To plan a holiday in the Ribeira Sacra, it must be taken into account, first of all, that the tourist and cultural offer is not exactly small. More than 70 Romanesque temples, beatiful natural spaces and infinite hiking trails that run through them, innumerable viewpoints, five wine-growing areas, countless rural houses and restaurants, water sports, religious and pagan festivals, wine tourism ... Deciding what to see, in itself, can be a difficult decision. But if we also take into account that all these places and activities are spread over twenty-one municipalities, two provinces and 180 square kilometers and that the public transport network is quite improvable, we probably don't even know where to start. How many days will we need? How to choose our route without having to do tens of kilometers between one destination and another? How to visit a winery without having to worry about the car for hours? In short, is it possible to leave with all the “essentials” marked without going crazy with the preparations? The answer is a resounding yes. There is a place on the banks of the Miño river in which all the charms of the Ribeira Sacra are condensed in just 5 km of road: the ethnographic complex that forms the parishes of A Cova and Fión, in the municipality of O Saviñao.
In this enclave, the Miño traces its most famous meander, O Cabo do Mundo, one of the icons of the region and, without a doubt, one of the must-sees. Along the entire slope there are several viewpoints, both natural and conditioned, to be able to contemplate the impressive panoramic view and admire yourself with this whim of nature.
On this side of the river, the landscape is very different. The vestiges of more than two thousand years of history accumulate on this shore, resisting the passage of time clinging to the colossal terraces that support them. During these two thousand years, women and men altered (and still do today) the environment in order to make the rugged slopes habitable and productive.
A work of heroes, without a doubt. While they were sculpting the land, these men and women were also sculpting the soul of this land, which emerged from their hands. A soul that feels as soon as you sets foot here, because it springs from the terraces, falls off the rocks and cascades down the riverbank, giving A Cova its most intrinsic and deep-rooted characteristic: viticulture. In A story of Water and Wine we explain in more detail the close bond between the inhabitants of the riverside and their environment over time.
In A Cova you are born knowing how to make wine. It is carried in the blood and lived from childhood. The work in the vineyards conditions the life of its inhabitants and takes up a large part of their time. The harvest serves, in addition to obtaining the valued wines, to gather with family and friends, even more than Christmas or the celebration of the pattern. There is no excuse for missing the harvest. Viticulture here is much more than tradition or business. it's a lifestyle. The Moure family owes this way of life.
The confiscation of the 19th century served for the family to get hold of a few vineyards that were passed from generation to generation. In 1958 José Moure founded Adegas Moure - Abadía da Cova. Sixty years later and with José's grandchildren in command, the passion for viticulture and love for this land remain intact in the spirit of the winery. There are several options to visit the winery. You can book some of the guided tour options, in which, in addition to trying our wines, Anxo, our great guide, will make you leave with some technical notions and, we hope, with a good taste in your mouth. If you prefer something more informal, a glass of wine and a snack in our winebar, O Faiado da Abadía, enjoying the views from our viewpoint. Both options are not incompatible, in any case.
But our ethnographic heritage is not limited to viticulture. In the highest part of the hillside is the Ecomuseo de Arxeriz, surely the best place in the region to immerse yourself in the history and tradition of both this group of villages, and the Ribeira Sacra in general. From a fort dated in III a.n.e. even a restored manor house, passing through traditional boats, typical costumes and a multitude of tools and objects from different periods and for the most diverse tasks. The set is magnificent and will not leave you indifferent.
Very close to the museum is the pazo Torre Vilariño, one of the best-known rural houses in the entire Ribeira Sacra and the first one that was opened to the public in Galicia. Worth it for the homemade food, the cozy environment, the beautiful garden areas, the restored traditional rooms and the many old utensils and tools scattered throughout the property, but it is worth much more because it has a charm that is difficult to describe in words.
Lovers of hiking should know that about 200 meters from Torre Vilariño passes the Camiño de Inverno, a variant of the French Camino de Santiago that served to avoid inclement weather, often more severe, in the Os Ancares mountain range. Although it is probably the best known of all the routes that pass through the area, it is not the only one. If you want to discover the area on foot, you will not be short of paths to explore or wonders to find on your way. Four square kilometers of sensations, of corners that seem detained in time and of unique places. Places such as the river beach, a small sandy beach with fine white sand where, in addition to refreshing ourselves on the sweltering summer days, we can go to the Restaurante Playa de A Cova to practice water sports or enjoy its hospitality facilities.
Another of the hallmarks of the Ribeira Sacra, Romanesque art, is also present. San Martiño de A Cova and San Lourenzo de Fión are two beautiful constructions from the 12th century and which conserve in their architecture, despite the reforms suffered during these centuries, the essence of its Romanesque factory and also interesting contributions from other times. Both churches are usually closed and only open on days when religious acts take place. In order to visit them and learn about their history, we advise you to contact one of the local tourism companies. With Novas Rutas, in addition to visiting the interior of this and many other temples, you can enjoy the charms of this land from the guides of the area.
Perhaps there is some other place in the Ribeira Sacra that contains in just 2 square km everything that we have told you, but if it exists, we do not know it.
Escairón: 6.6 km
Monforte de Lemos: 25.7 km
Chantada: 20.9 km
Castro Caldelas: 51.9 km
Lugo: 75 km
Ourense: 40 km
Vigo: 136 km
Pontevedra: 153 km
Santiago de Compostela: 140 km
A Coruña: 175 km