Verín Ourense Galicia | Portugal Visitor
Verín (Galicia, Spain)
Verín is a short 30 km drive north of the Portuguese spa town of Chaves. Like Chaves it lies on the River Tâmega.
The Castillo de Monterrei is the main attraction along with the area’s fine wines. The castle is now a four-star parador, Parador Castillo de Monterrei, and is a wonderful place to stay.
A rather sleepy but wonderfully relaxed place, Verín makes for an easy day-trip from Chaves. If you wish to stay longer there is superb hiking and cycling in the surrounding countryside.
The town of Verín has a population of around 14,000 inhabitants and is situated in the province of Ourense.
The surrounding area is famous for its wine (vino de Monterrey) and mineral water. There are three mineral water producers in and around the town, Augas Cabreiroá, Auga de Fontenova and Augas de Sousas.
The area around present-day Verín was occupied by the Romans. The surrounding area is largely agricultural, but the castle at Monterrei was built during the times of tension with the Portuguese to the south during the medieval period.
The main draw in Verín is its superb castle with dates originally from the 12th century. Indeed, it is one of the best preserved fortresses in the whole of Galicia.
Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, began the construction of the castle but it soon passed to the kingdom of Castile and León in 1137 after the Treaty of Tuy, signed in the city of Tui (Tuy).
Later additions include the Hospital de Peregrinos built in 1391 and the Palacio de los Condes dating from the 15th to 17th centuries.
The Torre de las Damas dates from an earlier period and may be the castle’s previous keep. The castle grounds also include the Iglesia de Santa María de Gracia.
The El Museo Claustro Mercedario is housed in an historic, 18th century building and has exhibits on the local wine and agricultural implements such as a large wine press.
There are also reconstructions of the interiors of local farm houses with explanations on traditional life presented on wall panels.
The main bridge in Verín carries the N-525 highway over the River Tâmega.
A traditional carnival is celebrated with great gusto in Verín and the surrounding villages. Masked participants in colorful clothing called Cigarrones tour the streets wearing cow bells and carrying whips.
The town and surrounding area has some great places to stay if you are not on a day trip from Portugal.
The Parador Castillo de Monterrei offers 4-star accommodation with a bar, a terrace and surrounding garden.
The Parador de Verín is a popular hotel set in an historic building in a delightful, natural environment. Facilities include a pool, garden, bar and restaurant.
A Morada Do Cigarrón has large rooms in a pleasant guesthouse.
Other places include Hostal Restaurante Lugano on Amaro Refojo, which offers more budget lodgings.
Hotel Villa de Verín is another budget option close to Verín Bus Station.
The nearest station is A Gudiña, a distant 30 km east, on the line connecting Ourense and Madrid.
There are buses from Zamora (2 hours, 30 minutes), Benavente (via Zamora) and to more local destinations.
Verín is 70 kilometers southeast of the provincial capital of Ourense, about an hour by car.
Eat & Drink
Some recommended places to eat and sample the local wines are Casa do Pulpo (Tel: 988 41 08 86) for excellent octopus on Av. de Portugal, Casa Zapatillas on Av. Luis Espada or Regueiro da Cova on Rúa da Alameda.