Turgalicia Turismo de Galicia

Xunta de Galicia
Start > Enjoy these… experiences > Tourist Routes > Ribeira Sacra Route > Add to "My trip"

What to see in A Ribeira Sacra...


Ribeira Sacra Route...


The route we propose is of low difficulty. It uses a car as back-up and includes short journeys on foot. It is suitable for everyone and ideal to do as a family. The estimated duration is four days. The time distribution should be taken just as an example, as it can be varied according to preference.

Route for Day 1

We will spend the first day of our route in Monforte de Lemos, a town in the province of Lugo considered to be the gateway to the Ribeira Sacra region. Monforte has a vast cultural heritage composed of monasteries, castles, palaces, convents and bridges, all of which make it a place not to be missed by travellers who appreciate art and history.

  • Clarisas - Monforte de Lemos

    Clarisas - Monforte de Lemos

    Founded by the 7th Countess of Lemos, Catalina de la Cerda y Sandoval, wife of Don Pedro Fernández de Castro, in 1622, where she retired as a widow in 1633...

  • Nosa Señora da Antiga  - Monforte de Lemos

    Nosa Señora da Antiga - Monforte de Lemos

    Also known as the Cardinal Rodrigo de Castro School, after its founder, over the door there is a Latin inscription that reads: "Rodrigo de Castro, Cardinal Archbishop of Seville , donates to the Company of Jesus, for the use of young people, a temple and school dedicated to the Virgin Mary"...

  • Torre da Homenaxe Museum

    Torre da Homenaxe Museum

    This keep belonged to the fortress built in the 12th century by the Count of Lemos. It was recently restored and opened to the public as a museum...

  • San Vicente do Pino Monastery - Monforte

    San Vicente do Pino Monastery - Monforte

    The building we can visit today dates back to the 16th century, although from long before, probably from the 10th century, it had lodged a community of Benedictine monks...

Do not miss...

Terra de Lemos (Land of Lemos) extends over a fertile plain, crossed by the River Cabe and dominated by the San Vicente Mount, the heart of Monforte. The designation "Lemos" comes from Lemavos, the name of a Pre-Roman civilisation – probably of Celtic origin – and whose presence in the area is evidenced by numerous archaeological remains. As both the Romans and the Suevians did in later centuries, the "Lemavos" chose this area to settle, due to its strategic location. The geographers of the time referred to this settlement as Castro Dactonium ("castro" = Celtic settlement). At other times, the name of Monte Forti, direct precedent of the current toponym Monforte, was also used.

In the 8th century, the already christianised Castro Dactonium was destroyed by the Arabs. Over its remains, the San Vicente do Pino Monastery was later built, from which the mediaeval town of Monforte de Lemos grew as a large agricultural and cattle market. Together with the Torre da Homenaxe (Keep) and the Pazo dos Condes de Lemos (Palace of the Counts of Lemos), the monastery is a part of the San Vicente do Pino monumental complex, the perfect point to begin our visit to the town.
Only a few remains are left today of what the Pazo dos Condes de Lemos, lords of these lands, once was. In its golden age, its rooms were used both to exercise fearsome power and to hold sumptuous feasts. Its walls were hung with Flemish tapestries and works by Titian, El Greco and Raphael. Its archives contained important documents of what was one of the most important lineages of the times. In 1672, a fire reduced everything to ashes.

A herdanza medieval de Monforte de Lemos complétase coas murallas e as súas torres. O seu trazado é irregular, circunstancia que se atribúe a que foron construídas en diferentes etapas. O recinto ten tres saídas: a porta da Cadea Vella, a da Alcazaba e a Nova, na que se pode apreciar o emblema dos Condes gravado en mármore. Algúns tramos foron restaurados hai algúns anos.

Monforte de Lemos's mediaeval heritage is rounded off by the walls and their towers, which are laid out in an irregular form, due, it is thought, to the fact that they were built in several stages. The walls have three gates: the Cadea Vella (Old Chain), the Alcazaba (Citadel) and the Nova (New Gate), this last bearing the emblem of the Counts carved in marble. Some sections were restored a few years ago.

A few metres from the wall, we find some of the most representative streets of the old quarter, such as Rua da Cadea Vella, Rua dos Fornos or Rua do Burato. As we walk through them, we can admire some of the numerous emblazoned houses to be found in Monforte de Lemos, such as those of the Ribadeneira and Quiroga families. In the final years of the Middle Ages, a large community of Jews (the most important one in Galicia, together with that of Ribadavia) settled in these streets and squares, which greatly contributed to boosting trade in the town

We continue on our journey, crossing the Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) over the River Cabe. This bridge is of Roman origin, but its present form dates back to the 16th century. It comprises six semicircular arches and some Medieval decorative elements can be distinguished. Next, we visit the Convent of the Barefoot Franciscan Nuns, also called the Clarisas Convent. More than the building's architecture, its attraction lies in the sacred art museum it houses, one of the most important ones in Spain.
Continuing along the course of the River Cabe, we come to the School of Nosa Señora da Antiga, an important building known as "the little Galician Escorial". The museum in this Renaissance building holds several works by El Greco.
To the historical-artistic heritage of Monforte de Lemos one must add the A Régoa church, formerly called San Jacinto Convent, which is located in the old quarter. Of particular interest are its main altar and its organ, one of the best in Galicia and which is still in perfect condition, despite being over three hundred years old. Other interesting monuments are the Shrine to San Lázaro, the Picos Bridge, the Dos Condes Park and the Pazo de Tor (manor house). To visit the latter we need to travel 8 km along the Escairón road. This manor house dates from the 9th century and is in excellent condition. It contains a library with over 8,000 volumes, as wells as arms, damask curtains, jewels and antique furnitur..

A curiosity worth mentioning is that this village has the narrowest house in Spain, registered as such in the Guinness Book of Records. It measures 1.50 m in width by 20 m in depth and has a ground floor and four storeys. 


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!

Xunta de Galicia Turismo de Galicia

© 2013 Turismo de Galicia | All rights reserved
Privacy policy | Contact | Accessibility