The landscapes of Galicia are love-inspiring: find out for yourself on foot. In this area of northern Spain, you have up to 80 paths and routes of just a few kilometres to delve into nature. Most are simple and low-difficulty paths suitable for families. Walks to enjoy while listing to the sound of water, or gazing at the blue of the sea, or the green of the forests and the monuments concealed inside.
Walks looking at the sea
From beach to beach, along the coastline of the estuaries, over cliffs, skirting lighthouses... There are more than 20 routes to discover the unique coastal landscape of Galicia while enjoying extraordinary sea views. These are routes between one and six kilometres long, which frequently have amenities such as car parks, rest areas, leisure areas with playgrounds or viewpoints. Some of them are circular, like the one that runs through Baiona, around the castle of Monterreal and current Parador, or the one that goes up to the Finisterre lighthouse surrounding the Monte do Facho.
Following the riverbank
Galicia also offers another twenty-odd beautiful walks to soak up the serenity of its forests while listening to the relaxing sound of the river. Most are inland and cover distances between one and seven kilometres approximately. They cross all kinds of bridges (stone, wooden, medieval, hanging...), or unveil old mills, churches and rural buildings, while enjoying the natural colour palette brought by each season. You can even ride a boat, bathe in thermal waters or relax on a river beach. Examples of these surprising routes follow the course of the Arenteiro, Miño and Verdugo rivers (near Soutomaior Castle).
Discovering the waterfalls of Galicia
Water, in all its forms, defines the Galician landscape, including the spectacular beauty of a waterfall. You can explore 18 paths, ranging from one to seven kilometres in length, and discover its cascades. Walking through forests of chestnut, oak and birch trees, you will be able to find some of the highest waterfalls in Galicia, such as the waterfall in the Toxa river, Belelle, O Ézaro, O Escouridal, Augacaída and Viveiros, in the areas of Ribeira Sacra and Serra do Courel. These paths are usually harder, as they traverse steep and slippery terrain. However, there are also easier routes suitable for children, such as those of the Vilagocende waterfall, the Pozo Negro, the Raxoi waterfalls or those of the Cerves river.
Walking on the mountains
Reaching the top of the peak, looking at the surrounding landscape and breathing… What an incredible feeling! Four paths will make you feel this way. The route to Tres Bispos peak, in the region of Os Ancares in Lugo, spans 7 kilometres one way, taking you to the summit through this Biosphere Reserve. Slightly less than 4.4 kilometres of the route cross the fabulous Rogueira forest, in the Serra do Courel, from the top of Alto de Couto to the Polín viewpoint. The two remaining routes are one kilometre long, but just as surprising: one offers the imposing image of the monastery of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil, in the Ribeira Sacra; and the other leads you above the trees, through a wooden walkway, over the Mao river.
Discovering the hidden heritage
A short walk through natural surroundings is enough to also discover significant places and monuments in Galicia. From the historic Sargadelos factory, where Galicia's famous ceramics began to be produced, to the West Towers in Catoira, raised to protect against Viking raids, to the Roman vestiges found in the Baixa-Limia-Serra do Xurés Nature Reserve. And in the centre of a chestnut grove, near the Belesar reservoir, you can find one of the Romanesque jewels of the Ribeira Sacra: the church of Santa María de Pesqueiras. You can discover these treasures along seven paths of less than 5 kilometres.
City walks to remember
Did you know that there are seven short routes that allow you to explore the green spaces and natural surroundings of the main cities in Galicia? For example, in A Coruna, a circular route of about 4 kilometres runs through the parks of its sea shore and takes you past the famous Tower of Hercules, a World Heritage monument. In Vigo, a 2-kilometre walk will take you to the Castrelos park, the largest in the city and where you can visit the gardens of the Quiñones de León Museum. If you're in Lugo, walking along the banks of the Rato river, you will find a 19th-century house-mill and the visitor centre for the Terras do Miño Biosphere Reserve. Two other river trails in Pontevedra and Ourense show you the wealth of springs and thermal waters in both locations.