Galicia is well known for the myriad greens of its landscapes, colours that come from its beautiful dense forests. Many of these places have hidden secrets in their depths, tucked away places and buildings that have survived the passage of time and have been reclaimed by nature. Lose yourself in the forests of Galicia and discover all their secrets.
A Terra Chá, Lugo.
A Terra Chá translates as “flatlands”, and this area is a total contrast to the typical Galician landscape. Here you’ll find a flat green plain, dissected by rivers and lakes created by the many rivers that cross it. This beautiful landscape hides some of the greatest secrets of Galician art and history.One of these is the Santa Mariña necropolis, an archaeological site that dates from the Neolithic period, and that has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest thanks to the number and diversity of the constructions found there. In this area you’ll also find Santalla de Bóveda, a Roman sanctuary dating from the 3rd century that has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest and part of Spain’s Historical Heritage, considered to have been the only construction of its kind in the whole of the Roman Empire.
This is an area where the landscape has been shaped by the rivers Miño, Sil and Cabe, and the scenery is magnificent. Sacra means “sacred”, and the region is so named because of the many religious constructions here, dating from the 10th to the 13th centuries, making up the largest collection of Romanesque buildings in Europe.While you wander peacefully along paths lined with oak and chestnut trees with the sound of water never too far away, you’ll discover places like the monastery of San Pedro de Rocas, the oldest monastic complex in Galicia, dating back to 573 AD; the monastery and church of Santa Cristina where you can admire the carefully preserved frescos; or the monastery of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil, one of the most important complexes in Galicia, a place to which no fewer than nine bishops retired when they left their sees.
You’ll find Fragas de Eume in the depths of the Galician forests. These are woods that are so dense that the sunlight can only penetrate filtered through the vegetation. Fragas de Eume is a natural park consisting of almost 9,000 hectares of Atlantic forest, one of the rarest types of woodland in Europe.There are secrets hidden away here in Fragas de Eume, secrets like the monastery of San Juan de Caaveiro, which has recently been restored and is now ready to be enjoyed. And then there’s the monastery of Santa María de Monfero, designated a Property of Cultural Interest and Historical Heritage of Spain.
Lérez valley, Pontevedra
One of the areas in Europe with the largest number of petroglyphs, rock carvings that were created during the Bronze Age, meaning that they’re over 2,000 years old. As you walk through the Lérez valley, look out for these inscriptions that can be found in the most unexpected places.The Galician forests are dense and ancient, and there are lots of secrets hidden amongst the trees; tucked away places, and buildings suspended in time, all patiently waiting to be discovered.