Travel inland from the coast to visit old flour mills and see how the craftsmanship of bread, ‘empanadas’ (Galician pies) or the ‘enfariñada’ continue to delight the palate today.
Recommended season: Autumn
Time: 2-3 days
We take you through:
Did you know that?…
If you look at the Terras de Miranda map, there are hundreds of rivers that cut through the territory to finally flow out on the Cantabrian Coast. Names to remember are the Landro, which becomes the Viveiro estuary; Covo, which finishes in Cervo; the Ouro and the Masma, which merge into the Foz estuary; and the Eo that, also in the form of the estuary, creates the border for Ribadeo and Castropol (Asturias).
This 7 kilometre itinerary along the banks of the river Rigueira offers excursions through a wonderful river landscape to visit eight traditional water mills. You will also see other typical buildings of popular Galician architecture such as the ‘cabozos’ (raised granaries) where the corn was kept. The ‘cabozo da Aira’, in Barxa-Lago, is a unique piece built in stone.
This walk of less than 5 kilometres along the banks of the river Landro, one of Viveiro’s icons, will seduce you due its beautiful scenery, waterfalls and the 7 flour mills that you pass. If you are interested in heritage, go to prehistoric ‘mámoa’ (pre-historic tomb) of Penas Brancas de Galdo, 4 km from the village. Up here, at 500 metres above sea level you can see the extensive valley of the Landro, where you have just been.
This megalithic complex is made up by four ‘mámoas’, all ‘raped’, that is to say, which only retain their stone shell. In the vicinity there is a possible well used for the preparation of another ‘mámoa’.
And to open one’s appetite, we suggest you visit a bakery with participatory workshop where you can learn how to make the bread and ‘empanadas’ (typical Galician pie). There they will explain what types of firewood use in baking; you will visit the wheat fields and see the old machinery that was used to prepare these two faithful companions of the Terras de Miranda gastronomy.
This is an almost obligatory stop if you do this route in August. You will see in person how the wheat is separated from the chaff, as it was in the past. Take the opportunity to visit the remains of the old manor house Ferrería de Bravos and enjoy the landscapes of the O Xistral mountain range.
In the place known as Finca Galea they also organise a threshing festival in August. This is an ethnographic museum about the culture of water, the traditional uses and habits in Galician country houses. The complex, of about 60,000 m2, is made up of an old mill, a fulling mill, a dam and the cascade of the mill, all on a beautiful site (this can be visited).
Nearby is Castrodouro Castle, which houses the Museo das Zocas (Clogs Museum). This was the traditional footwear of our ancestors who used it, above all, to work in the fields. Make a note of it! A Medieval Market takes place here on the third weekend of July.
The Galician writer Álvaro Cunqueiro used to say that “Mondoñedo is rich in bread, water and Latin”. Having reached Lugo episcopal city, you will be greeted by the aroma of its famous bread and the ‘empanadas’ (typical Galician pie) cooked on green cabbage leaves. Here you can also take part in workshops in a traditional bakery.
There are several festivals that you must make a note of. In the second weekend of August, the Medieval Market (declared of Galician Festival of Tourist Interest), which commemorates this important historical period for its people. The Festival of the Exaltation of the ‘Empanada’ is held around the 1st May, during As Quendas century-old horse fair (may).
Don’t forget to go to the Os Muíños neighbourhood, about 10 minutes from the cathedral. In the past the artificial water channels were used to supply the mills that give name to the place and that, today, inspire the nickname of the “Venice” of Mondoñedo. In addition to the spell of this fairytale landscape, have a look at the Roman bridge of O Pasatempo, a stone testimonial of another historic milestone. There, Mariscal Pardo de Cela’s wife was distracted by the canon so that she could not present the Catholic Kings’ pardon in time and save her husband’s life, who was executed in the Cathedral’s square.
In the Os Muíños neighbourhood a project was launched a few years ago to promote craft workshops for traditional trades (puppets, pottery, stonework, printing) which can be visited. In July they celebrate the FeiraMostra.
This Milling Route ends in Trabada. Entrance to the Northern Way, one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago, here you can try the “enfariñadas”, a typical dish made with wheat flour, milk, eggs and salt and whose dough is curdled in oil in which pork scratching have been fried previously.
If you come in August, don’t miss out on the Threshing Festival of Vilapena. The cereal is collected in the old-fashioned way during days that mix joy, work and tradition. Take the opportunity to travel the route of Vilapena Forest, where you will find a great diversity of trees.