Tourist Route by car
Arzúa, O Pino and Touro (Arzúa county) and Santiso (Melide county). The source of the river Ulla is in Antas de Ulla (Lugo) and fl ows into the Atlantic through the Arousa Estuary (Pontevedra). The river will be your main guide along this route.
The landscapes urrounding the river Ulla is typical of Galicia’s interior, dominated by its characteristic colour green and the blue-green of the river, which continually changes its appearance, from the waterfalls in Touro and Arzúa to the calm and open waters of the Portodemouros reservoir.
The land consolidation projector reparcelling has given shape to this area , where we also can see deciduous Woods (mainly oak and chest nut trees). The most interesting elements of this route are the rich biodiversity found on the riverbank, common to the shores of the Ulla, as well as the beautiful landscape and heritage of the area.
From an economic point of view, this area benefi ts from being close to the city of Santiago de Compostela and the services provided along the Camino de Santiago, including industries such as agrifood, live stock rearing and dairy production. Forestry is another important industry in the area with large plantations of eucalyptus and pine being prominent. The locals are friendly and welcoming, accustomed as they are to the journeying pilgrims, always happy to chat and keen to give advice to the visitor regarding local gastronomy, leisure and shopping. The Arzúa cheese P.D.O. (protected designation of origin) also called ¨queixo do país¨ (local cheese) is highly recommended.
Peregrinos en el Camino de Santiago. Ferry en el embalse de Portodemouros
Total distance: 82 kms
Recommended time to complete this route: 2 days
Circular route: it is possible to start the route at any point on the itinerary.
Estimated travelling time: 2 hours by car.
If you are travelling from Santiago de Compostela, you can start the Route in O Pedrouzo, less than 20 minutes away.
DISTRICT OF O PINO
Hórrea y Iglesia de Arca (O Pino)
O Pedrouzo, also known as Arca, is the fi nal stage of the Camino de Santiago before arriving in Compostela. As a result, the visitor can fi nd here, and in Arzúa, a better choice of accommodation and places to eat.
In the town centre, going down the Avenida de la Igesia, located opposite the Town Hall, the visitor can fi nd three cork oak trees, the cruceiro (stone cross), the hórreas (grain stores) and the church of Santa Eulalia de Arca. The hórreas in O Pino and in Touro were built with a square fl oor and a closed base, unlike the narrow and long horreos more typical of Galicia.
On the first Sunday of August, the town of O Pino celebrates the festival of the “Galo Piñeiro”, a local breed of hen which is being reintroduced thanks to the festival, which is organized by the local council in conjunction with other organisations and breeders. There are beauty contests for hens and cockerels as well as a traditional equine exhibition.
Galo e galiña piñeira. A la derecha Queixo D.O.P. Arzúa-Ulloa
Other places of interest in O Pino
If travelling by car, you can go off route and visit the Magdalena Chapel in the parish of Castrofeito, which is close to the Camino Norte (the northern pilgrimage way to Santiago), a beautiful and relaxing setting. A popular musical and religious festival takes place here on the 22nd of July, which includes a big outdoor picnic, so we highly recommend you take an empanada gallega (galician pie) with you as well as some of the delicious Arzúa-Ulloa cheese.
During the summer months you can bathe in the river Tambre in the recreational area of A Tarroeira, located a little bit further to the north. On this stretch of the river Tambre you can fi nd a natural area protected by Red Natura 2000 where you can sit beneath the riverside trees and enjoy the refreshing, cool waters. Furthermore, during the summer in this district, and all the districts on this route, the local swimming pools are also open.
DISTRICT OF TOURO
Antroido “Os Xenerais da Ulla” (Touro)
Fonte Díaz. Interpretation Center of the river Ulla.
The River Ulla and its tributaries outline the landscape of the District of Touro and determine which crops grow here and even the character of its people.
In the district’s capital, Fonte Díaz, there is a market on the fi fth day of each month where people enjoy eating octopus, one of the delicacies of Galician gastronomy, buying good cheese or homemade chorizo. On Saturday, the Dona Dana discotheque, famous for many years as the setting of the tv programme Luar, encourages us to dance the night away.
Were commend the visitors pends sometime exploring the rich historical, architectural and landscape heritage of the District of Touro and the Ulla riverbank in the Interpretation Centre of the River Ulla, about 300 metres from the town, situated just beside the parking for caravans.
