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In the territory of the UNESCO World Geopark "Montañas do Courel" there are five sectors for the practice of canyoning, called Seceda, Folgoso do Courel, Campodola, Soldón and A Seara-Ferramulín. Each one of them with its peculiarities,  but all of them are the result of the relationship between water and the geology of the soils they cross.


An updated guide to the canyons and ravines of the Courel Mountains UNESCO Global Geopark has been published in Spanish "Guía de barrancos y Cañones. Montañas do Courel" with an English version. 

You can access a pdf copy in the Documents tab

Environmental regulations and canyoning

As a result of their great natural value, the mountains of O Courel have been declared a Special Conservation Area (ZEC) in the Natura 2000 Network, created by Council Directive 92/43/CEE of May 21, 1992, regarding to the conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora and Law 42/2007, of December 13, on natural heritage and biodiversity, and the Galician Network of Protected Spaces, created by Law 9/2001, of August 21, of nature conservation.

In accordance with this regulation, all people are responsible for respecting and conserving natural spaces and Public Administrations, within the scope of their respective powers, must ensure the protection of these spaces and their responsible management. For these purposes, the publication of planning, ordering and management instruments for the natural resources present in said protected spaces is anticipated.

In the case of the ZEC, which includes the mountains of O Courel, said planning, organization and management instrument is found in Decree 37/2014, of March 27, which declares areas of special conservation of community importance in Galicia and the Master Plan for the Galician Natura 2000 Network is approved.

Said Master Plan specifies the set of measures necessary to ensure the maintenance or, where appropriate, the restoration of a favorable state of conservation of the spaces of the Autonomous Community of Galicia included in the Natura 2000 Network, as well as to avoid the production of alterations or appreciable deterioration in relation to the established conservation objectives.

For the planning of activities in this area, it is necessary to take into account that the Master Plan of the Natura 2000 Network of Galicia provides that some activities are subject to authorization by the competent autonomous body in matters of nature conservation, which, At the date of publication of this guide, it is the Ministry of the Environment and Conservation of the Territory. Canyoning is among the authorized activities listed in the aforementioned Master Plan, specifically in section 3.f).3º.v) of its article 61. For the purposes of protecting the natural wealth of these spaces, the competent body may set specific conditions for carrying out the activity, or even prohibit it when its practice could appreciably affect the state of conservation of habitats of community interest or the habitats of species of conservation interest found in the mountains of Or Courel.

Keep in mind that the laws and rules of use are changing, so you should look for updated information at the time of carrying out your activity. Even the ministry/s and different general directorates in charge of ensuring the protection of the environment are assuming or giving up powers over time.

Let's take care of the environment

Regardless of the applicable regulations, it is clear that any alteration in the environment can influence both the animals and plants that live there, as well as the rest of the elements that make up an ecosystem and its biodiversity. As practitioners of an activity in sensitive environments and places, there are a series of actions that we must take into consideration to help maintain its value:

  • We will not leave any kind of waste.

  • We will not harm the flora or other natural elements of the environment, neither collecting, nor moving or displacing them.

  • We will take care of where we step at all times.

  • When traveling outside the water course, we will try to stay on paths and tracks, stepping as little as possible outside of them. We will not leave the permitted or marked routes.

  • We will avoid being noisy and speak quietly so as not to disturb the fauna or other users of the space.

  • We must respect the rights of the owners of the farms, leaving gates and fences as we found them.

These general rules are not exhaustive and are only intended to serve as a guide in our actions.

Sector Seceda
Sector Seceda

Half a kilometer from Seceda, in the northwest of the Courel Mountains, is the Forgas do Fial ravine . It is a ravine embedded in Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian quartzite, limestone and slate. Along this ravine you can see tuffs formed by calcite precipitation on the rocky walls, some of them red due to the presence of iron and other metals. The Forgas do Fial ravine is 1.1 km long and has a drop of 120 m, it has a marked aquatic character in contrast to the verticality and scarcity of water of other ravines in the area. It consists of a first part dominated by projections, slides and some small waterfalls prepared to descend with a rope (rappels) of low technical difficulty. The second part implies a greater technical difficulty since it consists of rappels of between 5 and 15 m.

