Route from Silleda to Pontevedra
Starting point: Silleda
Silleda is the perfect setting to begin this route which combines nature and culture. In barely 70 kilometres you will discover the essence of Galicia: along the way, you can find everything, from cascades to monasteries, landscapes and remains of history.
You can start visiting the Carboeiro Monastery, built in 939 by Master Mateo's disciples over an already existing small chapel. Its ornamentation will remind you of the Santiago's Cathedral. The church was built beside the monastery in the late 12th century. To visit the monastery take the road PO-211 first, and then the PO-6502.
In Silleda, you can also visit the cascade, an amazing display of water, light and sound created by the fall of the waters of the Toxa River at the border between the parishes of Pazos and Martixe. It is the highest waterfall in Galicia and it is considered an area of great scenic value. Moreover, it is part of the Ulla-Deza River System and of the European project Red Natura 2000 as a Site of Community Importance. To go from the Carboeiro Monastery to the waterfall, take the PO-6502 and then the PO-204.
Lalín is the next stop, so take the road N-525 first, and then the N-640. This town is well-known for its popular Feira do Cocido (Galician Stew Festival), held on the first weekend before Carnival. Here, there are two main attractions: the temple devoted to the Virxe do Corpiño and the Pazo de Liñares. The former is a majestic shrine of great cultural and historic value dating from 1650; and the latter, a seventeenth-century Baroque pazo, residence of the famous pilot Joaquín Loriga, which was declared Cultural Interest Site in 2009. In Lalín, you can also visit the Catasós forest, listed as Natural Monument since 2000, with unique specimens of chestnut trees and oaks.
After that, if you drive along the PO-534, you will arrive in the town of Forcarei, where you can visit the Aciveiro Monastery, a Romanesque masterpiece built in 1135 by order of the Galician King Alfonso VII. Its church has three naves dating from the late Romanesque period. Here, you can park your bike and enjoy one of the existing hiking routes, as the one in the range mountain of O Candán, among the most popular and having the most beautiful natural landscapes. You can't pass out the chance to visit it!
Now you take the road N-551 to Pontevedra, and you are almost at the end of the route. Here, apart from enjoying the city and its old town (declared historic-artistic complex), you can also visit the Benedictine Monastery of San Salvador de Lérez, with Baroque and neoclassic elements, which is believed to have been founded in the 9th century.
Extra information: the route of the Lérez River begins in Pontevedra. Here, you will walk through river environments with a high ecologic value. Along the way, you can see many different trees, and narrow paths once used as fishermen's routes, which lead you to the spaces known as Salóns do Lérez, where the river forms pools and flows slowly.
Point of interest: Combarro
Now, take the road PO-308 to Combarro, a beautiful historic coastal town which is remarkable for its hórreos (traditional raised granaries) and cruceiros (stone crosses). There are more than 60 hórreos and 30 of them stand out since they are arranged in a line on the shore of the inlet.