A celebrated Galician writer, Álvaro Cunqueiro, called Galicia “the land of a thousand rivers.” Cunqueiro did not know the exact number, nor did he need to, because what he really wanted was to talk about the soul of a region whose capillaries are constantly fed by water. It is a wondrous land that enchants from the first sight of the green carpet covering it.
In Galicia we can climb the mountains of the Pena Trevinca massif to heights of over 2,000 metres, navigate the gorges of the River Sil or the River Miño, wander along the near deserted beaches of the Costa da Morte, Ortegal and A Mariña Lucense, or become one with nature exploring the O Courel or Os Ancares woods. Sit atop dizzying cliffs with a drop of over 600 metres to the sea, shelter in warm valleys or fish in well-stocked rías, which overwhelm the senses with their beauty.
Galicia is, above all, landscape.
A landscape that expresses the links between its men and women and the soil, combining natural forms with those carefully shaped by generations who occupied the land and sculpted it to reflect the needs and social situations of each age. The terraces of Ribera Sacra, the mosaic of the meadows, the painstakingly cultivated orchards, the towns and cities, the paths and roads that cross the region...all this is landscape.
Every journey is a unique personal process. The emotions stirred by these landscapes will also be different for every visitor. The authors of this guide have therefore set themselves an impossible task: to choose 25 routes through Galicia's finest landscapes and identify 50 unmissable lookout points. How many different versions would have to be published to allow for all opinions? How many lookout points would need to be chosen to please everyone?
Galicia has a wealth of landscape and the routes described in this publication are an invitation to discover its secrets.
The 25 routes are an introduction to a complex, living world, in which there will always be opportunities to discover route number 26.