O Courel is, undoubtedly the green reserve of Galicia and it also has a rich historical heritage. 

Day 1

The route through Serra do Courel starts from either Samos or O Cebreiro, depending on the traveller's preference. We recommend starting in Samos, where you can visit the beautiful Monastery of San Xulián, founded during the Visigoth period by Saint Martin of Dumio, and built in different eras with Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque structures.

Ten kilometres from Samos, towards O Cebreiro along the French Way, is the town of Triacastela, where you can visit the Church of Santiago This Romanesque church underwent significant renovations in the 18th century. Eleven kilometres from Triacastela, you’ll find Fonfría and its parish church of San Xoán, built in the 16th century with major later renovations.

Continuing along the LU-633, you’ll reach Alto do Poio, a scenic spot surrounded by forests. From this viewpoint at 1,337 metres, you can see the Serra de Rañadoiro and the valley below. Another notable spot is the monument to the pilgrim at Alto de San Roque, at 1,270 metres.

Twenty-three kilometres from Triacastela is the O Cebreiro. Here, a must-see is the Sanctuary of Santa María A Real founded by Count Aurillac in the 9th century and later renovated.

Also worth visiting is the Ethnographic Museum, housed in pallozas that retain their original structure. O Cebreiro is famous as the starting point to the French Route in Galicia, for its monuments and landscapes and for its cheese. Every year a fair is held in Piedrafita to celebrate its cheese. O Cebreiro offers a variety of accommodation and dining options, making it an ideal place to end the day.

Day 2

On the second day, we head towards Seoane do Courel. We head from O Cebreiro along the LU-634 road towards Samos; in Hospital, we turn off to the left in order to enter the mountains via the LU-651 road.

On reaching Seoane do Courel, 33 from O Cebreiro, we find the sign on the left indicating Visuña and Romeor. We followed the signs and 4.8 km from the intersection, there are signs on the right indicating Visuña and Ferramulín. If we continue straight, without turning and pass through Millares, we will reach the hamlet of Romeor and the Roman tunnel/aqueduct.

From hereon, the visit – with a medium level of difficult – must be done on foot. One must walk three kilometres along a stream with quite a large volume of water. For this reason it is advisable to take boots as well as a torch, as approximately 200 metres of the route, until we reach the other side of the mountain, are in semi-darkness.  We return to Millares, pass through Mostaz and we turn off towards Visuña - Ferramulín. On the way we find the ruins of Carbedo Castle, which is also called San Roque Castle. In this area, we can marvel at the majestic, spectacular view of the Cido mountain wall, which at some points reaches 950 metres to later gently descend.

Ten kilometres from Seoane do Courel and reaching the O Coto hill, a second path branches off to the right. This will take us to the foot of the Devesa da Rogueira. At this point in our journey, we can see the top of O Couto: the peak of Formigueiros. Continuing along the route, we come to Visuña – where, until recently, two of the mills in the area were still in use – and Ferramulín (km 20.3), where there is still a working mill. Just on the curve to the left, on the first ascent after leaving this village, there is a signpost for the descent to the Vieiros Cascade (km 22.4). Another 1,200 metres further, we reach the hamlet of Vieiros and another mile beyond, A Seara, one of the best-restored villages in O Courel.

From A Seara we go through El Soldón and come to Cruz de Outeiro (km 40). At this point, there is a turnoff to the right which crosses the mountain range through Vilarbacú and brings us back to Seoane do Courel. Due to its difficulty, this route is advisable only when done in a jeep. The proposed alternative itinerary heads towards Quiroga, passing through Bustelo de Fisteus. Once in Quiroga, 49.4 kilometres from Seoane do Courel, we head along the LU-651 road towards Folgoso do Courel. Twelve kilometres later, we arrived in Alto do Boi, which is 1,061 metres above sea level. At this point, there is a track to the right that will lead us to Pía Paxaro and a turnoff to the right which will take us to the village of Vilar. Even though this 3.2-km track is asphalted it is considered dangerous as it has a 16% gradient. The descent of vehicles with a trailer or buses is prohibited.

Once in Vilar, we will visit the village, which has a dozen attached houses, some of them with slate roofs and located in very narrow streets. We cross the hamlet and follow the Froxán and Vilamor trekking route, which will take us through a "souta" of ancient chestnut trees to the Castro of Vilar, a meander of the River Lor, and the small hermitage of San Roque. Along the way, we discover the Way of the Cross with one-metre-high wooden crosses, quite typical of the area. We can also visit "A Casa do Ferreiro" (Blacksmith's House), which has a singular exhibition of "Equipment and Utensils". From Vilar. the road continues towards Vilamor and Froxán.

Retaking the path in O Alto do Boi, along the LU-651 road, we head towards Folgoso do Courel passing through Santa Eufemia. In Folgoso do Courel, 10.3 km from O Alto do Boi, we come to a new turnoff to visit Froxán and Vilamor. We continue the path towards Seoane do Courel along the same road to start another journey the next day.

Day 3

On the third day of the route, we head off from Seoane do Courel to the village of Samos.

We leave Seoane do Courel via the LU-651 and 5.6 kilometres later, we arrive at Ferrería Vella. Further along and heading towards Seceda is the Celtic settlement of Castro da Torre which date from the 2nd – 4th centuries; it's located right on a curve and just a few minutes' walk away. Heading in the same direction, we'll come to Seceda, a village characterised by the fabulous restoration made possible thanks to one of the European Union's programmes which has given a breath of fresh air to this land, practically abandoned in the past.

We come to the village of Caselas after 14.2 kilometres following the route along a winding road. The next stop will be A Ferrería (do Incio), a charming village built perched on top of rocks and that, in the past, was an important spa with medicinal baths. Unfortunately, the baths building is undergoing renovations. You can also visit the town's nearby mineral springs. 

Continuing along the route, we came to the parish of O O Hospital and the church of San Pedro Fiz, the only Romanesque marble church built in Spain. Nearly two miles later we find ourselves in A Cruz do Incio, capital of the municipality.  From here, we should turn off in the direction of the Church of Santa María de Mao, where the pilgrimage to Saint Eufrasio – a bishop from Andújar, whose remains lie in the temple – is celebrated. In order to visit, you have to ask for the keys at the Casa Campo cafeteria, since it's normally closed outside the hours of worship. The covered cemetery which surrounds this religious construction is a characteristic feature.

The route ends back in Samos.