Virtual Tour of Ribeira Sacra
The journey east from Ourense towards the pretty, medieval village of Castro Caldelas is spectacular. The river Sil flows through a deep canyon (like a Norwegian fjord) and this area is a very popular tourist destination for river cruises, adventure sports and to experience the amazing views. It’s well worth the effort associated with the drive especially to admire from numerous vantage points the views of the canyon, mountains and plains to the north.
The first scenic shot is from a famous vantage point which is close to the village centre of Parada de Sil, Mirador Os Balcones de Madrid, whose name is a tribute to all Galician’s who moved there in search of work. On the road to the incredibly restored monastery Parador de San Estevo and well sign-posted is Mirador de Cabezoas.
This whole area has outstanding natural beauty. The canyon cuts between steep banks forming almost vertical cliffs which are stunning. There is an abundance of wildlife including birds of prey such as peregrine falcons,Bonelli’s eagles and goshawks. There are oak and chestnut groves and terraces with vineyards (and stone wine cellars) that climb up the slopes of the River Sil in an area known as Ribeira Sacra. There are views too of monasteries and ancient bridges merged within the landscape.
Then there are the incredible,unique views from Abadía da Cova winery of the River Mino as it meanders down from the mountains - referred to as the Edge of the world! The vineyards here have been producing wines since roman times.
The route through spectacular countryside leads to Sober where a new 5-star hotel, Palacio de Sober, has opened following an 8€ million conversion/redevelopment of an ancient Palace.
The route then leads to Bodegas Regina Viarum with equally stunning views from the other side of River Sil Canyon where its possible to enjoy a visit of the winery and buy their delicious,award winning red and white wines.