Famed for its hot springs and rich thermal heritage, Ourense is a riverfront city in Spain’s autonomous community of Galicia. It is dotted with Roman landmarks and home to a magnificently decorated cathedral. Ourense lies along the Portuguese Way of the Camino de Santiago, which links Porto with the Catholic pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela.
Things to do in Ourense
In the heart of Ourense is the city’s 12th-century cathedral, which incorporates Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical styles. Admire the richly decorated South Door and the unfinished Tower of St. Martin before stepping inside to see the elaborate altarpiece. Don’t miss the 13th-century Portico of Paradise, which features a fascinating display of sculptures depicting biblical scenes.
Ourense’s thermal-archaeological heritage is explored at the As Burgas Interpretation Centre, which encompasses five exhibition areas. Learn about the origins of the As Burgas hot springs and the composition of their waters, which have been revered since Roman times. Discover how the bathing facilities worked and their relationship to the Camino de Santiago before admiring the 1st-century sanctuary pool of Revve Anabaraego.
Spanning the Minho River is the medieval Ponte Romana, an arched landmark that was once the biggest bridge in Spain. It was originally built during the 1st-century rule of Emperor Augustus and from the Middle Ages, it connected the city of Ourense with the Portuguese Way. At the bridge’s northern end are the leafy walking trails of Parque da Ribeira de Canedo, which offer magnificent views of the river.
Getting around Ourense
Ourense is around an hour’s drive from Vigo Airport, which has flights to destinations across Spain. Regular trains connect to the Ourense railway station and buses travel throughout the city. The centre of Ourense is compact enough to explore on foot.