PONTEVEDRA

                                                                                                                                                            14.3.06

EXCURSIONS

 

The following recommendations are translated from the (rather flowery) Spanish of the brochure on Pontevedra available from the Turismo. I fully endorse them all but, as I don’t think they really do justice to the scenic splendour around Pontevedra, I have added some of my own thoughts and recommendations at the end.

1. The coast and interior

The best way to get to know the surroundings of Pontevedra is to forget that the city is well connected by motorway and railway, both northwards to Santiago and La Coruña and southwards to Vigo. So, the best thing to do is to follow the old road south to Vigo[N550], through Arcade - a village famous for its oysters. The restaurants which line the streets to your left and right eclipse neither the Romanesque church of Santiago nor the old bridge in Pontesampaio.

The Canon of Pau

The bridge here was originally Roman and later medieval, when the primitive construction became obsolete. It was here that an expeditionary force of Napoleon’s was put to flight by a ‘canon of Pau’ – made of oak. Travellers who like to record panoramic views should go up to the hermitage of A Peneda, which is high up on the mountainside. This is a typical example of the Christianisation of a place considered pagan, in this case a fort. At its foot, lies the Bay of Vigo, where dozens of galleons full of gold are sunk in its muddy mouth – a harsh tale which is on its way to becoming a legend. [The battle of the Rande in 1702, when British and Dutch ships sank the Spanish bullion fleet and its French protectors and then sacked the local town of Redondela.]

Soutomaior (Sotomayor) – Castle and gardens

Going inland, following the good road signs, you will reach the castle of Soutomaior, a fine example of walled and fortified mansion, converted in the last few years for use as a cultural venue. Without doubt, its best feature is the pointed gallery.

Perhaps even more impressive than the building are the marvellous gardens. Through these walked Pedro Álvarez de Soutomaior, known as Pedro Madrugo [Peter Early-hours] because in the middle of the 15th century his warlike aspirations led him to establish his camp sufficiently in advance to surprise his enemies.

Redondela and its viaducts

After Arcade, you will arrive at Redondela, a port which has moved inland thanks to tidal deposits and land reclamation. The best streets, therefore, are those which can’t be seen by just driving through. These are cut by two enormous viaducts, erected when the ‘Eiffel Tower’ model was the all rage amongst those in the vanguard of European architecture. [This appears to be code for ‘metallically ugly’]

To avoid returning on the same road, turn away from the coast and its hubbub and go inland. You will find places which are still tranquil, where tourists rarely journey. Places with enchanting villages and superb examples of houses built by nobles and those returning from the Indies, like Gaxate, on the outskirts of Ponte Caldelas. The latter is a town with an old bath-house and a fine bridge over the river Verdugo – the same river which collects water from the Oitavén and opens out into the ria of Vigo below the arches of the bridge in Pontesampaio. It’s also a place where the two-day market becomes a venue for happy reunions.

From Ponte Caldelas, one road goes towards Soutomaior (PO-244) and another directly to the centre of Pontevedra (C531). Chose whichever one you want, depending on tiredness and time available. The latter is shorter than the former but both routes are narrow, full of curves and, in a word, marvellous on every side.

2. The Pensinsula of O Morrazo

There are only a few kilometres between Pontevedra and Marín (a fine old quarter and interesting alameda) and these pass in a flash [and in a bit of a stink]. And from here runs a route which for most of the time borders the coast of the O Morrazo peninsula. These days this is a quite normal but not so long ago – before the start of the 20th century – it was quite impossible. The reason is obvious: there wasn’t a road, nor even the beginnings of one. So the inhabitants of this area were forced to travel by sea.

Between Marín and Bueu [pronounced ‘Bway’] there are, above all, beaches. But, in addition, several ‘petroglifos’ and prehistoric inscriptions, carved in stone. You get to these using Mogor beach as your point of reference. These sands also give their name to the labyrinth built by one of our predecessors. The recommendation is clear: refrain from walking on, painting on or modifying the designs. It’s certainly possible for any camera to immortalise them without the need to touch them in any way.