“O entroido dos xenerais da Ulla” (the carnival of the generals of Ulla) is one of the famous traditional festivals in Galicia. It is celebrated in Fonte Díaz on the same day of the fair and also in the parishes of Loxo and Bama.
Pozo do Pego. Río Ulla
Pozo do Pego in the river Ulla
After visiting the Interpretation Centre of the River Ulla, it is time to stimulate all your senses. Walk towards the Pozo do Pego, a heavenly backwater of the river, located at the end of the Ribeira do Ulla route (PR G 93). This haven of unparalleled beauty is surrounded by an impressive forest, which is notable not only for its magnitude but also for its abundance of foliage, among which you can admire many protected native species.
Both Touro and the neighbouring Arzúa have accredited walking routes along the river and its tributaries. This connected network of paths allows you to walk around 70 to 80 kilometres on sign posted routes of stunning beauty that allow you to discover the diversity of the indigenous flora and fauna.
Discover the trekking routes of Touro and Arzúa
The Route of Ribeira do Ulla (PR-G 93) passes by the waterfall of O Inferniño and crosses a forest of cork oaks, a rare tree in these latitudes, more typical of the Mediterranean climate.
At this stage, the Ulla leaves several areas in the form of small peninsulas, bridges like Remesquide and quiet pools like Pozo do Pego.
The Three Rivers Route (PR G-121) reaches a beautiful waterfall, known as Salto das Pombas.
The Fervenza das Hortas route in Rio Lañas (PR-G 233) ends its journey at Fervenza de Santa Marta or Fervenza das Hortas, which is the next stop on the route and the starting point of the Fervenza das Hortas Route (PR-G 169) through Arzúa.
EuroVelo Route 3 for cycling:
EuroVelo is a network of 15 long-distance cycling routes that connect the entire European continent. The EuroVelo 3 known as the "Pilgrims' Route", whose starting point is Navarre, visits in its last stage the town of Touro through what is known as the "Route of the Dutchman".
Other places of interest in Touro
On our way to Pozo do Pego, taking a detour through the hamlet of Loxo, we can see the beautiful church and many examples of the traditional civil architecture of rural Galicia, the hórreo de Outeiro being the most prominent amongst them. You can also stop in the traditional hamlet of Basebe and see its corredoira and the bridge with the same name which are near to the cork oak forest.
Touro is also land of imposing pazos (Galician country houses), which are examples of civil architecture that are currently being renovated in order to be used for business or as private homes. These pazos were the centre of feudal life from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.
DISTRICT OF ARZÚA
Santa Marta waterfall or Hortas waterfall (Touro/Arzúa)
Santa Marta waterfall or Hortas waterfall
The route continues towards Santa Marta´s waterfall, 15 kms away. This waterfall divides the districts of Arzúa and Touro; each of them has an accredited walking route for which the waterfall marks the start and end points. If you enjoy walking and trekking, you can also go a bit further to the neighbouring district of Santiso, where you can continue for a further 40 km on foot to the tranquil Portodemouros reservoir on the Ruta da Beseña (PR G 226).
The Fervenza das Hortas has two waterfalls of about 30 metres high, both originating in the gneiss and quartzite waters of the Saímes stream. At its highest point the visitor can see the Molino dos Agra (Agra´s Mill), located in the Touro area. It is also known as Fervenza de Santa Marta, due to a popular legend about a young woman who used to go to the mill with her boyfriend. When she told him she was expecting a baby, he rejected her and then one night pushed her from the top of the waterfall. When falling, the girl shouted: “¡Santa Marta me vaia!” (“I hope Santa Marta helps me!”) and luckily an oak tree broke her fall, miraculously saving her life.
Portodemouros reservoir and Viviente do Mel museum
Enredo do Abelleiro museum (Arzúa)
With the sound of falling water still in your mind, you can now experience the peacefulness of the Portodemouros reservoir. Apart from admiring the beautiful scenery, we recommend you visit O Enredo do Abelleiro museum, a living museum where the visitor can observe bees at work. It is a fantastic experience, equally loved by adults and children.
Enredo do Abelleiro Museum. Hives and shop (Arzúa)
DISTRICT OF SANTISO
Ferry of Portodemouros
The Ulla’s Route wouldn't be complete without crossing the river aboard the Azulón Ferry. From the hamlet of Loño, in Vila Cruces (Pontevedra), you have to drive up to the reservoir's shore and sound the car's horn. The ferry arrives straightaway to take you to the other side free of charge. This ferry service was established in 1975 to enable the people of Vila de Cruces and Santiso to cross over after the connecting bridges had been flooded.
