Endowed with a rare beauty, the outdoor spas of Turners they allow you to take baths in very warm water, while – according to legend – you take care of your health. It looks like a large bathtub where you just want to relax for a few hours.
This place, which seems to have come out of our imagination, is located in the town of Torneiros, in Galicia, next to the Serra do Xúrez or Gerês, as it is known to us. It’s even case to say: from Spain may not come good winds, but, at least, warm water arrives, with medicinal properties.
In this peaceful place, in the open air, there is also a river with clean waters where it is possible to dive alongside small fish. On site, you can also count on a picnic area and several hotels close by, on the side of the road, for those who take advantage of the day to go for a swim and the night for a well-deserved rest.
But after all, how does water stay warm in the open?
It really seems like a phenomenon from another world, but the truth is that there is no concrete reason for this to happen. There are those who say that it is due to the fusion between a water source and the course of the river that exists right next door. As if together they provided a beautiful love story, in this case of high temperatures.
Those who visit, really have nothing to thank, because whether it’s cold or hot, rain or shine, the water at that point is always warm. But not only. The riverbed itself has hot, cold and warm zones. It is therefore not surprising that everyone wants to know the place and witness it firsthand.
Furthermore, and how thermal waters they are, enjoy the properties for which they are known, which is, so to speak, they are excellent for some ailments, namely, to combat rheumatism and skin diseases and are even good for curing diaper rash in babies.
And if you think you have to pay to enjoy this little piece of heaven on earth, you’re wrong, because, in fact, everyone can enjoy it without paying anything. Access is completely free.
How to get to Torneros
Your point of reference should be Caldas do Gerês, heading towards the Portela do Homem border. After about three kilometres, you will find the famous Portela do Homem waterfall, where you can cross the border.
After half a dozen kilometers, you will find some ancient landmarks and an old Roman road, which will allow you to follow the path to Torneiros, with the appropriate indications.
And since you’re there, what else can you visit?
In the north of the country, very close to the border with Spain, there are small and charming villages that you can – and should – explore. Meet some in our company.
The Portela do Homem waterfalls mentioned above are a mandatory stop for anyone visiting Torneiros. They call it a work of art by Nature and it is one of the great attractions of the Peneda-Gerês National Park??
It is an area especially sought after in the summer due to the clean and crystalline waters, although cold, contrary to what happens with our chosen destination for this article.
Even so, it is worth it for its beauty: the waterfalls are located at an altitude of 822 meters and are surrounded by granitic rocks polished by millenary erosion. They seem to form a painting, with the colors so striking and vivid.
Village of Vilarinho das Furnas
Vilarinho da Furna was a village in Gerês, in Terras de Bouro. And we say was, because it was understood that this would be the ideal place for the construction of a dam, about 50 years ago. Now, the village, whose community life has been going on for more years than history allows to tell, just lies there submerged in the river Homem.
In the warmer months, when drought is frequent in the area, it is still possible to see some traces of life there.
A place that is as beautiful as it is melancholic because we know its history. Families, houses, fields, grazing areas and Nature’s paths were devoured by the water that took over the place.
village of Soajo
When talking about Soajo, it is impossible not to mention granite, which is present in every corner, on every path, in every building. This is mainly what makes us feel as if we had entered some history book and stepped back in time.
This small village in Arcos de Valdevez thus begins to be increasingly known and worth visiting, not only for the tapirs and tumulus scattered throughout the area, as well as for the Rupestre do Gião Sanctuary, but also because it is there that the Peneda Natural Park -Gerês begins to be filled with the most beautiful green you have ever seen.
Pitões das Junias
This is yet another village in Gerês that seems to have stopped in time. This is how Pitões das Júnias, in municipality of Montalegrewhich stands at an altitude of 1100 meters.
It is, therefore, the highest town in Barroso and is located in a breathtaking landscape. It lives among marshes and granite cliffs and, contrary to what has happened to other nearby villages, it has managed to impose itself, maintaining its routines and even ways of working.
As such, it is one of the most picturesque and traditional villages in Trás-os-Montes, which is well worth exploring.
(The photos of Torneiros were kindly provided by Cristina Marques/My Travel Stories??