The Bueu market

At the side of Bueu lies the Roman church of Cela. Bueu itself is a seaside place which almost demands that you take a quiet walk through its port. It also has one of those tourist attractions which is indelibly printed on the retina – its market. It’s also the place – though not the only one – from where the ferry departs for the island of Ons (emptied and repopulated many times; sign-posted hikes), neighbour of the absolutely wild island of Onza. [I am not convinced that it is correct to say that you can get a boat to Ons from Bueu; the brochure lists only Portonovo and Marín]

Hío and its Cross

The road takes you next to Aldán, rising from a small bay which has been raised to the status of ria, and then to Hío. Here there is a cross which has withstood storms, winds and sea-salt and which has been photographed a million times. It is a 19th century cross which presides over the vestibule of the church on one side and the priest’s house on the other. The road runs on to Donón (whose wine is much appreciated) and then to Cabo de Home, from the end of which, stretching out your hands, it seems possible to touch the landmark islands of Cíes.

Backtracking to the main road, you then head for Cangas, sacked in 1004 by the Arabs and in 1617 by Turkish pirates. It was also the scene for a later witch-hunt. The road now runs along the side of the Ria de Vigo, where a veritable mussels ‘farm’ separates you from the road and the city of Vigo itself. Taking the road to the left, you can quickly return to Pontevedra. But, if you have time, it is better to go through Moaña and, after 6 kilometres, take the side road which, after a long climb, brings you to the lookout point (‘mirador) of Faro de Domaio, an enclave in the middle of a natural park and neighbour of the dolmen called Chan de Arquina. This dolmen was planted in the earth no less than 5,500 years ago. Any local resident will tell you where you can find it. [Actually, the literal translation of this sentence is ‘Any local resident will tell you where to go’, which is probably more likely.]

Cotorredondo, for the children

They will also orient you towards the swarm of tracks leading to another nearby attraction, Cotorredondo, a quiet park with its own lake – an ideal place for the children to play and run in without fear of any sort of accident. Higher up, the appearance of wild horses tells you that you have arrived at the peak, from which – between mantles of trees – you can see both sides of the peninsula and almost feel, down below, the presence of Pontevedra. Now all you need to do is go down again.

3. The Shadow over Poio

Having left Pontevedra and crossed the river Lérez, you arrive first [on the C550] at Poio, a township now in the shadow of the provincial capital but always under that of its ancient monastery. The records say that this was built in the 11th century and re-built two hundred years later under the aegis of the enterprising Abbot Pedro. But if such historical facts drop easily out of the memory, the same cannot be said for the wonderful cultural works put in place by the monks down through the years. The visitor can appreciate these both through the display of traditional stone-working techniques (a famous school of granite carvers) and through the contents of the impressive library.

The next stop must be Combarro, perhaps the local village best known nationally.

The typical photo of its hórreos ‘hanging’ over the sea have turned it into a must for posters and postcards. Designated a place of historical-artistic interest, it has the added feature of being one of the tourist spots where you can eat seafood which was almost still alive when it was put in the oven. [Be warned, Julio Iglesias  - a son of the soil - occasionally arrives in his private jet to give a concert or eat a bit of seafood. In the latter case, you might lose your reservation]

The Fertility Myth

Sanxenxo and the virtually contiguous Portonovo are excellent tourist spots – places for the young, for ‘la movida’, for drinking, for enjoying the beaches and for eating tapas. Everything is near-to-hand, for the adjacent beaches of Espiñeira, Foxos and A Lanzada are not crowded and are there for you to relax and enjoy yourself. The last named has another useful feature – it helps women to procreate. According to tradition, taking a swim of ‘nine waves’ on the night of a full moon guarantees an end to infertility.

On a rock salient which juts out into the Atlantic arise a cross, a temple dedicated to Our Lady of Lanzada (13th century) and the remains of a medieval tower (10th century).

O Grove and A Toxa [A Toja]

The traveller crosses a sandy isthmus which stops O Grove being an island. These days, this peninsula is much visited in summer, particularly the town which gives it its name, the luxury island resort of A Toxa and the beach of San Vicente. But there are still a good number of places which hardly ever receive visitors. These include the Mount Siradela, whose 167 metres makes it the highest local point. Understandably, a simple look-out point has been built on its peak. Having seen this and the archaeological excavations (so close to the sea that they are sometimes submerged), the route turns north to Cambados, always along the coast. Here, apart from the port, it’s worth stopping to see the church of Santa Mariña, the tower of San Sadurniño and, above all, the Fefiñáns mansion (pazo)