The differences between this landscape and that of the river Ulla in Touro are noticeable. Santiso is orchard land, thanks to its smooth terrain, kind climate and the river flowing through it.
Ferri en el embalse de Portodemouros (Santiso)
It is land of churches and also well conserved pazos, which have now been converted for corporate use. These pazos remind us of the power once held by feudal lords, the essence of which has been incorporated in the popular saying: “Escudo, capilla y ciprés, pazo es” (meaning: if there is a shield, a chapel and a cypress tree, it is a pazo). Once you have embarked from the ferry, a visit to the Pazo Vilar de Ferreiros, with its imposing Baroque portal, is recommended.
Pazo Vilar de Ferreiroa (Santiso)
Other places of interest from Santiso
Pazo da Pena, used for a long time as a nursery for ornamental trees.
The church of San Estebo de Pezobrés, an example of rural Romanesque architecture, which has only one nave and two simple entrance doors with beautifully preserved tympana.
The churches of Santa María and Moldes (Melide) are the best examples of local Romanesque architecture.
The recreation area Cornella “O Liño”, located in the parish of Arcediago (Santiso), is ideal if you wish to take a swim in the river.
Cañizas Mill in Barazón is a renovated mill, currently housing a restaurant.
DISTRICT OF ARZÚA
Arzúa is the centre of this region, with around 6000 inhabitants. Its history and economy are mainly linked to the Camino de Santiago and the Arzúa-Ulloa cheese which has a Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) status. Here the visitor can fi nd traditional cheese made by local farmers or other businesses which respect the deeply rooted artisanal tradition. The Queso de ArzúaUlloa Festival is one of the festivals in Galicia classifi ed as being of signifi cant interest to tourists (Interés Turístico de Galicia) and it is held in the fi rst week of March with the purpose of highlighting the virtues of this delicious product. Another lively street event worth visiting is the local market held each month on the mornings of the 8th and 22nd.
You can also take a stroll through the historic area or head to the outskirts of the town to visit the ethnographic museum of A Paínza, or the museum shops of the leather companies, which are of great historical importance to the town. Arzúa is also an ideal place to eat and do your shopping. From Arzúa head back to O Pedrouzo, the start and end point of the Ulla’s Route.
Estatua “A Queixeira” (Arzúa)
Other places of interest from Arzúa
The Centro de Divulgación do Queixo e do Mel (Centre for the promotion of Cheese and Honey) has as its main objective the promotion and showcasing of the P.D.O. Arzúa-Ulloa cheese and La Miel de Galicia (Galician honey), highlighting the links between these products and the traditions of rural Galicia. The river beach in Ribadiso is perfect for swimming in the summer months. You can relax beside the Iso river, a tributary of the Tambre, and the Brandeso river, a tributary of the Ulla, both natural environments of striking beauty. The Pazo de Brandeso and the Pazo de Sedor, both very well preserved, remind us of the grandeur of the nobility in bygone times. You can enjoy the weekend in the neighbouring town of Melide, famous in Galicia for its nightlife.
|Igrexa de Santa Eulalia de Arca
Avda da Iglesia, O Pedrouzo, O Pino
|42° 54’ 10,9” N/ 8° 21’ 46,7” O|
|Centro de Interpretación do Río Ulla en Touro:
Avda de Castelao. Casa da Cultural
Información sobre horarios e visitas
no teléfono do Concello: 981.504.029
|42° 52’ 14,56” N/ 8° 18’ 44,79” O
|Pozo do Pego no Río Ulla
(Concello de Touro)
|42° 50’ 38,28” N/ 8° 17’ 46,26” O|
|Fervenza de Santa Marta ou Fervenza das Hortas
entre Touro e Arzúa:
|45° 50’ 54,72” N/ 8° 12’ 57,72” O|
|Museo Vivinte do Mel O Enredo do Abelleiro
(Concello de Arzúa):
|42° 51’ 25,8” N/ 8° 11’ 40,6” O|
|Ferri de Portodemouros
entre Arzúa e Santiso
|42° 51’ 54,9” N/ 8° 10’ 38,47” O|
|Pazo de Vilar de Ferreiros en Santiso
(visitas previa reserva):
|42° 51’ 54,9” N/ 8° 06’ 01,0” O|
|Museo etnográfico de A Paínza en Arzúa
(visitas previa reserva):
|42° 57’ 35,57” N/ 8° 9’ 22,05” O