The Galician town that is among the most beautiful in Spain according to National Geographic

There are places where time passes, deteriorating its structure, its presence, even its spirit, that intangible that cannot be seen but can be observed from the outside, outside. And there are others through which time also passes, but in a different way, being able to provide an air of substance and grandeur to what was once new, now old. This is the case of Castro Caldelas, a small Galician town that is among the most beautiful in Spain according to National Geographic.

Located in the province of Ourense, with just over a thousand inhabitants, Castro Caldelas is located at 720 meters above sea level and occupies a strategic location that has been known since ancient times. It is possible that an ancient pre-Roman settlement existed at this location, as its toponym attests. By the municipal area passes the via nova, a Roman road that connected Braga with Astorga. Its imposing medieval castle dominates the entire region and is the gateway to the Ribeira Sacra.

Castro Caldelas is located on a hill overlooking the banks of the Edo River. The town boasts beautiful white galleries and interesting houses that speak to us of its rich medieval splendor.

The old area known as Cima de Vila stands out, cobbled and winding streets that go up to the castle Built by order of Pedro Fernández de Castro, VII Count of Lemos, in the second third of the 14th century. We are facing a medieval fortress of a military nature. The good state of conservation of the Clock Tower, the Torre del Homenaje and the parade ground stand out.

It is also a town with traditions, highlighting the Festa dos Fachós, the night of January 19. In this celebration in honor of San Sebastián, the inhabitants carry out a small procession around the castle carrying long torches made of straw. An image of the saint also made of straw is carried, preceded by a long torch of up to 30 meters.

The gastronomy of Castro Caldelas is another of its great attractions. The area is famous for its wines, especially the wine of the Ribeira Sacra Designation of Origin, which is grown on the river terraces of the Sil and Miño rivers.

Local products, such as sausages, cheeses and garden products, are also a fundamental part of local cuisine, which combines tradition and culinary excellence. We cannot visit Castro Caldelas without tasting the Caldelá breed of beef and the cured ham of the region – highly coveted for its flavor, due to the chestnut fattening of the animals -, and, of course, its bica.

As Penas de Matacas Viewpoint.
As Penas de Matacas Viewpoint.Ribeira Sacra Tourism

The natural environment surrounding Castro Caldelas offers numerous opportunities for lovers of active tourism and nature. Thus, in the parish of Paradela there is the viewpoint of As Penas de Matacás. Located 500 meters high, it surprises the visitor with one of the most impressive panoramic views of the Ribeira Sacra.

And also in the middle of nature, between the limits between Castro Caldelas and A Teixeira, in the heart of the Ribeira Sacra, is the Cachón fervenza. It is one of the waterfalls that forms the Vao River, 800 meters high, before flowing into the Edo River.