Province of Ourense
Ourense province in the south-eastern part of Galicia, located adjacent to and Pontevedra (west) and Lugo (north), the region of Castile and Leon (provinces of León and Zamora) and Portugal in the east (south). It is the only landlocked country in the province of Galicia.
Ourense is a mountainous province so the most remote province of Galicia. Winters tend to be colder with snow present at higher elevations, but summers are extremely hot with temperatures as high or even higher than in the Costa del Sol! Traditionally, the only link with the rest of Galicia was by railway and a journey by train is well worth experiencing, especially the journey to Tui along the Mino Valley. However recently the road rinks have imporved considerably so it is now relatively easy to travel from the south of Galicia from places like Vigo in about 2 hours drive.
The province is drained by the rivers Mino and Sil which given its the interior location and higher altitude is a great wine producing region. At its steepest sections, where there are many rapids, it is impossible to travel by boat, but hydroelectric dams are also present. What is striking about the Mino River is how wide it is in places, which reflects how much precipitation has to drain from the mountains! The Sil River flows through a deep canon (like a Norwegian Fjord) and is a very popular destination for river cruises, adventure sports and to experience the fantastic views. The canyons are spectacular and upstream the ancient city of Monforte de Lemos is worth a visit. To the south of the Sil is Manzaneda Ski Resort, the only one in Galicia and in recent years the snow has been very good! The province also contains other important rivers such as the Limia and Tamega, Verin, which enter the sea in Portugal. It is also easy to cross the border to Portugal which opens a new world far removed from even Galicia!
Ourense is the provincial capital and main centre of population in what is primarily a rural area. There are many places to visit, including the Roman Bridge and Old Town / Cathedral. There is also a lively place and there is always some kind of fiesta or event happening there.
There are several well-preserved medieval cities worth a visit as Allariz on the banks of the beautiful river Arnoia and Ribadavia. In Allariz the Real Mosteiro de Santa Clara, one of the largest monasteries in Spain is worth seeing. The road trip from Tui following the course of the river Mino to Celanova and Ribadavia and then beyond to Lugo is strongly recommended.
There are 92 munipalities in Ourense province:
Allariz Amoeiro A Arnoia Avión Baltar gang Baños de Molgas Barbadás O Barco de Valdeorras Beade Beariz Os Blancos Boborás A Bola O Bolo de Calvo Randin Carballeda de Avia Carballeda de Valdeorras O Carballiño Cartelle Castrelo de Miño Castrelo do Val Castro Caldelas Celanova Cenlle Chandrexa de Queixa Coles Cortegada Cualedro Entrimo Esgos Gomesende Cee O Irixo Larouco Laza Leiro Lobeira Lobios Maceda Manzaneda Maside Melón A Merca A Mezquita Montederramo Monterrei Muiños Nogueira de Ramuín Oímbra Ourense Paderne de Allariz Padrenda Parada de Sil O Pereiro de Aguiar A Peroxa Petin Piñor A Pobra de Trives Pontedeva Porqueira Punxín Quintela de Veiga de Leirado Rairiz Ramiras Ribadavia Rios Rubia A Rúa San Amaro San Cibrao The San Cristovo Viñas de Cea San Xoán Río de Sandias Sarreaus Taboadela A Teixeira Veiga A Toen Trasmiras Verea Verín Viana do Bolo Vilamarin Vilamartín Vilar de Barrio Vilar de Valdeorras de Santos Vilardevós Vilariño de Conso Xinzo de Limia Xunqueira de Ambia de Xunqueira Espadanedo
Ourense is featured in the latest My Guide Galicia's recommended featured Top 10 places in Galicia. The wines from Ribeira Sacra, Ribeiro, and Valdeorras Monterrei are also covered in detail in Galician wines.