The Rías Baixas are situated in Galicia’s coastal area. They take up nearly all of the coast of the Pontevedra province, from Punta Carreiro to Vigo ria, and part of the west coast of the province of La Coruña. This is one of the most natural parts of the entire peninsula, and one of the main attractions of this community.
This is perhaps where its huge popularity among visitors from different parts of Galicia, Spain, Europe and the rest of the world comes from. The so-called Rías Baixas are: Vigo Ria, Pontevedra, Arousa and Muros-Noia. The main characteristics that define them are the richness and variety of their natural surroundings, fusing with their interesting history and, of course, their incredible beaches. Still not sure which are the best beaches of the Rías Baixas? We rank them for you so you can visit them all.
1 – A Lamiña and O Muíño Beaches
These two beaches are on the border between Galicia and Portugal, specifically in the area of A Guara, where the mouth of the Miño river meets the Atlantic ocean. They are sheltered river beaches with fine, white sand and cold, clear waters. Both are surrounded by a beautiful pine forest which provides shade from the sun during the hottest hours of the day. There is also an area to be able to enjoy a picnic with family or friends.
Another merit of these beaches is their exceptional views. From there, you can see Santa Tecla mountain or Santa Tegra, with one of the best-preserved forts in Galicia. If you decide to visit the area of A Guarda, you simply must stop here.
Being natural beaches, they are further away from the city, the best way of reaching them is by car. Don’t worry about parking though, a large area has been made available for people to park without any problems.
These beaches are located within the Miño Estuary National Park, a natural area declared an Area of Special Protection of Natural Values, thanks to the diversity of its flora and fauna, and it belongs to the Natura 2000 Network. This is an area that can be visited, it has a café and public toilets, you can bathe, you can sail and anchor, while bird-lovers can visit its interesting observatory.
2 – Rodas Beach
This is the largest beach of the Cíes Islands, with a length of 1.2 kilometres. It stands out for its half-moon shape with fine, white sand, its calm and crystal clear waters, and the pine forest surrounding it.
In 2007 it was named “the best beach in the world” by The Guardian newspaper, placing this beach of turquoise and crystal clear waters as number one in its ranking of “the best beaches in the world”. This awakened the interest of thousands of travellers who don’t hesitate to visit when they travel to Galicia.
To protect this natural area, several measures have been put in place. One of them is limiting people’s access to it. For this reason, if you already have a date in mind to visit them, remember to book your ticket plenty in advance so you aren’t left without a seat. To be able to travel to the islands, you have to do two main things: Get authorisation for the visit and buy a boat ticket enough in advance.
3 – Barra Beach
Barra beach is in the municipality of Cangas do Morrazo, in Vigo ria. This beach forms part of the protected natural area of Cabo Home, part of Network 2000 thanks to its landscapes and nature of such a high value.
This dune beach is long and narrow, surrounded by a hill of pine trees which borders the sea. A rocky area separates it from an adjacent beach, Viñó beach. You can see the Vigo ria and the Cíes Islands from both beaches.
Barra beach is one of the first beaches in Galicia that allowed nudism and has always been considered one of the best nudist beaches. Nowadays, due to its popularity, nudists and non-nudists mix together.
If you love nature in its purest form, we definitely recommend you visit this place. Here, you will be able to enjoy the sun and sea surrounded by dunes, forests and cliffs. Reaching this beach is a little challenging thanks to the dense forests that cover it. However, without it, we wouldn’t feel as free and protected on this beach.
4 – Mogor Beach
Mogor beach is a semi-urban beach situated in Marín, belonging to the Pontevedra ria. Its shell shape shelters it from the Atlantic ocean. For this reason, its waters are calm and warmer. It is an ideal beach for swimmers since they can swim without worrying about the waves.
This beach stands out for the beauty of its golden sand which contrasts with the blue of the sea and the green of the surrounding forests. In addition to being a photogenic beach, it is also very safe since it has been awarded the blue flag and has a lifeguard service. And if you get hungry or thirsty, you can always visit its ‘chiringuito’ (beach bar).
Although this beach is a little further out of the city, it can be reached easily by car, or even by bike thanks to the cycle path that starts from Marín. If you have more time and you want to discover the surroundings, you can go into the town and try the delicious delicacies of the coast in some of its restaurants.
5 – Area Brava Beach
Area Brava beach is a peaceful and relaxing place that forms part of the protected natural area, with a small lake and some sand dunes. It is located in the Aldán ria, situated in the Morrazo peninsula.