The ‘attached’ island

Close by is the town of Vilanova de Arousa, the birthplace of the writer Ramón Maria del Valle-Inclán (though this, to be fair, is disputed by the town of A Pobra do Caramiñal on the other side of the ria). A  bridge moors the island of Arousa to terra firma but, though this has lost for ever its insular status, it hasn’t suffered an avalanche of visitors, mutilating its natural and human scenery. And if you are a true admirer of islands, you need to ignore Vilargarcia – a modern, booming city – and head for Carril, the observatory[?] of Cortegada, protected from winds and tides by conservationist groups in view of its status as one of Galicia’s natural paradises. The defence of this island follows that of the early 70s in respect of the nearby Towers of the West (Torres de Oeste) in Catoira. Then, the construction of the bridge that now passes alongside them threatened the destruction of this fortress. This terrible barbarism was never perpetrated and today the towers and their chapel make an excellent final sight of an excursion which takes you back to Pontevedra, through Vilargarcia to Caldas de Reis and then via the autopista from there.

So much for the brochure. Now for my comments……

If you leave Pontevedra on the ‘old’ road to Ourense (N541), almost any detour into the hills will reward you with great scenic splendour. In addition, there is a transport café (Conchi’s) about 16 km out of the town which is owned by a pleasant family and which provides a tremendous value ‘midday’ meal of fish and meat. Just look for the trucks at the side of the road.

Places to head for include:-

- The Cotobade area generally, but especially Almofrei (PO233).

- The lake at Fornelos de Montes, off the C531, after Ponte Caldelas. There is a praia fluvial en route

- Mondaríz Balneario and Mondaríz, near where you can find another praia fluvial.

- Maceira: also has a praia fluvial. This town is reached by staying on the C531 after Ponte Caldelas as it winds through the valley of the Sierrra de Suido

- Avion: Take the OU-213 via Beariz. Avion is said to have been enriched by the repatriation of monies earned from prostitution in South America. Whatever, it has its own little airport. And a large lake/reservoir nearby. As you would expect, the large houses display more wealth than style.

- Leiro: This is closer to Ourense than Pontevedra and is reached by turning off the N541 onto the OU210 to Ribadavia and then into the village when you see the sign on the right. It has a pleasant river walk and a restaurant (the Souto, just out of the village) which serves prodigious quantities of lamb and chips. The Ribeiro wine is excellent here.

- Ribadavia: Has an interesting old quarter, with its own Jewish barrio. On the last Saturday in August, it stages a medieval weekend (Festa da Istoria), when everyone dresses in costumes and pays for things with premium-bearing ‘old’ money. This presumably finances this enjoyable event. Also has a (Ribeiro) wine festival in the last week of April or first week of May

- O Carballiño: The ‘land of waters’. Numerous rivers, woods and praias fluviales (e.g.  O Cuco and the Parque Municipal. Plus spa baths. Off the road to Ourense (N541), on the road to Punxin, there is the Pazo de Trasaba. And off the N525 between Ourense and Santiago, there is the Pazo de Tamallancos, in the town of Vilamarín, which can be reached via the road from Punxin through Amoeira. In Vilamarín take the tarmaced road close to the farmacia.

For a stupendous full day’s travelling, there is little to beat the area known as Ribera/Ribeira Sacra (or Sagrada) to the east of Ourense. Take the N120 out of Ourense towards Monforte/Ponferrada and then turn onto the  road that takes you down the valley (cañon) of the river Sil.

I would love to be able to tell you what the number of this road is but none of the four maps I am consulting has it. Look for the signs to the Cañon del Sil or the Monasterio de Ribas de Sil and then just drive where your fancy takes you, though try to get near to Parada do Sil and take a trip on the catamaran which sails up and down the canyon. In spring, this area is a mass of yellow broom and purple heather and the views of the canyon below you and the eagles above you will take your breath away. Go back to Ourense along the C536, perhaps taking in the castle in Castro Caldelas. There are at least 3 defunct monasteries in this area, all of which are worth taking a look at. You can get a brochure/map in either Ourense or in Parada do Sil if you don’t want to stop in Ourense. Though it might increase your chances of finding Parada do Sil, if you do. By the way, Ourense can be reached along the older but shorter N541 or by motorway along the A9 and A52. The latter is quicker.

From Vigo, Baiona or Cangas you can take a short boat trip to the fabulous Islas de Cies...

From Portonovo or Marin you can get a boat to the equally enticing Isla de Ons

In O Grove you can take your pick of several glass-bottomed boats which will take you for a tour of the nearby ria. Not far outside O Grove – on  the road to San Vicente - there is a good aquarium.

