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Lugo's A Mariña region. Galicia's hidden treasure

Lugo's A Mariña region

The A Mariña region in Lugo stretches over 60 kilometres along its coast. It starts in Ribadeo estuary, in the border with Asturias, and goes all the way to O Vicedo estuary, in the border with Coruña. As you make your way along A Mariña, you will discover some of Galicia's hidden treasures: forests that seem to emerge from the sea, dark and mysterious mountains, spectacular beaches, ancient fishing villages, the capitals of the old Kingdom of Galicia, pre-Romanesque basilicas, Celtic castros, or pioneering industrial complexes. These are but a few things that only those who veer off the beaten path will see.

If you love cultural heritage, you must visit the San Martiño de Mondoñedo basilica, the oldest cathedral in Spain, and the convent of San Salvador de Lourenzá, one of the best Baroque monasteries in Galicia. And there is also the impregnable fortress Pardo de Cela in Alfoz, and the undying puerta de Carlos V in Viveiro. All of them are monuments of great significance.

If you enjoy being surrounded by nature, Mariña's rich landscapes and biological and geomorphological variety will surprise you. You will find places such as As Catedrais beach and Souto da Retorta, designated Natural Monuments, and many other protected natural areas, among which are the river Landro, Monte Maior, as well as the river Ouro, the Foz-Masma estuary, the river Eo and the forest of Carballido. Worthy of special mention are its two Biosphere Reserves, the one in Terras do Miño and the one in the river Eo, Oscos and Terras de Burón.

You will find a mixture of the most positive aspects of both in its two hidden treasures, Serra do Xistral, a peatland where wild horses roam, and the monumental town of Mondoñedo, former episcopal see with a beautiful 13th century cathedral.

If you are looking for a good exhibition and museum offer, look no further than the Historical Museum of Sargadelos in Cervo, the "Reina del Carmen" Tuna Boat-Museum in Burela, the Maritime Museum in San Cibrao and the Museum of Sacred Arts in Vilanova de Lourenzá.

Oscos –Eo. A region carved by water, forests, stone, and fire

Ribadeo estuary

If you are going to spend more than a few days in Ribadeo, the Oscos-Eo region is definitely a must-see. This region is in the southwestern corner of Asturias, at the border with Galicia.

It owes its name to the river Eo and the Oscos area. This territory, rich in contrasts, stretches from Ribadeo estuary, natural border between Galicia and Asturias, with Castropol, San Tirso de Abres and Vegadeo on its banks; all the way up to Oscos, a clearly-defined area within the region, which consists of the municipalities of Villanueva de Oscos, Santa Eulalia de Oscos, and San Martín de Oscos, with Taramundi, one of the most famous municipalities, serving as a transition between both zones. 

This area still preserves its traditional lifestyle. It combines all the elements that link the cultures of Asturias and Galicia, such as the language, the gastronomy, the customs, and the rites.

This is a land of constrasts. On the one hand, there are some practically unspoiled natural environments: surprising rivers, streams, and waterfalls, magnificent beaches, and forests lush with oaks, chestnuts, birches, hazels, willows... Truly a place apart. On the other hand, the region is also home to a rich cultural and ethnographical heritage which still encapsulates its unique, traditional way of living to this day. You will see the jewells of traditional architecture: houses, stables, hórreos, hay lofts, and pigeon houses, as well as other constructions related to the pre-Industrial blacksmithing, such as foundries, forging hammers, and smithies. Part of this culture lives on in the art of knife crafting. 

One of the best ways of exploring this region is to walk its paths, a network of routes and roads that will take you to all the unforgettable spots in it. 

You can also travel through the seven municipalities of the region using other means of transport, moving from the sea inland or vice versa.