A tour of Galicia’s largest acropolis, a balneotherapy session, a visit to a winery and the monastery where the Cistercian monks brought the first wine grape vines.

The culture of wine and hot springs are closely linked in the lands of the O Ribeiro region in inland Galicia. Its rugged terrain, a mix of rivers and mountains, create beautiful landscapes but also hold fabulous fortified Iron Age villages, shrines, churches and monasteries, considered the cradle of the excellent wines they produce.

Today, these wines are protected by the O Ribeiro Designation of Origin, and we encourage you to discover their wineries and rich heritage.

More information...
- Pazo Casanova winery. www.pazocasanova.com
- Viña Meín winery. www.vinamein.com
- Laias spa.Teléfono: 988 280 409

Day 1

From Cenlle to Galicia’s biggest acropolis, the fortified pre-Roman Iron Age village of San Cibrao de Las

We propose starting off from Cenlle, a town on the shores of the River Miño where its waters accumulate due to the Castrelo de Miño reservoir. Its hot springs – which gush forth at more than 50 degrees – allow us to benefit from this resource in modern facilities.

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We recommend that you get there early in the afternoon; that way, you’ll be able to use the time to schedule a visit to one of the interesting local heritage sites such as the spectacular fortified pre-Roman Iron Age village of San Cibrao de Las, – also known as “A Cidade” – very close to Cenlle, which straddles the municipalities of San Amaro and Punxín. It is considered to be Galicia’s largest. The surface area inside its walls covers nearly 100,000 m2, 9,000 of which are part of the acropolis.

Among the many items of the village that will grab your attention is one of its most unique: the water tank/fountain next to the west gate of the outer wall. The fort is known to have been inhabited between 200 BC and AD 200 by which time this culture was already in decline, hence the obvious signs of Romanisation seen in the acropolis. The entire village, located on the top of a gentle hill, is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and native vegetation.

A balneaotherapy session in Laias

After our tour, we suggest you put the final touch on the afternoon with a spa therapy session in the Laias hot springs facilities . It is documented that the King of León Bermudo II did so as well; in 999 he visited this region accompanied by Prince Alfonso to recover from the gout he was suffering, as he knew of the hyperthermal water’s healing properties. Today, we know that the water is predominantly bicarbonated and alkaline. Enjoying a swim in the heated outdoor pool brings health benefits but also excellent views as well, as it is like a balcony from which you can contemplate the calm waters of the River Miño in the Castrelo de Miño reservoir. If we’re in the mood, we can also enjoy a health, relaxation or beauty treatment.

"As long as there’s water in the Miño, there’ll be wine in O Ribeiro." . "Mentras auga teña o Miño, no Ribeiro non falta viño" .
 Dicho popular

We wash down the best local delicacies with a glass of Ribeiro

For dinner, there is a wide variety of quality local products for delighting our palates. Next to a glass of DO Ribeiro wine, we might choose Cea-style bread and a plate of á feira-style octopus, prepared as they do in the nearby town of O Carballiño which is famous for its pulpeiras, accompanied by cachelos (potatoes) and some A Arnoia peppers, if in season. If we prefer meat, we can opt for a cachucha (pig’s head) or lacón con grelos.

 

Day 2

We explore the places where the monks brought the first grape vines at the beginning of the last millennium

After breakfast, we suggest that you begin to delve into the local wine culture with a tour of one of the wineries covered by the Ribeiro Designation of Origin. The Cistercian Monastery of San Clodio, in the nearby municipality of Leiro is considered the seed of the birth of the local wines, to where the religious order’s monks brought the first grape vines early in the last millennium.

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There are also local examples of the Designation of Origin’s wineries, such as the one at Viña Meín, in the parish of San Clodio, which can introduce you to the history, production and characteristics of the wines grown here. If you visit, you’ll be able to walk among the vineyards of a plantation of Treixadura vines, one of the white grape varieties preferably used by the Designation of Origin, and tour the winery’s facilities. Next to the vineyard is a restored traditional construction and refurbished as rural accommodation; you can see the vineyards ascending the slopes from its gallery. We’ll finish off our visit by tasting the wines produced by the winery, accompanied by some snacks or tapas, which are so popular in Galicia.

A visit to the Monastery of San Clodio

We recommend that afterwards you get to know the Monastery of San Clodio, which has been converted into a four-star monument/hotel that is open to visitors. You may stroll through its gardens and among the arcades of its cloisters, or enter its Romanesque church, inside of which is an interesting altarpiece and a curious coffered ceiling under the choir.

In addition, the monastery is nestled in a valley surrounded by vineyards, where walking is a delight. We encourage you approach the San Clodio mediaeval bridge, – dating from the fifteenth century – which features an interesting cruceiro in the middle. Along with the monastery, it is part of a complex granted National Historical/Artistic Monument status.

Meat, Ribeiro and coffee liqueur

At lunchtime, the area offers several restaurants, both in the San Clodio monument/hotel as well as in different country houses. In addition to the excellent DO Ribeiro wines, it is possible to enjoy some good steaks. To accompany dessert, don’t forget to order a glass of coffee liqueur as the one from the neighbouring parish of Berán is justly famous.

An eighteenth-century pazo converted into a winery

When afternoon rolls around and your lunch has settled, you can head towards the town of Santa Cruz de Arrabaldo near Ourense, where we’ll find an important example of the Ribeiro DO, the Pazo Casanova winery. Its Treixadura, Albariño, Godello and Loureira vineyards lie next to an eighteenth-century pazo belonging to the winery, and is where we’ll go once we’ve passed its stone walls. The winery works with the Galicia’s Viticulture and Oenology Station on projects aimed at the development and evolution of local wines, which we’ll be able to sample along with the distilled beverages its produce.

After the tour, you can finish off the afternoon enjoying the Laias Spa, facilities before dinner.

Day 3

Ourense, Galicia’s spa capital

After breakfast, we suggest you visit the city of Ourense – the spa capital of Galicia – which boasts great heritage site and business appeal.

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The Old Town is the location of one of its symbols – the neoclassical fountain of As Burgas, – where the water gushing from it steams from its high temperature. There are two legends: one that says that the origin of the spring is in a dormant volcano under the city, and the other locates the volcano under the Chapel of Santo Cristo, in Ourense Cathedral, a must-see.

In the historical district, you’ll also find the Praza Maior square, a curious plaza surrounded by buildings with beautiful white galleries, and the Church of Santa Eufemia, on the way to the city’s modern part and connected via Rúa do Paseo. This is Ourense’s great pedestrian artery, full of dynamism and eye-catching commercial establishments, especially shops with fashionable footwear and textiles.

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