Camino Invierno: Stage 2
Las Médulas – O Barco de Valdeorras (26,4 km)
Today, we will cross the natural border of the Sil to enter the lands of Ourense, specifically, Sobradelo will be the first Galician town that we will step on the Winter Trail.
From here, two alternatives are presented to us to continue to O Barco de Valdeorras, one following the course of the Sil and the other ascending to Serra da Enciña.
We left Las Médulas towards Puente Domingo Flórez, about seven kilometers away and a point chosen by many pilgrims to extend the previous stage. From the same square where the Archaeological and Interpretation Hall is located, take the path and, after several turns, take the Camino Real, known as the Royal Way, going up to the top of Las Pedrices. Thus begins a steep descent, where about six kilometers, we will walk through the valley of Valdebria to the bridge of Domingo Flórez. We combine forest stretches with local roads to exit onto the LE-164 and take Calle Real towards a bridge over the Cabrera River. On the banks of the River Sil and the Pumares reservoir, we find Puente de Domingo Flórez, a village associated with the noble Domingo Flórez, a member of the Froilaz family who reigned in Valdeorras and El Bierzo in the 11th century.
From here, we will follow the course of the Sil, more specifically along its right bank, being this the perfect companion that will guide us to the doors of Galicia. In this way we will avoid the monotonous road and all the dangers that this entails. Once we reached Puente de Domingo Flórez and at a gas station, we turned right in search of the river again. We cross it and, soon, we enter the nearby Quereño, where we are presented with two options to continue to O Barco de Valdeorras: the variant by Rubiá, by which we will add a little more than ten kilometers to the stage, or follow the course of the Sil.
- If you see yourself with strength and wish to go through Serra da Enciña de Lastra, take the first option, that is, continue straight on after crossing the bridge, instead of turning left. We will walk through the places of Sobredo, Pardollán, Vilardesilva, Biobra, O Robledo da Lastra, Rubiá, Forcadela de Nogaledo and O Castro; this Natural Park stands out for the rarity of its flora and morphology, as it houses some species of Mediterranean trees and shrubs. In addition, there are many caves and grottoes, where thousands of bats hide, including the one known as “Cova da Zorra” (Cave of Fox), which is just over six hundred metres long.
- If we choose the shortest option, following the course of the Sil, the next nucleus that we will reach will be that of Pumares, always following this path by the river. We leave this town in Ourense leaving aside the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de la Estrella once again between the Sil and the railway line that links Palencia and A Coruña. We have about five kilometers to Sobradelo, bordering the main tributary of the Miño and walking on one of the largest slate mines in the world and this is the main economic activity of the municipality. First through the Barrio Vello and then through the Nuevo, through the bridge A Pontenova we will access the city centre. It is the perfect place to stop and have a bite to eat before continuing your search for the road to Éntoma, which already belongs to the municipality of O Barco and is just three kilometres away.
When you reach this town, leave the road on the right until you reach the Galir and its Romanesque bridge built with slate slabs that formed part of the old Camino Real from Sobradelo to El Barco de Valdeorras. At the height of the church, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, we continue on the right, abandoning the asphalt and sheltering ourselves in the shade of its trees. There will come a time when we will have to cross the local road and turn left to cross the railway line through an underpass that will take us directly to the national road. Also, we must cross this road, always with great caution, to enter the main road of this capital town of Terra de Valdeorras.
Among its most outstanding monuments are the 14th century tower and fortress of O Castro, which was rebuilt several times after the revolts in Irma. In addition, from its main square, where the parish church of San Mauro is located, we can go down to the Malecón promenade. There was the one known as Porto da Barca, an old jetty where you could take a boat and cross the waters of the Sil to Viloira, the perfect place to finish this stage before going in search of our accommodation. The pilgrim hostel is located approximately one kilometre from the city centre.
What to see
This area is known for the quality of its wines, do not hesitate to consult our website to find the best establishments where to rest and taste its exquisite wines.
What to eat
- Vinos D.O. Valdeorras
- Aguardientes y licores
Bear in mind
The Rubiá bypass is a little more than ten kilometres longer than the one that runs along the Sil River. However, if we find ourselves with strength, the tranquility of these forests, full of caves and secrets, will more than make up for the extra effort.
In today’s stage, we will not find problems to find services, except for the above-mentioned variant, as it runs through several urban centres such as Puente de Domingo Flórez, Sobradelo and, finally, O Barco In the last one, we will find all kinds of establishments and places to stay, and there is also a public hostel in Xagoaza.What to see
|Towns||Public Hostel||Bike rental||Medical assistance||Coffe bar||Teller||Pharmacy||Hotel||Touristic Information||Guesthouse||Restaurant||Supermarket||Veterinarian|
|Puente de Domingo Flórez||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|O Barco de Valdeorras||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|