Things to do in
Ribeira Sacra

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Our most recommended things to do in Ribeira Sacra

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. 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 de Compostela: Day Trip with Wine and Cruise

2. From Santiago de Compostela: Day Trip with Wine and Cruise

Fill a day with wine, art, gastronomy, and natural beauty. Visit exclusive wine cellars for a tasting and a medieval village on this guided day tour of Ribeira Sacra. Enjoy a boat ride along the Sil River between the hills where grapes are grown. Discover Galician cuisine and culture. Start your tour from the Plaza de Galicia in Santiago de Compostela. Local guides join you in the air-conditioned minibuses. Learn about the region on the way to the Church of Santo Estevo. From the church, snap a photo of the commanding view over the river and vineyards. Drive down Sil River for a leisurely cruise. More vineyards cover the slopes along the river. Learn about Ribeira Sacra’s wine production from your guide. After the cruise, tour an exclusive local wine cellar. 5 of the varietals grown in the region will be on hand to sample. Find your favorite. On the way to Castro Caldelas, ask your guide for a tip on where to eat. They’ll help with reservations, too. Discover the town’s medieval charms and history. Stone streets ring the village’s church and castle. Take time to wander and grab a bite for lunch.   Make a stop at the Balcones de Madrid. The cliffs provide a sweeping panorama. Take a selfie to remember the trip. Before returning to Santiago de Compostela, visit the Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas. Walk through its weathered ruins. The tour will end with a return to the Plaza de Galicia.

From Santiago: Day Trip to Ribeira Sacra with Catamaran Ride

3. 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.

Santiago de Compostela: Galicia & The Ribeira Sacra Day Trip

4. Santiago de Compostela: Galicia & The Ribeira Sacra Day Trip

Leaving Santiago at 8:45 we will head to one of the most beautiful in the area, where it will serve as a balcony to enter this landscape. After this incredible viewpoint, we headed to one of the piers of the River Sil, to enter a catamaran ride through the canyons of this tributary of the Sil. Vineyards, monasteries, wineries, and canyons, all of this configure a landscape without the same. After this magnificent boat ride and approaching lunchtime, you will move to the capital of the Ribeira Sacra, Monforte de Lemos. This place located in this privileged site hides great history, you will have free time the food as well as time for a small guided tour and thus learn about the most emblematic places in the area. After knowing the history of its streets, and its castle among other monuments, you will head to take the gold from the area, which costs so much effort to get to its locals, the wine from the Ribeira Sacra. Visit a traditional winery and see vineyards and the artisan process as the grape is collected, even how it is bottled knowing all these steps and finally tasting with some appetizers. Say goodbye with a wonderful view of the meanders, this time of the River Miño, having known both rivers, and taking us a complete vision of this beautiful area of Galicia. Finally, and after having toured this jewel of Galicia, you will head to Santiago having visited one of the most beautiful destinations in our community.

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What people are saying about Ribeira Sacra

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 14 reviews

Great views! Guides of the best in Santiago. Thank you

Excellent tour! Views, wine tasting, detailed explanation of the monastery. Sonia and Inés thank you for so much kindness and hospitality. We feel at home.

A well thought out way to see a beautiful region of Spain.