The literature on the development of tourism destinations neglects to question their precise origins. Thus, it makes sense to research the when, how and why a particular place attracts tourists to the point of being considered an up-and-coming destination. The case of Trevinca-A Veiga (Galicia, Spain), a mountain area which is emerging as a tourism destination, is analysed through 28 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders regarding the initial phases of tourism development. Six different narratives (rather than simply one), regarding the emergence of Trevinca-A Veiga as a tourism destination, are identified. These are not mutually exclusive stories, rather, they appear interwoven and in dialogue with each other, complementing and sometimes even contradicting each other. The article shows that the origin of a destination has to be understood not only in its materiality but also through its intangible dimensions. This includes discussing the place name used by a destination and its spatial coverage and scale, and negotiating the dimension and type of demand that is desired. Therefore, the origin of a destination is a process with multiple interpretations sustained by a complex social net. The conclusions include a set of recommendations for tourism destination development in a mountain area with no previous development.