Apart from their extreme beauty, the mountains in the province of Ourense, North Spain, hide some pretty unique secrets. Those kinds of secrets which are only known by the locals, and you are most likely not going to find anything about them except in some Portuguese or Spanish tourist guides.
One of those secrets lies in the municipality of Bande. Here in the heart of the mountains, in a place called Os Baños, you will find the Roman camp site of Aquis Querquennis, simply known as A Cidá. The view is breathless: the ancient roman ruins facing the river, the luxurious sea of green trees surrounding the area and the mountains all around you.
You feel almost like you travelled back in time, and you can almost feel the presence of the Roman Centurions and Soldiers, who left the place in the 2nd century. And suddenly, near this camp site, you notice something: the well preserved ancient Roman Baths. The hot water comes out of the rock and fills these old stone pools. The water is amazing, even said to be miraculous for your health. The different pools have different water temperatures, so you can choose the one you’re more comfortable in. It’s a relaxing experience and you would not want get out of there so soon. My advice would be to go there in the summer, since in the winter the river water’s rise and may cover the pools.
Another one of those best kept secrets in Ourense is located 30 minutes away from Bande, in a place called Lóbios. There you will find a thermal water pool outside of a Spa. Contrary to the Roman Baths, this one is more family friendly since you have everything there, like showers and bins, and you’re in the heart of the village, so you have cafés and supermarkets near you.
The scenery is still beautiful: you’re in the middle of the same luxurious green mountains and you have the crystal clear river Caldo just by the pool. The pool’s hot water merges with the river, and you end up with different water temperatures along it. It is always fun to go for a swim and check it out.
Whether you want the more secluded and historic experience of Bande, or the more familiar and comfortable one of Lóbios, the truth is that you will have a great and relaxing moment in these magical mountains. They are completely free to use, so why not check them both?