We’ll kick back and relax in the spas’ mineral waters, travel by catamaran on the River Minho, discover wineries and monasteries and visit the Jewish quarter of Ribadavia.
O Ribeiro is Galicia’s oldest wine-producing region. The Rivers Miño, Arnoia, Avia and Barbantiño converge in it, leaving behind lush riverbank vegetation interspersed with vineyards and orchards. On its slopes are scattered churches, monasteries, pazos, fortified pre-Roman Iron Age villages and Jewish settlements as well as hot springs, which are coming to the fore once again in a new golden age for their spas.
A Arnoia will be the site chosen as a starting point for a closer look at the oldest wine-producing region in Galicia, O Ribeiro. This village, on the banks of the Frieira reservoir, is the paradigm of harmony between wine, water and spas that we will find elsewhere in the region.
The town’s offer of accommodation includes a refurbished boutique hotel in a former Cistercian Priory. There is also a modern hotel which houses a spa with hypothermal waters; at 22 degrees and possessing a sulphurous and fluorinated composition, they are suitable for fighting rheumatic, dermatological or respiratory ailments.
We recommend that you arrive early in the afternoon if you want to take unhurried advantage of the time in this spa, which is terraced onto a hillside slope, just as they do here with the vineyards. From its exceptional enclave, it faces the water in the reservoir and the forests on the banks of the River Miño. It’s the same landscape that we see from its indoor and outdoor pools.
If the weather is suitable, in the afternoon we can complete our spa therapy with a catamaran tour on the River Miño. The wooden pier is practically at the foot of the spa. Depending on the time of year, they’ll be green or have turned brown, red or yellow.
We’ll reach another spa town Cortegada – whose spa we’ll see standing majestically on the shore, nestled in the woods behind it. If it’s not spring or summer, we suggest arranging the trip with the organising company in advance. At the spa, they can help you contact the company or arrange it directly.
At dinner time, we can order traditional products to enjoy along with our Ribeiro wine and, if it’s season, enjoy one of the region’s star dishes: the well-known A Arnoia peppers. They are delicious fried, stuffed or in an omelette. There’s even pepper ice cream. The product’s own festival – an official Tourist Event – is held in August.
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