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Mariña lucense


Mariña lucense

Sea and mountains, rivers and estuaries, meadows and beaches...

Santiago de Compostela


Santiago de Compostela

World Heritage Site since 1985...

The Way of Saint James

The Northern Route in a 4x4

Mountain surroundings, valleys, rivers and a great variety of flora and fauna will accompany us on our journey all the way to the city of Compostela. This is the route with most historic content. The adventure in a 4x4 sets off in Ribadeo.


  • Starting point: Ribadeo
  • Destination: Santiago de Compostela
  • Days: 5
The wading of the rivers, watercourses and other landforms will test the skill of the drivers and will offer experiences that are both exciting and educational.

What could beat spending five thrilling days on a 4x4? We will still be in the surroundings of the Northern Route towards Santiago de Compostela and will visit the landmarks that can be found along this route, which begins in the first Galician village of the Bay of Biscay: Ribadeo. Mountain landscapes and a Biosphere Reserve offer scenery and flora and fauna with tremendous environmental value.

More information...
-State-owned hotel Parador Torre dos Andrade (Vilalba). Teléfono: 982 510 011. www.parador.es/es/parador-de-vilalba
-Museo Vivente do Mel (Live Honey Museum) (Arzúa). Teléfono: 981 508 072 www.abelleiro.com
-Cathedral of Santiago. www.catedraldesantiago.es
-Santiago Fresh Produce Market. www.mercadodeabastosdesantiago.com

Route - Day 1

The adventure starts in Ribadeo



Ribadeo Ribadeo is a town in the province of Lugo and a strategic and tourist locality on the Galician Bay of Biscay, separated from Asturias by the narrow and sheltered estuary, or ría of Ribadeo. We recommend arriving at the town the day before and lodge at any of the hotels, lodging houses, rural houses or apartments from the wide range of accommodation offered in the town, that can be accessed from the Autovía del Cantábrico motorway (A-8), the N-634 and N-640 roads. 

The town lies on the mouth of the river Eo by the sea and its port is important for the Way of Saint James. If you are an early riser, in the park of O Cargadeiro, to the north of the bridge of Os Santos, you can enjoy a spectacular view of the town with the lighthouse of in the background.
The town is a historic-artistic ensemble and its emblem is the 18th-20th century civil architecture . The centre of the town boasts the best examples, such as the neoclassical stone palace Pazo de Ibáñez, which today houses the Town Hall. And, across from it, the Torre of Os Moreno, a modernist style building, and one of Ribadeo’s most representative ones. Two blocks away we can also see the Colonial style houses that line the street Rúa de San Roque.

The mudflats will test the driver’s skills

If you have booked a package holiday, at mid-morning you will be met by your guide and 4x4 driver. From Ribadeo we will pass the villages of Vilaosende, As Anzas, O Valín, Covelas, Ferreiras, Curros and O Castro. The route runs along tracks that are suitable for this type of vehicle.
The route begins among landscapes of large green meadows, pastures and farming fields with plenty of cattle and sheep. But little by little the trail becomes steeper, while we drive parallel to the coast, with fantastic views of the Bay of Biscay and the sandy beaches of Reinante.
As we move away from the coast, the meadows give way to forest areas and the domestic fauna is replaced by the wild. In this part, the mudflats will test the skill of the driver at the wheel if the vehicle gets stuck. This circumstance will gives us the opportunity to learn and practice the self-rescue techniques mastered by the experts who accompany us. After the exciting experience we continue our journey until we find the ideal place where to stop and savour our picnic lunch in typical countryside surroundings.
We should keep in mind that we are in the territory of the Biosphere Reserve of the River Eo, Oscos and Terras de Burón, with an important environmental and landscape value, that in Galicia is focused around the river basins of the Eo and Miño.

Towards the historic city of Mondoñedo

After a rest we set off for Mondoñedo, a historic city on the Northern Route and one of the seven former capitals of Galicia. We should try to get there early in the afternoon to discover its architectural and artistic wealth, that is very well preserved.
The cathedral-basilica of A Asunción, a National Monument, is the emblem of its historical past as an Episcopal city. Inside, it is surprising the way the light is tinted by an array of colours as it passes through the stained-glass ogive arch windows that decorate its 14th century façade. During our tour we will discover other valuable buildings such as the seminar of Santa Catarina; the hospital of San Paulo or the Sanctuary of Os Remedios, among others.

In Vilalba we taste its typical smoked cheese

After the visit we climb back into the 4x4 to go travel other unpaved tracks with very interesting landscapes. The itinerary is as follows: from Mondoñedo we return to Curros and then head towards Miravales and, in A Valiña, drive up to Monte Maior. After Suarriba we go down to Penas and pass through Fabás, O Areal and A Moura. From here we head towards Vilalba, capital of A Terra Chá, where we will arrive at dinner time.
We recommend you to eat tapas at the inns, taverns and bars in the old quarter and that you taste their excellent products, such as the fantastic smoked cheese with Denomination of Origin San Simon da Costa. And do not let the Tower of Os Andrade, out of your sight, as it is the symbol of the villa, now a Parador (state-owned hotel), which is part of the city’s offer of quality hotels.

My trip

A miña viaxe

Preparing the trip...

Stores all necessary information to organize your trip: museums, monuments, attractions, lodgings, restaurants...

Once you do, you see the map of your route, save information in PDF or export your GPS locations

During the trip...

Already enjoying Galicia, here you see the map of your route, save information in PDF or export your GPS locations

If you have a phone with GPS poderás see your location on the map.

After the trip

Now you're back, you write that you think what you visited, and also mark that you could not see, to not forget the next!

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