Courel Mountains, recently named Geopark by UNESCO, is one of the best kept secrets of Galicia. In this program we enjoy hiking in the middle of nature, from the top of its mountains to the beautiful chestnut forests and valleys bathed by the Lor River. We walk through virgin forests where the hand of man is barely noticeable, such as the Devesa da Rogueira, the biological jewel of Galicia. One by one we go through all the small villages, of great landscape and ethnographic wealth, on a route that will transport you in time.
Total: 87,7 kilometers (15 km/day)
Total slope: +- 5000 m (+-800 m/day)
Planning 2020 (May 02-09)
This is the initial planning that realizes our mission to show you the most authentic of the Courel Mountains.
* Day 1 – Check-In Santiago & Transfer to Courel & Arrival at the Accommodation. Presentation & Breafing
SATURDAY, MAY 2
Welcome to the Galicia Walking Festival.
From 1:00 p.m. we are at the Hotel in Santiago de Compostela, where we receive all participants.
From there, at 3:00 p.m., we take the bus to Courel where the hosts are waiting for us to check-in.
At 8:00 p.m. we make the presentation of the festival and breafing to solve the last doubts.
Later, we had dinner together before starting this adventure.
* Day 2 – O Courel, a journey through time (13.4 km)
ROUTE SEOANE – FERRERÍA VELLA
SUNDAY, MAY 3
Camiño do Courel (Courel Trail) starts in Seoane to explore the beautiful valley of the Pequeno River until you reach Paderne, a typical village in the mountains where the subsistence economy is the first resource. From there, we ascend through the Devesa da Escrita, of great botanical diversity, and see from the heights the different mountains and valleys that form this geological jewel. In the descent we cross forests of huge chestnut trees and the magical Val das Mouras before arriving at Ferrería Vella, the end of this perfect stage to enter Courel.
* Day 3 – Lor River: backbone of the mountains (18.1 km)
ROUTE FERRERÍA VELLA – FROXÁN
MONDAY, MAY 4
At this stage we enjoy the Lor River, the backbone of the sierra, which crosses from north to south through a steep canyon formed millions of years ago. Under the shadow of the typical riverside vegetation and the permanent sound of the water current, we discover all its corners before visiting the Castro de Sobredo and get an idea of how our ancestors lived. In the second part, we walk along wide paths full of flowers until we arrive to Valdomir and Vilamor, finishing the stage in the beautiful village of Froxán, an example of traditional Courel architecture.
* Day 4 – The chestnut: crafts of survival (14.9 km)
ROUTE FROXÁN – FERREIRÓS DE ABAIXO
TUESDAY, MAY 5
We leave Froxán enjoying its forests of century-old chestnut trees until we reach the village of Vilar, where we contemplate a small ethnographic museum and its castro. From there, we will go through lush forests until we reach Valdomir and meet the Lor River from which we will no longer separate. The end of the stage is in O Pontón, a curious bar decorated with all kinds of woodwork in the village of Ferreirós de Abaixo.
* Day 5 – The Vertical Kilometer: Courel summits (13.3 km)
ROUTE FERREIRÓS DE ABAIXO – A SEARA
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6
After walking the valleys and the most characteristic villages of Courel, it is the moment to reach its summits. Ferreirós de Abaixo is the starting point of the Vertical Kilometer of Penaboa where, in just over 4 km in length, we will ascend 1000 meters high through the Penaboa crest to reach Pía Paxaro, one of the mountain tops with its 1607 meters. After this effort the road is easier and, through the Lucenza glacier lagoon, we will go down continuously until we reach A Seara, a beautiful village where the stage ends.
* Day 6 – Mining villages of Courel (15.4 km)
ROUTE A SEARA – ALTO DO COUTO
THURSDAY, MAY 7
At this stage we go through the most historically isolated part of the Courel and strongly dependent on the iron provided by the Formigueiros mine. Along the way waterfalls such as Vieiros Waterfall and new villages such as Ferramulín and Visuña that are perfectly drawing the outline of what life is like in these lands. From Visuña we climb to the top of the Courel, Pico Formigueiros, with 1647 meters, from which we have a wide panorama of everything we have walked and how little we have left to finish the adventure.
* Day 7 – Devesa da Rogueira: biological jewel of Galicia (11.5 km)
ROUTE ALTO DO COUTO – SEOANE
FRIDAY, MAY 8
This last stage of Camiño do Courel is the perfect dessert, taking us through the botanical jewel of the mountains: the Devesa da Rogueira. This small space of 300 hectares, facing north, concentrates more than 90% of the species of flora in Galicia. The variety of ecosystems and different climates that converge cause the Atlantic and Mediterranean flora and fauna to live together in total harmony. Birches, beech, chestnut, oak … a myriad of different forests where the sun’s rays barely enter, an intact nature that we go through in our descent.
* Día 8 – Check-out & Transfer to Santiago & End of Services
SATURDAY, MAY 9
With breakfast and transfer to Santiago we end this week of hiking in Courel. We hope you have lived an authentic adventure in Galicia and we hope to see you next year in any of our Galicia Walking Festival 2021 programs.
Make your reservation for the GWF Courel Program
What is included?
What is not included?
O Courel is an isolated area of Galicia where there are no large capacity accommodations. The accommodation is in small rural houses with 5 to 10 rooms distributed in the villages of Seoane and Paderne. Both breakfast and dinner are composed of high quality homemade products produced, in many cases, by themselves.
The rural house will be assigned by the organization among one of those shown here, not being possible to choose a specific accommodation.