Very close to the border between Galicia and Castilla y León, there is a stunning forest that looks like it has grown in the middle of Mars. It is called "Las Médulas" and it is listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. You can find more information on Wikipedia of this Roman gold mine, the biggest open pit gold mine ever built by the Roman Empire.
Las Médulas is one of the most interesting hiking places in the Northwest of Spain. During your hike you will be surrounded by both nature and history, and you will be blown away by the magnitude of its tunnels and cliffs. Hiking around a 1st century A.D. Roman Empire gold mine is not something that happens very often!
There are several trails from 1 mile to 10 miles , but truth be told trail signs are scarce and a bit misleading sometimes, so we recommend that you prepare the route in advance to be sure you don't get lost.
We recommend that you visit the "Mirador de Orellán" (a viewpoint), and also the tunnel of Orellán.
Walking through the tunnel is an amazing experience, but the awesome balcony and view that you will find at the end of the tunnel are just breathtaking!
All across your hike you will find century-old chestnut trees, with very interesting trunk shapes and sizes.
For those with enough energy, we recommend the longest trail, called "senda perimetral". It is almost 10 miles long, but it's totally worth it. If you pack your lunch and enough water, you can spend the whole day in the area hiking this trail. Keep in mind that you will be stopping every 5 minutes to take pictures! So yes, it will take easily a full day to finish this trail :)
BONUS: for those that like ancient castles, the town of Ponferrada, that has a Castillo Templario (a castle that belonged to the Knights Templar, an ancient Catholic military order), and it is just 15 minutes away by car from Las Médulas; so we recommend that you visit Ponferrada if you have time.
If you would like us to organize your trip to Las Médulas, we would love to! We will take care of all the logistics: transportation, acommodation, meals... And we will go hiking with you so you don't have to worry about whether you are following the right trail or not. Also this way, you will not miss any of the interesting spots that are worth visiting.
You can contact us here.