The geo-destination, Manzaneda - Trevinca, contains the municipalities:  A Pobra de Trives, A Rúa, A Veiga, Carballeda de Valdeorras, Chandrexa de Queixa, Larouco, Manzaneda, O Barco de Valdeorras, O Bolo, Petín, Rubiá, San Xoán de Río and Vilamartín de Valdeorras.

Cabeza Grande in Manzaneda – nearly 1,800 metres above sea level –, and Pena Trevinca – 2,217 metres high – are the rooftops of Galicia. A white Galicia that seems to touch the sky.

In the municipality of O Bolo, the majestic Baroque sanctuary of "As Ermidas" looks at the sky from a deep gorge of the River Bibei, since it was built to be viewed from above.

In the Macizo Central, Manzaneda is the only ski resort in Galicia. It is also a mountain resort open all year where one can enjoy sports and nature tourism. The mountains of Pena Trevinca are a protected nature reserve. Its summits are crowned by glacial lakes such as Ocelo or the Lagoa da Serpe, with the purest and most crystalline of water. This is a Special Protection Area for Birds, the ideal place for lovers of bird-watching tourism. There are also great hiking trails, river tourism in the reservoir of A Veiga and a hidden gem, the Teixadal de Casaio, one of the largest yew forest in Europe.

Heritage

With regard to architectural representations, there are two towers of note: the Castro Tower (outside of O Barco, with splendid views over the town and the river) and the O Bolo Tower.

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Xagoaza Parish in O Barco has the best example of Valdeorrés Romanesque in its 12th-century monasterio and church, which belonged to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Of course there are earlier works, such as the magnificent ponte da Cigarrosa, in A Rua, which joins this municipality with that of Petín and used to be part of the 18th Via of the Antonine Itinerary.

The traveller visiting this geodestination cannot fail to visit the shrine of As Ermidas, in O Bolo, ensconced in the canyon of the River Bibei, in a place right out of a fairytale.

 

Natural reserves

With regard to nature, this geodestination hides several surprises.  One is the Parque Natural da Serra da Enciña da Lastra, which borders León, a treasure encompassing more than three thousand hectares. And, surprisingly, it has excellent bat colonies that still hold many secrets. Another one of those surprises is the protected landscape of the Val do río Navea (this valley spans the municipalities of San Xoán de Río and A Pobra de Trives), with a magnificent forest of native species.

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A forest recognised as a natural monument is the Souto de Rozabales where the Pumbariños, 12.15 metres round and perhaps a thousand years old. And another, to finish up, the Macizo Central (to be fair, one part of it), where not only the town of Manzaneda with well preserved remains of its walls, gateway to the interior and castle is located, but also the only ski resort in Galicia. 

It is true that all this may pale next to another area declared as part of the Nature 2000 Network: Pena Trevinca, a paradise for mountain hikers and even climbers. The summit that gives it its name is 2,127 meters above sea level, making it the summit with the highest altitude in Galicia. It is surrounded by beautiful valleys created by glaciers.

Festivals and gastronomy

One festival in this geodestination stands head and shoulders above the rest, to the extent that it was declared a Galician Tourist Event: the Folión Tradicional, which takes place in the municipality of Manzaneda and whose main character is the Mázcara; there are folións in other enclaves of this geodestination, one of the most noteworthy being that of Vilariño de Conso. In A Pobra de Trives, culinary tribute is paid to its excellent sausage, months before the veteran Xornadas Internacionais do Folclore takes place in the same town. .

But if these lands are well known, it is not only because of their festivals, but especially because of their wines, which seek their own market by relying on a their own Designation of Origin, Valdeorras (of the eleven grapes, the most important are  the Mencía and the Godello). Some of the wineries that are located not far from the River Bibei (in Larouco, a Roman road with a seemingly impossible design, especially two millennia ago, and dramatically crosses the drop to the stream) appear to be built in places that are simply inaccessible.

As expected, the cuisine is traditional and typical of the mountain. Honey is present everywhere in Galicia, but here it has a reputation for quality. Moreoever, this geodestination boasts fine chestnuts. Both Galicia's honey as well as its chestnuts are products with a protected geographical indication.

HIGHLIGHT: Valley of the River Navea

The valley of the River Navea is a protected landscape. It is dominated by trees, such as the large forest of San Xoán de Río or the famous chestnuts in the district of Trives. The historical chestnuts share space with interesting buildings that are being rehabilitated called sequeiros, traditionally used to dry chestnuts.  

There is a mediaeval bridge over the River Navea, built on the remains of the ancient Roman bridge. This river flows into the River Bibei, whose channel is crossed by one of the best preserved Roman bridges in Galicia, built for the passage of the Vía Nova or 18th Via of the Antonine Itinerary, whose route was completed about the year A.D. 80.

 

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