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O Baixo Miño


O Baixo Miño

O Baixo Miño (The Lower Miño) owes its name, its landscape and its very personality to the River Miño...

Ría de Vigo e Baixo Miño


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...

Galician springs


Mondariz – Balneario, a flagship hot springs in Europe since the late nineteenth century, offers us the ideal plan for diving into its therapeutic waters. We’ll delight in the rich natural and historical heritage surrounding it, which will also take us to Ponteareas, Soutomaior and Tui.


  • Starting point: Mondariz Balneario
  • Destination: Tui
  • Days: 3
The “Very Hospitable Town” of Mondariz-Balneario is an excellent destination for enjoying a hot-springs relaxation experience.

The “Very Hospitable Town” of Mondariz-Balneario is an excellent destination for enjoying a hot-springs relaxation experience. This tiny municipality – just 2.4 km2, the smallest in Spain – has a plethora of economic, historical and natural wonders, and a rich collection of anecdotes about hot springs-related culture. Here, we’ll relive echoes of the Belle Époque and the golden years of hot spring therapy of the late neteenth and early twentieth centuries,when Mondariz was a de rigueur model of luxury and grandeur.

More information...
-Mondariz Spa. www.balneariodemondariz.es
-Sobroso Castle (Centre for the Recovery of Popular Culture). Teléfono: 986 654 305
-Soutomaior Castle. www.hotelpousadadelcastillo.com

Route - Day 1

A stroll through the surroundings of Mondariz Hot Springs Spa


Mondariz is nestled in the peaceful River Tea Valley, located in the district of O Condado in the province of Pontevedra, just 30 km from Vigo and very well connected due to the proximity of major road arteries such as the AP-9 and the A-52 or the N-120 and the N-550.

We recommend that you arrive early in the afternoon and get settled in Mondariz Spa Hotel. Once you’ve dropped your luggage, it will be time to start soaking up this setting featuring medicinal mineral waters housed in spectacular buildings, monuments, statues, gardens and riverside promenades.
We propose a just-over-two-hour stroll that will help you get to know the surroundings as you are led by an audio guide you can download free from the town council’s website. This way, we’ll discover the most outstanding things in Mondariz- Balneario and enjoy pleasant and entertaining historical explanations and some interesting anecdotes.
A curious dolmen
From the door of the Spa Hotel, the virtual voice will lead you to the vicinity of the San Pedro Recreational Area  to see the Dolmen das Tres Cruces, curious megalithic remains that were Christianised in the Middle Ages when three tilted crosses were driven into their stones.
Depending on when your visit takes place, you may run into pilgrims who have stopped to pray on their pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of the Virxe da Franqueira, This festival in honour of the Virgin is celebrated on Whit Monday and on the eighth of September in the neighbouring municipality of A Cañiza. Next on our tour is the Chapel of San Pedro. On the way – if the day is clear – you’ll even get a glimpse of Sobroso Castle, which we’ll reserve for tomorrow.

The ruins of the old Grand Hotel, a model for hot springs spas in Europe beginning in late nineteenth century.
The next stretch runs from the chapel to the fence of the old Grand Hotel, from where we’ll be able to have a look at the spa’s gardens. You’ll be amazed by the ruins of the buildings and the old bathing facilities coexisting with plants and trees.
Following the signposted path, we’ll end up back at the heart of Mondariz-Balneario in front of the granite monument to Enrique Peinador Vela. This doctor – a “favourite son” of the town – was the person who devised the colossal project for Mondariz-Balneario, elevating it to a reference point for hot springs in Europe beginning the late nineteenth century. When he learned of the dramatic rise of people coming to the town for hot springs treatments, he set out to build an imposing hotel, which opened in 1898..

The Grand Hotel played host to
distinguished personages such as
Rockefeller, Primo de Rivera and
the Infanta Isabel de Borbón

The Grand Hotel – designed by architect Genaro de la Fuente – and known for its luxury and grandeur, became worldfamous and attracted renowned guests like the magnate Rockefeller himself. Other guests included Primo de Rivera, the Infanta Isabel de Borbón, Luis Peral, Emilio Castelar and Ramón Cabanillas who also climbed the stunning imperial staircase leading to one of its 250 rooms. The hotel even came to mint its own currency, have its own programme of operas and publish a newsletter. These are but a few of the many examples that will help you to imagine the magnitude and significance of the complex.
In April 1973 a fire ravaged the spectacular building, leaving standing only the stones that allowed a faithful reconstruction of the original façade to be built. Today, a high-rise buildingç of flats stands behind it. Sitting in the music stand, near the monument to Dr Enrique Peinador, we can take a moment to admire the reconstruction of the original façade.

The healing properties of the Gándara Spring
You’ll see the “Baranda” and “Antonio Palacios” Buildings on adjacent streets. The former housed a theatre; today it is the site of the spa, part of the hotel rooms and a shop for products from the hot springs centre. We can distinguish the latter by its tower, which is the location of the hotel’s “Mirador Suite” and conference centre.
Make sure you don’t miss the Gándara Spring, housed in an exquisite Classical-style temple designed by architect Antonio Palacios. We suggest that you enter inside the cupola and take advantage of some the benches at the entrance to have a rest..
The curious shape of the spring will surely catch your eye. Walk down to it and you‘ll see the water’s ferruginous tinge. There’s always a glass next to it for tasting: don’t let its smell discourage you; it tastes like any sparkling water. Its ferruginous composition containing carbonated gas and calcium bicarbonate is suitable for metabolic, locomotive, respiratory, nervous and cardiovascular illnesses, among others. If you take a look at the plaque on the left wall, you’ll be amazed how many ailments it is good for.
The origin of the Mondariz-Balneario’s micro-medicinal waters
And after one mineral spring, we’ll head off to another known as Fuente de Troncoso. The route runs parallel to the bed of the River Tea, nd is ideal for enjoying the sound of water and the colour and coolness of the vegetation. On the way, you’ll run into a bridge. Cross it, if you fancy visiting the Mondariz- Balneario’s riparian beach of fine white sand. Dipping your feet in the river’s clear water will certainly feel nice.
After this refreshing break, you’ll have to go back over the bridge and then straight on to the spring, which you’ll be able to identify due to its wrought iron structure and bluish corrugated roof. This is the source of the first micro-medicinal waters discovered… and from this discovery came the origin of a history of glory and a landmark for hot spring therapy in Galicia. If we’re in the mood, we can continue along the promenade to the resort’s 18-hold golf course.
A thermal circuit in the Water Palace
Another appealing option is to finish the walk back at its starting point, at the door of the Mondariz Spa Hotel and enjoy a thermal circuit in the Water Palace so you feel like new. The space holds about 3,000 square metres dedicated to leisure and relaxation, but also to specific play areas for children where their enjoyment and care are ensured.
The large (300 square metres) central swimming pool – under a huge glass dome that floods the room with natural light – is the star of the show. There are also panoramic mini-pools upstairs, saunas with different temperatures and humidities and a large number of resources that complete the circuit. By the time we’ve finished, it will almost be dinnertime. We recommend staying at the hotel and enjoying something from the menus of its restaurants.

My trip

A miña viaxe

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