This virgin beach has a highly diverse marine coastal ecosystem. This beach has fine, white sand and its turquoise waters have few waves. This beach is a favourite among many holidaymakers, so if you decide to visit in July or August, we advise that you go early.
It is also a very well-known place among families thanks to being a blue flag beach with all of the necessary services. There are lifeguard services, showers, toilet facilities and several food and drink establishments.
6 – La Lanzada Beach
La Lanzada beach is one of the best beaches of the Atlantic and one of Galicia’s most famous. This beach belongs to the municipalities of Sanxenxo and O Grove and faces the open sea. That’s why it is an ideal beach for water sports like surfing or windsurfing.
La Lanzada is a very long beach, measuring 2.5 kilometres in length. It has two smaller beaches at the side called Areas Gordas and Lapa beach. They stand out for the beauty of their blue waters, the contrast of the water with the fine, white sand and the rock formations that subdivide them.
These beaches boast a variety of services, including public toilets and food and drink establishments. In addition, there are several areas where you can park your car. Being further away, people usually travel by car from nearby towns. It is also possible to reach them by foot, bike, boat or public transport.
7 – Menduíña Beach
Menduíña beach is situated in a village of great seafaring tradition with the same name, of the Aldán ria, in the Morrazo peninsula. This beach is well-known by inhabitants of the area because it is peaceful and secluded.
It is also easy to access, you can reach it by road. Indeed, if you are going to visit by car, especially in summer, we advise you arrive early as there isn’t much parking.
This beach is popular with families given it is a peaceful place with the necessary services for both children and adults to have fun.
8 – Aguieira Beach
Aguieira beach is situated in Porto do Son, a municipality in the ría de Muros y Noia, in the province of A Coruña.
This beach consists of fine white sand, small dunes, calm waters and two small rivers that flow out into the sea. Its large size enables many holidaymakers to enjoy it and, if you are a nudist, the central part of the beach is ideal.
It is the perfect beach to take long walks through the dunes and the seashore. You can also enjoy water sports such as surfing or windsurfing. It also has many services, including showers, toilets, boat hire and catering services.
Another advantage is its easy access and the fact you can go by car or intercity transport.
9 – Corrubedo Beach
Corrubedo beach forms part of the Dune Complex of Corrubedo Natural Park, situated between the rias of Arousa and Muros y Noia. This dune complex consists of the beach, dunes and two lakes; Vixán, with fresh water, and Carregal, with salt water. It is the most visited Natural Park in Galicia and is a spectacular place that we simply must recommend you visit. If you are going to Corrubedo beach, our advice is that you visit the whole area.
Corrubedo beach is extremely long, with fine, white sand and turquoise blue sea. It is an imposing place with spectacular scenery.
10 – Melide Beach
Melide beach is one of the most beautiful beaches of the Vigo ria. Small and shaped like a half moon, it is located in a secluded part of the Cabo Home natural area. To access it, you have to walk along a path after leaving your car in the car park. It has maintained accesses and lifeguard services, so it is a very safe beach. It is one of the most worthwhile beaches to visit on the Morrazo peninsula.
11 – Area do Cans
Area do Cans beach is located on the Island of Ons, an archipelago situated at the entrance to the Pontevedra ria.
It is a stunning beach, with white sand and crystal waters, very similar to the beaches of the Caribbean. The main difference is the fact that its waters are much colder. This beach is ideal to relax and sunbathe. It has services which include a Red Cross post, a kiosk and picnic area. One thing it doesn’t have is a cleaning service. Visitors are in charge of keeping it clean, collecting all of their rubbish and taking it to the port to throw away. Visiting the Island of Ons is, without a doubt, a real experience not to be missed.
If you are going to visit the Island of Ons, remember to book in advance. Once there, you can take advantage and walk along all of the paths and visit the other beaches; Melide, As Dornas, Canexol and Pereiró.
12 – Carreirón Natural Beach (Arousa Island)
Carreirón natural beach is located on Arousa island, a natural park with unique beaches of clear, calm waters for you to cool down in, fine sand to sunbathe on and a woodland area to relax in the shade. A diverse natural setting with an outstanding beauty.
If you fancy something to eat after enjoying the beach and its surroundings, we recommend you head to the port. A small and picturesque place with several restaurants and cafés with local cuisine.
We hope this list of the best beaches of the Rias Baixas helps you to improve your experience when you come to visit us. As you can see, this area of Galicia has spectacular natural beaches. Among them, the beaches of the Cíes Islands and Islands of Ons stand out, being the best preserved and most beautiful. Don’t hesitate to come and visit us and discover them all.