Currently the offer of hiking is very wide, with routes that can be done from the city itself, without the need to travel by car, such as the paths of Lérez and Gafos, or those of Xunqueira de Alba.
Several projects are underway to communicate with a network of trails the parishes in the northwest of the municipality: Santa María de Xeve, Santo André and Verducido. It will be a network of river paths that will join the existing routes, and will link these parishes with the banks of the Lérez river, Bora and the Pontillón do Castro reservoir through roads.
Route taking you through the heritage experience of Ponte Sampaio
In this parish of Ponte Sampaio we have several options. In the first place the route through the Heritage of Ponte Sampaio, a circular itinerary of 18 kilometres whose beginning begins in the famous medieval bridge of Ponte Sampaio, where the Napoleonic troops were defeated. Along the route there are elements of Galician popular culture such as the horreos, cruceiros and mills, as well as various examples of religious architecture such as the Church of Santa Maria. The islet of Medal is one of the great attractions of this route, which can be accessed on foot. In addition to this circular itinerary we can make a stretch of about 14 kilometers of the Portuguese Way to Santiago starting at the medieval bridge and ending in the city of Pontevedra, with the option of linking in the last kilometers with the path of the river Gafos that leads to the city.
Ponte Sampaio medieval bridge
Paths along the Lérez River
The river Lérez can be enjoyed on foot on both its banks. The first option starts at the river beach and goes along the river to finish six kilometres later in the parish of Bora. A route formed by old forest paths used by the fishermen, leafy riverside forests and remains of old mills and the spa, which still retains a source of medicinal waters inside.
This luxurious spa, created in 1906, became a meeting point for people from Pontevedra and important politicians of the time. Its promoter was Casimiro Gómez, an emigrant who made a great fortune in Argentina. He also decided to start selling bottled water, thus giving birth to Aguas del Lérez, to which important therapeutic properties were attributed. Despite the great success they had during the first two decades of the twentieth century, they were losing importance.
On the edge of the parish of Lérez, the path can be taken from the Isla de las Esculturas, from where you can walk a short distance beside the river, and then go up to the monastery of San Salvador de Lérez. From there, along various paths, it goes down again to one of the pedestrian walkways that connect this side with Monte Porreiro. The Fontaíña place is an obligatory stop, a place of Community Importance, for its ornithological tourism area.
Paths of Lérez
Gafos River Path
In Pontevedra, in the urban stretch of the Gafos river to its mouth, there is a linear path of about two and a half kilometers. The walk starts under the bridge of the Avenida de la Estación. This first section is a leafy path that runs along both sides of the river, supported by wooden footbridges. In the Campolongo neighbourhood, the river flows through an underground channel spanning 525 metres long, so the route resumes at Rosalía Castro avenue, from where there is a final stretch to its mouth.
If you prefer a longer route in the middle of nature, you can follow the Gafos river path going up its course from the entrance of the tunnel in Otero Pedrayo street, two hundred metres from the bus station and one hundred metres from the pilgrims’ hostel. The route is completed up to the parish of Figueirido, in the municipality of Vilaboa, is of low difficulty and reaches 6 kilometres in length.
Paths of the Gafos River
Xunqueira De Alba
One of the most interesting natural areas of the municipality is the Xunqueira de Alba declared Natural Area of Local Interest (ENIL) in 2012, the first of its kind in Galicia. It is one of the best preserved marsh and wetland areas of the Rías Baixas, where there are not too many spaces of this type. The protected area occupies around 67 hectares with a great variety of ecosystems, plant species and fauna, among which birds stand out. A network of paths and wooden walkways run through this beautiful place for a route of 5 kilometres.
Fluvial Path along the river Lobada y Fens
In the parish of Santa María de Xeve, in Pontevedra, we can enjoy this route on the banks of the river of little more than a kilometre. This path has a great value, both natural and patrimonial. Along the way there are several mills, a very popular element in the Galician culture, a washing place, a recreational area and several elements of the rural and agricultural activities that are developed in the area. The route also passes through beautiful stone crossings, small stone and wooden bridges.
Ruta das Mouras (Salcedo)
The Ruta das Mouras is a 15-kilometre route in the parish of San Martiño de Salcedo, 2 kilometres from the city of Pontevedra. This route highlights the rich ethnographic, archaeological and intangible heritage, the latter related to the mouras. According to Galician mythology, the mouras are beautiful and enchanted women who live underground or underwater next to fountains, rivers, forts and ruins of ancient monuments. The trail begins in the well known Tabacalera route and offers you a path taking you among petroglyphs, the mills of the Batán river, and some samples of religious heritage such as the church of San Martín de Salcedo.
Route along the Almofrei River
The route along the river Almofrei consists of two distinct parts: The first in the lower section of the river, which connects the path with the more urban part, and the second is a circular route through O Salgueiral, focusing all the attention on the natural landscape. The circular route starts at As Fincas towards Os Pasos de Portamuíños. From there, the route runs parallel to the river on the left side, crossing an area with a gallery forest of high ecological value, which leads to A Bouza Mill. From here, the route separates a little from the river to continue along an old irrigation channel that goes towards As Fervenzas, near the hill known as Pico Sacro. The path climbs up to this peak to contemplate the landscape, as the whole of the previous stretch is walked under the vegetation tunnel.
From here you can go down to Molino de As Fervenzas through an access. From Pico Sacro the path follows a forest road until it reaches A Bouza. Later, the path continues along a paved road to the place of Ameixales.
Route along the Almofrei River
This forest park is located on the mountain of A Fracha, in Marcón. From its viewpoint you can see the Pontevedra estuary and part of the Vigo estuary. The panoramic view of the city of Pontevedra, located on the banks of the river Lérez before its mouth, stands out. The environment corresponds to the usual characteristics of the coastal mountains of the Rias Baixas, steep slope and vegetation cover with forest plantations on the slopes with scrub and the top crowned by rocks. This environment has a leisure area and several trails to enjoy a walk, classified according to their difficulty.
Views from the Couto das Forcadas Viewpoint, A Fracha
White path (1.6 km): ascent to the Outeiro Lourado viewpoint.
Yellow trail (2.6 km): It runs through the surroundings of Outeiro Navío.
Green trail (10.7 km): can be done by bike or on foot.
Blue Trail (4.7 km): It goes from Regha Pireira to Couto das Forcadas through Chan da Pedradela.
Red Path (7 km): The most difficult. It goes from Outeiro Navío to Pena.
A Fracha Viewpoint
Pontillón De Castro
Located just 15 minutes from Pontevedra by car, the reservoir of Pontillón de Castro, in Verducido, was built in the middle of the last century. It is a natural and sports centre since in 2007 the facilities for competitions and training were built. To get to know this place in depth, there is nothing better than to walk each of its paths.
Embalse reservoir Trail Path
More than a kilometre long, it is dotted with small terraces over the water and spaces for live fishing. The route starts at the sports facility and reaches the road to the reservoir of O Pontillón, a work built in the mid-twentieth century.
The Dam’s Path
A small path that runs along theway between the sports facility and the dam itself; it is used by people to watch the sporting events that take place here.
They encompass a set of paths that run through the woods of this mountain surrounded by the river Rons. The walk’s paths reach the top of the mountain, where there is a sculpture in homage to the stonemasons of the region.
All these routes are in the municipality of Pontevedra, but you can enjoy countless options throughout its region and a few km from the city. For example, the municipalities of Cerdedo-Cotobade, Campo Lameiro, Poio, A Lama or Pontecaldelas have several hiking routes of great natural and ethnographic value. Find more information here.