The spa village of Laias y and O Carballiño offer us the healing properties of their micromedicinal mineral waters. We’ll combine this experience with the wine-filled richness of the lands of O Ribeiro,where we’ll tour a winery and sample its excellent wines.

We suggest that you enjoy the particular symbiosis between hot spring therapy and wine tourism in the heart of Galicia with a getaway to the lands of O Ribeiro and O Carballiño. Here the waters heal, create beautiful landscapes and exert a beneficial influence on the cultivation of grapevines.

More information...
-Designation of Origin  www.ribeiro.es
-Laias Spa (Cenlle). Tel_ 988 280 409
-O Carballiño Grand Spa. Tel_ 988 270 926
-Viña Meín Winery  www.vinamein.com

Day 1

Mineral waters and charming landscapes in Laias

Laias’ waters have been enjoyed since Roman times
The districts of O Carballiño and O Ribeiro, in the province of Ourense, have been known since ancient times for their thermal waters and wine of the O Ribeiro Denomination of Origin, which today remain the basis of their economies. In this setting, the municipality of Cenlle provides spaces where water – which gushes forth at over fifty degrees – heals and also creates places of spectacular beauty.

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In terms of accommodation, locally there are rural tourism houses and a spa hotel in the parish of Laias where the ancient Romans settled to mine the golden sands carried by the River Miño. We suggest that you arrive in Cenlle early in the afternoon so that you can enjoy at your leisure its scenery and micro-medicinal waters, whose benefits were appreciated as far back as 999 by Bermudo II, King of León, who came here accompanied by Prince Alfonso V to treat and obtain relief from his gout.

A walk along the banks of the River Miño
Once you’ve settled in at your chosen accommodation, we suggest you start making contact with this water- and forest-filled landscape. Outside of the spa village of Laias there is a path of just over two kilometres that allows you to walk among the vegetation at the edge of the River Miño, following its course to Barbantes-Estación.
Along the path – which is signposted and easy to walk – we’ll notice how the calm backwaters of the river are like a mirror reflecting these vineyard-covered hillsides, dotted with small villages and lush vegetation of carballos (pedunculate oak), cerquiños (Pyrenean oak) and other riparian species. Along the way, we’ll feel the coolness – and also some mystery – as we walk along the twisted and moss-covered trunks of the oaks that appear along the path.
Other sections have a more romantic air when the leaves fall and cushion our path. On the other side of the river stand grand mansions such as the seventeenth-century Pazo de Rioboo, whose beautiful baroque gate with Compostelastyle influences seems to offer us a friendly greeting.

A thermal treatment session in the spa.
When the walk is over, we can finish off the afternoon in the spa’s facilities, allowing the benefits of its hyperthermal and mostly bicarbonated and alkaline waters take effect on our health. Its outdoor heated pool and adjoining terrace are like a balcony with spectacular views to the Castrelo de Miño reservoir.

Dinner, based on meat and savoury pies, with O Ribeiro wine
At dinner time, these lands have excellent products from traditional Galician cuisine. We can start off our meal with a savoury pie, and follow it with meat richada-style, cachucha (pig’s head) or pork with turnip tops, accompanied by O Ribeiro Denomination of Origin wines. We suggest that you leave sampling the octopus á feira for tomorrow in O Carballiño, where the polbeiras (octopus cooks) enjoy a well-deserved fame.

Day 2

A day in the spa town of Carballiño

After breakfast, we propose that you drive to the spa town of O Carballiño, which you’ll reach via the AG-53 and then taking the signposted exits to the town. Original buildings, spas and riverside promenades along the banks of the River Arenteiro make it ideal for spending part of the day.

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The striking style of the Temple of A Veracruz
We can start off by visiting one of the buildings that most catches the eye of new visitors, the Templo de la Veracruz, by the Galician architect Antonio Palacios. This building is in the “historicist” style, in which decorative elements from different artistic periods such as Romanesque and Gothic are mixed and castle or manor battlements are added. All this defines a very particular construction style which is present in other buildings such as the Votive Temple in Panxón or the Virgin of the Rock in Baiona.

The medicinal waters of the O Carballiño Grand Spa
Next, following Marcelino Parrondo street, we’ll reach Avenida do Balneario and soon see the O Carballiño Grand Spa emerge behind its gate from among a magnificent grove of oak and beech trees. This forest increases the building’s own charm, with its crenellated tower, its large white gallery and glazed lantern in the centre. We suggest that you go on inside, where you’ll find the Pabellón de Agüistas, which houses the spring of medicinal waters, and give its healing waters a try.

Walk along the shores of the river
The morning will culminate perfectly if you finish it off with a stroll along the shores of the River Arenteiro, ou finish it off with a stroll along the shores of the River Arenteiro, touring one of the town’s most iconic leisure areas, the Municipal Park. ouring one of the town’s most iconic leisure areas, the Municipal Park. The park is an extensive woodland crossed by roads, avenues and squares, walkways and wooden bridges and is the site of the Festa do Polbo, O Carballiño’s tribute to the octopus par excellence, held every second Sunday in August. We encourage you to continue on to the end of the walk, beyond the area known as illa do Filomeno, the location of a fish farm, until you reach the Pena do Namorados, a big boulder on top of a granite structure, wrapped in legends about treasures and romance.

Pulpo á feira and bread from Cea
At lunchtime, we may remember a local saying: “For meat, bread and wine, O Carballiño”. Nevertheless, we’re not going to renounce a few plates of octopus á feira style, cut on alderwood plates, with coarse salt, pepper and olive oil by the famed polbeiras of the locality. Bread from Cea, – a nearby town known for this product – and O Ribeiro Designation of Origin wines will be luxurious accompaniments. Lastly, for dessert, you can enjoy some cream-stuffed pastries – a typical O Carballiño sweet – and coffee liqueur, which is so popular in the province.

Touring a winery, in the home of O Ribeiro
In the afternoon, we suggest that you visit some of the wineries included in the Denominación de Origen O Ribeiro nd sample their wines. One interesting option is to visit the parish of San Clodio, in the municipality of Leiro, where it is believed that Cistercian monks planted the first vines in the mediaeval era.
We’ll take a walk through a plantation of Treixadura, one of the designations’ preferred white varietals. Adjacent to the vineyard stands a charming rural accommodation – a pioneer of wine tourism in Galicia – the result of the rehabilitation of a grand old manor house. From here, we can see the vineyards climbing the mountainside. We finish off our visit with some samples of their wines and return to the hotel for dinner.

Day 3

A spa treatment and a visit to a fortified pre-Roman Iron Age village

On the morning of the departure we can take advantage of the spa’s hot springs facilities and enjoy an aesthetic, health or relaxation treatment that will get us ready to return home completely stress-free.

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The San Cibrao de Las fortified pre-Roman Iron Age village is one of Galicia’s largest
Once the treatment has been completed, you can take advantage of the fact that just a few kilometres separate these facilities from the  Castro de San Cibrao de Las, fortified pre- Roman Iron Age village, one of the largest in Galicia. It is also known as A Cidade and straddles the municipalities of Punxín and San Amaro. It was inhabited between the second centuries BC and AD, during the final stage of the castrexa culture.

You’ll be able to pick out strong, extensive walls – one inside the other, forming two nearly concentric ellipses. The surface area between the walls is close to 100,000 m², of which almost 9,000 are part of the acropolis. This extension makes it difficult to notice all the interesting elements it contains. We recommend that you take a good look at on one of its most unique buildings: the fountain/cistern next to the west gate of the space before the acropolis.

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