Situated on the picturesque coast of the Rias Baixas, in the region of Galicia, we find the small municipality of Portonovo. This charming tourist destination captivates those who are lucky enough to discover it, offering a perfect combination of natural beauty, spectacular beaches and a bustling street life. Although it is often eclipsed by its more famous neighbours, like Sanxenxo and Pontevedra, Portonovo has preserved its authentic charm and presents itself as a coastal oasis.
In this article, we invite you to discover the numerous qualities of Portonovo, discovering why it deserves a prominent place on your list of travel destinations.
Known for its relaxed atmosphere and authentic nature, Portonovo has managed to preserve its traditional charm.
Its cobbled streets and picturesque fishermen’s houses add a charming atmosphere, ideal for everyone, even for those who are looking for a peaceful getaway. Its more modern buildings serve as accommodation both for inhabitants and the tourists that come here every year.
The climate in Portonovo is mild and pleasant thanks to its location by the Atlantic ocean. Summers are warm, with pleasant temperatures to enjoy the beaches and sea, while the winters are mild, which enables you to explore the stunning natural landscapes in all seasons.
Portonovo’s natural beauty and its surroundings are impressive. From its green hills which submerge into the sea, to its rugged cliffs, the surroundings offer a captivating sight. Additionally, this is a privileged location near to the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, a set of protected islands which are home to a unique biodiversity and offer opportunities for hiking and bird watching.
What to do in Portonovo
From its idyllic landscapes to its delicious gastronomy and warm atmosphere, Portonovo has a lot to offer visitors, who come here eager for authentic experiences. Whether relaxing on its beaches of golden sand, exploring the impressive natural surroundings or trying the most delicious local flavours, every corner of this small coastal paradise promises an unforgettable experience.
Enjoy the spectacular beaches
Portonovo boasts some of the most impressive beaches of the Rias Baixas. Canelas beach is one of them. With its golden sand and crystal clear waters, it is perfect for sunbathing and taking a refreshing dip. Moreover, if you love water sports, you can go to Montalvo beach. An ideal place for windsurfing, paddle boarding or diving. On the other hand, Baltar beach is situated in the heart of Portonovo. This beach offers a more lively atmosphere, with seafront bars and restaurants to enjoy a delicious meal while you take in the views.
Try the local gastronomy
Galician cuisine is famous for its exquisiteness and, in Portonovo, you will be able to delight in some of the most delicious dishes. When you are there, you simply have to try the Galician style octopus, one of the region’s specialities, consisting of boiled octopus seasoned with olive oil, salt and paprika. The fresh seafood, like oysters and mussels are another culinary temptation you won’t want to miss. In addition, we recommend accompanying your dishes with an Albariño wine, a high quality local white wine.
If you are thinking of trying the gastronomy in an unrivalled setting, you can do it on board the Mussel tasting tours that Naviera Mar de Ons ferry company offers every day over the summer. The perfect setting, a boat trip along the Pontevedra Ria while trying products from our region.
Explore the surrounding beaches
Portonovo is strategically located near to other impressive beaches, in addition to those already mentioned above. Without a doubt, the most famous is La Lanzada beach, known for its captivating natural beauty and for being a calm and relaxing place. Once at the beach, you can also explore its fascinating surroundings, which include a chapel and some very interesting Roman archaeological remains.
In addition, don’t forget to visit Silgar beach, located in Sanxenxo, right in the heart of the municipality, and surrounded by a beautiful seafront promenade. There is also a spa near to this beach which is very popular with tourists.
Immerse yourself in the local festivities
Portonovo celebrates a variety of festivities throughout the year which reflect its rich culture and traditions. The best thing you can do on holiday is take part in them, you will enjoy some unforgettable moments and will find out much more about the culture of the area.
One of the most popular festivals is the Fiestas de la Virgen del Carmen Festival of Our Lady of Mount Carmel), celebrated on the Day of Carmen in July. This festival stands out for a beautiful procession of boats and a mass in honour of the patron saint of fishermen.
There is also the popular “Festa da Raia e Productos do Mar de Portonovo” (Festival of Ray and Products from the Sea of Portonovo), which is normally held between the months of April and May. During this festival, the restaurants and local food stalls are bursting with delicious dishes made with fresh sea products, like seafood, fish and, of course, the famous ‘raia’ or ray. Visitors can try true culinary delicacies while enjoying a lively festive atmosphere.
In addition to the gastronomy, this festival also offers an extensive programme of activities for the whole family, such as open air concerts and dancing and folklore exhibitions.
Another local festival, also held in summer, is the Fiesta de San Roque (Festival of Saint Roch), which takes place in mid-August. This celebration stands out for its traditional pilgrimage, where locals and visitors go in procession to the hermitage of San Roque, situated in beautiful natural surroundings. During the pilgrimage, traditional music can be heard and there are typical Galician dances, creating a festive atmosphere full of joy.
Visit the Atlantic Islands
Once you have explored the municipality of Portonovo and its surroundings, we suggest a trip that will add the icing on the cake to your visit to the Rias Baixas. Before you head home, you should visit the Atlantic Islands of Galicia, and discover this Galician archipelago first hand.
From the port of Portonovo, Naviera Mar de Ons ferry company offers you several options. On one of the days, you can go to the Cíes Islands, situated on the Vigo ria, and with one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And, another day, we recommend you go to the Island of Ons, a truly special place where only a few people have the privilege of calling it home. During the summer months, the ferry company goes to these places every day.
The excellence of the Cíes Islands lies in the sky itself and, as a “Starlight Tourist Destination”, they boast excellent qualities for stargazing. For that reason, the Mar de Ons ferry company also organises evening astronomy tourism trips, “Starlight Experiences” from Portonovo. That way, you can discover the different constellations in the waters of the National Park thanks to an astronomer-guide. A fantastic leisure option where the sky takes centre stage in the Rias Baixas.
As you can see, Portonovo offers you endless options for a wonderful holiday. If you are travelling there, get ready to enjoy an unforgettable experience while you immerse yourself in the authenticity of this charming corner of the Rias Baixas.