One of the most charming spots in Arzúa is to be found in the small parish of Santo Estevo do Campo. The great attraction of this place is the extensive and luxuriant carballeira (oak grove) of La Mota. Nature lovers can enjoy a bucolic walk here in the interior of the region.
According to legend, this forest was established by the local inhabitants. The trees were planted for an almost mystical reason. Seemingly, the area’s residents planted one of these oaks whenever a father did not want his son to do military service. According to traditional belief, if the tree was burned this meant that the youth would not have to do military service. That is how the carballeira gradually grew to become the extensive forest that we can see today.
Another point of interest for tourists in this parish is the so-called chapel of la Mota, which is located right in the middle of the carballeira.
This church dates from the 19th century and was erected in honour of the saints Bartholomew, Mathew and Simon. Inside there is a beautiful baroque altarpiece, with rococo elements, which was restored in 1994. Many of the faithful come here every year to ask the saints to cure their goitre,during the outdoor festivities that are held on August 24 and September 21.
How to get there
To reach the parish of Santo Estevo do Campo, you have to turn right on leaving Arzúa (on the way to Santiago) and follow the provincial PO-0604 road towards Pontecarreira. After about 15 kilometres, you will come across this luxuriant carballeira.