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Things to do in

Ourense

Our most recommended things to do in Ourense

Excursion to Ribeira Sacra from Santiago de Compostela

1. Excursion to Ribeira Sacra from Santiago de Compostela

Depart Santiago by bus at 8:30 AM and head north to the province of Orense, where your guided tour through the Ribeira Sacra will begin. Discover how the name of this region, which means Sacred Riverbank, comes from the Middle Ages when many monasteries were scattered across the slopes of these rugged landscapes. Upon arrival, board a catamaran that will take you through the River Sil canyons. For 1.5 hours, enjoy the characteristic landscape of the area, and see the enormous walls that rise up to almost 500 meters high. During the cruise, have the opportunity to sample some traditional wine. Then, disembark and continue towards some of the viewpoints in the northern part of the Ribeira Sacra. After admiring these views, visit the San Esteban de Ribas de Sil monastery. The monument is currently used as a Parador Nacional de Turismo, known as a luxury hotel located in a historic building, and still preserves several elements from the original building. Take some free time for lunch in Luintra. Next, stop in Orense's historic center, which holds importance in Galicia for its thermal baths. Walk through its cobbled streets and discover the secrets of its famous bridges. Finally, end the day with return transport to Santiago by around 6:30 PM.

From Santiago: Day Trip to Ribeira Sacra with Catamaran Ride

2. From Santiago: Day Trip to Ribeira Sacra with Catamaran Ride

The Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, between the south of the province of Lugo and the north of the province of Ourense, is a fairytale landscape, crossed by the rivers Miño and Sil on whose shores we will discover the terraces of vineyards where different varieties of grape are cultivated to produce some of the best Galician wines. A humanized landscape, with a unique use of the land that transforms slopes of up to 70% in a succession of small terraces. The enologic resource together with the abundance of heritage, especially Romanesque churches and monasteries, as well as a spectacular landscape, justify the candidacy of the area for World Heritage Site. We will start our day navigating by catamaran through the spectacular Canyons of the Sil River, a 1 hour and a half ride with a drink included, in which we will contemplate the forests and vineyards so characteristic of this area of the Galician interior, an idyllic start of the trip without doubts. We will then move to one of the most special viewpoints of the Ribeira Sacra, to admire this incredible landscape from the heights. The next stop of our trip will be the monumental Monastery of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil, of Romanesque and Renaissance style, currently converted into a Parador Hotel. Located in the heart of the Ribeira Sacra, its architecture will undoubtedly surprise us, still preserving the cloister and the exterior ornamentation of the original building. In the afternoon we will visit the historic center of Ourense, the thermal city. This town, which in the past attracted the Romans for its gold and numerous thermal springs, will amaze you with its unique and carefully preserved artistic heritage. At the end of the day we will be astonished by the amount of sensations and places that we can find in this area of the Galician interior.

Ourense: Guided Tour and Ticket to Ourense Cathedral

3. Ourense: Guided Tour and Ticket to Ourense Cathedral

Explore the secrets of the Ourense Cathedral with this ticket and tour with an official guide. Hear about the legends and stories surrounding this majestic Cathedral and view the museum of relics. Watch as your guide points out facinating details in the interior.  Meet your guide at the Cathedral of San Martiño and delve into the history of the site where the church was built while admiring its complete exterior. Appreciate the full range of architectural styles that make up the final product and snap some pictures.  Head inside and take the time to see little details while listening to myths and tales about the church. Head to the museum of relics to see items like the Treasure of San Rosendo. Take a look at the archway Pórtico del Paraíso and the Gothic dome.  Take in the flamboyant style of the high alter and visit the baroque chapel of the famous Santo Cristo. After your tour, have the chance to climb the bell tower and marvel at the views. 

Ourense: Private Walking Tour with Guide

4. Ourense: Private Walking Tour with Guide

Are you one of those who have their own marked itinerary? There is a specific area of the city that you are especially interested in knowing? Then a private tour is the perfect option for you. If you just want to get to know the city and its most important parts and HIstory and have no particular choice, no problem either, we have a route that gathers the most interesting details and places. You choose the day and the hour. You will have the opportunity to visit one of the only inclined main squares in all of Europe, lose yourself among the charming stalls of the Mercado de Abastos and visit one of the most famous monuments in the city to discover its numerous properties, Las Burgas. All this while you learn about the past of the city and its evolution to the present, one of the main cities of Galicia. And of course, you can also visit the Cathedral of Ourense and find out about all the legends and stories that surround it. We will lose ourselves in the streets of wines, famous for their restaurants and tapas bars where we can see first-hand the fame of Galician gastronomy. You will be guided by an officially licensed professional guide the resides in Ourense so for sure there is no missing out on anything.

Ourense: 2-Hour Private City Walking Tour

5. Ourense: 2-Hour Private City Walking Tour

Admire the most iconic monuments in Ourense and hear the fascinating history and city legends behind every turn from your expert guide. Start your walking adventure at the incredible Las Burgas. Marvel at the ancient Roman 'hot springs' where you can still bathe today. Explore the old town and the Plaza Mayor. Here, admire some of the most iconic buildings in Ourense, such as the Town Hall, the Episcopal Palace, and one of the first churches in the city: the Santa María Madre. Make a stop at the spectacular Cathedral of Ourense, famous for its dome and recognized as an outstanding example of Galician gothic architecture. Continue to the Mercado de Abastos to see local foods before heading to the Plaza del Padre Feijoo, home to several modernist buildings such as the Diputación. Finish your tour at the famous San Francisco Cemetery, and feel free to ask your guide for any recommendations.

Frequently asked questions about Ourense

What top attractions are a must-see in Ourense?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Ourense

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What people are saying about Ourense

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 46 reviews

Had an excellent trip to Ribeira de sacra while visiting Santiago de Compostela. Lots of different things to see and had an excellent guide called Roy who was extremely knowledgeable and made the trip so interesting.

Very beautiful and delightful excursion into the nature of the Ribeira Sacra, which went from one highlight to the next. Very knowledgeable and friendly tour guide and a safer friendly bus driver.

Beautiful excursion. A lot of professionalism and kindness on the part of Sonia, the guide, and Pepe the driver. Highly recommended. Thank you very much for showing me this part of Galicia.

A very nice, enjoyable and fun excursion, my most sincere congratulations especially for the attention of our guide Sonia who was super nice and with unusual knowledge. Thank you

magnificent. The route is beautiful. Sonia, the guide, is 10 points (professional, educated, affectionate and attentive). That's how I like to travel.