In Lobios, the hot-springs experience blends the curative powers of the thermal waters with the fascinating environment of the Baixa Limia-Serra do Xurés Nature Park. Twenty-first century spa villages and settlements dating back to the ancient Roman Empire are surrounded by mountains, glacial valleys, reservoirs, cascades, granite eruptions shaped like needles and bowling pins, and riparian and mountain forests that are home to mountain lions, roe deer and wild horses. This is Nature’s architecture, which coexists with human-built megaliths, Roman roads, granaries and watermills.

This experience is aimed at enjoying the mineral waters in Lobios,
a twenty-first-century spa village that shares its space with Roman-era archaeological sites.
all located in a setting of spectacular beauty and natural resources which we’ll travel on foot and horseback.

More information...
-Interpretation Centre. Aquae Querquennae Via Nova. Tel_ 988 040 127
-Balneario de Lobios. Tel_ 988 448 440

Day 1

From a Roman villa to a spa village

On the road to the spa village of Lobios we take the OU-540 through the municipality of Bande, where there is a unique example of the heritage of the Baixa Limia region that is very closely linked to hot spring therapy: the Roman sites of Aquis Querquennis Roman archaeological site. We suggest you reach this stage in your trip by early afternoon to visit this important site. The turnoff is small and simple and signposted few kilometres after the village of Bande.

The excavations of the Roman village of Aquis Querquennis

This large Roman military camp – dating from the first or second century AD – was the base camp for the construction of the Via Nova, an important Roman road close to the site that linked Astorga and Braga. Situated on the banks of the River Limia, on a spit of land that occupies part of the As Conchas reservoir, from which it partially emerges when the water is rising, it has a blue and green background marked by the waters and riparian forest and a mountain.

The site is very large: to date, over two thousand metres of rectangular wall have been excavated and many building elements have been found inside, such as rows of square pillars, the remains of beautiful columns and standing arches.

Next to the camp, we’ll also be able to discern what remains of an ancient Roman mansio, a kind of inn for travellers on the Via Nova which boasted an oven for baking bread, accommodations, kitchen and patio. You’ll find hot springs welling up generously among the remains. You can make use of them as did the Romans in times long past and as the locals – who ascribe properties against rheumatism and skin diseases to them – continue to do.

The thermal waters emerging among
these archaeological remains
have been attributed
with healing properties since Roman times

We suggest that before touring the archaeological remains, you visit the Aquae Querquennae Via Nova Interpretation CentreVia Nova, which is on way to the site. It recreates the route of a Roman road and the elements found

In the spa village of Lobios
We resume our journey to the spa village of Lobios, situated in the parish of Río Caldo, which is only a half-hour drive away. The municipality, which is part of the territory of the Parque Natural da Baixa Limia-Serra do Xurés, offers a broad variety of establishments where we can stay, such as houses, apartments or rural hotels and a four-star spa hotel in the spa village itself.

Once you’ve settled in, we suggest you take advantage of what remains of the afternoon to enjoy the benefits of these bicarbonate-, sodium- and chloride-rich waters emanating from the springs at a temperature of more than 70 degrees. We can do this in the spa hotel’s, indoor swimming pools, which boast spectacular views of the mountains of the Serra do Xurés, and combine the water’s micro-medicinal properties with a massage or beauty, relaxation or health treatment, or outdoors, where there is a riverside promenade and a large area designed for swimming next to the River Caldo, with a large, free-of-charge pool of steaming hot spring waters that mix with the cooler waters of the river.

For dinner: game or beef
Our advice is that you dine in the accommodation you’ve chosen, but keeping in mind local, native products. Outstanding choices include game or beef from a cachena cow, a native breed with small bodies and large horns. They live in semi-free-range circumstances in extensive herds on the nearby plains in Leboreiro, O Quinxo, Santa Eufemia, Xurés and Pisco.

Day 2

Hiking trails through the Nature Park and relaxation in the spa

After breakfast, we suggest that you start off enjoying the amazing scenery, nature and ethnographic and archaeological resources of the nature park with a hike along one of the trails of the many that there are here. You can ask the restaurant where you are staying to prepare a picnic for you.

An ancient Roman mansio – with underfloor heating
We propose that you take the so-called Ruta da Corga de Fecha, which begins in the spa in Lobios and follows the riverside promenade along the River Caldo, where we were the day before. A few hundred metres off the Via Nova are the archaeological remains of the Aquis Originis mansio where the current excavations let us discern what was a kitchen and the spa area. It also has hypocaust – a heating system that circulated hot air through underfloor pipes – used especially in the hot springs of the Empire.

Restored mills, waterfalls and blue-tinged pools
We continue our journey through the valley of the River Caldo until we cross the Corga da Fecha, the starting point of the ascent that will take us to crystal-clear pools that run along the edge the entire Corga. Some fifty metres on from here you can cross the bridge over the River Caldo, to your right, and admire a mill – of several that exist on the river – that has been restored.

Then retrace your steps before resuming the route before the bridge and you’ll begin an ascent to some beautiful pools and waterfalls or “corgas”. They are a series of cascades along the final stretch of the Fecha brook reaching an elevation distance of two hundred metres in search of the embedded river bed of the River Caldo. At each step of the cascade, the water forms pools in which it takes on a lovely bluish colour.

A small hut used by shepherds
If we continue climbing, we’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the valley of the River Caldo and the Serra de Santa Eufemia. Next, you reach level ground, where you can connect with another of the park’s routes, known as Cabañina do Curro, which offers the opportunity of visiting this little hut – or “chivana” – a curious building used by shepherds for shelter.
If we hike the route when spring is in full bloom, besides having our vision flooded with beautiful scenery, our noses will appreciate the plethora of aromas given off by the abundant plant life that greets us at every step.

In the afternoon, back at your accommodation, we recommend that you put yourselves into the hands of the professionals at the Lobios spa for a massage that will reinvigorate you after your hike and that you enjoy the jet pool, thermal chairs and other services offered in the spa’s leisure facilities.

At dinner, we’ll sample organic goat cheese and honey
EAt dinnertime, you’ll enjoy traditional Galician cuisine in the spa’s restaurant or in another local spot. Exquisite organic goat cheese is produced locally. A few years ago, a species belonging to the family of the extinct Xurés breed of goats – whose last refuge was these mountains in the late nineteenth century – was reintroduced. The current specie’s good adaptation to the area has allowed old local customs and traditions to be recovered and showcased, such as the production of this artisan cheese. For dessert, consider the fact that – thanks to the Nature Park’s, rich and varied flora – the local honey is outstanding.

Day 3

A trail ride

After breakfast, there is still time for a last swim or spa treatment at the hotel-spa in Lobios.

Then we encourage you to enjoy yesterday’s same panoramic views, but from a different perspective: on horseback.
This route – of great scenic interest – can be chosen to last one, two or even four hours through the area around Lobios, starting from San Martiño. Along the trail, you’ll discover places of outstanding beauty. You’ll have the opportunity to pass through villages that reveal the details of their traditional architecture, and even cross small brooks or streams.

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