The recent switching on of the Christmas lights in Vigo has marked the official start of the festive season in the Rias Baixas. From that moment, the streets of various Galician cities have filled with light, music and sweets that are typical of this time of year.
The traditional Christmas markets have also arrived in the Rias Baixas, where you can find anything from typical Galician gastronomy to books, accessories and clothing.
In this post, we take a brief journey around some of the biggest and most special Christmas markets the area has to offer. Not to be missed, without a doubt!
Cíes Market, Vigo’s Christmas market
Vigo’s Christmas market, called Cíes Market, is one of the largest in Galicia.
Christmas is the most important time of year in the olive-growing capital, and this is reflected in its market, located in La Alameda, very near to the city centre. At Cíes Market, you will find 100 food stalls and carts. At these stalls, you will find a wide variety of products: handicrafts, food and drink, décor, clothing and accessories, etc.
Among these stalls you will find that of Mar de Ons, where you can buy tickets for O Barco do Nadal de Vigo, one of Vigo’s biggest Christmas tourist attractions. If, however, you prefer to ensure you don’t miss this unique experience, you can also buy your tickets in advance through our website.
Additionally, if you would rather avoid heading to the city centre by car and having to look for parking, the regular ferry link provided by Mar de Ons means you can travel from Cangas to Vigo easily and with a varied timetable from the port.
Cíes Market isn’t just limited to stalls and food, but also features a wooden pergola with Christmas lights and decorations, and a new lighting project, named “Alameda Acendida”.
In the days running up to Christmas, from 20th December, Vigo market extends its opening hours so the public can enjoy the experience to the max. On working days, it will stay open from 17.00 until 00.00, while at weekends (from Friday onwards), the day before public holidays and the public holidays themselves, the closing time is extended until 1am.
“Poboado de Nadal”, Pontevedra’s market
On the other hand, Christmas in Pontevedra this festive season is focused on the local economy, encouraging people to buy gifts in the area’s local shops.
That’s why one of the provincial capital’s initiatives is called “Merca no Barrio”, dedicated to supporting businesses from the different neighbourhoods of Pontevedra, including the old quarter, do Burgo and Monteporreiro. This programme also features workshops for children, from 16th December until 7th January, where they will be able to decorate the streets of their neighbourhoods with a Christmas theme.
The traditional Christmas market is also a must in Pontevedra. This year it is called “Poboado de Nadal”, and can be found in plaza de A Ferrería, featuring 26 stalls of handicrafts. This market in the Rias Baixas will open on 5th December and will remain open to the public until 5th January.
This year, Pontevedra is committed to offering a plethora of activities, beyond the traditional large Christmas market. Thus you will also be able to find a creative market in the Mercado de Abastos (Food Market) with concerts and workshops for all ages. Little ones will be able to enjoy New Year’s Eve celebrations in the morning of 31st December and, for adults, there will be wine or beer tasting.
Finally, Pontevedra’s fair ground will be home to the typical “Nadal Xogos” for yet another year. This programme will be available from 22nd December until 7th January, with traditional games, storytelling and another wide variety of activities aimed at children.
The “Aldea do Nadal” in Vilagarcía de Arousa
The town of Vilagarcía de Arousa, in the heart of the Rias Baixas, is this year opting to revamp its Christmas market.
This market is called “Aldea do Nadal” and is situated in Praza da Independencia, in the town centre. The doors to this market will open on 22nd December and will remain open to the public until 5th January.
Here you will be able to find plenty of stalls, mainly showcasing gastronomy. In particular, there will be Christmas sweets, such as a variety of nougat.
This market doesn’t only feature stalls: there will also be recreational workshops and activities to enjoy with family, Nadal Chef, concerts and a variety of shows. There is even a marquee to host all of these activities so the rain won’t affect the market.
Christmas markets in Tui and Sanxenxo
The small town of Tui, to the south of the Rias Baixas, will also host its traditional Christmas market in Paseo da Corredoira. Here there will be 50 stalls, staying open until 5th January.
In addition to this market, there will also be activities and workshops organised simultaneously, which will take place in a marquee and in the Municipal Theatre.
The town of Sanxenxo will also have some small Christmas markets. First of all, there is the Aldea Navideña (Christmas Village) in Vilalonga, open from 1st until 6th January in Praza Pública.
Secondly, the traditional Bosque do Nadal de Noalla, opens for another year in Carballeira in the parish of Noalla. This small event offers a generous programme of events for children to enjoy Christmas, with activities such as a visit to Father Christmas, Alpalpador (Galician Santa Claus) or the Three Kings. Of course, there will also be a small market selling handicrafts and culinary products.
Finally, Portonovo will also host some markets, workshops and music that will last until 7th January.
Without a doubt, all these Christmas markets, with their wide variety of activities, workshops and stalls, deserve a short tour of the Rias Baixas to discover them one by one.