Departing from Ourense

We will begin our trip in Ourense, we will then take state road N-540 (Ourense- Lugo) to Chantada, where we will admire the town’s historic district with its famous arcades and colonnades. We shall then travel along the Corredor Rápido Monforte-Lalín (CRG-2.1), and shortly after crossing the new bridge over the River Miño, on the right hand side there is a sign leading to the Church of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Miño. This is a magnificent example of the Romanesque style typical of the Ribeira Sacra. The church perfectly adapts to the rocky slope and towers over the valley of the Miño River; and offers views of the reservoir of Belesar. In addition to admiring the monument, visitors can enjoy wonderful panoramic views over the western hillside of the Miño River, covered with tiered terraces.

We can travel back to the junction of CRG-2.1, from which we have two options. Upstream from the reservoir of Belesar, we can visit the churches of Santa María de Pesqueiras and San Vitoiro de Ribas de Miño, as well as the renowned church of San Nicolao de Portomarín, which was taken apart, stone by stone, and later rebuilt, when the reservoir of Belesar was built. Those who have less time may want to follow the sign that will lead us to San Paio de Diomondi. This is a 12th century church that may be visited on Sundays at noon, while the religious service is conducted.

Cabo do Mundo

Continuing along the lands of O Saviñao and progressing toward the south along the course of the River Miño, we make a right turn and following the directions that will take us to the church of  San Martiño da Cova. This masterpiece of Romanesque art is situated in what is known as Cabo do Mundo, by an impressive meander of the River Miño, south of the towns of Chantada and O Saviñao.

South from here, once we reach the town of Pantón, we arrived in the area that is most densely filled with Romanesque style art in all of the Ribeira Sacra. Our first stop will be at San Miguel de Eiré, a small graceful church. Before we begin our tour of the church, we need to request the key that is kept in a private residence, as indicated at the entrance of the church. From the town of Eiré, three masterpieces of Romanesque art are a must for art lovers:  Santo Estevo de Atán, San Vicente de Pombeiro and San Fiz de Cangas. To visit the first of these, we must travel again to the shores of the River Miño. To visit San Vicente de Pombeiro, we need to travel to Os Peares and then take the road on the left, to return later to Atán. Finally, from Atán we shall drive briefly along state road N-120 (Ourense- Monforte); shortly before arriving in Ferreira de Pantón we will need to take a detour in order to visit San Fiz de Cangas.

From this point we will travel toward Monforte and continue to Castro de Ferreira (Pantón). Here, we will visit the Monasterio de las Bernardas de Ferreira, qwhich existed as early as the 10th century and was ruled by the order of San Bieito. Today, only the church of the old nuns' monastery stands, an extremely simple building from an architectural viewpoint.

After these visits, we will continue our journey along state road N-120, and take the detour toward the railway station at Canaval. Further to admiring the church of San Pedro de Canaval, we shall proceed to Santa María de Proendos y Santa María de Bolmente, for which we will take a local road departing from the town of Sober.

Continuing along this road, we run into the churches of San Vicente de Pinol and San Xiao de Lobios, after which we will return to state road N-120 and to Ourense.

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