Lago Ercina, one of the lakes of Covadonga in the Picos de Europa National Park (Asturias)

Plans for visiting Green Spain for a week or more

We suggest a route from east to west covering the four regions that make up part of Green Spain: the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. The route starts and finishes near two important airports with several international connections: Bilbao, and Santiago de Compostela.

There is also an option to travel through this area on the tourist train. This is the Transcantábrico Train, which connects Bilbao (Basque Country) with Santiago de Compostela (Galicia).

DAY 6 – Ribeira Sacra in Galicia

  • 1 Donostia – San Sebastián
  • 2 Bilbao
  • 3 Santander
  • 4 Altamira
  • 5 Picos de Europa National Park
  • 6 Oviedo
  • 7 Gijón
  • 8 Ribeira Sacra
  • 9 Santiago de Compostela

Ribeira Sacra

Distance from Oviedo and Gijón: less than 300 kilometres. How to get there: about three hours by car taking the A-8 motorway. You can start the journey very early or skip the visit to Gijón from the previous evening and sleep in the Ribeira Sacra area, which has plenty of rural accommodation. Monforte de Lemos is the main town in Ribeira Sacra.

Land of monasteries, nature and cliffs

The Ribeira Sacra is pure nature with spectacular views and impressive canyons. It is also home to one of the largest concentrations of Romanesque religious constructions in Europe. Some of the monasteries we recommend visiting are: San Pedro de Rocas (dug into the rock); Sant Esteban de Ribas de Sil (completely renovated and turned into a Parador hotel); Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil. The proximity of these monasteries to the Sil river means you can take in the views from viewpoints such as the Balcones de Madrid and Amandi. The suggested route is: Monforte de Lemos – Mirador de Amandi – Balcones de Madrid – Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil Monastery – Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil Monastery and San Pedro de Rocas Monastery. This covers around 100 kilometres.

The area is also very famous for its wine and has several wineries that can be visited. Another way to explore the Ribeira Sacra is by taking a catamaran trip down the Sil and Miño rivers or riding in a hot air balloon (normally in summer).

More ideas in Galicia close to the Ribeira Sacra

  • - Visit Ourense and enjoy its famous thermal baths. The most popular is As Burgas, right in the historical centre. - Explore Lugo and its Roman Walls, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is about 60 kilometres from Monforte de Lemos.

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