The kinematics of the basal allochthon in the SW of the Órdenes Complex is analysed to constraint its evolution during collisional and postcollisional stages of the Variscan orogeny. Two distinct sequences have been identified in the basal allochthon of this sector: the upper and lower sequences, in close correlation with the subdivision of the basal allochthon in the Malpica–Tui Complex. Three main tectonic episodes have been established in the basal allochthon: a high-pressure event related to continental subduction, a mesozonal event of regional exhumation by thrusting and recumbent folding, and a regional-scale extensional episode that resulted in the development of the Bembibre–Pico Sacro detachment system. The Bembibre–Pico Sacro system rejuvenated pre-existing shear zones, whose weakness favoured the nucleation of the detachments. Shear zones associated with the detachments overprinted the previous tectonic fabrics under conditions ranging from lower amphibolite to greenschist facies, and with heterogeneously distributed ductile to brittle deformation. The detachment system is coeval with late orogenic collapse and widespread magmatism, and represents its upper crustal expression. It correlates with mid- and lower crustal flow and the development of gneiss domes at depth in such a way that the basal allochthon can be considered a rheological boundary between the more rigid allochthonous sequences above and the more viscous Schistose Domain and autochthon below.