In Galicia it rains, it rains, and it even hails. However, the special geographical situation of our community makes it difficult to see snow in Galicia, especially in the provinces with more kilometers of coastline, A Coruña and Pontevedra. In fact, to contemplate an authentic snow scene we have to go to mountainous areas of Lugo or Ourense, such as O Courel, Os Ancares or Manzaneda.
Putting on good boots, wrapping up warm and being careful with the car is all you need to get close to any of the areas that we propose to enjoy the snow in Galicia.
O Courel, Lugo
Bordering El Bierzo from León we find this magnificent mountain range very close to the Cañoñes del Sil. Its dehesa forest stands out, especially the Devesa de Rogueira, which is part of a well-known hiking route.
The main towns in the area include Folgoso do Courel, Seoane do Courel Y Last night, the latter a very well preserved village with its traditional stone houses and its gabled slate roofs, tremendously sloping to facilitate the fall of snow. Because in this Galician region the winters are harsh and the roads tend to collapse due to the fall of big snowfall as temperatures drop.
It is the ideal setting to contemplate forests entirely covered by a white blanket, enjoy unforgettable winter scenes and later take refuge in one of its village bars to warm up with a good broth.
- How to get. The main access road to O Courel is the LU-651 road, which runs through the mountains from north to south. Its northern slope is crossed by the LU-633 highway, which passes through Pedrafita do Cebreiro, while access from the south is from the N-120 as it passes through Quiroga.
Os Ancares, Lugo
Bordering O Courel and, again, with León, we have the Serra dos Ancares, another of the most important natural areas in Galicia, a Biosphere Reserve and the last refuge of the brown bear in Galician lands. Its best known population is O Cebreiro, gateway to the French Way in Galicia.
The village of O Cebreiro, 23 kilometers from Triacastela, is one of the busiest and most touristic spots where you can enjoy the snow in Galicia. Winter weekends are usually crowded, so we recommend that you avoid going on Saturdays and holidays. Strolling through the village, we come across one of the must-see monuments: the Sanctuary of Santa María A Real, a temple founded by Count Aurillac and built in the 9th century, but with major later reforms.
But without a doubt the star monuments of O Cebreiro are its pallozas traditional, which retain their original structure and constitute the main tourist attraction of this town. We can visit some of them in the Ethnographic Museum.
Another less known town than the previous one that pleasantly surprises the traveler is The Piornedo, located in the heart of Os Ancares, at about 1,200 meters of altitude, in a mountainous and isolated area. It is also made up of several typical pallozas in an excellent state of conservation and is another of the populations of this mountain range that you should not miss if you want to enjoy the snow in winter.
- How to get. To reach Os Ancares we have two options, it depends from where we access: take the A-6 highway and the N-VI highway to Becerreá or the LU-722 highway, which communicates with A Pobra in Navia de Suarna and where we find the main detours towards the Mountain range.
One of the areas most frequented by lovers of skiing and winter sports is Manzaneda, and the main reason is the Cabeza de Manzaneda Mountain Station, the only one in Galicia, which has been at a minimum lately due to the scarcity of snow in the area, which is trying to compensate with artificial snow.
If you don’t like skiing but you are one of those who sled down the snowy slopes, visit some of the most relevant towns in this region, such as Manzaneda, a beautiful medieval town with several relevant bridges and luxurious panoramic views of the mountains from its ruined castle. OR Poor Trives, with a remarkable old town full of rural houses to stay and taverns and bars where you can savor the strong seasonal cuisine of the area.
- How to get. Manzaneda is 220 kilometers from A Coruña and the best way to get there is by taking the A-6 towards Lugo, to divert to the national LU-546 at the height of Bóveda, continue to Quiroga on the LU-933N and connect with the OU-536 to Pobra de Trives.
Pena Trevinca, Ourense
Very close to the previous massif, east of the province of Ourense and bordering Zamora is the highest point in Galicia, Pena Trevinca, which belongs to the Galaico-Leonés Massif. Its peaks, which are more than 2000 meters high and are covered with snow in winter, are home to glacial lakes as impressive as Lagoa da Serpe.
Is a protected natural area and only suitable in winter for the more adventurous or experienced hikers, because they are mountains with difficult access. However, nearby towns, such as The Veiga, near the Prada reservoir, they are also usually cover with snow, and allow us to approach the snowy mountain through small villages bordering the protected area.
- How to get. Take the detour to A Veiga on the county road OU-533 towards A Rúa – A Gudiña. From A Veiga to Xares we follow local roads. From O Barco de Valdeorras, along the OU-121 to the Prada reservoir (A Veiga); or by Sobradelo (Carballeda de Valdeorras) taking the detour by the OU-122 in the direction of Casaio.
Why isn’t it snowing in A Coruña?
You may be wondering why we do not mention any town in A Coruña where we can go sledding or play snowballs. It is obvious that in A Coruña does not snow, or does very exceptionally.
Due to the situation of A Coruña at sea level and its particularity as an oceanic city and in almost total contact with the sea, it is usual that when temperatures drop a lot, it hails, but the hail does not set, so we don’t have it easy to enjoy the snow. For this to be the case, there would have to be a winter in which high pressures were anchored in areas close to the Arctic Circle (Scandinavia, Russia, Greenland) and that this was the general trend during the winter season.
Where to see snow in A Coruña
However, in some inland areas of the province and in harsh winters we find occasional snow, as in the cases of Monte Xalo or Curtis.
Mount Xalo, located between the councils of Culleredo, Carral Cerceda and Laracha and only 18 kilometers from A Coruña, it is one of the highest peaks in the Coruña coastal area, with an altitude of 514 meters above sea level and a perfect place to take children in their first contact with snow. If it happens that it snows, obviously.
And CurtisEspecially in Teixeiro, there is no winter in which there is no snowfall due to the low temperatures, which can easily reach 0-4 degrees. Last spring its neighbors enjoyed a great snowfall, so if this year the temperatures drop further, do not rule out putting on some good boots and going to this town in Coruña to spend a most entertaining afternoon with the snow.