Ourense is located in a basin in the interior of Galicia surrounded by mountains in stark contrast to its coastal areas. It’s a great place to drive to discover as the journey to get there is a memorable experience in itself. Although like many Spanish cities its outskirts are modern, its medieval core surrounded by the River Miño is exceptional. The 13th Century, pedestrianised Roman Bridge (Ponte Romano) is one of the finest bridges in the whole of Spain from where you can appreciate Ourense’s setting. It’s not far to walk from there to the beautifully restored and pedestrianised Old Town.
The Cathedral which dates back to 572 is the second oldest in Galicia and is in Romanesque/gothic style. The Paradise Porch (Pórtico del Paraíso) comprises of extraordinarily well preserved multi-coloured statues of the prophets inside the main entrance, and together with the rest of its interior has great historical and artistic value. There’s also a splendid statue of the Apostle Santiago as Ourense is on the important pilgrimage route from Seville to Santiago de Compostela.
The Old Town is worth exploring and contains many fine, historical buildings including the Museo Arqueológico in the Palacio Episcopal which is full of Bronze Age and roman artefacts. Ourense is famous for its thermal waters including As Burgas which are hot springs with its Interpretation Centre,and is easy to explore on foot. The main square, Plaza Mayor, lies at its heart and is unique in Spain as it’s not flat ! Ourense is a gastronomic paradise too famous for its Ribeiro and Mencia wines and delicious tapas so head to where all the bars are concentrated off Plaza do Ferro.
There are a number of thermal public and private baths/spas on the banks of the River Miño close to the centre of Ourense including the Japanese themed Termas de Outariz. Further afield lies the Gorges of the River Sil, numerous monasteries and roman remains/causeways and the town of Monforte de Lemos. Manzaneda is Galicia’s only sky resort and there are also Paradors at Verin and the Monastery of Santo Estevo. How about enjoying a river boat cruise up the River Sil to admire the gorge and sacred, roman vineyards and old cellars of the Ribeira Sacra Denomination of Origin wines.
Population: 105,893 (2016)
Elevation: 132 m
Area: 84.5 km²
We have a wide selection of hand-picked Tours to Ourense & Historic or Modern Hotels in Ourense. Below you will find the full list of Ourense Tours & Hotels.