Mirrador in Ourense province

I make numerous references to mirradors in Galicia Guide. In English speaking parts of the world they are referred to by terms like viewing point, or viewing platform, but it all comes down to the same thing – a location (usually elevated) that offers some great panoramic views of the scenery.

View from the mirrador

In Galicia, many of these mirradors look down or across one of the region’s rias (estuarial bays), but there are others that provide some superb inland views of Galicia’s spectacular scenery.

As is always the case, it is difficult to capture the full impression of these scenes in a photo, but I make numerous attempts and this page is another example.

The mirrador in question is somewhere in the land locked province of Ourense and we stopped at it during a journey back from the town of Ribadavia. Ourense is probably the most mountainous of Galicia's four provinces and you get many sweeping views across valleys and rivers as you travel through it. During the height of winter many of these peaks can often be seen with a light covering snow. This is far less common in Galicia's other three provinces.

This mirrador took the form of a siding off the main carriageway and it had parking and a picnic area. Another view from the mirrador, this time through the trees What the photos do not manage to convey is the elevation and how far above the foreground landscape we were. During the ascent we saw numerous signs telling us how far above sea level we were, but I never made any note of the figures.

One of the features that this mirrador does illustrate is that even in a central, rural and hilly area of Galicia you still have little villages and conurbations peppering the countryside.

This is typical of the whole region. You do not find all that many large towns, but rather lots of small hamlets a few kilometres apart. All will have a bar or cafe, and the reception will always be welcoming. This is one of the things that makes exploring Galicia so appealing if you have a car or motorbike.

One other point to make is that whilst the province of Ourense gets hotter in summer than Galicia's other three provinces, it also gets much colder in winter and even during spring. The result of this is that the mountains and hilltops in the photos frequently get a good coating of snow, even at times when the other parts of the region are enjoying much milder weather.

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