In the Ribeira Sacra, the cradle of Galician monastic life, we’ll be astonished at the vineyards arranged across nearly vertical terraces and the steep canyons, a sign of identity of these beautiful localities.
The Ribeira Sacra, in Galicia’s interior, is like a heart pumping life through the Rivers Miño and Sil. They both created a landscape of steep canyons mixed with native forests and Mediterranean species as a result of their special microclimate. The grapevine – grown here on slopes that seemingly defy gravity – is particularly grateful for it.
We’ll reach Monforte de Lemos, – capital and geographic centre of the Ribeira Sacra – at dusk. It offers varied and excellent quality accommodation.
It has a state-owned hotelon the very site where the city first appeared – Mount Saint Vincent – which occupies the premises of the neoclassical monastery of San Vicente and the Palace of the Counts of Lemos. Along with the Keep, – which you can visit – they form an imposing monumental complex that maintains its layout as a fortified city surrounded by a wall, large sections of which still remain.
This lookout point offers a spectacular view over the city. Very close and without leaving the area inside the wall, you can tour its mediaeval borough. A large Jewish community settled here, and traces of it are evident on Zapaterías, Falagueira and Pescaderías Streets and – outside the walled area – in the Praza de España square.
We recommend you visit the “do Viño da Ribeira Sacra” Interpretation Centre. In this historic building, the secrets of winemaking and of the local varieties – of which there are more than 90 – will be revealed to us. And its shops offer them all, along with a selection of other Galician and Spanish wines. Its modern exhibition space, equipped with audiovisual resources, photographs, sculptures and paintings, shows the extraordinary uniqueness and natural, artistic, climatalogical and scenic wealth of the Ribeira Sacra. This is an overview that will prepare us for absorbing the intense feelings these places will arouse in us the next day.
We’ll bid farewell to the complex in its tapas bar. Here, we can delight our palate with some Mencía and allow ourselves us be tempted by the touch of signature plates featuring Galician products of the highest quality and presented as creative tapas. We’ll then return to our road to the hotel, where we’ll enjoy dinner.
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