Galicia is known as “the land of 1000 rivers”. We have usually a lot of rain in winter and spring, so it is difficult to walk or drive anywhere in Galicia whitout crossing some rivers and many small streams. Hidden in the middle of deep forests you can find some magical places: the waterfalls (‘fervenzas’ in Galician language). Some of them are easy to find, even just writing the name in Google Maps. We invite you to discover our favorite waterfalls in Galicia where you can relax, breathe and (why not?) take a bath. Be careful, the water can be very cold even in summer!
Fervenza do Toxa (Municipality of Silleda, province of Pontevedra)
This is one of the highest waterfalls in Galicia with 50 meters of free fall. Surrounded by an spectacular natural environment, this is a popular place on weekends. You can take a bath in the cold water at the feet of the waterfall, walk around an impressive forest full of botanical diversity or simply seat down and listen to the relaxing sound of the water. If you are lucky, you’ll watch an otter swimming in the river. Very close to the waterfall, the restored Romanesque church of Monastery of Carboeiro is a very interesting place to visit.
Refuxio de Verdes (municipality of Coristanco, province of A Coruña)
This is not a waterfall itself, or maybe a small one, but definitely it worths a visit. In the middle of corn fields, the river Anllóns has created some islands and small waterfalls, and the humans used the power of water to build some stone mills for the grain. Those stone contructions have been restored and used as a fishermen’s refuge. Now, this natural monument is one of the most impressive places you can visit in this area. An incredible conjunction of stones, water, trees and wood where you can even make your own barbecue (only in designed places and when the risk of fire is low). You can reach this place by car, but we recommend you to avoid the weekends in summer, because it can be crowded and difficult to park.
Fervenza do Pozo Negro (municipality of Brión, province of A Coruña)
This one of the hidden waterfalls in Galicia that you cand find very close to Santiago de Compostela. In the heart of the forests of Brión, just 15 km away of Santiago City, a 20-minutes walking route drives you to this small, hidden and wonderful place. Take a bath or just relax. We are again in the kingdom of the otters, and it’s not difficult to see one of them if you are patient and remain quiet. This peaceful place is not so far away from Santiago-Fisterra pilgrim’s road. After visiting this place, we strongly recommend you to visit Ponte Maceira, a medieval bridge over the river Tambre, another place where the power of water has been used by locals for centuries, and maybe have a drink or meal in the charming restaurant built in one of the stone mills.
4. Fervenza de Ézaro (municipality of Dumbría, province of A Coruña)
This is another of the biggest waterfalls in Galicia. The river Xallas falls into a small sea estuary. A wooden path besides an electric power plant drives you to this spectacular place, where you can admire the power of water. The waterfall has a special lighting by the night. You can also rent a kayak if you want to see it from the water. It is a popular place but you can’t miss it if you go to visit Cape Finisterre, which is some kilometers away. After visiting it, you take the road up (be careful, because it is really steep!) and go to the viewpoint on the top of the mountain. The view of the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean from there is really breathtaking!
5. Seimeira de Vilagocende (Mucipality of A Fonsagrada, province of Lugo)
“Seimeira” it’s a vernacular name for “waterfall” in this area. We leave the coast to go to the inner mountains of Galicia, very close to Asturias. In the middle of an idylic landscape, a 1-km. walking path lead us to the highest waterfall of Galicia, with 53 meters of free fall. Surrounded by an Atlantic forest, you can’t miss the chance to visit this waterfall if you are visiting the mountains of Galicia (a highly recommendable visit, anyway). Another path drives you to a viewpoint where you can see the waterfall from the top.
6. Fervenza de Cadarnoxo (municipality of Boiro, province of A Coruña)
This is one of the hidden waterfalls in Galicia, not because it is difficult to find, but it remains being mostly unknown. You can arrive by car just until some meters of the waterfall and then take a narrow path to arrive to its feet. Be careful, because the rocks can be slippery!. You can have a bath in a natural swimming pool watching the spectacle of the water falling. It is located in the middle of Serra do Barbanza, a mountain range just beside the ocean. After the visit, we strongly recommend you to take your car and go to the top of the mountains. You will see a military radar dome and, if you follow the narrow road, you’ll arrive to a flat area on the top where you can see the sea on both sides: the ocean at your right and the Arousa estuary at your left. There are a lot of cows and horses living there, just be careful and don’t disturb them. This is also an archeological site where you can walk a 2-hours route to discover a lot of Prehistoric funerary monuments (called “mámoas” in Galician language) and, at the end of the route, a famous dolmen called “Arca do Barbanza”.
7. Fervenza de San Xusto de Toxosoutos (municipality of Lousame, province of A Coruña)
A perfect place for having a relaxed bath in the natural swimming pool at the feet of this waterfall. In the middle of a small forest and besides the remains of the Monastery of San Xusto de Toxosoutos, this place is a symphony of water, stone and green in perfect harmony. You can leave your car on the main road and take a short walking path to arrive to this peaceful and stunning place. After, we recommend you to follow the main road again and arrive to the village of Noia, a charming place with a medieval old quarter that will take you back in time, just besides the Muros and Noia estuary, and enjoy its artisan shops, tapas bars and restaurants.
8. Natural area of Río Barosa (municipality of Barro, province of Pontevedra)
This conjunction of waterfalls was used in ancient times to mill the grain thanks to the power of water. Up to 10 stone mills can be seen there. Now it has been transformed in a small natural park, where you can have a drink, relax or have a bath in the river. It is very popular and can be crowded on summer weekends, but definitely it worths a visit.
There are thousands of waterfalls in Galicia. This is just a small sample. Please remember that all of them are in natural areas, so be respectful with the environment and leave the area as clean as you found it at your arrival. Enjoy!