Limia-Montalegre (R-3)

Route type



Through the lands of A Limia and Montalegre (Portugal)

This tour will take us through the region of A Baixa Limia, in the southwestern end of the province of Ourense, as a preliminary step to a brief and interesting incursion in the Portuguese region of Barroso, more than 1000 meters above sea level, to know the remains of the Cistercian priory of Santa Maria de Junias and the imposing waterfall of Pitos das Junias. On the other hand, in lands of A Limia we will know the medieval military tower of A Forxa in A Porqueira, located next to a promontory on the Roman Via Nova.

Travel length:

95 KM

Map of the Tour


1. MONASTERY OF SANTA MARÍA DE JUNIAS, or the beauty of solitude

It is an impact to contemplate the solitary ruins of this small Cistercian monastery that secularly remained the priory of the monastery of Santa María de Oseira (Ourense). This ancient medieval monastery is located very close to the village of Pitos das Junias, a few kilometres from the border with Galicia, lands included in the Peneda-Gerés National Park. It was initially a Benedictine monastery until the 13th century, when it adopted the Cistercian rule, always sheltering a small community of monks until the secularization of the 19th century. Despite the state of abandonment, the beauty and artistic interest of its ruins guarantee its declaration as a national patrimony.


It is a spectacle of nature in the form of a waterfall that saves a drop of 30 meters to impact on a series of pools and smaller waterfalls that lead to a small lake surrounded by a forest of oaks. Just a short 600 meter walk, separates the parking from the viewpoint towards the waterfall, following a wooden walkway which goes into the forest as it descends along the mountain. From the viewpoint, a small path can bring us its base with little effort. The huge vertical wall, the waterfall, the oak forest and the wooden walkway invite us to visit this unique beauty spot.


After the visit to the monastery and the excursion to the waterfall, we must replenish our strength so, we will stop for lunch in one of the restaurants of Pitos, Don Pedro Pitos or otherwiset in Casa do Preto.


Interesting military construction that in the Middle Ages was part of a set of six towers for the surveillance of the region and the Antela lagoon, as well as the control of the remains of the Roman Vía Nova, between Braga and Astorga. It seems that sometime in the Middle Ages a monastery of monks was installed around the tower, with its cloister and church of which there are no remains currently. It only remains the imposing homage tower, 23 meters high and which is preserved in very good condition, highlighting in its interior, four floors and a basement or dungeon. A little more than 300 meters from the tower, we can take a small path that leads us to the Waterfall da Fírveda, a spectacular rocky cliff that gives off this route of water in an environment of great beauty.