If you're travelling to Galicia in northwest Spain, we recommend taking the Ribeiro Wine Route in the province of Ourense. As well as the area's delicious gastronomic attractions, it is a perfect opportunity to get to know the region that produces this excellent Ribeiro wine, one of the first products in Spain to be awarded the Designation of Origin. You can visit both large vineyards and the typical "colleiteiros" (smaller vineyards making signature wines), stay in spa resorts set in the heart of nature, stroll among vines, play golf… A perfect combination of wine tourism and nature.
Arnoia, Beade, Boborás, Carballeda de Avia, Carballiño, Castrelo de Miño, Cenlle, Cortegada, Leiro, Punxín, Ourense, Ribadavia, San Amaro and Toén are the municipal districts along this route. Here, in addition to a fascinating cultural heritage (don't miss Ourense cathedral, or the cobbled streets dating from the Middle Age in Ribadavia), you'll find nature routes, spas, accommodation (including a monastery and an abbey), restaurants… Display the website situation map to see all the destinations on the Ribeiro Wine Route. Les mer
What will I find in the region?
The rich heritage of the Ribeiro area: you can stay in ancient villages with Baroque and Romanesque churches, where you will find fortresses and palaces (typical constructions in Galicia), old Jewish neighbourhoods, hórreos (raised stone barns) and weathered stone crosses.
Spectacular landscapes , with forests of oak, chestnuts and pine, river canyons and spreading vineyards for taking leisurely walks.
First-rate gastronomy and popular festivities where you can experience the hospitality of the local people. Highlights include the Festa da Istoria in Ribadavia (the last weekend in August, when the town is transformed into a genuine medieval town), Festa do Pulpo (the Octopus Festival) in O Carballiño (second Sunday in August) and the Festa da Vendimia (Wine Harvest Festival) in Leiro (last Sunday in August).
Areas for sports : you will find a golf course (in San Amaro), yacht club (in Castrelo de Miño) and you can explore the area on horseback (in Arnoia), by climbing (in Carballeda de Avia and Leiro), hiking, by bicycle, or take a trip up the river in a catamaran (in Cortegada and Arnoia).
Spas with hot springs (in Arnoia, Carballiño, Laias Caldaria, Berán o Prexigueiro) which offer a healthy alternative, and where you can indulge in vinotherapy treatments, relaxation and de-stressing programmes, and other activities.
If you need more information, enquire at any of the tourist offices.
What are the wines like?
The wines of this area are young, slightly acidic, light and with exquisite fruity and floral aromas. Particularly worth mentioning are the white wines, which are made from the Torrontés, Loureira, Godello, Albariño and Treixadura grape varieties; this last variety is known as the “king" of Ribeiro wine. As well as the pleasant delicate sensation, these wines are perfect for accompanying shellfish, fish, mild cheeses as well as cured sausages and meats.
Red Ribeiro wine represents less than 15% of the wine production in the Designation of Origin label, although demand is increasing. It is very intense and tasty, with a touch of acidity and aromas reminiscent of red and black fruits, violets and rose petals, liquorice… Ideal for meat, pasta dishes, wild mushrooms, pulses, stews and cured cheeses.
Finally there is the “toasted wine", which is naturally sweet and made with the grape must from the best sun-dried grapes. Production is limited and laborious, which makes this wine a veritable treasure.
How to get there
The Ribeiro Wine Route is located in southeast Galicia, in the province of Ourense. If you want to travel by plane to take the route, there are international airports in Vigo, 60 kilometres from Ribadavia (known as the "capital of the Ribeiro area") and in Santiago de Compostela, 110 kilometres away. Then all you have to do is take the A-52 motorway which runs through Ribadavia, and can be joined 28 kilometres from the city of Ourense. This motorway links up with the A-6, which goes as far as Madrid. From Portugal, the entry route into Galicia is the AP-9 motorway.
If you prefer to travel by train, there is a station in Ribadavia itself which has daily connections with large cities like Ourense, Vigo, Pontevedra (all three in Galicia), Zamora and Ponferrada (in Castile-León) and Madrid.
There is also a bus station in Ribadavia which has several daily departures to cities such as Ourense or Vigo.
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