Ourense, the thermal city

Destinations, Galicia

Ourense is a city located on the banks of the Miño River where mass tourism has not yet exploded. This allows us to live the destination with much more tranquility and feel that you have the whole city to yourself.

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A lot to see

Ourense has an excellent gastronomic reputation and this is largely due to the preparation given to the octopus and the meat cooked in a cauldron. And of course, its famous Ribeiro wine. Although it is not customary to give “tapas” for free with the drink in bars in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Western Andalusia or the Basque Country, most other places in “non-tourist” Spain still cling to this centuries-old tradition, and Ourense is no exception.

Ourense is divided in half, north and south, by the river Miño. To the north is the train station and to the south is the small historical center. More or less half a dozen bridges unite the two halves and some of them are a milestone of engineering in antiquity. One of them is the Ponte Vella, which in Galician means “Old Bridge”. Five pointed arches cross the river and take the bridge to a magnificent summit. The other great bridge of the city crosses the Miño to the west and was built more than a decade ago: the Millennium Bridge. A modern construction that transports most of the automobile traffic in and out of the city, it offers a winding road for people to make a circuit over, under and around the bridge. From the highest point of the suspended lookout, you can see the river, the “Roman” bridge and the entire city that spans the river basin.

Although the old part of Ourense is not very big, it has old stone streets, a beautiful central square with columns on four sides and a simple but spectacular cathedral. The cathedral is of Romanesque style: doors with semicircular arches, columns and heavy, solid walls. However, you can see that the Romanesque style was beginning to transform into a vertical Gothic style full of light. Art historians call this period the “late Romanesque”, and it can be seen here in Ourense: the vault on the ceiling has compressed a semicircular arch into a pointed triangular point and light streams in through the windows of the upper triforium.

However, the main attraction of Orense is its thermal baths that are fed by natural hot springs. Although we can find some in the old town, most of the baths are located along the river to the northwest. There are free public baths as well as private spas with a wide selection of pools of different temperatures and extremely relaxing.

Need more reasons to visit this incredible destination? Thousands of places to discover, corners that only local guides know about and unique experiences.

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Increase your chances of choosing the best tour by asking several guides for information. You will have the opportunity to choose the experience that best suits what you are looking for. It is also important to know that not all guides have the same availability.

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