Europe, Spain

Ribeira Sacra

Ribeira Sacra could be defined as one of the best kept secrets of inland Galicia. This destination is made up of a group of twenty-one municipalities in the south of the province of Lugo and the north of the province of Ourense, with the fluvial course of the rivers Miño, Sil, and Cabe as a unifying elements.

It feels hard to define what Ribeira Sacra is! This huge area (over 3000 acres) is filled with overlooks, hiking trails, vineyards, canyons, and valleys. There were nearly 20 monestaries in the area at one point dating back to the Middle Ages. It’s broken up into six zones, and there’s so much to do depending on your interests. The major sites are the Sil Canyon and the trails, overlooks, and boat rides that allow you the best views of it.

This is quite difficult to get to via public transport, so my aux friends, Giselle and Corinne, rented a car for the day to make the two hour trek out to Ribeira Sacra. We were up bright and early and on our way. We picked one of the shorter trails, and after about an hour of getting lost and down random trails, we found our way to the right place.

The hike was easy-to-moderate with steep climbs at some points but relatively flat. It went on for many more kilometers, and there wasn’t the peak and overlook we expected. We walked for about an hour and a half each way, and then headed back to the car to do a little bit more exploring of the vast area.

After, we spent a while driving around and stopping at places with beautiful views of the canyon.

We booked a boat road to see the mountains from below. After that, we started our drive back to Pontevedra.

This could certainly be an entire weekend trip, especially if you are interested in hiking or vineyards. There are also parts of Ribeira Sacra that overlap with some El Camino de Santiago routes, and routes that go nearby and possible to make a detour.

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