We’ll enjoy Guitiriz’s waters as a family. We’ll visit its beautiful, nature-filled areas, full of springs, rivers and mills and also benefit from the properties of its famous micro-medicinal waters while the children enjoy the spa’s leisure area.

Its rich aquatic ecosystem makes it a Site of Community Importance (SCI) and the river basin to which it belongs is a Biosphere Reserve.

In Guitiriz, water floods the senses:seeing it running in rivers and crystal-clear streams, hearing it fall in small waterfalls, drinking it and smelling it in its springs or bathing in its thermal spas. Its rich aquatic ecosystem makes it a Site of Community Importance (SCI) and the river basin to which it belongs is a Biosphere Reserve. The beautiful and serene landscapes created by this liquid element are perfect for enjoying hiking and swimming with the family.

More information...
- Guitiriz Spa. www.balneariodelugo.com
- Marcelle Natureza Zoo. www.marcellenatureza.com

Day 1

The value of the water in Guitiriz

We suggest reaching Guitiriz – which is located in the district of A Terra Chá in the province of Lugo – around noon, in order to make the best of the day getting in touch with nature and water.

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Our destination is one of the most renowned spas in Galicia, famous for its unique micromedicinal water because it emerges cold and is suitable for the digestive and renal systems.

The name “Guitiriz” has become known across borders thanks to its spa-hotel. after having been shuttered for a long time, has shared in the rebirth of hot spring therapy in Galicia. In 2003, it underwent a major reform which preserved the stunning original appearance of the building, and a new one was built that houses the spa and hot springs club. The forest surrounding it – which extends more than 40 hectares – contains a golf course, which increases the feeling of being immersed in nature.

Potatoes, turnip tops and cheese, star products of the local district
Once settled in, we suggest that you eat at a traditional eatery, grill or local restaurant. A Terra Chá is a kitchen garden of fine Galician products with geographical designations and indications protecting many of its products, such as potatoes, turnip greens or the delicious San Simón da Costa cheese. For this reason, pork with turnip tops, a Galician stew – also with turnip tops – or even a simple Spanish omelette are a gift to the palate if, in addition, we top it off with the typical corn cake of Guitiriz.

The Route of the Water
The value that water has in Guitiriz allows us to leverage this resource in many ways. Its lands belong to the Upper Basin of the River Miño called “Terras do Miño”, declared  Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. Within this, they are in the  Parga-Ladra-Támoga Site of Community Importance (SCI).

After lunch, we suggest you start off the afternoon with a bit of hiking through this landscape of great environmental value following the official PR-G 99, route, known as the “Route of the Water”. It runs along the banks of the Rivers Parga and Ladroil, joining the three most important local springs with healing waters: Valdobín, San Xoán de Lagostelle and Fonte de Santo Domingo. The trail’s level path makes it perfect to do with the children.

Watermills on the shores of the river
The total trip is nearly twenty kilometres long. For this reason, we suggest that you limit it this time to the part that connects the area around the Spa - Hotel in Guitiriz with Sete Muíños recreational area,where the “little ones” will feel right at home after the hike. We’ll reach it in just a kilometre and a half after passing through the municipal capital. You’ll find a natural area of great beauty with watermills on the banks of the River Escádebas which lends significant ethnographic value to the recreational area.

The alders, birches, oaks, chestnuts and pines along the shore seem to walk along with us. Wooden bridges and overpasses crossing the river enable us to walk through this area safely and see the waterfalls that form before falling into a pond, now converted into a natural swimming pool. If time permits, we can take a dip in it. The younger crowd can enjoy themselves playing in the playground located in this area.

A session at the spa for children and adults
After our hike, we can finish off our afternoon in the spa’s leisure areas. The children will love the children’s hot springs pool and playground. Meanwhile, the adults can relax with a thermal circuit and enjoy the benefits of the micro-medicinal properties of the water before dining in the hotel restaurant.

 

Day 2

Untamed nature in Outeiro de Rei and mediaeval history in Friol

After breakfast, we suggest that you head over to Outeiro de Rei to spend the morning at the Marcelle Natureza.In the afternoon, we suggest that you visit the  San Paio de Narla Fortress.

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Animals from different continents in one natural environment
The trip lasts a half-hour by car via the N-VI. The zoo is a natural space where we can get close to animals – both indigenous and from other parts of the world – and learn more about the biodiversity surrounding us, both fauna and flora.

In this setting, we’ll find South American llamas and rheas, bison and wapiti from North America, Australian kangaroos and emus, African zebras and elands and European mouflon and boreal lynx. We may see bears and wolves from safe vantage points enjoying a small forest set aside just for them. We will also be amazed by the snakes and giant turtles in the reptile centre.

The park has covered picnic areas which are ideal for resting and regrouping in order to continue with the visit. We can bring our own picnic – prepared by the hotel restaurant – and enjoy it here, weather permitting. If not, the park has a snack bar and a restaurant whose menu includes exotic meats.

We visit a mediaeval fortress
In the afternoon, we suggest that you visit the San Paio de Narla Fortress– popularly known as the “Torre de Xiá” (Xiá Tower) – which rises on a hill next to the River Narla in the municipality of Friol. It’s located a half-hour away via provincial roads LU-234 and LU-232.

We’ll ensure an entertaining afternoon with the children touring this great fourteenth-century fortified complex, which consists of the Keep, central body, fortified tower and chapel. Victim of some of the irmandiñas revolts – peasant rebellions against oppression by feudal lords in the Middle Ages – it was rebuilt in the sixteenth century. Today, it opens its doors as a historical and ethnographic museum.

Everyone’s interest will be piqued by the huge variety of items on display: looms, antique furniture, farm implements in the cellar, saddles in the stables and a large collection of knives and firearms on the third floor of the Keep, including plate armour and samurai armour. We’ll also notice the originality of a Renaissance fireplace decorated with elements resembling animals and plants.

Bread, cheese and trout for dinner
If we plan to dine locally after our tour, don’t forget to accompany the meal with bread from Ousá and order a platter of artisan cheese from Friol – two of its culinary delights – along with trout from the River Narla.

Day 3

We say goodbye to Guitiriz at the spa

After breakfast, we can enjoy an aesthetic or health treatment, get a massage or immerse ourselves in the hot tubs with jets and bubbles. If you wish to further delay your departure, you can walk another stretch of the “Route of the Water

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The last thermal circuit.
After breakfast, we can enjoy an aesthetic or health treatment, get a massage or immerse ourselves in the hot tubs with jets and bubbles, aromatherapy spray or the soapy massage area included in the thermal circuit. The children will enjoy themselves in the play area and by taking their last dips in the mineral water pool, making the most of the water slide.

A walk among curious springs
If you wish to further delay your departure, you can walk another stretch of the “Route of the Water”. We suggest that you start at the magnificent mediaeval bridge of San Alberte, over which passes the Northern Way to Santiago de Compostela.

Only in the Kingdom of Galicia are so many mineral springs found that, in this point, it is not equal to any other in the rest of Spain”.
Pedro Gómez de Bedoya, physician during the Enlightenment (1772)

Nearby, we’ll visit the chapel of the same name, in a natural setting of great beauty. This is a thirteenthcentury Gothic building with Arabic influences; at its feet bubbles forth the Fonte da Fala, known by this name due to a mixture of tradition and legend that attributes to its waters the power to cure stuttering.

If you continue on a bit further, you’ll reach the Fonte de Valdobín, located in a nicely fitted out area on the banks of the River Parga, near Parga. There is also a beautiful oak forest in the village, where we can enjoy a peaceful and relaxing rest and stay to eat, if we want.

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