Visitors to the municipality of Baleira will have the opportunity to enjoy ecotourism and explore the various recreation areas that offer a range of environmentally-friendly activities. Highlights of this route include the source of major rivers such as the Eo and Neira, which have shaped the landscape of these lands.
Fonteo recreation area, nestling 6 km outside the municipality’s main town on the LU-750 road between Cádavo and Meira, is the site of the source of the River Eo. The waters from the Serra do Mirador mountain range spring from the foot of an ancient chestnut tree. Fonteo recreation area has furniture for enjoying outdoor meals, and is also the site of the River Eo Visitor Centre and the Marronda Route, which is located next to the source of the river.
Fonteo recreation area is situated 12.8 km from A Cortevella recreation area and 13.6 km from A Fontaneira recreation area.
Fontaneira recreation area is located on the road linking the LU-530 Vilar de Adrios, where the waters of the source of the River Neira form a delightful natural spring in the hamlet known as Lameira. This area also has a series of facilities and amenities to enable visitors to make the most of this magnificent natural setting.
Fontaneira recreation area is situated 13.6 km from Fonteo recreation area and 25.8 km from A Cortevella recreation area.
Anyone seeking breathtaking natural landscapes should head for A Cortevella recreation area, one of Baleira’s finest beauty spots boasting a combination of magnificent built and environmental heritage. Situated 20 km from O Cádavo, it can be reached via the LU-750 (O Cádavo-Meira) road, taking the turning to Martín in A Muiña. This beautiful spot on the banks of the River Eo will surprise and delight visitors thanks to its magnificent meanders that trace a stunningly whimsical landscape shaped by river erosion. The viewpoint affords a superb view of this whim of nature. The facilities also include picnic areas where visitors can spend a delightful day by the river. The viewpoint affords a superb view of this whim of nature. The facilities also include picnic areas where visitors can spend a delightful day by the river. Hiking lovers can take the relatively short Mine Route that departs from A Cortevella, following the banks of the Eo as far as a former gold mine. Alternatively, they can walk along the meander formed by the river in this area.
Cortevella recreation area is situated 12.8 km from Fonteo recreation area and 25.8 km from A Fontaneira recreation area.
O Cádavo recreation area, located at the side of the LU-350 road leading into O Cádavo from Lugo boasts a large rest area and is noted for the striking sculpture that presides over this site: the only sculpture included in renowned architect Antonio Gaudi’s project for the Church of the Holy Family in Barcelona that is located outside this construction.
This tourist itinerary includes many of the municipality’s parish churches, making it an ideal way of discovering Baleira’s wealth of historical and artistic heritage.
They are all located in areas of stunning natural beauty and feature elements in a variety of styles (Romanesque, Baroque, Neo-classical, etc.), proof of this area’s rich cultural history. A wealth of heritage that also includes myriad chapels scattered around the region.
San Pedro de Esperela, a 12th century Romanesque church that underwent a radical transformation in the mid 18th century. Two documents, one dating back to the year 900 and another to 857, mention that this was once the site of a medieval monastery.
The church of Santiago de Fontaneira stands on the road between O Cádavo and Fonsagrada. It was built in the 18th century on the site of the medieval chapel that was part of the Pilgrims’ Hospital that faces the chapel.
Santiago de Córneas is an intriguing 16th century Renaissance temple that underwent a series of alterations, as reflected in the various inscriptions that can be seen in its interior.
Standing on the right bank of the River Martín is the church of Santiago de Martín.
At the side of the Camino Real or Royal Road leading from Castile to Mondoñedo stands the church of San Miguel da Braña. The origins of the current pre-18th century church, which is protected by a free-standing cross, date back to an 11th century chapel.
The church of Santiago de Cubilledo with its eye-catching slate beams on the sides and apse, is post-18th century.
Other churches featured on this route include the church of Santa Mariña de Librán, of interest due to a number of elements that are reminiscent of the Romanesque style, Santa María de Fonteo, San Xoan da Lastra, Santa María Magdelena de Retizós and the church of San Lorenzo de Pousada, regarded as the mother church of the municipality.
This tourist itinerary is the chance to explore a number of archaeological sites that offer a range of visitor facilities. They are the ruins of hillfort settlements built by the Celts that inhabited the northern area of the Iberian Peninsula during the Iron Age. Their numerous settlements were fortified and are therefore known as castros – the Spanish word for a fort.
The dwellings are undoubtedly one of the most attractive features of these hillforts. Made of slate and granite, they were almost always built on rocks, thereby avoiding the need for foundations. They generally consisted of a single room, although occasionally there were also small internal divisions, with a central fireplace. No excavation work has been carried out on the hillforts located in Baleira and therefore the ruins of the homes remain buried and out of sight.
-Castro de Antiguallas (Córneas)-
Situated 19 km outside Cádavao, on a hilltop overlooking the Córneas valley, this is one of the most important hillforts in Baleira. It conserves traces of prehistoric dwellings and it is possible to observe circular thatched constructions that are clearly a legacy from the days of the Celts.
-Pena do Castro (Vilar dos Adrios)-
A fortified settlement where the defence structures are clearly visible, including a series of walls and small ditches surrounding a large upper croa or enclosure topped by various rocks from which the entire River Neira valley can be seen.
It is located in the parish of Fontaneira, just off the road connecting the C-630 with Vilar dos Adrios.
-Castro da Degolada-
This hillfort comprises a small outer wall, a ditch and a large upper enclosure standing on a rock. It stands on top of a fairly high hill affording views of practically the whole of the parish of Degolada. Important Iron Age remains have been discovered on this site.
-A Pena dos Mouros (Real de Cubilledo)-
The settlement located in Pena dos Mouros, 8 km outside the capital of this municipality, is the site of the ruins of an early construction: the foundations of a large ancient building that the locals call A Casa dos Mouros in direct reference to the former fortifications that must have once stood here.
In addition to the hillforts described here, Baleira also conserves the ruins of other Celtic sites. Particularly worthy of note due to their size are the hillforts of Pereira (Librán), comprising a series of walls and ditches topped by an impressive upper enclosure or croa, which is today covered with trees; Castro de Valdería, nestling on a hilltop and affording views of Pousada and Esperela valley; Castro de Cubilledo, although no archaeological remains can be seen, as the village was built over this site; and the hillforts of Vilaselle and Retizós.