There are boat trips into the Ria de Vigo from a number of places, billed as being an opportunity to taste the mussels and wine of Galicia. But then, everything is. Likewise, there are trips from Marín round the Ria de Pontevedra. And from Vilagarcía (from the Puerto de Pasajeros) round the Ria de Arousa (the Ruta Xacobea).

Monasteries – near Pontevedra you can easily visit those of Lérez, Poio, Armenteira and Tenorio. The last named is rather small and really only for true enthusiasts. The monastery of Poio has what is said to be the largest hórreo in Galicia, as well as an interesting little museum

O Salnés – I have already mentioned this area under Eating and Drinking

The Ria de Arousa – The drive from Cambados to Catoira – and perhaps across to Rianxo en route to Las Dunas de Corrubido – is very picturesque.

On the road (N550) out of Pontevedra to the spa town of Caldas de Reis and Santiago, there is a pretty picnic area next to a large waterfall and the now-derelict mills down the side of it. This is sign-posted if you are coming south but not if you are going north, out of Pontevedra. Look for the back of a rustic-looking brown notice-board sort of thing on your left and turn right.

For a longer trip, take the A9 to Vigo and then the (linked) A57 to Bayona, continuing along the coast road (C550) to A Garda/A Gaurda/La Guardia. Here you should look for the signs for the mirador of Monte Santa Trega/Tecla, from where you have a stupendous view over the river Miño/Minho and into Portugal. In Bayona itself (if you go into it), the parador hotel is set in the beautiful grounds of the old fortress from which the regularly blockading British navy used to be watched. Up until very recently, you could enjoy both of these scenic detours for free but the locals have now wised up. The drive along the Miño from La Guarda to Tui is delightful and you can always detour into the wine routes of Condado and O Rosal. Tui itself is a pleasant fortress town, with an interesting cathedral and old quarter. But there is a finer old quarter – similarly fortified – in Valença, just across  the river border. There you can join the hordes of Spaniards taking advantage of lower Portuguese prices, if this takes your fancy. Just outside Tui is the mountainous National Park of Monte Aloia. This is scenically splendid and you can picnic in the areas already set up for you, complete with tables, benches and bar-B-Q grills. Take the Gondomar road out of Tui (PO340) and look for the signs on the right hand side not far out of town. If you get to the autovia slip roads - or see the Restaurante Montenegro on your right - you have gone too far. This restaurant, by the way, serves excellent churrasco dishes. And roast lamb.

To return from Tui to Pontevedra, you can either race back on the N550/N120/A9 or meander along the Miño valley to Salvaterra, taking the N550 towards Porriño and then turning right to Guillarei/Caldelas on the PO413/PO404. From Salvaterra you can cross a bridge into Monçao in Portugal, which is well worth it. Back in Salvaterra, turn north on the PO403 to Ponteareas (an old spa town) and then go via the PO254 (sign-posted Mondariz) and then either take the PO253 to Pazos de Bourbon, Sotomaior and Arcade or stay on the PO254 and go on to Mondariz. From here you can take the PO252 towards Moscoso and then Fornelos de Montes,  Forzans (PO251) and then Ponte Caldelas (C531). All of these are highly enjoyable scenic routes but I take no responsibility for the accuracy or otherwise of the quoted road numbers, which don’t appear on two of the four maps I use. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Salvaterra is called O Castelo on the Galician Mapa Turistico and Fornelos de Montes appears to be called A Igrexa.

Another day trip is, of course, to Santiago del Compostela, the subject of a future guide. Maybe.

Finally, I am reproducing below a description of the impressive Os Ancares area near Lugo. It would be possible to do this trip in a day from Pontevedra but this would involve a 2 hour drive to the area, several hours driving along its rather tortuous roads and a further 2 hours back to Pontevedra. A better idea would be to stay a night in or near the area and then take your time to explore it. By the way, if you find the description of the various routes a little confusing, you won't be the first. To say the least, you will find it useful to have a good map, showing all, not just some, of the roads that wind up and around the hills.

LOS ANCARES, A VERY SPECIAL RESERVE

 

In the 1970’s and 80’s the people of Galicia discovered Os Ancares.

 

They were fascinated by reports in the media that there were still villages there without electricity or roads, cut off by the winter snows, where people and animals lived together in prehistoric huts, farming with agricultural implements last used in Europe 200 years ago.

 

All this and the mountains, the untouched woodland with its indigenous species, deep valleys and inaccessible peaks, and the varied flora and fauna unique to Galicia: deer, ibex and even bears. The myth of Os Ancares was born. A place for a day out but which makes you want to stay for a weekend at least. A riot of nature and anthropology made accessible by roads and signposts and with a growing hotel trade. 

