This might be the worst kept secret of the area. It’s a natural area, located on the bankside of river Anllóns, in an area of small islands and water jumps. Decades ago, the power of water was used to move flour mills and fullers. Some of these mills have been restored and can now be visited.
The different areas of this natural park have been linked by wooden bridges that mix well with the general atmosphere and there are also picnic areas with barbeques. It is a great place for a lunch stop with family or friends, but you have to bring almost everything: there is only one restaurant nearby, about 500 meters from the entrance (with a nice parking space, by the way). During the summer, I try to avoid weekends, as it gets too full and sadly sometimes it ends up dirty. I recommend going on a sunny week day.
One of the mills has been converted into a very rustic toilet and at the entrance you can find a handmade washing place: water goes down a wooden log and falls through some holes, as if it were a tap. A drain at the end brings the water back into the circuit.
It is a magical place, and it was chosen by Jose Luis Cuerda, a Spanish film director, to shoot some of the scenes of his film “El bosque animado” (“The enchanted forest”), that show quite a bit about Galician way of thinking. In the movie, the trees of the forest are as important as the many characters and it shows perfectly the beauty of nature in this area. Because what makes Verdes special is nature.
It is an Atlantic riverbank forest, where you can find alders, willows, ash trees and many oaks. It is a very humid area, with a lot of shade due to the dense vegetation, so it is best to go when it is sunny. Due to the high humidity there are many ferns and moss everywhere, which makes it even more charming.
Besides enjoying the spot, you can also do hiking routes along the river. It is an easy walk, also for kids, because at any point you can turn around and go back. In this part of the river fishing is allowed, with the necessary permits.
For those more fit or more adventurous, there is a route that goes all the way from Verdes to the Anllóns estuary at Ponteceso. It is about 16 kilometers that go between the riverbank forest and some crop fields that go all the way down to the river. When we attempted this route it was not marked (although it might be by now) and I always got lost or tired because of the high vegetation. I think at some point you have to cross to the other riverbank and it is quite nice. I recommend doing it with a gps or something similar.
The estuary is very beautiful and it is worth visiting even if you go by car. There, the fresh waters of the Anllóns mix withe the Atlantic Ocean, forming an estuary, divided by a line of dunes. It is very calmed (compared to other areas of the Costa da Morte), and surprisingly beautiful.
If you are at Camping Sisargas, verdes is about 13 kilometers away. By car, take the road towards Carballo and take the exit towards Cances/Vilariño, then follow the signs to Verdes. It should not take longer than 20 minutes. The entry to the park is on a road without exit. If you go with the car all the way down, it might be difficult to turn around, specially if there are many cars parked on the sides of the road. I prefer to park higher up and walk donw. You can even have a drink at the restaurant and park there, they have a big parking lot. If you prefer to go by bike, we have a circular route of about 25 kilometers. It goes by secondary roads and it is very beautiful.