What to visit in Ourense and its surroundings? This is the question that many people ask before visiting Galicia, because sometimes it is not necessary to leave Spanish borders to find fascinating places.
Spain is a country of nations, each with everything a tourist could wish for, modern cities, impressive natural landscapes, idyllic beaches for everyone, a wide and varied tourist offer for families and singles, monuments, archaeological sites… and especially in Galicia, they can boast of hosting charming villages.
What to see in Ourense? Today we travel to the province of Ourense, south of the Galician community and touching the border with Portugal. The Ourense province has natural charms that captivate all travelers, from excellent thermal waters to relax in, to lush nature and natural parks of great scenic and ecological value, and of course being in Galicia we cannot overlook the delicious Galician cuisine.
Let’s get on with what you’re looking for, a tour of some of the most beautiful villages in this Galician land, we’re going to get to know the most charming localities in Ourense.
The most charming villages of Ourense, not all the beautiful villages of this Galician province are included, but the 6 that every traveler must visit in Ourense’s lands, let yourself be surprised by these Ourense villages. What to see near Ourense?
We start our journey in one of the most prominent villages of Ourense, we are in Allariz, a town declared a Historic Artistic Site and one of the tourist areas of the Ourense province on the banks of the Arnoia River. When we arrive at this Galician municipality, we will find a village with a medieval layout surrounded by magical and beautiful chestnut forests.
Do you want to know villages near Ourense? Allariz preserves in its streets important medieval constructions, and even remains of the castle and bridges, such as Vilanova and Frieira. A medieval village in the most authentic Galicia, which has hosted different kings throughout its history, such as Alfonso X The Wise.
And what can you see in Allariz if you visit it on a weekend or other beautiful villages near Allariz? The truth is that its heritage is as large as it is curious, starting with the traditional Church of Santiago (12th century), which is one of the great examples of Romanesque architecture in Galicia. Other places that you can also visit are the House-Tower of Castro Ojea or the Baroque Convent of Santa Clara, in style.
One of the most picturesque villages of Ourense, the historical center of the region of Tierra de Caldelas that forms a town and the medieval fortress together with 16 parishes and 86 small populations, is Castro Caldelas.
The beauty of the Ribeira Sacra is characterized by its beautiful landscapes, as well as its charming villages! One of them is Castro Caldelas, a place to get lost in its cobbled streets, as well as to enjoy its houses with slate roofs and white window galleries.
The most relevant monument of Castro Caldelas is its castle (military-style fortress), which majestically crowns the town and was built in the 16th century, by the Count of Lemos. You should also visit the Church of Santa Isabel or the Church of the Virgin of Remedies. Visiting Castro Caldelas is knowing the most authentic rural Galicia.
Vilanova dos Infantes
The authentic Galicia can be found in Vilanova dos Infantes, a small and beautiful medieval village belonging to the locality of Celanova, in the province of Ourense.
I’m sure that, as you stroll through its stone streets, you’ll still feel that medieval atmosphere that will transport you to another time. Throughout its streets, there are different relevant monuments, with its fortified tower standing out above all. You can also visit the Church of San Salvador, built on a small Mozarabic-style chapel, and the Sanctuary of the Virgen del Cristal.
Pazos de Arenteiro
Pazos de Arenteiro is a small village located in the region of Galicia, Spain. Specifically, it belongs to the municipality of Boborás, in the province of Ourense. Like many places in Galicia, it is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including forests, rivers and mountains. The local culture is rich in tradition, including the Galician language, gastronomy, and festivities.
Indeed, what captivates the visitor the most are the various mansions and pazos. These stone structures will amaze you with their excellent state of preservation and Jewish and Arab engravings. Among the most outstanding points of Pazos de Arenteiro, is the Church of San Salvador, of Romanesque architecture, a true gem of the Galician province’s heritage!
One of the most visited destinations in the province of Ourense, especially during Carnivals. But Verín is not just its grand carnival celebration, this Galician village hosts buildings of great interest such as the beautiful Church of Santa María la Mayor or the Monastery of the Mercedarian Fathers.
A town in Ourense located in a unique environment in Galicia, such as the natural reserve of the River Támega, a winemaking area and of spring waters. Both in Verín and its surrounding villages, you have a lot to visit. Close to Verín is also the castle of Monterrei, an ancient palace-fortress from the 10th century.