 

The ever-active environmental groups in Galicia have proposed that 60,000 hectares of this fold in the ranges of the Cordillera Cantábrica, which lies half in Leon and half in Galicia, be declared a Parque Natural. Today, protection only goes as far as a National Game Reserve, which has done nothing to prevent the sharp decline in the bear population in the mountains. In the last two or three years the odd pair has been seen, having made the short journey from the nearby Muniellos Natural Park in Asturias. The Ministry of Agriculture now owns a 150-hectare estate set aside for a programme to help the brown bear population recover.

 

But Cervantes, this municipality of 130 villages in the Galician part of Os Ancares, in the province of Lugo, owes its name to the deer (ciervos) who populate it and not the bears. According to the 1991 census, it has, in total, little more than 2,300 inhabitants; only a third of the population immediately after the Spanish Civil War. In the 1960’s, when people began emigrate, young people left the backwardness and misery en masse for the industrial belt of Barcelona in particular.

 

From Becerreá

 

The departure point for Os Ancares is Becerreá - a village located on kilometre 459 of the N-VI, Madrid to La Coruña road - exiting at the Pedrafita do Cebreiro pass if coming from Central Spain, or 42 kilometres from Lugo if coming from the north.

 

To really enjoy Os Ancares, we highly recommended you spend a night or two in the albergue (mountain refuge) or in the two hostales (inns) in San Román and in Piornedo.

 

Wherever you stay, the trip suggested here, dominated by the peace and quiet of the valleys and mountains, can easily be done in a day, as it is a round journey of around about 130 kilometres from Becerreá, although you should fill up with petrol before leaving Becerreá as there is no petrol station until Navia (about 100 kilometres away).

 

9 km along the road from Becerreá to Navia de Suarna you arrive in Liber, where the road forks off to the right. The two roads go deep into the valleys and foothills of the sierra (mountain range) before joining up again in the village of Degrada. The first road, a low-lying route, is a journey of 40 Km via Doiras and Cela.

 

The second is journey of 33 Km, which passes by a beautiful fishing lodge before leading on to the capital of the municipality, San Román de Cervantes, (where there is a hostal and restaurant) before climbing up to become the highest road in Galicia.   

 

The absolute calm of the valleys and mountains reigns supreme; nature in its purest state, and where, every once in a while, a vehicle may pass through. Villages in the depths of the mountains, nestling on the slopes, can be reached by minor roads, which are sometimes little more than country tracks

 

The local people live mainly from livestock, and there is extensive pasture land, amid large areas of scrubland, known as matorral, with varieties of heather, broom, bilberries, gorse, and indigenous ‘hedgehog’ shrubs. 

 

There are many woods, some of which are forested with centuries-old oaks and which have their own names. The traveller will also come across woodland comprising chestnut, yew, ash, birch, hazelnut, pine plantations and holly, and alder, willow and poplar in the valleys

 

The number of deer in the reserve has declined markedly, as have those of ibex, although in smaller numbers. It is, however, home to a thriving community of roebuck and a stable population of wolves and foxes. Mammals also abound in numbers such as genets, mountain cats, otters, wild boar, martens and perhaps the last remaining pine martens in Galicia. 

 

Binoculars are essential in a place like Os Ancares if you want to see, for example, the eagles, falcons, goshawks and sparrowhawks soaring majestically in the air. With a little luck it might be possible to catch a glimpse of a capercaillie; a protected species and the mascot of the reserve. This arrogant bird, larger than the cockerel, has a peculiar way of attracting the female, putting on an unusual show by dancing around her, always at daybreak, and of course, always before mating with her

 

By Doiras 

 

If you take the lower road via Doiras and Cela, you come across one of the few monuments on the journey, the Torre de Doiras. Set atop a rocky crag, this typically Galician fortress, dating from the fifteenth century and part of the domain of Diego Osorio, is privately owned and is not open to the public at the moment. It dominates the area and makes this part of the sierra unique.

According to the legend, the maiden Aldara once lived here until she mysteriously disappeared. Years passed until one day her brother, Egas, shot a magnificent deer whilst he was out hunting. As he was unable to carry it, he cut off a hoof, put it in his bag and went off to get help. When he showed his father the size of the prize, the hoof had turned into a hand which bore one of Aldara’s rings. Both father and son rushed off in haste and found to their horror that the animal brought down by Egas’ arrow to the heart had now taken on the figure of the maiden. A spell had turned her into deer.

