Arousa Island is situated in the Arousa estuary, in the province of Pontevedra. It is Galicia’s most populated island, with 5000 inhabitants and it has its own council.
Within its area of over 7 km², you will find wonderful beaches and relaxing trails that take you to the island’s natural areas. In today’s post, we tell you about the beautiful landscapes you can find in this small natural enclave.
The Arousa Island Bridge
To reach the island of Arousa by car, you have to go over its long bridge, stretching 1980 metres. This bridge crosses the Arousa estuary to reach the island from the closest coastal town, Vilanova de Arousa. From the bridge, you can see the breathtaking panoramic view of the Arousa estuary and the island, as well as the coastal towns that surround it. And at low tide, you can sometimes see the island’s shellfish gatherers harvesting clams on the beach of O Bao.
The bridge has a cycle lane for visitors who want to reach the island by bike. It is a very unique bridge which delights people because of its length and which offers truly spectacular views.
Carreirón Natural Park
The Carreirón Natural Park covers an area of 1.3km² and is located in the southern part of Arousa Island. Due to its natural and scenic value, it was designated as a Natural Park and included in the Umia – O Grove – A Lanzada – Punta do Carreirón and Lagoa de Bodeira Intertidal Complex, which was declared part of the Natura Network in 2004.
Additionally, this park was named an International Special Protection Area for Birds by the European Union due to its populations of grey herons, which are native in the areas of Europe and Asia with warmer climates.
Other wild animals can also be seen, including lizards, rabbits and frogs, as well as wild plants of a variety of colours; pink, lilac, purple, yellow, among others. It is a truly interesting natural space, with unique flora and fauna where you can discover all its charms through its numerous trails.
In this park, you will find areas with abundant vegetation, rocky areas and sandy areas. Along its coast, there are numerous coves and beaches, highlights of which include the beaches of As Margaritas or Xastelas.
The Guidoiro Areoso Islet, known as Areoso, is a protected natural area situated to the north of Arousa Island, which has a unique appearance: it looks like a dune emerging from the sea.
It is a small area of land, of just 9 hectares, which is formed almost entirely by fine sand and surrounded by crystal clear waters. Because of its spectacular appearance, some people refer to it as the “Galician Caribbean”.
In the northern part of the islet, there is an elongated sandspit and, to the south, there are granite outcrops and grassy vegetation. Numerous seagulls inhabit this small area, and in the surrounding waters, we can also find surface level reefs.
In addition to its resulting natural beauty, the islet also possesses archaeological wealth from thousands of years ago, with findings including up to five megalithic burial mounds, archaeological remains dating back to the Bronze Age and Iron Age which tell us of the human presence on the island during these eras.
There are few options to access Areoso Islet. Many people hire a kayak, a boat-taxi or go by sailboat. As a measure to protect the islet, boats are prohibited from docking.
Punta Cabalo Lighthouse (Faro)
The most beautiful sunsets of Arousa Island can be seen from Punta Cabalo lighthouse. It is a charming place, surrounded by rocks and offering a wonderful panoramic view of the Arousa estuary, the mussel farms and the northern coast of the estuary. This lighthouse was opened on the same day as the Sálvora lighthouse and its name comes from the fact that, in this part of the estuary, there is a settled colony of seahorses.
This lighthouse is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful lighthouses in Galicia.
Dornas are traditional Galician boats, of Nordic influence, used by fishermen and restored for leisure sailing to prevent them from disappearing altogether. Cabodeiro beach, on Arousa Island, is full of these solid agile and manoeuvrable sailboats with their Spartan design and bright red colour.
Cabodeiro beach is next to the port, so we recommend that once you have admired these unique boats, you take a stroll around the area and find out more about the island’s people.
These locations are the highlights of Arousa Island, but there are many more! Here at Mar de Ons, we invite you to discover this area. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful parts of Galicia, possessing high natural, scenic and historic value.
If you enjoy visiting nature reserves and you are going to visit this area, we also recommend you visit the Cíes Islands and the Island of Ons, two beautiful archipelagos where you can enjoy the beaches and nature. If you want to discover protected natural settings, you can also visit the Island of Tambo or the Island of San Simón.
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