Spain Road Trip: Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with Kids

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If you’re going to northern Spain, then plan to spend some time in Galicia with kids. For us it meant exceptional food, a stunning coastline, and one of the biggest adventures of this trip. For most people visiting Galicia with kids, the main destination is Santiago de Compostela, but we were charmed by many places in Galicia. Today’s post will focus on the things to do in Ourense and the area around it.

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with Kids

THINGS TO DO IN OURENSE, GALICIA WITH KIDS

Below are our suggestions for someone coming to Ourense with children for two or three days. If we had more time, we would have explored more things to do in Ourense, or headed further west to the coast, but there were so many things to do in Galicia with kids that our stay in Ourense was short. Here’s our recommended things to do in Ourense with kids if you’re in town for a few days.

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with Kids

The Roman Bridge

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with KidsWe love incorporating Greek and Roman history into our travels, and Spain is great for that. There are Roman ruins everywhere. This Roman-era stone bridge is right in Ourense and in excellent condition. Walkways line the river near the bridge, with a few cafes and restaurants here and there. By the water, there’s a large expanse of grass and ducks to feed. We arrived near sunset (in summertime, that’s like 9pm), and the “Golden Hour” light made the bridge glow.

The Thermal Baths

Places for Wild Swimming in Spain and Other Water Fun

If you like hot springs, Ourense has many opportunities for you. Some are free, simple and outdoors, while others run fancier for a fee. We chose the free and simple route and it was good fun. That said, there are a few things you should know about the Ourense thermal baths, and I’ll write about that soon.

Wild Swimming

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with KidsWe actually took a dip in the river next to the thermal baths. Super cold. Super refreshing. The Rio Minho snakes right through the center of Ourense, and there are dozens of places to jump in, often with thermal baths nearby. If you swim near the Termas De Outariz like we did, then I recommend wearing water sandals or something to cover your feet. Some of the rocks are jagged and the current was strong enough that it could push your feet across them in a less-than-comfortable way.

Canyoning with Guías Malouco

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with KidsWow. This is easily one of the best experiences of our trip, and likely to be a highlight of our year! We had an amazing time, thanks to Fredy and Diego of Guías Malouco. What an incredible way to see Galicia’s natural beauty.

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with Kids

Our guides were funny, considerate and professional. We put our lives in their hands, and would do it again. If you are heading through Galicia with kids, then I recommend Fredy and his tours without reservation.

WHERE TO STAY IN OURENSE – GALICIA WITH KIDS

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with KidsWhile in Ourense, we chose two nights at the Eurostars Auriense, which is about 15 minutes from downtown by car. The hotel had a nice pool and clean, bright rooms. For those pushing a heavy stroller, the entrance ramp is curved and steeper that what I usually see, so you might want to make two trips to the lobby.

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with Kids

One bonus for us was parking: parking spaces were large (rare in Spain we’ve discovered), and shaded, so the July sun didn’t turn the car into an oven.

On the other hand, our stay was missing something: a kitchen. After staying in Airbnb apartments in Toledo, Salamanca and Leon, this was our first accommodation without a place to cook, eat and store food. In fact, there wasn’t even a mini-fridge or coffee pot. The lack of coffee pot was a drag for me, but the lack of fridge was a little more annoying because we had some condiments (mayonnaise, etc) that needed to stay cool to stay edible.

If you would prefer to stay near the city center, below are some of the most popular places.

NH Ourense: It is one of NH hotel chain, located close to old town. No family room, but one kids under 12 years old can stay in an extra bed free. Parking charge 8€ per day.

Hotel Francisco II:Less than 10 min walk to Plaza Mayor Ourense. They have triple rooms available. Under 3 years old can stay free if using existing beds. Parking charge 9.90€ per day.

Check out here for other options.

WHERE TO EAT IN OURENSE, GALICIA

The Roman bridge mentioned above is about a 10-15 minute walk from the old town, but the area around the bridge had several restaurants, and that’s where we decided to eat dinner.

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with Kids

We ate at Piko Loko right next to the Roman Bridge. I’ll be the first to admit that it was not my first choice: their logo and decor looked like a chain restaurant and I was ready to walk until we found something more “authentic” (cue the eye-roll).

In fact, I was about to drag them to Pulpería Asador A Feira which was only 12-15 min walking distance. It was my first day in Galicia and I was ready to try its regional delicacy: Pulpo a Feira. Doesn’t look good? Our family loves octopus.

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with Kids

Keiko, logical as always, was against the walk. It was already past 9:30pm, which is the usual supper time in Spain. If we started walking to another restaurant, we might not eat for another hour. The kids were about to snap with hunger, however, and when they saw the sign for pizza, I knew that I had to act.

Things To Do in Ourense, Galicia with KidsWe actually lucked out. The girl loved her pizza, and the boy and I ordered lamb chops and suckling pig, both of which I’d return for. You can tell kids (especially the boy) were happy with their food, can’t you?

In the city

If you stay in the city, you’ll will have more options for your meals. Below are some popular eateries.

Casa do Pulpo: Octopus, as seen on their name, is their specialty. Lomo y queso is also popular.

Bar Orellas:Another small place to enjoy tapas. This is where Keiko wanted to go though we’ve never had chance.

El Asador de Roa: A few minutes walk from Ourense Tourist Office. More than several set menus (20 – 60€) to choose from.

Restaurante Gastro-Bar Sanmiguel: Next to El Asadoe de Roa. If you feel a bit fancy, this place might make you happy.

Out of town

As our hotel was located a 15-minute drive away, I was concerned about food options near there.

Lucky for us, we found Restaurante Casa Cid, which was right down the road. This was obviously a local favorite, as we saw people there from morning to night — never too crowded (this isn’t the most populated area of Spain after all) — but it seemed to constantly have customers who knew each other.

You entered into the bar & grill area. Expect typical Spanish fare — bocatas (sandwiches on hard baguettes), salads, fried squid and tapas, mainly — but the room to the left was more for fine dining. We had one breakfast, two lunches and one dinner here within 48 hours, and I’d go back again.

HAVE YOU BEEN TO OURENSE/GALICIA WITH KIDS?

We’d love to hear what you and your family enjoyed. Where did you go? What did you do? Where did you stay? Tell us in the comments, or contact me directly.

Spain road trip —Things to do in Galicia with kids: Ourense PIN

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel.

Image credits: #1, #11

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