Walking through our natural areas

The protected natural areas of our locality are an excellent place to be in contact with nature, and are a recreational environment where locals can take a break away from day-to-day chores.

Unfortunately, not all of them have suitable routes for long walks away from roads. Many of the old tracks are getting blocked. Some routes are marked, but the vegetation often invades the track and makes it difficult to walk.

Below you can find some of the paths that are most frequented and thus in better condition.

The woods by the River Mandeo

The best way of experiencing the woods by the River Mandeo is to go directly to a place called Chelo. From the many possible routes, we have chosen two which are very simple, suitable for a wide range of people, and which will allow you to enjoy the riparian forest.

In both cases, the path runs by the river all along the way, so it is almost impossible to get lost. In any case, should you want to take some information, you can download the brochure published by the Xunta de Galicia, including a map with both routes (we advise printing on both sides of a DIN A3 sheet).

Those willing to walk longer and more rugged routes can either follow one of those recently way marked, or else design their own itinerary along paths and trails using the maps shown in section Cartography.

How to get to Chelo: At Queirís (Coirós Municipality), at km 570 of the N-VI road, there is a turnoff to Betanzos; just after the turnoff, between the houses on the right, you can take a minor road which, after a short distance, leads to a fork in the road, already in the midst of woodland. The left fork takes you to Teixeiro Bridge. If you turn right, you will get to Chelo.

Teixeiro Bridge route:You can go directly to Teixeiro Bridge and park there. Alternatively the car can be left in Chelo, then cross the footbridge and do the route the other way round. It is a short itinerary (the complete roundtrip is 2.5 km), following an old flat forestry path along the right bank of the River Mandeo. On the opposite river bank one can see what in other times was an important maquila mill (the miller used to charge a maquila, or “miller’s portion” for processing other people’s grain).

River Zarzo route: This itinerary goes from Chelo to the mini-hydropower plant of the River Zarzo, where you can cross the river by a footbridge and return by the opposite river bank. It gives views of the most spectacular parts of the area. Although the path is a bit steep, it is still doable for reasonably fit people. The route is 6.3 km long, and can be done in one-and-a-half hours of brisk walking. Should you want to shorten it, you can cross the footbridge at half way, so reducing the distance to 2.5 km. Besides visiting the Nature Centre located at the starting point, you will be able to see many of the protected ferns and to contemplate the ruins of the River Bocelo health spa, where there is a small fountain of sulphurous waters.

Accessibility: The Teixeiro Bridge route is the most suitable for people with limited mobility or families with young children. There is normally enough space near the bridge to easily park cars. Although it has some potholes, the unpaved path is in a reasonable state, and is suitable for wheelchair, pushchair or bicycle. If you want to start from Chelo, you would need to cross the river by a footbridge, where the stairs could be an obstacle.

Transport: Neither Teixeiro Bridge nor Chelo are easily accessible by bus. The alternatives are using a microbus or by foot (1.6 km to Chelo and 1.4 km to Teixeiro Bridge).

The Coast of Dexo

The natural monument Coast of Dexo has a route of several kilometres along dramatic cliffs with spectacular views of the Ártabro Gulf coast. It is advisable to take your binoculars or telescope if you are seabird watcher, especially at migration time and during the nesting season.

The walk can be started at Seixo Branco point and finished at Torrella point (10 km round trip). The small port of Dexo is in the middle of the route, providing an alternative starting point. You can also do the complete itinerary of the PR-G 87 trail, which connects this coastal stretch with Lorbé and Mera, returning inland, giving a circuit of 24 km (partly along minor roads). You can download the full route from PDF format or from GPX format on the routes website of the Consorcio das Mariñas.

How to reach Seixo Branco: Once you are in Mera (Oleiros), you can take the street leading to the lighthouse and Canaval, and then be aware of the turnoff leading to Canaval beach and to Seixo Branco.

Accessibility: This route isn’t suitable for people with reduced mobility or young children who need a pushchair because there are narrow and uneven stretches. There is no difficulty for older children, provided that they do not get close to the cliffs.

Transport: Buses cannot easily access Seixo Branco point. We recommend that you go directly to the Mera lighthouse, located 2 km away.

Betanzos Estuary

There are no specific routes that follow the full length of the Betanzos estuary. You have to use roads and trails that often do not connect. The only signposted route goes from Miodelo to O Pedrido (Bergondo), but much of the walk runs along a minor road.

The birdwatcher can take advantage of two observatories. The first one is located in Pazo de Mariñán (Bergondo). The entrance is guarded and you must tell the warden that you want to go to the observatory (its visiting hours are longer than those of the neighbouring country house). The second one is in Souto (Paderne); you can leave your car at the square in front of the church, then cross the road on foot and take the road just in front that goes down to the estuary. In both cases, there is enough room to park buses and few difficulties for people with reduced mobility.

The Abegondo-Cecebre reservoir

Although much visited, the Abegondo-Cecebre reservoir lacks well defined routes. You can walk around the reservoir along minor roads, or do a shorter itinerary (8 km long) taking advantage of the bridge between Orto and Seixurra, over the tail end formed by the River Mero. It is a pity that much of this route isn’t closer to the reservoir, but in rainy springs you’ll have a beautiful view of a flooded forest of alders.

The ornithological observatories located in A Telleira (Betanzos Municipality) and Crendes (Abegondo Municipality) aren’t always the best points for bird watching. The time of year and the water level of the reservoir determine the distribution of fauna and, therefore, the best place to observe it.

Downstream from the dam, and now outside of the protected natural area, a path allows you to stroll by the River Mero. Even and well paved, you can use it whatever your personal limitations. You can access it from different points, one end being at Cecebre dam and the other at A Telva (Cambre). The round trip is 14 km long.

Other areas

You can take a route along the banks of the River Mendo from Taibo Bridge to Moas Bridge, outside of the protected natural area. The round trip is 15 km long. It can be shortened by starting from Ermida Bridge and returning via Os Cabalos Bridge, thus enjoying the best preserved stretch of riparian forest and following a circular itinerary that runs along both banks (6 km long in total).

The As Mariñas locality offers other interesting routes which are not within the protected areas. Most of these routes are either not marked or are not well signposted. Routes include: the one in Barranco de La Loba, the route in Monte do Gato, another by the River Deo, the route along the canal of the Gomil mini-hydropower plant, that of La Castellana reservoir or the one by the coast of Fontán.

First published: 22-3-2013
Last update: 11-7-2014
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