Close to Doiras lies the tiny village of Vilarello da Igrexia, where scholars have located the origins of the family of Don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. The second surname of the brilliant author of Don Quijote de la Mancha originates from here and the thirty ninth chapter of the novel – considered to be autobiographical – begins with these words: “My family had its origin in a village among the mountains of Leon…”.

By Sete Carballos

 

If you come to Degrada by the upper route, you pass the hill of Sete Carballos, an ideal spot to view, on the horizon, the jagged outline the most important peaks of Os Ancares: Pena Rubia, Tres Bispos, Crono Maldito, Mustellar, Cuiña (the highest at 1,987 m) and Miravalles.

The two roads come together in Degrada and immediately afterwards lies Campa de Braña, a crossroads 1,178 metres above sea level, and with two restaurants standing guard on either side of the road it is an essential place to stop to rest and have something to eat. The road climbs from here to Tres Osbispos, a kilometre away, where there is a reasonably priced mountain refuge, offering meals and a bed. This is the perfect place to set off on some routes and it is highly recommended to have suitable maps. Some of them will be available in the mountain refuge.

The journey by car from Campa da Braña to Piornedo (18 kms long) is as beautiful as it is twisting. The road runs on both sides of the small valley of the Ortegal River. Two and a half kilometres into the journey there is a path to the right which leads up to the nearby Campa de Barreiro, the site of the Fonte dos Namorados (Lover’s Fountain) and where a fiesta is held on the third Sunday of July. The road continues on the same side of the Ortegal Valley and reaches the banks of the river after passing through Abesedo de Donís, a place which offers the best chance to catch sight of a mountain cock (capercaillie). You cross the river at the Ponte de Vales, set amid beautiful woods, and climb back up the other side in search of Donis and Piornedo

No worthwhile guide fails to mention the day, in 1873, when the village of Donís took its place in the history books. Fed up of the humiliation of having to pay taxes whilst living in extreme poverty, the people locked the tax collector in a stable and then declared the Independent Republic of Donís. Their defiance lasted for as long as it took the police to free the civil servant and restore the unity of the state. On leaving the village, a sharp curve to the right and a steep climb leads the traveller to Piornedo. 

 

The pallozas

 

Piornedo is not the only village in which there are still pallozas (pre-Romanesque, thatched, stone huts), but it is the most famous. Humans and animals lived side by side in these primitive constructions as recently as ten years ago.

 

The poverty and simple way of life of only a few years ago can now be visited for a token fee as some pallozas have been turned into ethnographic museums and others have been opened up by local people. They remain untouched, displaying the kitchen utensils which for the outsider date back to the time of their grandparents but for the people of Os Ancares were important tools in their everyday life until very recently.

Pallozas were circular or oval structures designed in such a way as to retain heat to face the terrible winters in the mountains. They didn’t even have fireplaces, as it was thought that the smoke was good for the health, and in any case, it escaped through the thatched roof. Only parents had their own room. Now Piornedo has a modern hostal and restaurant with turismo rural (rural tourism) category accommodation.

From Piornedo you can either return by the same route or take the circular route suggested at the beginning, which goes into Leon and through the villages of Suábol and Balouta – which boast their own pallozas. Afterwards, following a beautiful road through the gorge of the Balouta River, come off at Rao and Navia de Suarna, a new municipality in Galicia of 2,000 inhabitants that, for some decades now, has lived under the threat of a project to build a reservoir, which would mean the end for the village. Any photo of Navia would have to include its medieval bridge with its thick walls, standing at the foot of what was once the castle of the Altamira family.

A twisting road links the village with Becerreá (29 kms away) and runs alongside the Navia River and its many fishing reserves and trails, if that is, you still have some energy left after such an intensive day.

 

ACCOMMODATION:

Albergue de Os Ancares. Campa La Braña. 982 18 11 13

PIORNEDO


- Hostal Piornedo **  Piornedo de Ancares. 982 16 15 87
- Hostal Belón * Ctra. Gra. Diputación, s/n. 982 36 45 15

BECERREÁ


- Hostal Rivera ** Piornedo de Ancares. 982 36 01 85
- Hostal Herbón * Gómez Jiménez, 8. 982 36 01 34

OS NOGAIS


- Hostal Fonfría ** Ctra. N - VI. 982 36 40 44
- Hostal Muiño **  Ctra. Gral. km 448. 982 36 40 50