In this same sector is the Rego Veiga Darca , with a length of 1.3 km and a drop of 260 m. The rocks on which this ravine is embedded are similar to those of the Forgas do Fial ravine, although in the Rego Veiga Darca the few Devonian limestones of the Courel Mountains outcrop.

Sector Folgoso do Courel
Folgoso do Courel Sector

The Folgoso do Courel sector is located in the Lor river basin and is the best known due to the great variety of ravines and the presence of one of the steepest ravines in Galicia. Silurian and Ordovician quartzites, slates and schists outcrop in this sector. The headwaters of the ravines are formed in almost vertical levels of quartzite, which are more resistant to erosion than the slate and schist that outcrop at the bottom of the waterfalls, generally undermined. This sector includes the main Carballido ravine and the tributary canyons on its left bank which, from east to west, are: Coiteladas , Fieiteiras and Rego do Val .

The Carballido ravine is in turn divided into an upper and intermediate section, separated by the Coiteladas ravine as a tributary. The entire Carballido ravine, along with its tributaries, is carved out of Silurian quartzite, slate and schist. The Carballido Superior ravine consists of a succession of abseils up to 22 m high and  ends with a 15 m abseil that ends in the Carballido Medio ravine. The Carballido Medio ravine is very different from the upper one as it includes numerous projections, slides and small abseils. Its only access is through the Carballido Superior or Coiteladas ravines.


The Coiteladas ravine is made up of continuous climbs and rappels of up to 23 m in length.


The Barranco das Fieiteiras has a permanent channel of cold waters with short but intense abseils and climbs. After a narrow section, there is a series of rappels between 7 and 12 m long.


Lastly, the Rego do Val is one of the most continuous and vertical ravines in this area, made up of relatively unresistant slate schists and quartzites that give rise to steep ledges. With high flow it can be considered that its technical difficulty is high due to its 19 rappels up to 30 m high.

8 km from Folgoso do Courel, is the Eiriz ravine (Carrozo da Freita) with a length of 900 m and a drop of 140 m. It is a short and simple ravine formed on Silurian slates that can become very slippery.

South of Folgoso do Courel and in the vicinity of Vidallón, Carrozo do Inferno was prepared for canyoning in 2017. It is a 550 m long ravine with a drop of 135 m with six rappels between 8 and 15 m high. It is the only ravine in this sector that crosses both Ordovician and Silurian rocks.

Sector A Serara-Ferramulín
Sector A Serara-Ferromulín

The sector  is located in the extreme northeast of the territory and consists of two ravines.

The Selmo River ravine with a layout of 2.5 km, develops in quartzites, slates and schists from the Silurian and Ordovician. A tributary of this river is the Rego Aceval or Buzgalegos, which forms a ravine less than a kilometer long and with a drop of 70 m. This ravine is made up of four rappels between 9 and 19 m high that runs along a Silurian slate bed.

Sector Soldón
Soldon Sector

Away from the rest of the sectors, is el de Soldón, in the southeast of the territory that includes the Faiis and Vilarmel ravines.

The Faiis ravine, a tributary of the Soldón River, develops in Ordovician and Silurian slates and schists. It is formed by a succession of waterfalls up to 40 m high, some of them very boxed.


The Vilarmel ravine develops in Ordovician slate, quartzite and schist. It has a length of 900 m and its slope reaches 80 m.

Sector Campodola
Campodola Sector

The Campodola sector is located in the well-known Campodola-Leixazós geological fold, in the center of the Courel Mountains. This imposing structure can be seen along the approved route PR-192, where a viewpoint and an explanatory panel are set up. In this sector , the Ferreiriño River, a tributary of the Quiroga River, and its tributary on the right bank, Regueiro Seco, offer a long and intense canyoning activity. It is made up of meandering embedded in Ordovician quartzite and slate whose first part consists of four waterfalls with abundant flow after rainy seasons. The second part is made up of a succession of rapids and small waterfalls, which represents a more advanced stage of fluvial erosion.


The Ferreiriño river canyon has a length of between 5.9 and 7.4 km depending on the town from which it starts and a drop of about 360 m. The descent of this ravine can be combined with the Regueiro Seco ravine, although it would become quite a tough activity due to the number of hours required, since this ravine is 710 m long and has a drop of 250 m.

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