White foam bubbles up from heaving waters...in Galician “ferve a a auga”... and the waterfalls become “fervenzas”.
Although there is no scarcity of water in Galicia, it is considered a highly valuable resource. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Cantabrian Sea to the north, Galicia is the gateway for waves of stormy weather fronts that bring abundant rains. Home to a terrain where the gentle coastline is peppered with steep mountain faces rising up to altitudes of more than two thousand metres, its rivers, streams, torrents and springs encounter frequent obstacles that they skirt or leap over, forming spectacular waterfalls.
Geological materials of varying hardness, the deep cracks caused by faults and the result of the relentless erosion that has shaped the riverbeds, form delightful landscapes dominated by the presence of water.
The abundance of waterfalls in Galicia is reflected in the seemingly endless number of words that exist in the Galician language to refer to this phenomenon: fervenzas, férvedas, fírvedas, freixas, fechas, ficheiras, chorreiras, cadoiros, saltos, cachóns, callóns, cachoeiras, abanqueiros, ruxidas, ruxidoiras, rexedoiras, cenzas, caeiras, pincheiras, seimeiras...
It is hard to determine the exact number of falls included in our natural heritage. Streams, torrents, brooks and tributaries twist and weave their way through Galicia, dropping sharply from hundreds of waterfalls.
This guide features a selection of the most outstanding of these falls, classified in thirteen groups in accordance with the characteristic that best defines them: their height, their powerful flow, the formation of plunge pools and slides...
The pages that follow are an invitation to dive into a sensorial poem of outstanding beauty, where the brief texts allow the photographs to speak for themselves.
Yet it is not just a question of the visual potential of these natural settings, but also of their sounds, the plays of light and shadow, the all-pervading damp and the flora that flourishes in these conditions. All this converts the waterfalls and torrents into magical places and an opportunity to feel a unique connection with nature.
A truly enchanting experience.
We want to thank Carlos Frade for his collaboration in the preparation of this inventory and the transfer of information collected in his blog fervenzasdegalicia.blogspot.com.