to the castro de San Miguel, from where we have a fantastic perspective of A Limia.
Route of the mills of Carballeda de Avia. We jump to the region of O Ribeiro. It’s also about mills, this one. It is a circular route of connected trails that passes through A Veronza and As Fermosas, the highest point. Then it goes to Vilar de Couso and Vilariño, and again to Carballeda de Avia. Along the 7.2 km route, we pass the mills and the recreational area of A Veronza, Trigás and As Fermosas. The entire landscape is dotted with large granite rocks, some completely green with moss.
Melón pools. The municipality of Melón, in the region of O Ribeiro, is famous for the pools of the Cerves River, a tributary of the Miño. Here there are alternate areas of calm water, where the pools, and areas with a lot of noise, with several waterfalls. Following the course of the river, through various footbridges, we reach the highest waterfall in the province of Ourense, the Tourón waterfall, which in autumn turns ochre, surrounded by oaks.
Thermal route of the Miño. Another good idea for autumn is to walk along the pedestrian path on the banks of the Miño in the city of Ourense, past the Millennium Bridge. In a 5 km walk, thermal facilities follow one another, with recreational areas and varied services: A Chavasqueira, the spring of O Tinteiro, that of O Muíño da Veiga, that of Outariz, the Burga de Canedo and A Fonte de Reza. Autumn is a good time to take a warm bath in the open air.
Archaeological route of Armea. The Galician-Roman population of Armea settled where today is the sanctuary of Santa Mariña de Augas Santas, in Allariz, among oaks. The route is linked to the legend of Santa Mariña. It says that the Roman prefect Olibirio had fallen in love with Mariña, an orphaned shepherdess from Armea; but she refused him. Olibirio made her suffer various tortures of all kinds, including cooking her in an oven. She recovered within three days. He even received the help of San Pedro, who helped him to cool off in a pool of water when he came out of the oven. As the Roman could not kill her, he decapitated her and, from the three boats that the head gave when it reached the ground, three springs sprouted. The route begins at the sanctuary, where Santa Mariña lies, and you can also see the oven, the font and the seat of the saint. Following the path, we go up to Outeiro dos Pendóns, where the remains of the Armea cibdá are located, and to Mount Señoriño, a site excavated in the rock, and back to the oaks.