The Fragas do Eume natural park is a 9,000 hectares of protected woodland in the Coruña province of Galicia, Spain. Its crowning jewel is the enchanting old-growth forest (or “fraga” in Galician) that lines the banks of the River Eume, from which the park gets its name.
The rainy weather and lack of human activity have allowed all kinds of flora and fauna to appear and live peacefully in this verdant landscape, including endangered species. Green mosses surround the visitor and create a fairy-tale aura, while the prehistoric ferns are especially remarkable and unique.
This park is also home to the ruins of the 10th-century monastery of Saint John of Caaveiro. In the same century, Rosendo, an important aristocrat and later Catholic saint, donated several cultivable lands by the right riverbank of the Eume and gave the order jurisdiction over neighboring villages. Abandoned in the 18th century, the building and nearby lands were later bought and restored in 1849.
The religious site is visitable on your own or by booking the official guided tour when you get there. The monastery boasts beautiful panoramic views from its windows, and you can also check out some walking routes that start at the ruins, one of those takes you to a small ruined stone mill and a waterfall.
Know Before You Go
This place is only reachable by car, via the Carretera de Ombre road. Once you park at the entrance, next to the Information Centre, you can buy a free ticket for a local bus that rides in summer along the riverbank to a stone bridge that starts a small path to the monastery. It is also possible to do this route by foot, on either bank of the river, which is a popular walk among both locals and tourists. There are also hanging bridges that unite both riversides. Only some fishing permits are given in the zone.