We wanted to say goodbye to the winter season by visiting the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Gerês-Xurés, specifically we went to an area located in the province of Ourense and that belongs to the Baixa Limia - Serra do Xurés Natural Park.
Declared as Biosphere Reserve in May 2009 by UNESCO, this transboundary region between Spain and Portugal protects 267,958 hectares of territory with great biodiversity in terms of flora, fauna and landscape. A paradise for nature lovers, recommended for your visit at any time of the year.
Taking advantage of the last snowfalls of winter, we participated in one of the routes organized by the “Lirio do Xurés” association and part of a cycle called "8 Miles do Xurés", a series of routes that aim to climb 8 peaks over a thousand meters inside this Natural Park.
This first route had as main objective to climb to the top of Santa Eufemia, a peak located at 1.120 meters of altitude of this sacred mountain and from which you can see the rest of the peaks around (objective of the following routes).
We started from the village of Ludeiros, from where we started a 4km climb following an old path through which charcoal was transported along the side of the mountain.
This climb can be demanding if you are not used to climbing steep trails, but it is beautiful and worth the effort. As a reward you will enjoy incredible views during the climb and from the top of the mountain.
Once at the top and after resting a little bit, we continue about 2.5 km downhill until we reach Chan de Onis. From that point we started a 4km circular route with another demanding climb to the top of Cruz do Touro, a stretch complicated because of the 5-10 centimeters of snow we had that made the terrain somewhat slippery.
It was worth the effort to climb to the top, there an angle of 90 º borders Spain and Portugal, and you can enjoy the feeling of being between two countries on the top of a mountain with a unique panoramic view.
Once down to the bottom of the mountain, we enjoyed a well-deserved lunch with beautiful views of the snowy Cruz do Touro, surrounded by rocks and listening to the sound of water as it goes down the mountain.
To end the route we traveled 10km along a quieter road and back to Ludeiros, during this hike we were able to enjoy a panoramic view over the valley of the Caldo river with the Serra do Xurés and the Gerés on the other side.
Bonus: during the route we enjoyed unique views of the Corga da Fecha, a drop of water that descends from 800 to 400 meters in just 1km. Right next to this place passes the "Vía XVIII" or "Vía Nova", a Roman communication road that linked Bracara with Astorga, and we can also find an area with hot springs and the Spa Hotel - Lobios Caldaria.
If you are interested in visiting the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Gerês-Xurés and you want us to organize your stay, you can contact us here.