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Woods of Galicia

Rías Altas

In the Rías Altas of Betanzos and Ares, the rivers Mandeo and Eume meet the sea. These riverbank woods, leafy and full of life, accompany both rivers on their journey, leaving behind them beautiful landscapes, pools, waterfalls, bridges, mills, fishermen’s huts…

The Parque Natural das Fragas do Eume boasts an infinity of routes that allow us to get to know all of its nooks and crannies, dodging the river under the oak, chestnut and alder trees, which live alongside the giant ferns of the Tertiary Period. This time we propose that you start discovering the woodland here on the Senda dos Cerqueiros (Monfero), a path that will take you deep into the last Atlantic woods.

Walking down the River Mandeo, you’re very likely to see some trout, as well as a succession of alder, willow, birch and hazel groves. As in the case of the Fragas do Eume there are various walking route here,  we propose starting with one in particular: the route along the River Cambás, a tributary of the River Mandeo. On this route you can find  pools and waterfalls, and explore the beautiful Fraga das Barbudas (Aranga).

You wouldn’t want to miss out on the chance to get to know these two woods! Come on! They’re close by, and well worth a visit!

Fragas do Eume

The last atlantic woods

Hidden away, nestling in a deep valley, the River Eume gushes energetically as its waters are freed of the dam. The reservoir's surface reflects the whole mosaic of colours contained in the impressive woods that surround it. The power of the water is palpable: it’s as if the river were just taking a breather before bursting through the steep sides of the gorge.

The great Atlantic woods of Galicia, Fragas do Eume, conceal in their midst the most incredible trees, mosses and lichens, wild animals, and old water mills whose whispering waters fill visitors’ senses with their magical sound. The old Monastery of Caaveiro rises up in the middle of these woods. Within its walls the monks dwelled, praying and tilling the soil in perfect harmony with nature.

Today, Fragas do Eume offer pleasant walking routes that make a journey into the heart of the woods much easier. And in that green heart you can lose yourself among holly, strawberry, oak and century-old chestnut trees. Perhaps the sprites that enchant this space are hiding under the huge leaves of the primitive ferns that grow here. The colour palette ranges from autumnal yellows to the umbrella of green formed by the leaves that shelter visitors from the heat of spring and summer afternoons. To begin, we recommend one of the most beautiful routes on offer here: Os Cerqueiros.

  • Fragas do Eume

  • Fragas do Eume

  • Ferns in Fragas do Eume

  • Fragas do Eume

  • Fragas de Eume

  • Monastery of Caaveiro

  • Route profile

  • Route map

Os Cerqueiros Route
Starting pointRoute typeKmEstimated time requiredTerrain difficultyOrientation difficulty
Piladaleña (Monfero)Circular83 h.LowLow
PROFILE: All walkers

The track through Os Cerqueiros is very easy: you can’t get lost, and it will allow you to get to know all the vegetation of this Natural Park. To find the starting point, you need to get to the Monastery of Monfero and head towards A Visura. Once there, head in the direction of Piladaleña until you reach some useful information panels that officially welcome you to Os cumios de Sanguiñedo and our route: Senda dos Cerqueiros. This path begins and ends among pine groves, crossing intense and deep woodland and coming out in scrubland. As if that wasn’t enough, it also gives you the chance to walk down to the shore of the reservoir or visit some old abandoned villages that tell the tale of traditional life in these lands.

But be careful! You will be passing through areas inhabited by wolves, which are evasive and prudent in their contact with humans.

Our route begins descending through pine woods and meadows. Very soon you will see the valley and forest of Teixeiro to your left, which quickly become deeper, hiding in their midst some marvellous trees, wildlife (you may see signs of wolves here), mills, moss, lichens and the magical light of the wild woodland. All this treasure is protected by the absence of paths and the steep sides of the valley. This stretch of track is even more open to great views that compete with the mysterious atmosphere of the valley that falls away to our left. In the background of this natural landscape you can make out the Fontardión peak.

Follow the route until you reach a 90⁰ curve to your right, where you need to make a decision: you can continue on the Os Cerqueiros path or you can venture off on the wide path that will take you to the reservoir and an incursion into the mysterious woods that have been in view since the start of the route. Once you return to the main track, continue on the route which will enter into a forest that offers various short but very interesting detours which you shouldn't miss out on if you have time! The route will reach the tarmac road once again, which in just a few minutes will take you back to the start of the route.

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