Things to do
Taste wine at one of the many family run bodegas of the Ribeira Sacra
Get lost on countryroads and discover small hamlets where time stood still
Eat pulpo with the locals at one of the village markets
Discover local artisan products such as the black pottery of Gundivos
See the life in the working monastries of Galicia
Discover Celtic and Roman Galicia's archeological sites
Walk a section of the Camino de Santiago
Galicia was named after a tribal Bronze Age people called the Celtic Gallaeci who lived in the region from 1300 BC until around 137 BC when they were conquered by the Roman legions. This beautiful, green landscape remains a relatively undiscovered part of Spain, and still retains a feel of times long past. The inland countryside is a delight to explore.
The villages and hamlets of small farming communities, scattered along winding country lanes and rolling fields of grazing cows, seem ancient, remote, decades away from the spaces that most of us inhabit. The dense green forests and rugged mountains, home to deer, wild boar and foxes, appear full of mystery and magic. Old Romanesque-styled churches and monasteries built out of granite and terraced vineyards cling to steep slopes of the Ribeira Sacra region along the majestically beautiful rivers, Rio Sil and Rio Miño. Closer to the the coastal areas, scattered throughout the region, are megalithic standing stones, menhirs, dolmens and stone circles, that go back hundreds of years.
The impressive mountain chain, formed by the Sierra de Ancares and the Sierra del Caurel in eastern Galicia, gradually slopes down to its rugged coastlines to the west and north. The lower regions of the mountains are thick with forests of old chestnut trees, much prized in the past for their strength in holding up the heavy stone roofs that are favoured in this part of Spain. These parts of Galicia, the mountains and their foothills, with ancient chestnut forests, waterfalls and gushing streams of fresh, cold water and where the brown bear and the wolf still roam, are a paradise for the more adventurous and sturdy walkers.
The region around Casa da Cabaza, especially the province of Lugo with the Caurel geopark, As Ancares bioreserve and the Ribeira Sacra offers a great variety of well-indicated walking trails along a green landscape with shaded paths, spectacular views, indigenous forests (no eucalyptus but oaks and chestnuts instead), small villages and hamlets where time stood still, and a great biodiversity of animals and plants.
Galicia is famous for the Saint James’ pilgrim walking paths, or caminos de Santiago, that start as far as 1200km away in France and elsewhere throughout Spain, all converge in the beautiful, ancient city of Santiago de Compostela. The city’s spectacular Catherdral is the final destination of most walkers. In the distanct past the caminos mostly attracted religious Catholic pilgrims. The walkers of today, who herald from all over the world, tread these caminos also, perhaps, to connect with something a greater experience than what our daily lives might offer us.
Staying at Casa da Cabaza will allow you to unwind and relax in our gardens, spend time reading or writing, go for walks around the lake or more demanding forest hikes directly from our gate (walks vary between 4 to 15 kilometers). In the hamlets around us it seems time stood still and it is a wonderful experience to glimpse into the life of the local farmers. The lake offers open water swimming and is warmer than the Atlantic. There is a kayak and two bicycles for rent to explore the lake and the surrounding area.
Other nearby activities include horse-trekking, mountain-biking, golfing, visiting local museums and more.
Five suggestions for day trips:
1. The Ribeira Sacra wine region is a spectacular area to explore with the terraced vineyards that cling to the steep riverbanks of the rivers Miño and Sil. The area offers waterfalls, river beaches, good food and wine and old monasteries.
2. The Caurel mountains offer wonderful hiking and gorgeous views, as do the As Ancares bioreserve, home to the brown bear and the wolf. Late summer birdwatching here is wonderful!
3. Lugo is an old Celtic city and the only city in the world to be surrounded by completely intact Roman Walls. The old town is bustling in summer with restaurants and bars and is a lovely place for Sunday people watching. The cathedral and the provincial museum are worth a visit too.
4. Ourense is a medieval city with a pedestrianised centre with small cobblestone streets. Its thermal springs right on the banks of the river Miño are a delight on colder days. Soaking in these baths is pure bliss and entry is free.
5. The famous Camino de Santiago runs just 20 minutes north from our bed and breakfast and you could walk a day (or two or more) of this famous pilgrim's path.
...... and if you're looking for more... the Atlantic coastline of Galicia is spectacular too with Playa de Las Cathedrales and the Costa da Morte.
Circular day walks
Ruta da Devesa da Rogueira in the Courel Mountains. Start point in Devesa da Rogueira. PR-G 222
Rio Pequeño walk in the Courel Mountains. Start point in Seoane. PR-G 219
La Cubela walk, along the Sil. Start point between A Pobra do Brollon and Quiroga. PR-G 180
The honey and chestnut route. Start in Salcedo. PR-G 236
Cañon do Sil walk with visit to Santa Cristina Monastery. Start point in Parada do Sil. PR-G 98
Rio Mao walk, partly along a wooden pathway with a nice place to swim. Start point at the Fabrica de Luz. PR-G 177