Castles of the Count of Maceda (R-44)

Route type



One of the most interesting tours in the province of Ourense is the one that we present to you this time. It is a route that, following part of an ancient Roman road between Chaves (Portugal) and Lugo, joins two small fortresses that, at the time, belonged to the Count of Maceda; for this fact and by its architectural similarity we have established this route between  two days, one round trip and one back, night in one of these fortresses, to return the next day on a different itinerary to the starting point. This two days touring will allow us to discover interesting elements of our cultural heritage apart from the fortresses of Vilamarín and Maceda, such as an 18th century pazo, the church of Santa Maria de Temes, the monasteries of S. Pedro de Rocas and Xunqueira de Espadañedo, the pre-Roman necropolis of A Moura or a peculiar winery in the town hall of A Peroxa.

Map of the Tour


1.Vilamarín Fortress-Palace

The Fortress is perched on the rocks on which a small fortress was built in the late Middle Ages, so that both form a peculiar and imposing ensemble. Initially the fortress was owned by the Count of Ribadavia, passing in the seventeenth century to Count Maceda, being today in the hands of the Deputación de Ourense, who in 2019 is rehabilitating it to establish a Museum dedicated to Galician Emigration. The fortress is of low height and its five towers stand out, three of them circular, with cantilevered slaughters. Inside, the facilities and noble units of the pazo stand out..

2.18th-century Manor House

Before crossing the river Minho we will approach this elegant pazo built in the eighteenth century and which is surrounded by a magnificent garden and forest of 6 hectares in the vicinity of the Ribeira Sacra. It has a defensive tower and several noble rooms, all part of a Rural Tourism establishment.

3.Paleo-Christian Church Santa María de Temes

Small church whose origins seem to be around the 4th century A.D.; retains Tardo-Roman architectural elements, as well as the cover of a paleo-Christian sarcophagus. For all this, it can be considered as one of the oldest churches in Galicia, despite the medieval reforms and the eighteenth and twentieth centuries. In the surroundings of Temes we can take a walking tour following the canyon of the River Búbal through deciduous forests on the river bank.

4.Necropolis of A Moura (3500 – 2000 B.C.)

It is one of the enclaves that for millennia have been used as burial sites. Several mamoas or dolmens are located in this area, apart from curious rock formations and possible menhirs; a whole set of elements of pagan pre-Christian cults and, in addition, one of the best viewpoints of this section of the Sil Canyon. As if to miss it!

5.Virxe do Monte Hermitage

Small chapel located at 950 m. altitude in the foothills of Mount Cabeza de Meda. A mountain road runs through these solitary places that offer unique panoramic views of the Ribeira Sacra.

6.Xunqueira de Espadañedo monastery

Cistercian monastery of which hardly remains its magnificent Romanesque church that is currently parish. The church, basilical plan of three naves and three apses with wooden roof communicated with two cloisters of which only part of one of them is preserved in which the municipal outbuildings are located.

7.Maceda Castle

Small fortress originating from the eleventh century that currently houses the Hotel Monumento Castelo de Maceda, with capacity for 11 guests. Thick walls and circular towers give an imposing look to this set where we can end the first stage of our tour. Our proposal spends overnight stays, dinner and breakfast at this establishment.

8.S. Pedro de Rocas monastery

We begin the return to Vilamarín by another route that will take us to this monastery, ancient hermitage of the 6th century; the monastic life was not established in Rocas until the year 1000, remaining until the sixteenth century when it was definitively linked as a priory of the monastery of Celanova. In the small church stand out its three chapels excavated in the rock of the mountain, all in an environment of great beauty, surrounded by forests and rock formations.

9.Winery visit

From Rocas we will cross the river Miño again in Os Peares to head towards the council of A Peroxa and visit one of the most original wineries in the area, not attached to the Denomination of Origin, which brings other interesting qualities to its wines. We can visit the vineyards, enjoy a tasting of some of their wines and eat in the restaurant of the winery, before starting the last stretch of our route that will take us to Vilamarín.