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Ría de Vigo e Baixo Miño

GEO-DESTINATION

Ría de Vigo e Baixo Miño

The southern shore of the Ría de Vigo is a succession of large beaches of golden sand and secluded ports...

Ría e Terras de Pontevedra

GEO-DESTINATION

Ría e Terras de Pontevedra

The lands of the Pontevedra estuary are marked by their seafaring tradition...

Hidden Heritage

From Stone to Stone across Southern Galicia

With this route, you'll be able to visit the oldest stones in Galicia and discover impressive petroglyphs, mills, crosses, a granary, the odd castle and even a menhir!

Interesting!

  • Starting point: Mondariz
  • Finish Point: Cerdedo
  • Days: 2
  • Km (approx.): 140 Km
Campo Lameiro is considered one of the greatest archaeological sites in Europe and is the largest in the northwestern peninsula.
 
Sobroso Castle houses the Museo do Traxe Galego (Galician Costume Museum) and ethnographic museum. There you can see a permanent exhibition on the lives of our ancestors and gain a better understanding of our culture.
Sobroso Castle  (visiting hours): Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm and 4:00 to 7:00 pm.
 
Archaelogical Center in Tourón: Open for tours by appointment only. These can be made by phone (986 767 235), email  (centroarqueoloxicotouron@pontecaldelas.org) or through the Office of Tourism of Ponte Caldelas.

Route - Day 1

The thirty acres covered by the Sobroso forest will be the first broad view this route offers us, then we'll focus our attention on Sobroso Castle that – just like the forest – gets its name from a tree that grows here: the cork oak..

Ampliar

The origins of this fortress date back to the ninth century, when Bermudo II took refuge in it during the battle of Portela Arenaria, today Vilasobroso, the village you see in front. From that time, Sobroso has been a silent witness of the vicissitudes of many of Galicia's historic personalities, particularly due to its role as a military stronghold, which it finally ended up losing. Its corridors have been walked by the Counts of Galicia in 1095, Urraca and Raymond of Burgundy; the "irmandiños" (peasant revolts against feudal oppression) during the riots that destroyed the castle in the second half of the fifteenth century; and Pedro Alvarez de Soutomaior – Pedro Madruga (Peter the Early Riser) – who subsequently rebuilt it.

Currently, this defensive bastion is the home of the Museo do Traxe Galego (Galician Costume Museum) and the Ethnographic Museum. Wander through the corridors and rooms; see a permanent exhibition on the lives of our ancestors and gain a better understanding of our culture. You'll see the kitchen, with its utensils and hearth, the nobles' quarters, bedrooms with linen bedspreads – an old handicraft to which part of the exhibition is devoted – just like the work of the basket makers, "zoqueiros" (clogmakers), tile makers and carpenters, among others.
As you stroll the surroundings, you'll discover that the fort is composed of three structures of different heights that overlap one another, giving it an imposing air. On the way back, if you'd like to take a break, take a moment to explore the trees of the forest, where about 40 different species grow, especially oaks and other varieties associated with Mediterranean climates as a the cork oak, the "strawberry tree" and laurels. There are also recreational areas and wildlife living in semi-freedom.
Next, we head to the heart of the town of Ponte Caldelas to go a little further back in history. In the Área Arqueolóxica de Tourón (Archeaological Area of Tourón) you'll find one of the most unique outdoor rock art complexes in Galicia. Follow the markers and visit the five stations where you'll see the petroglyphs and rock engravings, dating from the late Neolithic-Bronze Age. Then pay a visit to the  Archaeological Centre to see how they interpreted the landscape of that period.
From pre-Roman hillfort art, we'll take a leap to the traditional arts of our country, as shown in watermills. In the Rego do Portiño – a tributary of the River Maior – as it flows through the municipality of Vilaboa, you'll find the Riomaior mills. A small, and not very long, trail will take you from one mill to another. There are 34 and almost all have been renovated, accompanied by the magical stream and small waterfalls, until the last one, called the Miguel Lois Mill. Once back, go up the same wooden walkways, bridges and stairs while the shade and coolness of the plant life will ease your steps.
You can take advantage of the moment to lunch at one of the establishments in the Vilaboa's port, overlooking the estuary: fresh fish and seafood are the undisputed stars of their most mouth-watering dishes.
Next, we head to the coast of the Vigo estuary and cross the bay of San Simon as far as the O Morrazo peninsula, where we'll pay a visit to the cross of Hío, in the town of Cangas. But first, take the road up to the summit of Mount Facho, where you'll find more rock art in an old Galician pre-Roman hilltop fort, with remains from the tenth century BC, and spend a few moments enjoying the delightfully clear view of the coast you have just left behind. Towards the horizon you'll see the outline of the Cíes Islands, protecting the estuary, and Cape Home, the point of the continent that they're closest to.
Also part of the Conxunto Monumental do Hío (O Hío Monumental Complex) is the church of the same name. You'll identify its various architectural styles and forms, such as the domes, reminiscent of the monastery of San Martiño Pinarioo in Santiago de Compostela. But undoubtedly the most important piece of the complex is the original late-nineteenth-century Baroque cross, considered one of the most important of Galicia. Every 16th August after the end of Mass, the traditional fourteenth-century "Dance of San Roque" or "Two Pilgrims" (declared a Galician Tourist Event) is performed in front.
Our journey now takes us towards the coast of the Pontevedra estuary – specifically, the town of Marin – where we will find the petroglyophs of Mogor Labyrinth, very near the beach of the same name. There are still some specimens left, depicting sets of concentric circles associated with each other, like a maze. There are several interpretations of their meaning. Some say that they are the work of the same seafaring people who colonised western Europe in the Neolithic; others, that are a prehistoric calendar, or that the ensemble has no practical purpose in measuring time, but rather is sacred, artistic and symbolic. Whatever the explanation is, kneel down and run your fingers along the lines on the stone and feel the weight of history.

The best way to end this day is to watch the sunset from the boardwalk of Mogor beach.

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A miña viaxe

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