Ourense is a city using an old town, but its actual beauty is its proximity to rural towns like Verín Allariz and Ribadavia. Take a look at these day trips from Ourense.
Also check out our Ourense city guide: Things to Watch and Eat in Ourense
Allariz is a rural town located 15 miles (24 kilometers ) south of Ourense across the A-52 street ) For Allariz is the perfect way to devote a few hours while still on a day trip in the region.
Perched across the Arnoia River on a hillside, Allariz was declared a Historic-Artistic site thanks to its quarter, which dates back to the medieval period. Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque influences are seen during Allariz, but the historic quarter is particularly enchanting with its cobblestone streets.
Declared Allariz that a Royal Village, that secured its growth and fortification. Today, remains of wall and the castle may still be seen. Once construction finished from the 15th century, the expansive wall was quantified at 3,600 feet long, 36 feet high and nearly seven feet thick.
The area is also worthy of a stroll. It Includes the 13th century Santa Clara Royal Monastery and the San Benito Church. The monastery houses a sacred art museum which has sculptures, books, textiles and religious items from your 13th throughout 19th centuries. The museum will be open 7 days a week and admission is absolutely free of charge.
Heading north across the river on the walkway Paseo de Alameda will cause you to O Arnado Park, where rows of a huge yard and trees permeates the Vilanova Bridge, one of the main attractions of the town. The bridge makes for a scenic background for a picnic on the grass and also a dip in the lake. Allariz can easily be explored on foot in less than a day.
That the Galician Pie Festival takes place in Allariz every year.
Many types of empanadas, or pops, are readily available to taste. The event, that originated in 1971, also features open minded dances, concerts and athletic events.
To find out more about Allariz, visit www.allariz.com.
Unlike other towns in Galicia, Verín does not have scenic areas or a attractive historic center. It’s a community of about 14,500 people that features tapas and a few cafés bars. Verín is popularly known for its water, therefore it comes as no surprise that the each of the major water plants, Fontenova, Sousas and Cabreiroa of Galicia, are found here. But the water is not the most important attraction; it is indeed Castillo de Monterrei. This 15th century castle, located about 2 km from the town center, towers across the landscape. It was a part of a fortification program which shielded Verín from skirmishes with neighboring Portugal. It served as the chair of Viedma, Zúñiga, the Ulloa, Fonseca, Acevedo and Dukes of Alba noble lineages.
Throughout the decades, the castle suffered expansions, developments and many structural adjustments. Between the 15th and 17th centuries, Monterrei counts additional to the castle that the Torre del Homenaje, the Santa Maria Church and the pilgrims hospital. It’s believed that a number of the oldest texts from the Galician language have been published here on a Gutenberg Printing Press. Today, the reinforced complex is in surprisingly good shape. It’s one of Galicia’s most important historical sites because of its religious, cultural and political ties. Sections of this castle, like inside courtyard, the towers and the Santa Maria Church, are open to the public. It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
For those who wish to stay longer, the Parador de Verín is located next to the castle. Paradors are luxury hotels found throughout Spain. They are situated within renovated historic buildings like castles. Visit www.parador.es for an entire list of paradors and much more information on each.
The castle isn’t the only matter of interest in Verín. Monterrei appears to be one of those five principle wine producing areas of Galicia. Its microclimate brings itself to tastes and complex aromas found in these whites like Loureira varieties and the Godello Blanca. In the event you don’t need to venture too far to get a taste of local Monterrei wine, make your way a winery, to Bodegas Gargalo. Bodegas Gargalo is located less than a five-minute drive from the middle of Verín.
Verín is roughly 45 miles (72 kilometers ) southeast of Ourense.
Ribadavia’s charismatic town is the unofficial capital of this Ribeiro wine area, and just a half hour drive from Ourense. It’s known for not only its own wine production, but also for its medieval personality and lots of buildings that are religious. Like Allariz, Ribadavia was declared pursuits in artwork a Historic-Artistic site for its spectacular design and continued efforts in historic preservation. The place was inhabited by several societies including the Celts and Romans that were early. The town sits among a landscape of canyons and vineyards, and can be flanked by the Rivers Miño along with Avia.
Ribadavia has lots to see and do. Visitors should start here by paying a trip to the tourism division found in the Plaza Mayor. As with towns, Ribadavia’s Plaza Mayor is the community’s heart, which one so happens to be quite stunning. Nearby points of interest include the 9th century castle, 12th century city walls, 16th century Franciscan Convent of St. Anthony, 13th century Saint Lazarus Prophet as well as the Santo Domingo Church. Ribadavia formerly had a sizable Jewish community, and the Jewish Quarter, or Juderia, could still be visited today.
Ribadavia has traditionally enjoyed affluence and good prosperity through the centuries because of the wine market. Ribeiro wine proved to be a valuable commodity during the Middle Ages, being traded all around the Iberian Peninsula. It was also exported to other nations like Italy, Germany and England and sold to the transient pilgrims on their way. The winemaking traditions of the past have throw into the present and Ribeiro wines are high in quality. Bodegas in the region include Casal de Armán (see Restaurants section). For a complete listing visit www.do-ribeiro.com.
Tours of the castle and other attractions at the old town must be organized via the tourism office (+34988471275 / www.ribadavia.com). Ribadavia is located 18 miles (29 kilometers ) west of Ourense.
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