Immerse yourself in the inland forests

Rías Baixas are part of the so-called España Verde (Green Spain). The beauty of this green area can be seen, apart from the many gardens that adorn their cities, towns and manor houses, in the nature of inland forests, where you can let yourself go in its routes and the surprises and obstacles you may find.

Your trip will take you to Vila de Cruces, where you can ramble through the natural area of Os Sobreirais do Arnego (cork oak forest), the Portodemouros reservoir, and the Gres Islands. Do not miss the opportunity to sample "galo de curral" (farmyard poultry) marinated in a Designation of Origin Rías Baixas albariño wine.

The municipality of Vila de Cruces is specially popular for the Festa do Galo de Curral (Festival of the Farmyard Poultry), which is part of the European Network of Culinary Heritage, for the use of local products and the promotion of traditional cuisine, with the characteristic that free range roosters fed with natural products are used.

So as not to lose this feeling of freedom, you can also visit several places surrounded by nature. Portodemouros reservoir, in the Ulla river basin has a capacity of nearly 300 hm3 and a size that washes four municipalities. From there you can approach the six Gres islands, some small islands formed by the Ulla river, connected by bridges, so as visitors can access a rest area by the river.

The area of Os Sobreirais do Arnego also has to do with the river and the forest. The Arnego, a tributary of Ulla, has one of the best preserved mixed forests of oak and cork trees, only present in well sheltered river valleys. Carmoega Valley, in the municipality of Agolada, with a trail of mills, is a perfect place to go fishing. It also has a recreational area.

In Silleda awaits you the magic of Romanesque hidden in a Galician forest; starting from the waterfall of Toxa River you can enjoy a tour leading to the monastery of Carboeiro. Due to its natural significance, this space is part of the Site of Community Importance Ulla-Deza River System. Following a path being six kilometres long we descend to the foot of the waterfall, crossing an iron bridge by which we reach the town of Merza. Leaving A Carixa river beach and A Portela village, you get to a medieval road and a Roman bridge known as ponte do demo (devil's bridge). Once in San Lourenzo de Carboeiro you can enjoy one of the best examples of the arches used in Romanesque architecture.

Halfway between Tabeirós and Deza there are some salt marshes full of peat bogs, known as Brañas de Xestoso, a protected area belonging to the Natura network, of which it is worth to mention the lagoa sacra (sacred lake), a meadow with wetlands which dry up in summer, where reptiles, amphibians, hawks, eagles, foxes and wolves live. The oddest thing about this enclave is the legend that tells this lake was walled after a battle in which many dead men were thrown into the water. The wall was built to prevent desecration.

Life and knowledge of the Galician villages is something that needs to be preserved as the most precious treasure, because there are fewer places where traditions are maintained and some traditional trades are disappearing due to a lack of interest by new generations. In Doade, Lalin, there is a place called Casa do Patrón (master's house), created with the aim to promote and emphasize the importance of the popular heritage of the region. In two thousand square meters and with more than four thousand pieces, this museum shows how these houses were in the past as well as the daily activities in a village, such as life in the school, farming, pottery, woodworking, stonework or basketry, among others. 

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