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25 abr, 2023

From the Miño to the Sil: this is one of the best kept secrets of Galicia

Publicado Por: Simply Galicia En: Our Recommendations Comentario: 0 Golpear: 548

The Galician interior is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible places to discover our community. The Ribeira Sacra is defined as one of the best kept secrets of inland Galicia and today we discover some facts that will leave you with your mouth open.

Where is the Ribeira Sacra?

The waters of the Miño and Sil rivers are responsible for shaping the Ribeira Sacra and for delighting us with the imposing canyons of the Sil. 

The geodestino Ribeira Sacra is distributed between lands of Ourense and Lugo, embracing the city councils of A Peroxa, A Pobra do Brollón, A Pobra de Trives, A Teixeira, Bóveda, Carballedo, Castro Caldelas, Chandrexa de Queixa, Chantada, Esgos, Manzaneda, Monforte de Lemos, Montederramo, Nogueira de Ramuín, O Pereiro de Aguiar, O Saviñao, Pantón, Parada de Sil, Paradela, Portomarín, Quiroga, Ribas de Sil, San Xoán de Rïo, Sober, Taboada and Xunqueira de Espadanedo.

Rivoira Sacrata and its many monasteries

Although there are several theories about the origin of the name of the Ribeira Sacra, it is believed that it may come from the Latin words Rivoira Sacrata. "Rivoira" would mean area between rivers and "sacrata" could refer to the large concentration of monasteries and hermitages that since the 5th century began to be erected in the valleys of the rivers Sil and Miño.

In fact, the Ribeira Sacra area is home to the largest concentration of Roman-style monasteries in Europe.

To mention some of the many temples found in the Ribeira Sacra, we find the Monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil, the Monastery of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil, the Church of Santo Estevo de Ribas de Miño, the Sanctuary of Augas Santas, San Pedro de Rocas, the Church of Montederramo or the Church of San Pedro de Canaval.

Heroic viticulture

If the Ribeira Sacra is known for anything, it is for its winemaking tradition. The wines produced in the area have had a Denomination of Origin since 1996 and are internationally recognized both for their quality and for the difficulty involved in their cultivation. Heroic viticulture, in the steep terrain of the ribeira, with vineyards arranged in narrow terraces, is a hallmark of only 5% of the world's wine-growing area.

As for its origin, it is believed to date back to the Romans and was recovered by the monks in the Middle Ages. 

Currently, the production area of the Ribeira Sacra D.O. has an extension of 2,500 hectares of vineyards, which represents 5.2% of the land dedicated to grapes in Galicia. It is also distributed in five different sub-zones: Amandi, Chantada, Quiroga-Bibei, Ribeiras do Miño and Ribeiras do Sil.

From Simply Galicia we have organized excursions to the Ribeira Sacra. Our official tour guides in Spanish/English will take us to discover the Sil canyons, through a catamaran ride, different viewpoints such as Cabezoás, the Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas or the city of Ourense. You can find all the information at or by calling us at 698 186 670.

Etiquetas: Ribeira Sacra


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