If you head 20km north-east of Ourense, you can spend the day on fantastic canyon of the river Rio Sil – Cañon del Sil. At its confluence with the river Río Miño, two water reservoirs have been created by damming. In this wild land with dense oak and pine forests you can find remarkable historical sites. Hikers wander the trails or use the more convenient two-hour boat trip through the dark green river water.
In the valley there are three monasteries. The most formidable of them is San Esteve – thanks to its size, style and history. It is accessible only by car or walking. San Esteve monastery was founded in the 6th century, and the oldest parts are the Romanesque cloister and church. Two other monasteries are from the 16th and 17th centuries.
The most beautiful views of the Cañon del Sil are on 14 km trail leading from Loureiro to the village of Parada do Sil. At the very edge of the canyon, 5km north of Parada do Sil, there is Santa Cristina monastery from 12th and 13th century.
View Canyon del Sil – one of the most beautiful river canyons in Spain in a larger map