The Rías Baixas is a location in Galicia with spectacular landscapes, very beautiful villages, idyllic beaches and very pleasant inhabitants. It is, without a doubt, the ideal place to lose yourself during a long holiday.
Its long coastline extends from the Cape of Finisterre in the province of A Coruña, to the mouth of the River Miño, to the south of Pontevedra. It is an extensive area with countless natural and heritage attractions, which is why we want to make a selection of the essential places to visit. That way, you can get organised and have time to visit them all.
In today’s article, we present the first 11 locations. Keep an eye out for our next post to discover which ones the others are!
1. A Guarda
There are various reasons why we begin the visit to the Rías Baixas in this small town. The first of which is that it is one of the most charming towns in the area. The little colourful houses and the port are very picturesque, and you can try the best traditional dishes of the area in its restaurants. Another reason why you should visit is the Monte Santa Tecla. The summit of this hill has a privileged view of the Miño estuary and the Portuguese coast. It also has one of the most well-preserved and impressive forts in the region.
2. Cape Silleiro
We continue the route of essential places to visit with Cape Silleiro, a beautiful coastal area where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Atlantic. There, you will find one of the most beautiful and most well-preserved lighthouses in the whole of Galicia. Near the lighthouse, following the walk along the road, you will also see an abandoned military fort from which you have a perfect view of the lighthouse looking out to sea, as well as the Islas Cíes in the distance. You will also be able to discover the stately town of Baiona, as this is located nearby. If you are visiting the area in March, you should be aware that the town of Baiona will be totally transformed as it completely goes back to the 15th century for its Arribada Festival.
Continuing northbound along the route is the city of Vigo, one of the largest cities in Galicia and the most heavily populated. Don’t let its hills put you off. Lose yourself along the pebbled streets in the old town, enjoy the atmosphere of the more modern and cosmopolitan area and try the delicious regional dishes while you enjoy a privileged visit to the Vigo estuary. So that you can enjoy this marvellous city, we recommend that you leave your car in Cangas and travel to Vigo by boat, making the journey a top-rate experience where you can enjoy the Vigo Estuary and its surroundings from the sea itself.
4. The “best bench in the world”
Very close to Vigo, on the summit of the hills of Cerdeira de Redondela, you will find the so-called “best bench in the world”. We can only describe the views that this bench offers as spectacular. From there, you can view the impressive Vigo Estuary, the immenseness of the Rande Bridge, the island of San Simón and the infinite numbers of beds in which the best mussels and oysters in the country are grown.
5. Islas Cíes
The Islas Cíes are situated in the Vigo Estuary and are part of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia Maritime-Terrestrial National Park. This natural area is known for its great biodiversity. You can relax on its incredible beaches and stroll along its unique paths. One of these will take you to the famous Rodas Beach, known worldwide after the English newspaper, “The Guardian”, named it as the best beach in the world.
To visit the islands during Easter and the summer months, you will need to get a special permit from the Galician Council and reserve your ticket on the Mar de Ons shipping company in advance, as places are limited and the tickets sell out quickly.
6. Ons Island
The Ons Island is also part of the Atlantic Islands of Galicia Maritime-Terrestrial National Park, but it is less well-known. This small island is located at the mouth of the Pontevedra Estuary and is still inhabited. As for the Cíes Islands, tickets for the months of July and August always sell out straight away, so don’t forget to reserve them in good time.
7. Cabo Home
Cape Home is on the Morrazo peninsula in the Vigo Estuary. This natural area is one of the most beautiful along the whole Rías Baixas coast. You can enjoy long walks along its cliffs, relaxing on gorgeous beaches and ending the day contemplating its spectacular sunsets. Cabo Home (man cape, in english) is practically a balcony overlooking the Cíes Islands. Remember that the Cape Home lighthouse is only 2.5km from the archipelago!
Also close to here, you can visit the archaeological ruins of ancient settlements that occupied this area. These consist of many rock carvings, the ruins of an ancient fort, and a circular stone watchtower from the 18th century.
If you go to Cangas from Vigo, or to a nearby municipality, why not travel there by boat? This would be an excellent plan! On our website, you can check the current timetables for our Vigo-Cangas line. You can also enquire by calling this number + 34 986 22 52 72.
8. Mogor beach and stone carvings
In the parish of Marín de Mogor on the Morrazo peninsula, you will find the Mogor stone carvings, which are also known as the Mogor Labyrinths. This is one of the most studied rock locations in the whole of Galicia and entry is free of charge. If you visit the stone carvings, you can also take advantage of the visit to go to the pretty beach at Mogor, an ideal location for relaxing and for watching magnificent sunsets.
9. Baixo Miño
The area of the Baixo Miño (Lower Miño) conceals picturesque villages with many vineyards that produce one of the most famous Galician wines, the albariño. The largest town in the area is Tui, a charming location with a historic centre that is unique in all of Galicia and an imposing cathedral that is notable for its splendid fort. It also has an attractive riverside walk and a spectacular bridge crossing the Miño River to the Portuguese side.
10. San Simón Island
The Island of San Simón is located in the Vigo Estuary. This is a very interesting place due to its long history: it was inhabited by the Church, invaded by pirates, used as a leper hospital and as a prison during the Franco years. If you want to learn about all of its history, check our website for the next available dates.
The capital city of Pontevedra is an ideal place to spend a good day out. Its pedestrianised streets are perfect for long strolls, and its bars and restaurants offer you the most exquisite foods from the local area. When you are in Pontevedra, don’t miss the walk along the shores of the Lérez and the delightful squares in the old town.
These locations are ideal. Don’t miss out on them! As we mentioned above, the second part of the 25 most beautiful places on the Rías Baixas will be published in the next post. You don’t want to miss out on it, do you? So visit our website!