This blue marble

– and yet it spins

A most fabulous monastery


galicia-19Deep in the mountainous Ribeira Sacra forests, by the Sil river canyon, stands a thousand-year-old monastery. There are stone cloisters, a green courtyard, and a stately chapel. Outside lie chestnut groves and hazelnut groves, where wild boar dig and grunt at night. The views from the guests’ lounge balcony are spectacular.galicia-20And it gets better still: to become a guest here only requires checking in at the reception desk, as the monastery Santo Estevo is today a Parador, or government-run hotel. There is a small but lovely spa which feels welcoming after a day or sweaty traipsing around the Sil river valley hiking routes (of which there are many – and they’re mostly long!). galicia-16Staying at Santo Estevo does not mean staying in moldy cold rooms, sleeping like a dusty bottle of wine on a wooden shelf. The rooms are fabulously spacious, with wooden window shutters and luxurious bathrooms. galicia-18Eating at Santo Estevo does not mean chestnut mash and gravy from old wooden bowls, but a first-class al fresco dining experience, as the night descends over the valley and the moon rises above the mountaintops. galicia-17(Parador Santo Estevo, Galicia, Spain; September 2019)

2 thoughts on “A most fabulous monastery

  1. Pingback: In the middle of nowhere, a monastery (part II) | This blue marble

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