Technical difficulty: Intermediate. Linear trail
Type of route: MTB, hiking
Points of interest: Landscape, ethnography and archaeology
Duration: 7 hours
Total distance: 31 km (Santa Comba – A Porte Liñares section: 23 km)
This natural path is named after the Roman Via XVIII, also known as the Via Nova.
Built during the empire of Vespasian and his son Titus at the end of the 1st century, it linked the cities of Bracara Augusta, currently Braga in Portugal, and Asturica Augusta, currently Astorga, in the province of León.
The route follows the steps of this Roman road, although not its exact layout, in two separate segments. In the southwest of the province, it runs from the entrance of Via Nova in Orense, through the port of Portela do Homem, a border crossing between Portugal and Spain, to La Saínza, where a particular pilgrimage is held recreating a battle between “Moors and Christians”.
At the opposite end of Orense, the path changes direction and, starting from the Serra da Enciña da Lastra, on whose slope the Roman road accessed the current province of León, the route makes its way to the Sil River valley in whose company it continues until reaching Petín. Here, in the vicinity of the town of La Rúa, is the former capital of the Celtic Asturian people, the Gigurros, Forum Gigurrorum.
The Via Nova road passes through an area of enormous cultural and natural interest, with its lands bathed by the fertile Limia river, the ancient Lethes of the Romans. This historic green corridor is located in the area of influence of the Baixa Limia-Serra do Xurés Natural Park and in the protected natural areas of La Limia, a territory representative of the great Galician socio-cultural splendour, with magnificent rural landscapes that account for the ancestral human legacy of this land.