Ourense is the third largest city of Galicia. The city has even more inhabitants than the region’s capital Santiago the Compostela. Ourense also has a large history and is worth a visit. Main attraction are the geothermal hot springs in town. Ourense is located in the southeast of Galicia.
History and old town of Ourense
The story of Ourense starts in the Roman era. Nowadays the only rest from this era is a small bridge for pedestrians. This bridge is called ‘Ponte Vella’ (old bridge) and crosses the river Miño, the river that flows across Ourense and that many kilometers upstreams forms the border between Spain (Galicia) and Portugal. The ‘Ponte Vella’ is one of Ourense highlights.
The cities cathedral is the following well known building in the city. The cathedral of Ourense was first build in the 6th century. In the middle ages (13th century) the cathedral is entirely build again and is still standing strong.
Ourenses hot springs
In my opinion the absolute highlight of Ourense are it’s geothermal hot springs. In which city do you have those natural jacuzzis? Ourense disposes of one of the greatest amounts of geothermal water in Europe. Due to those sources the area consist of several hot springs.
In Ourense are several geothermal hot springs that are publicly accessible. Some of them even have free entrance. Other hot springs ask for a small entrance fee and in return offer you some services as dressing rooms. Most appealing hot spring is off course the one in the old town.
The water in the hot springs is between 36 and 60 degrees celsius. And besides this lovely temperature the water also is full of purifying minerals. What a wonderful way to relax in the city!
Tip: the thermal springs are worth a visit on cold winter days. Enjoy the hot water and relax by the winter lights.
Surroundings of Ourense
Ourense is located in a very beautiful area. The city is surrounded by many forests and has a hilly environment. A marvellous area for outdoor activities.
Two tips in the surroundings of Ourense that I would recommend you:
Tip 1: Ribeira Sacra
The famous wine region near Ourense. A green, mysterious and breathtaking region. It’s not just a wine region. This area has one of Galicia’s most precieus views. The famous mirador los balcones de madrid at the Sil river.
> Continue reading about Ribeira Sacra
Tip 2: the village of Allariz
This lovely village is some kilometres south from Ourense and has a marvellous old centre. Allariz received the European Town Planning Award for its project on a full recovery of the Historic-Artistic Sites. Go for a walk in the old town and it’s beautiful gardens. And don’t forget to enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants near the river. Allariz is an idyllic village worth visiting.