Beautiful spectacle of water, light and sound formed by a waterfall on the River Toxa between the parishes of Pazos and Martixe, considered the highest freefalling one in Galicia. It is a place of high scenic value that is part of the Ulla-Deza River System, as well as the European project Natura 2000 Network as a Site of Community Importance.
Its botanic diversity, which the monks of the monasteries of Carboeiro and Camanzo made use of for their pharmacopoeia, and a well-preserved Atlantic forest with Mediterranean speciesmake this a unique place and one of the most impressive images in our region due to its singular beauty. If water is life, then waterfalls are joie de vivre.
This area features great lithological diversity that gave rise to the waterfall, which runs over a combination of very hard granite, due to the amount of quartz,and metamorphic materials that are less resistant to erosion.
The impressive granitic walls bordering the waterfall house large birds that need cliffs and are not very common in Galicia, such as crows (corvuscorax) and falcons (falcoperegrinus).
The mild climate enables a diversity of trees in sunny spots such as cork trees (quercussuber), strawberry trees (arbutus unedo), laurel trees (laurusnobilis) and Pyrenean oaks (quercuspyrenaica), while on deeper soils there is a predominance of oak (quercusrobur), maple (hacerpseudoplatanus) and chestnut (castanaesativa). Near the Toxa waters, along the well-preserved riverbanks, there is a gallery forest of hydrophilic trees such as willows (salixatrocinerea), alders (alnusglutinosa), ashes (fraxinusangustifolia) and hazel nut trees (corylusavellana).
How to get there
It is reached via the town of A Bandeira, located on the N-525 road that links Ourense with Santiago. From this town, you go to the parish of Pazosalong road 204 that goes from Merza to Vila de Cruces and follow the signposts as far as the viewpoints, where you can leave your car and walk a short distance to the foot of the immense “horsetail.”