We head towards the region of Carballino, to explore one of the most fascinating villages of Ourense: Bóboras. This municipality consists of a variety of parishes, like Pazos de Arenteiro, that house a rich historical and cultural legacy. This place stands out for its medieval bridges and spectacular hiking routes that allow us to explore all its attractions.
The historical relevance of Bóboras is evident in its heritage of medieval and Romanesque monuments. On a tour of its charming streets, you’ll discover attractions such as its Town Hall or the Church of Moreiras. In the various parishes of Bóboras, you’ll come across churches like San Martiño de Cameixa.
In Ribadavia we find the former seat of the Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays a village closely linked to wine and curiously, also to the Jewish people as it was once the seat of the Kingdom of Galicia. This town houses one of the most important Jewish quarters in Spain, which together with the Romanesque Church of Santiago and the Castle of the Sarmiento form a historical and monumental set worth visiting.
If one of your passions is wine tourism, Ribadavia is also your destination! The entire environment of this beautiful Galician village is delimited by vineyards and vineyards of the famous Ribeiro wine. In this town you can also enjoy water activities at the Castrelo de Miño Nautical Park. One of the most beautiful villages in Ourense and one of my favorites.
Another fascinating place in Ourense is Montederramo, one of the beautiful towns near Ribadavia. This charming village, nestled between the waters of the Mao River and a densely populated birch forest, was formed around its monastic community in the early 12th century. It is a small town, immersed in a breathtaking natural environment, that we undoubtedly recommend visiting.
The highlight to explore in Montederramo is the monastery, along with the stone houses attached to its square. This formidable construction dates back to the 12th century, although it has been remodeled in subsequent centuries, featuring Romanesque and Herrerian styles. It is one of the most representative examples of the Galician Renaissance.
A town in Ourense with its own charm. Carballiño has one of the largest natural parks in Galicia in its area of influence, as well as some of the oldest spas in the north of Spain. Among the great monumental heritage of this town, the Temple of Veracruz stands out.
Carballiño is a very interesting town to visit at any time of the year, especially if you want to taste the best of Galician cuisine. Another standout attraction is the numerous spas that surround the town, perfect for a relaxing getaway in both summer and winter.
Among its most notable heritage monuments, the 20th century Temple of the Cross, which blends different architectural styles, stands out. Another place of great interest is the Pazo de Banga.
Parada de Sil
As could not be otherwise, we must also talk about Parada de Sil, which is the most northern part of the province, bordering Lugo. There are many corners of this town worth visiting, such as the hermitage of San Antonio, the church of Santa Mariña, the monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil, and the Peto de Ánimas de San Mamede. We also want to mention that the municipality has an approved hiking route.
Celanova is an ancient town that was a major center during the Early Middle Ages, as evidenced by its numerous monuments. With a historical heritage of invaluable architectural value, Celanova is, without a doubt, one of the most captivating towns in Ourense. If you’re looking to travel through various eras of our cultural and artistic past, Celanova is a must-visit destination.
We invite you to explore the historic center of Celanova to admire its notable monuments. The most representative emblem of this town is the Monastery of San Salvador de Celanova, where you can appreciate beautiful rooms such as its Baroque cloister and its church with three apses. Another site of interest in Celanova that you must not miss is the Chapel of San Miguel.
This Galician town has remained a reference point for history and culture over time, offering visitors a glimpse at the historical evolution of the region through its different stages, from the Middle Ages to the present. The various architectural structures are testament to the different periods and styles that have influenced the region, making Celanova a fascinating place for those who appreciate history and architecture.
There are various small towns in Ourense that are nevertheless wonderful. Towns situated in stunning environments, such as As Ermidas, a small parish in O Bolo. Located on a hill, surrounded by vineyards, and in a bend of the Ribeiro River, you will find this charming village that will leave you amazed even from a distance.
Perfectly integrated into this environment, the most striking is the spectacular Sanctuary of Our Lady. Perched on top of the steep mountain, this magnificent 18th-century architectural work stands out, being one of the most notable manifestations of the Baroque art of the Galician community, which says a lot!
What to see in the province of Ourense? These are the most beautiful towns in Ourense, would you add any other town to the list of towns in the province of Ourense that are worth visiting? If you liked these beautiful towns, don’t hesitate to share them with your friends on social networks and plan a visit to enjoy them.
What to see near Ourense in 2023? I’ll be reading your comments now that you know which towns to see near Ourense.